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Windows 7: Windows 7 Not Responding

15 Sep 2010   #1
claytoncarney

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit OEM
 
 
Windows 7 Not Responding

I've been experiencing an increasing annoying behavior with Windows 7 lately. There is no discernible pattern of cause, but one or more applications will suddenly stop responding for several minutes. Often the entire OS stops responding.

I usually keep Process Explorer running and during these episodes CPU and memory usage always remain low. Here's what I've done to detect a problem:
  • Checked system integrity (via SFC command)
  • Run virus scans and protection (via MS Security Essentials)
  • Checked for suspicious or unverified processes/services (via Process Explorer)
  • Checked the logs for anything unusual (via Event Viewer)
  • Tried disabling Aero
  • Updated all hardware drivers
  • Spent hours Googling for a clue
Anyone had similar experiences and found an answer? Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Sep 2010   #2
tbernstein

 
 

yes, some programmes in the background seem to steal Windows' attention and everything then slows to a crawl for a few minutes.
I suspect its stuff like automatic backups and downloads of newer versions etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #3
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Check all System Restore points to try restoring to before problem began.

Check the Performance log to google repeat errors at times of hang: Go to Computer>Properties, click WEI score then Advanced Tools. Look for cued issues at top of Tools page, generate a System Health Report.

Test your RAM using memtest86 CD for 5-6 passes minimum. Then test your HD using maker's full diag/repair CD scan: Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.URL
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Sep 2010   #4
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Clayton,

Disconnect from the internet.

Do you ever observe this behaviour when you are not connected?

The reason for this question is that many programs decide that when they should perform or check for an update, then they will effectively shut everything else down. Microsoft is notorious for this behaviour.

Let us know the result of this experiment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #5
andyparks

windows 7 home prem 64 bit
 
 

ive been getting windows explorer not responding i think its been down to my kaspersky internet sec 11 when its been updating... on sunday the update was stuck for some resion and had been updating for over 2 hours... but now only have it update once a day
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #6
claytoncarney

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit OEM
 
 

Many thanks to all for the suggestions. All suggested tests were negative. Further tracing lead to changing the startup type for SQL Server Express services from Automatic to Manual. While this has reduced the frequency, it has not eliminated the problem. Still searching...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #7
claytoncarney

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit OEM
 
 

Update - Found a few other helpful fixes:
  • Tweak Number Two @ Super Tweaks for Windows 7 by Black Viper. Disabling System Restore and Windows Search.
  • Oddly enough, Process Explorer itself seems to be a culprit. Switched over to Resource Monitor and most of the problems disappeared.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #8
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Do not disable System Restore! This can save your little self from many problems.

If you want to disable Windows Search, that's a personal preference.
If you decide to disable, you can do this with standard features of Win 7.
See this link for how:
Stop Indexing Service in Windows Vista and Windows 7 and Windows XP : NerdGrind : How-to Computer Help : Tutorials : Tech and Gadget News
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #9
claytoncarney

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit OEM
 
 

Thanks, good call! I've reversed these tweaks and will watch for any negative impacts.

Not running Process Explorer had an immediate effect on the original problem. Sad, as this was one of my favorite utilities.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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