USB External Drive Freezing and Stuttering on AMD 785G in Windows 7

Posted on December 24th, 2009 in Hardware & Software by andrija

The other big problem I was having with my new PC is actually much worse than the first one (eSATA hotplug issue). Unlike that one, here I have no idea what was causing the problem. Basically, every time you plug in an external USB drive, no matter which one, the results are unpredictable. It may work for a while but try to copy a file to or from it and after some time it would freeze. Not just slow down or temporarily stop while cache is being drained, but freeze for several minutes. The PC itself would still run although if you tried to force the copy to stop it might just stop working as well.

Now this was really serious: since I wasn’t able to use eSATA effectively I needed to rely on USB for backups – and I wasn’t able to! So I tried to work around this and bought an enclosure with both USB and Firewire. Guess what, the Firewire was even slower! I can’t recall if it was showing the same symptom – I think so but I am not sure – yet the result was just as bad.

This is where firmware flash comes in, as I was sure there was some sort of interrupt sharing problem and those are usually solved by firmware flash. But for the longest time I wasn’t aware there was a new firmware. At any rate, eventually my Corsair Xtreme 64G drive died and things got put into motion…

But the problem remained after clean install, firmware flash and setting of drives to AHCI. So in the moment of desperation I decided to replace the cable. At that point, I also realized USB cable was plugged into a hub. I am pretty sure I tested this both with and without hub and it never worked well. Yet now after replacing cable and plugging the drive straight into a motherboard USB port, drive was finally working correctly! It took me months to sort this out! And I am not sure is it a combination of issues or a single issue – I believe it must be a combination since I’d imagine I used a few different cables plugged into various ports during all these months. I just took a five to go back to my desk and plug in the “old” cable and – guess what, it’s still working. It does appear to be a bit slower – say 25MB/s compared to 27MB/s – but this may well be a statistics fluke. So, the hub connection then? No matter, I guess for now it appears to work so I’ll keep it plugged in and don’t mess with it.

One Response to 'USB External Drive Freezing and Stuttering on AMD 785G in Windows 7'

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  1. NaZo said,

    on May 17th, 2012 at 3:08

    Two and a half years later, this post saved my day. Thanks a lot!

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