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[Windows 7] System keeps 'microstuttering'

I run windows 7 64bit and after a while my system has been running it periodically every 4-5 minutes freezes for 1-2 seconds causing everything to freeze and if i'm playing a video or music it kind of stutters and creates a buzzing sound then it kicks back to normal again. I have checked the task manager and there's no processes eating cpu cycles and i'm using about half of my 6gb ram. Is there a way to diagnose what may be causing this or is there somewhere on my os which would log this event?

Replies

  • Ben Apuna
    Might be your hard drive spinning down (that is if you aren't using a SSD...). I had this problem with Vista, anyway:

    http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/983350-turn-off-hdd-spin-down-windows-7/

    Hope that's it. Good luck!
  • scourgewarper
    Not using SSD just regular hard drive. I checked my power options but i'm pretty sure that's not the cause because this has only been an issue recently and I haven't made any hardware/drive changes. Also the system can be running fine for a couple of days then this just starts happening randomly. Gonna update my graphics drivers see if that helps cheers anyway :)
  • Ben Apuna
    Bummer :(

    Well without any Win7 experience all I can suggest at this point is try running a scan for virus/malware and see if you get any hits. Probably not likely though, still might be worth a try.
  • sirenblue
    I just had the exact problem last week, like you described. I fixed that by replacing the hard drive as last resort. Don't know how or why, but no more random freezing. Had to move the stuff and re-install programs, of course.

    Try Ben's suggestion first after you update your drivers. Hopefully that should fix it. I should see if my other HDD can work after changing power options too.
  • Ben Apuna
    Hmm... if the hard drive is failing as sirenblue might be suggesting you might not want to run those scans I mentioned earlier. Too many read operations with those scans, they might end up doing more harm than good to a hard drive on it's last legs. It might be a good time to back up your files.
  • scourgewarper
    Are we talking about the hard drive the main OS is installed on? If so I was planning on getting a new ssd anyway (one between 60-100gb and £150ish budget if anyone has a good recommendation) so it may be time to get it!
  • mortalhuman
    I had this issue, couldn't get through a movie to save my life without it freezing up and coming back.

    Solution was to stop letting windows 7 put my hard drive to sleep. (not sleep mode, windows 7 cuts the drive after a while when it thinks you're idle or whatever - changing that setting, it fixed it)
  • Visceral
    Yay i think this thread solved an annoying issue :D since i have all my 3d work on the external drive and it powers off after 20 min whenever i open a 3d app and try to save anything it takes me like atleast 5 mins.
  • Kawe
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    Kawe polycounter lvl 8
    Cheers, this solved my hdd issues!

    Also it may also solve my USB headphone issues (they lost contact with the computer every now and then as if they had gotten disabled).
  • sirenblue
    Are we talking about the hard drive the main OS is installed on?

    In my case, both my OS and my stuff is in the same HDD. Come to think of it, I should separate them to ease the readership between the OS and the work files.
  • Ben Apuna
    I think by design the main OS drive shouldn't sleep simply because it's usually doing something and active. Though Windows being Windows I could see something getting messed up at some point to allow for it to happen.

    In my case I have 3 drives in my system. I had to set hard drives to never sleep in the advanced power options in order to avoid stuttering. It was actually very unnerving hearing them spin down then up again, I thought they were going bad at first.
  • scourgewarper
    Update: windows is still stuttering and i'm sure it's the radeon drivers causing it (i've a radeon HD 4870) as after a while the stuttering causing a black screen refresh with an 'ATI drivers not responding' message. I'm getting an ssd soon but if it's the graphics card/drivers then maybe that won't solve anything. Is there a way to diagnose what is causing the microstuttering exactly? Is there a place that logs the lockups i'm having or some program which can detect it?

    I've tried multiple different driver versions however the issue is only made slightly less severe with certain versions.
  • mLichy
    Firefox used to freeze my comp randomly when it was open, now its fine again. Im using Win 7 64bit
  • scourgewarper
    I use firefox too how did you resolve it i'll give it a try.
  • mLichy
    Just did the autoupdate
  • SpeCter
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    SpeCter polycounter lvl 11
    It could also be the dotNet Optimation Service hogging up your CPU, but that shouldn´t affect your drivers.
    Did you take a look at your Taskmanager if there is some program with high CPU using?
  • scourgewarper
    Nothing in taskmanager hogging the cpu apart from firefox 10-20%. Pretty sure it's the drivers many people have had problems with them. I occasionally get the 'ATI display has stopped responding' message and the drivers reset but this stuttering happened before that. Is there a place where windows logs all these errors if indeed that'd be useful at all?
  • SpeCter
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    SpeCter polycounter lvl 11
    Windows has an inbuilt Event Viewer which should show you this errors and if you are lucky it even states why certain errors occured.
    Unfortunately i don´t know if it´s really called Event Viewer. But it´s under System Preferences->Performanceinformation and Tools->Further Tools(or something similar, can´t say for sure, german OS here :( )
  • MagnificentMicrowave
    Regardless of windows language and version, event viewer should be accessible by Run->eventvwr.msc
    It's usually sitting in Control Panel/Administrative Tools though.
  • scourgewarper
    That's the one! I found this http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/737-27116RadeonSeries-ATIKMDAGhasstoppedrespondingerrormessages.aspx

    Went through the list and the only one that seemed plausible was a possible program conflict so I uninstalled about 15 rarely used programs and so far i've not had any issues.
  • CKohl
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    CKohl polycounter lvl 10
    I hope that solves your issue. I also have a 4870 and Win7x64 and I get occasional stutters. It's really only noticeable when I'm going through the file system of a drive that I haven't accessed for a while, although sometimes FF locks up for several seconds as well (buut I have like 30 memory hogging addons). I've never had the video flicker or ATI error message before though, so I doubt my particular issue is related to drivers. I'm pretty sure in my case it's the HDDs but I haven't bothered with the power settings yet even though it is annoying as all hell to have to wait for a drive to spin up (or whatever the heck is going on) when I'm opening a project in Maya.
  • DEElekgolo
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    DEElekgolo interpolator
    This only happens to me when I am using windows installer stuff.
  • scourgewarper
    Been a few days now and there's been absolutely no stuttering/pauses/hangs whatsoever so the problem must have been down to a program I had installed. Wish I had done this a while back it's been stuttering for 8months!

    The only thing now is I don't think I will upgrade to an ATI card as during my 'research' I found ATI drivers are notorious for causing similar problems and i'm pretty sure nvidia cards have been recommended quite a lot by more techy guys on here.
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