External drive causing lag

LukeDJ

Posts: 349   +111
Recently, whenever I plug in my WD My Passport 750gb external hard drive into my PC, I get a massive lag spike that lasts around 30 seconds (it basically freezes the computer). Although this is not a massive problem, it does get quite annoying, as I am often plugging and unplugging the drive from my system.

You can check my specs on my profile, but basically, I would have thought that my rig could handle such a simple task without a hitch (I have an i5-3570K).

I checked my CPU usage when I plug the drive in, and this is what I got:

Hard Drive Spike.jpg

One of my cores jumps to nearly 100%, and the others are unaffected, as well as memory usage.

Is this what is causing the lag, and is this normal? I'm just curious, if anybody has a solution it would be greatly appreciated.

Additional Information: I use the drive both as a backup for windows and for transporting large files (movies, music, photos etc) between PC's. It's around half full at the moment, and I'm using a USB 3.0 port (although the lag still occurs on 2.0 ports).
 

Jad Chaar

Posts: 6,481   +976
I get this sometimes after using storage intensive apps and games. I recently experienced this after playing Planetside 2 for a few hours. My computer was really laggy and it was making me nervous. I am not sure how to help you here man, but I experience similar issues but not with an external HDD.
 

St1ckM4n

Posts: 2,887   +628
Seems odd. Plugging the device in should just recognise it.

I'd be looking at the actual drive and seeing if it has any stupid WD or similar software on it. Something that automatically backs up stuff, encrypts stuff, etc.
 

LukeDJ

Posts: 349   +111
Hmmm, I decided to delete everything on the drive, including the stupid WD software (although that didn't seem to open or anything when I plug the drive in). Even whilst completely empty, I get the massive lag spike :mad: I re-did my backup (windows backup) and still no change.

It's so weird the autoplay will open up, and then a few seconds later, BAM, the screen freezes for a second, and I get "chrome/windows explorer is not responding" on my windows, before the computer goes back to normal after around 8 seconds. I can access the drive all well, and the speeds seem to be fine.

I'm stumped :confused:
 

TheHawk

Posts: 32   +9
Hey LukeDJ. Have you tried the drive on another pc, preferably a model with your OS and/or reasonably similar performance?
 

misor

Posts: 1,415   +319
I think the temporary cpu spike activity is caused by your antivirus resident shield activity.
to test this, use external hdd against a "clean computer" without your antivirus or use your own i5-3570k computer with AV resident shield disabled for ~10 minutes or so.

also, some external hdds have software backup utilities which automatically launch whenever a supported hardware is detected/inserted.
you can disable this startup item and choose to launch the backup software manually.
 

Jad Chaar

Posts: 6,481   +976
Some AV programs are configured to automatically scan the HDD when inserted. If it was a internal drive it wont do this, but it is a USB, so that may be normal depending on your AV.
 

LukeDJ

Posts: 349   +111
misor Disabling my anti-virus didn't help, but it was worth a shot I guess :p

Darth Shiv I updated the drivers, to no avail :(

JC713 Is that worth a shot? And how do I go about doing that, I've never had to before. :confused:

Blkfx1 I ran the test, and I got a fail on both the short and the (extremely) long generic test. So I guess that means that the drive is bad? I just find it strange that it handles file transfer perfectly ok, but still comes up as faulty, and has this one weird problem.

I guess I'll try and get an RMA on it, unless anybody has any other suggestions.

Anyways thanks for all the help guys :D
 

misor

Posts: 1,415   +319
LukeDJ, did you install any backup software which may automatically run whenever a supported hardware is plugged in?
 

jobeard

Posts: 14,118   +1,850
It's one of two services for removable devices
  1. your A/V product scanning newly mounted devices for your protection (highly recommended)
  2. the Windows Search indexer looking for new files
 

Jad Chaar

Posts: 6,481   +976
It's one of two services for removable devices
  1. your A/V product scanning newly mounted devices for your protection (highly recommended)
  2. the Windows Search indexer looking for new files

+1. What AV are you using Luke?
 

LukeDJ

Posts: 349   +111
Can't see if you have tried this one yet?
Didn't see that one. The only other PC that I have around is my parents, which is pretty low end, cheapo amd athlon ii x2 245 build that's very slow. I when I plug the drive in, there is no noticeable lag or anything, so I guess that narrows it down to a computer problem.

+1. What AV are you using Luke?

I'm using Microsoft security essentials, and I have tried disabling it when I plug the drive in, but that doesn't seem to make any difference . Is there another function of Microsoft SE that would scan the drive anyway?

misor I'm using windows backup to back up my system using the drive, but it is set to backup daily at a certain time, and doesn't begin every time I plug the drive in.
 

misor

Posts: 1,415   +319
With those info, I'm at a lost here. :)

these are the frequent causes of "lag" as far as my experience tells me:
1. autoplay function of windows 7 whenever an external device is plugged.
2. autoscan of plugged external usb devices by antivirus but MSE does not have this.
3. resident shield function of antivirus.
4. backup software.
5. failing hardware, low memory, low free hdd space, slow processor.
6. malware; possibility because the problem is not reproducible in another computer.

can you see any task process consuming large memory under task manager?
 

LukeDJ

Posts: 349   +111
With those info, I'm at a lost here. :)

these are the frequent causes of "lag" as far as my experience tells me:
1. autoplay function of windows 7 whenever an external device is plugged.
2. autoscan of plugged external usb devices by antivirus but MSE does not have this.
3. resident shield function of antivirus.
4. backup software.
5. failing hardware, low memory, low free hdd space, slow processor.
6. malware; possibility because the problem is not reproducible in another computer.

can you see any task process consuming large memory under task manager?
No, I could find no suspicious processes in task manager, most of them had descriptions and the ones that didn't, I googled to make sure they were not malware. I'm only using 2GB of my 8GB of memory, so that is unlikely to be the problem.

Edit: I regularly scan my PC for malware with malwarebytes anti-malware.
 

jobeard

Posts: 14,118   +1,850
You can find the process causing the disturbance thusly:

Start the TASKMGR, click the Process Tab, display processes from all users and the click the column name CPU twice to show highest to lowest cpu usage.

Now plugin the external HD and the process causing the disturbance will soon be the first one listed.
 

LukeDJ

Posts: 349   +111
Yep, I did that, listing the processes from highest to lowest, all users, made the window fullscreen, and plugged her in. I didn't see any processes appear above 2 MB of memory usage, and certainly nothing above 10 MB.
 

LukeDJ

Posts: 349   +111
It seems VIA HD audio is spiking suddenly, why would that be happening?! I guess we've found the cause of the lag.