Windows 7 Freezes During Network File Copying

Windows 7 may freeze or hang when the user attempts to copy files across the network. “hetmankp,” a poster to the Microsoft TechNet discussion boards, writes:

“When I attempt to copy large files onto a shared network directory the entire user interface freezes. No response to the mouse or keyboard. Waiting several minutes (i.e. long enough for the copy to finish) does not restore functionality. The only option being a hard reset. The remote network share is running on a Linux box using a Samba server. There is presently no anti-virus installed locally.”

Fixes

Install a new driver The problem may be especially prominent with the Atheros L1 Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T Controller used on Asus p5k motherboards. This driver (FTP Link), intended for Windows Vista, has been reported to solve this issue under Windows 7 in a variety of cases.

If you aren’t using an Atheros card, check the website of your network card’s manufacturer for updated drivers–even those for Windows Vista, which may work properly under Windows 7.

Use alternate drivers Try seeking out alternative drivers from manufacturers’ Web sites — both the manufacturer of your computer, and the manufacturers of specific devices.

Also, note that the presence of antivirus software scanning can block proper installation of drivers that are necessary for device function. Try turning off any antivirus or anti-malware/spyware software temporarily while you install or update device drivers, then turn it back on.

You may also want to try installing your device drivers in admin mode. To do this, right-click the driver installation .exe file (e.g. setup.exe) then select “Run as Admin.” Proceed with installation.

Many Windows Vista-compatible drivers offered on device manufacturer websites work well with Windows 7. Check for any Vista drivers and install them on your Windows 7 system. This procedure is especially useful for users who were running Windows XP or another version of Windows other than Vista before installing Windows 7.

Use a new network card Unfortunately, if the aforementioned fix does not work, you may need to use a different network card (NIC). The Dynex DX-PCIGB, available for roughly $30 from Best Buy, has been reported to work well under Windows 7.

Disable non-essential system services Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button and type MSCONFIG then press enter
  2. Go to the startup tab
  3. Uncheck any third-party and nonessential startup items. Click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box, then click Disable All, and then click OK. Apply the changes and press OK, then restart the system if it does not happen automatically.
  4. If the problem not occur, go back to MSCONFIG and start re-enabling items in groups. Enable a few items, then restart and check to see if the problem. If it does disable some of those items then restart again. Keep enabling items until you find the culprit, then leave that service turned off permanently or uninstall it.

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