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Here's some background about my issue. I have Windows installed on an SSD, but most of my games are on my secondary storage device, an HDD. Every so often in only a few games (Mainly AC3 and Shadow of Mordor), usually during cutscenes especially in Shadow of Mordor, it will freeze everything for about 5 seconds while continuing to play the audio (wherever the audio left off.)

Then, after that, during live gameplay it will do the same thing. I can't quite figure out why, and here's what I've done so far:

  • My paging file was off. I have since turned it on, both drives, but allocated more to the HDD (about 5GB.) The SDD has about 1GB. This didn't fix my problem.
  • I have a gaming laptop with two GTX 980 (not M) graphics cards in SLI. Perhaps SLI is causing these freezes?
  • In power management, I turned off "turn off HDD after a certain time to conserve power." No luck here either.

I'm out of ideas here. I would move the games to my SSD, but I have uninstalled them because frankly I was annoyed. If it helps, I stored some music on my HDD and the same thing happened. I'd play it, but then they'd freeze for a while and pick up. Perhaps my HDD is damaged in some way? That would be a bummer because this is a brand new laptop.

  • Sounds like antivirus or something else hogging up your cpu resources. It's hard to tell for sure what's going on without actual troubleshooting data logs. Run something like MSI Afterburner and check your cpu, gpu and hdd usage as it freezes up. – Elise Mar 23 '16 at 18:13
  • That could be it. I find it hard to believe though because I have 32GB of RAM. It shouldn't be a problem for now though because as I said, I uninstalled those games, but if it happens in another game in the future I'm going to want to find out the culprit. From what I can tell, however, I moved my music over to my SSD and they no longer freeze during playback. I think I'll try and disable my antivirus and play some music and see what happens. – Mark Schauer Mar 23 '16 at 18:22
  • If your music is freezing during playback on HDD and not on SSD, it's almost definitely an HDD issue. You need to run a check on it, it might be dying. – Elise Mar 23 '16 at 19:46
  • I sure hope it's not dying because it's brand new! Checkdisk reports no errors. Do you recommend any programs to test a broken HDD? – Mark Schauer Mar 23 '16 at 20:43
  • If the checkdisk reported no errors and didn't say that it fixed anything, the problem may lie somewhere else. As I said - without a thorough check it's hard to pinpoint the problem. I still find it odd that your music playback would freeze on the HDD, but not on SSD. – Elise Mar 24 '16 at 2:00
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It could be due to several things:

It might be that your HDD is "getting old", if it makes a lot of noise while this is happening consider getting a new one. Run a test to see if its very defragmented and to check that the sectors and the overall disc is OK.

Secondly keep in mind that you are reading from a HDD and some information sometimes is "moved" to the the SSD and viceversa, so ofcourse its going to be slow since the HDD reads/writes slower than the SSD and therefore you have a neck bottle situation when doing this (fast -> slow OR slow -> fast).

From my experience trying to run games from my external HDD is not very pleasant, specially with newer games like, for example, the Elder Scrolls Online, I had spikes on videos and very bad fps while it could basically run great on the SSD.

I'm pretty sure it would run much better on a external SSD using a USB 3.0 but... yeah if you cannot / don't want to get one It is what you gotta live with. Just try to make a balance between what "works fine" with the external (HDD) and move what "works bad" on the internal (SSD).

  • It's internal, and it's new. – Mark Schauer Mar 23 '16 at 20:43
  • @MarkSchauer Then the only thing that I can think of is what I said first, check that the HDD is ok, if it is new it might be that it came faulty even if it doesn't show any signs on a test. – this.user3272243 Mar 24 '16 at 11:38

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