I've noticed that sometimes when installing programs or copying files, other programs (Firefox) will hang or freeze for a while, but the computer doesn't appear to be doing anything as the hard drive indicator isn't flashing. When this happens it usually last around 15 secs, CPU use increases, but only slightly. I have no problems when running programs or playing games.
This is kind of a minor problem but, I haven't noticed this happening on my older slower windows 7 computers, so I wanted to figure out what is going on. Any ideas about what is going, how to fix it, or how to troubleshoot it would be great. Thanks.
The processor, video card and even the ram are doing very little, but your hard drive is doing a lot. Basically you have several things trying to access the hard drive at once. Depending on who got there first, others may have to wait.
Couple that with the fact that your particular hard drive is kind of slow, and Windows is notoriously slow at file transfers.
One other option I would throw out there on the file copying is to use Linux. For whatever reasons that I have never understood, Linux does file copying faster than Windows.
There are two ways to go about this without messing up Windows. You could download and create a LiveDVD of Ubuntu, or some other distro. Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS are two other easy ones. basically you would boot from the LiveCD instead of Windows and then locate the files to copy and go for it. Once done you simply reboot, remove the DVD and back to Windows you go. http://distrowatch.com/
Another more semi permanent solution would be to install Ubuntu using something called Wubi. Basically this option comes up when you pop in the DVD while in Windows. What this does is install Ubuntu "into" Windows just like another program for the most part. When the machine boots, you are given the option of Ubuntu or Windows. You also do not have to allocate a lot of disk space for this. 10gb is plenty. The beauty of this is that if you want to later, you can "uninstall" Ubuntu the same as you would any other Windows program. No muss no fuss. Have not really kept up as to whether Wubi works with other distros.