Hard drive momentarily stops reading/writing when performing certain tasks


Oct 25, 2016
Hi everyone,

I've been having this problem a few weeks now and I'm hoping I could find a fix for it in this site. I would describe it as the following:

When I'm unzipping relatively large zip files (30gigs for example) my PC freezes repetitively for a minute or less during the whole process, and by freezing I mean the programs stop responding or won't open, any windows I try to open fail to do so and only respond and open up when the freezing stops. I also experience this kind of freezing when performing other tasks like playing a game (WoW for example) or watching a movie. When the freezing wears off, it starts again only a few seconds later until the task is done (in case of extracting zip files.)
When browsing Chrome or doing other relatively simple tasks the laptop seems to work just fine.

What I know about this problem is that its probably due to the hard drive stopping reading/writing, causing the freezes. I noticed it through my windows 7 resource monitor that shows this when the freezing is occuring:

What I want to know is the cause of this sudden stop of reading/writing and how to fix it, knowing that the Hard drive is just a month old.

Additional details:

-Using windows 7 service pack 3 64bits
-Hard drive: Toshiba MQ01ABD100 1TB capacity (A month old)
-Baidu antivirus (Problem occuring even when antivirus disabled)
-Battery seems damaged and needs replacement says Windows. (Looked this up, appearently doesn't have to do anything with this problem. Laptop is constantly plugged into AC current.)

I'm looking forward to your replies, thank you in advance.
I would be looking at what is running while you are doing this. Depending on what is running in the background, or what was running, would use up resources. And just closing a program doesn't get you all the resources back. So when you go to do something large, like that unzipping, it could easily run out of resources during the process.

The simplest way to test this would be to load the computer in "Safe Mode" and try doing the unzip then. If it goes off without a hitch, then you have your proof that something running normally, but doesn't in "Safe Mode" is the cause and then you just need to find out which item it is.

How to enter "Safe Mode" when booting the computer.

In Windows 8 and 10...

As your computer restarts, press F8 (possibly a few times) to enter "Safe Mode"

a. Press the "F4" key to Enable "Safe Mode".
(The computer will then start in "Safe Mode" with a minimal set of drivers and services.)

b. Press the "F5" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Networking.
( Once "Safe Mode" with Networking starts, Windows is in Safe Mode, with additional network and services for accessing the Internet and other computers on your network.)

c. Press the "F6" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Command Prompt.
(In "Safe Mode" with "Command Prompt" starts Windows in Safe Mode, with a Command Prompt window instead of the Windows interface. This option is mostly only used by IT professionals.)

Now sign in to the computer with your account name and password. (If you have one set.) When you are finished troubleshooting, you can exit "Safe Mode" restarting your computer.

In Windows 7/Vista/XP...

1. Immediately after turning on the computer, or restarting it (usually after you hear your computer beep), tap the F8 key, repeatedly, in 1 second intervals.

2. The computer will then display hardware information and run a memory test.

3. Next the "Advanced Boot Options" menu will appear.

4. In the "Advanced Boot Options" menu use the arrow keys to select "Safe Mode" or "Safe Mode with Networking" and press ENTER.


Oct 25, 2016
Thank you for you answer.

I booted up in Safe Mode as you said and fired up the unzipping process, unfortunately no changes have been observed. The freezing keeps showing up while unzipping.


So I don't think a shortage of resources is the problem here. Would it be a defective hard drive or a power supply problem maybe?

Tried switching to High performance mode and deactivated hard drive APM to enable maximum HDD performance but in vain.
Also tried killing a few services that might be using up quite a bit of the HDD's read/write speed, still nothing. I still get those freezes whenever I unzip files and do other tasks that handle a large portion of data like gaming or defragmenting a disk or even copying files.

Quite honestly I am lost and don't know why this is happening. Here are additional details of my laptop:

Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4702MQ CPU @ 2.20GHz

Video Card Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600

Video Card #2 NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M


Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Edition Service Pack 1 (build 7601), 64-bit
I see. I would suggest next to try checking the BIOS and make sure the settings have not been changed in there. Unless you did them personally, and no problems happened after, you may wish to revert them back to the default BIOS settings.

Also, have you tried any other unzipping programs? To see if you get the same issue.


Oct 25, 2016
Thank you again for your answer.

It seems that restauring BIOS settings to default only switches my HDD SATA mode from AHCI to IDE, which doesn't change much when booting except a slightly lower disk performance.
Using Winzip instead of Winrar doesn't seem to do much neither.

This makes me more and more perplexed and the source of the problem is still unknown. Very frustrating.
What would you suggest to check next?

Thanks in advance.
It is quite odd, as I have used/use both programs myself without issue. Looking at the image you included, are you running the game at the time you are unzipping?

Also, another program you could try is ... http://www.extractnow.com/ ... I have used this one as well.


Oct 25, 2016
I wasn't running any game during the unzipping. The freezing occurs sometimes randomly even if I am just using Chrome only, to watch a high quality video or something. It doesn't happen just while unzipping, it should have something to do with the large quantity of data being read/written in that time. Maybe it's a defective hard drive, even though mine is relatively new... Very odd indeed. I might just go and have it checked from where I bought it.
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