Windows 8 "Not responding"


Senior Member
Oct 6, 2011
Temporary freezes and occasional "not responding" messages are not often seen in Windows 8, but occur much more frequently than they do in W7. Same hardware, same software. Only the drives and a few drivers differ.

These hesitations arise in various programs or while manipulating UI options, and have since the earliest W8 betas, though they have become less frequent with each release. No forum messages that I have come across relate specifically to this random issue.

Additionally, W8 is a multitasking slug as contrasted to W7 when, for example, a large file is downloading in the background. Open another program in W7 and it pops up almost immediately; open in W8 and it takes 15-30'. Priority has been assigned to both "programs" and "background services." Made no difference.

2600 Intel CPU, ASUS P8P67le MB, NVidia 210 GPU, at least 28G free space on each drive.

Noted the same behavior or have suggestions on how to overcome it?

There is an Intel INF Update for Windows 8 that might help:

This will update your chipset drivers with the latest signed drivers from Intel for i7 boards. Other than that, you should be able to track slowdowns in the Task Manager, Reliability History, and the Event Log. Do you see anything unusual in these areas that might slow you down so much? The performance difference for both systems is almost non-existent. For the NVIDIA 210 do you have the latest drivers as this would force a slow down? How much RAM?

Appreciate the tips. The Intel chipset here is not covered by that update.

W8 is on a par with W7, except for multitasking and start-up times. Task manager, reliability history and the event log rarely list problems, even after an occasional not responding hang, and no "solutions" are found.

The NVidia 210 is using the latest driver and there's 8G RAM for this four-core CPU.

WIA burps at boot once in a while, but other than that this clean system generally performs well, with the exception of the above.

I should mention that W8 runs on a SATA drive and W7 resides on an SSD. Still, I doubt that's responsible for the disparities noted.

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If you want to identify the bottleneck, it's the hard drive.

If you want to identify the bottleneck, it's the hard drive.

Thanks Mike, but I have my doubts. I am sensitive to how the SATA drive performs relative to the SSD because Win 7 ran on it for many years...with none of the noted problems.

Yet one day I may swap it out for an SSD, when prices come down and capacity goes up. ^_^

It won't be obvious because neither should be using a tremendous amount of hard disk it will only be noticeable when you hit the bottleneck. Try CrystalDisk Mark. It is free and it will give you an idea of the difference you may be dealing with.

CrystalDiskMark - Software - Crystal Dew World

When it comes to multi-tasking and multi-threaded apps, Windows 8 should actually run better. Ultimately, Windows 8 is a kernel upgrade from Windows 7 with a lot of changes. The Modern UI and its code is integrated, to be sure, but that has been made up for with graphic acceleration and less transparency/features on the desktop. It is theorized they made the Windows kernel smaller in Windows 8, which means that generally, it should run better. If you still have Windows 7 on a SSD though, it is going to blow Windows 8 out of the water when it comes to multi-tasking load times. It just is. It is like if you ran Win7 on both, I believe you'd notice the same slow down on the non-SSD. Check the regular HDD model to see how much cache it has on board. I just have seen the difference and its insane.

With a SATA-2 SSD on a very old laptop, I was able to get a game like Skyrim to run on High, while when using a 750GB standard hard drive it would stutter on the lowest settings. The HDD is almost always the primary bottleneck. You will have trouble when tasks start to run in the background and use disk I/O. You'll notice it more and more because its not that your Windows 8 computer has gotten slower, its that your Windows 7 computer has become faster. I don't know how else to explain it. It'd be like if you decided to try out a Pentium 4 with Windows XP on 128MB of RAM and compare it to a brand new computer. The difference is that noticeable with SSDs. I am convinced this is the problem.

Sounds reasonable...

But if W8 is more efficient than Win 7 it seems logical that it should be running better on the old drive than did its predecessor. Considering the W8 improvements that you cite, an SSD shouldn't be required, and I'll wager that most folks still run SATA drives.

Only further testing or a drive swap will sleuth this out; I may check in at a future date with those results. Thanks again, Mike.