Blender (not responding)

Hello,

I am trying to render this fairly large scene to test it out and see how it looks. It is basically rolling hills with just under 2million particles of grass. My problem, or perhaps question is that while my computer will sometimes (rarely) freeze for a short bit, it doesn’t crash, and usually Blender just says that it is not responding while I am still able to (slowly though) work on my computer.

I am running Windows 7 64bit, i7 Q820 processor, 8GB of memory, and two ATI radeon hd 4870 graphics cards. I have maximized my computer for performance, added as much virtural memory as I can, but it still just doesn’t seem to work.

Is Blender still rendering even if it says it’s not responding? I rendered a similar scene which was 100x smaller and it took just about 20seconds to finish. I know these things don’t scale exactly, but I figured that meant if I waited about an hour, this larger one should be done. I ended up waiting almost four hours, and nothing had happened. I tried turning a few things off to try to reduce render time, waited two hours, and still nothing. I checked my task manager, and while my physical memory was maxing out near the 8gig mark, my cpu was only going between 1-7% for usage.

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

Forgot to add that I’m using Blender 2.62