I have more than 80k point data. I have created few buffer from 1 to 5 km of them. Now I want to get the covered area by 1 km to 5 km buffered range. For this I have tried to dissolve those individual buffered file. In ArcGIS 10 it took 6 hours and then replied an error. Also in progress bar it was showing 33% completed. I think this 33% progress is some kind of bug as it stay 6 hours. In QGIS it took 8 hours to complete 61% then stopped. Is there any other way or tools to dissolve those large dataset in a reasonable time?
I have seen the stalling symptoms you describe from Dissolve when running with 4Gb RAM, and then used the same parameter values to process without a problem using 12Gb RAM.
If you are able to run a test with more RAM, and find the same, then maybe an upgrade is an option.