We examine metastable and transient effects both above and below the first-order decoupling line in a 3D simulation of magnetically interacting pancake vortices. We observe pronounced transient and history effects as well as supercooling and superheating between the 3D coupled, ordered and 2D decoupled, disordered phases. In the disordered supercooled state as a function of DC driving, reordering occurs through the formation of growing moving channels of the ordered phase. No channels form in the superheated region; instead the ordered state is homogeneously destroyed. When a sequence of current pulses is applied we observe memory effects. We find a ramp rate dependence of the V(I) curves on both sides of the decoupling transition. The critical current that we obtain depends on how the system is prepared.