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Solved: Slow PC Upload speed slows entire network


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SamFetlock's Avatar
SamFetlock SamFetlock is offline
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06-Jun-2009, 07:08 PM #1
Solved: Slow PC Upload speed slows entire network
About a month ago, we began experiencing intermittent periods of very slow internet service on our home network which includes two desktops running Win XP SP3. Both are manufactured by Cooltech. The one with a problem is less than a year old with extra capacity all around. It is connected to an HP printer and to a Linksys router for wireless connection. We connect to the internet via HughesNet (satellite).

Analysis has tracked the slowdown to one of the two desktops, the new one. When running a bandwidth speed test (at pcpitstop), this PC shows normal download speeds, erratic ping results (sometimes normal, sometimes 20X to 30X longer than normal but always with very slow Uploads. Normal upload speed is about 200 kbps, a speed which this PC consistently achieved until about a month ago. This PC now shows uploads of 8 or 9 kbps. This slow time is independent of how the PC connects to the internet (wirelessly or hard wired straight to the modem, it makes no difference).

Not only is this computer experiencing very slow uploads but when it is on the home network (by wireless), the entire network experiences the same slow speeds, i.e., both desktops operate with very slow uploads and do so with both IE7 and Firefox browsers. When I Disconnect the slow PC from the wireless connection, the other PC returns to normal upload speeds.

TCP/IP is set up the same on both PCs and has not changed from earlier when we were not experiencing this problem. There have been no hardware changes. The slow PC has had some new software added to it but nothing which should affect internet connections.

I have scanned for viruses (AVG) and run AdAware, SpyBot and several of the free RootKit removers, none of which have found anything amiss.

I hope someone can help diagnose and solve this problem.
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06-Jun-2009, 08:53 PM #2
This still screams of malware.

Do this please.

Open the status of the network connection on that machine and tell me how many packets are send and received in a minute.
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08-Jun-2009, 09:35 AM #3
packet rates
On the affected PC, in 60 seconds, I recorded while a page was loading 137 sent/154 rec'd, then 321/331 then 46/08 then 41/28 with the low numbers likely when the page had loaded.

On my other PC, same network, rates while not loading a page were 19/0 then again 30/19 but when loading a page 649/829 and 1327/1741.

Should I be measuring with no internet activity or while actively loading pages?

Many thanks for your interest!
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08-Jun-2009, 09:52 AM #4
Well, that doesn't look all that excessive. I was thinking that maybe malware was flooding the network, but usually that would be tens of thousands of packets/minute.
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08-Jun-2009, 10:52 AM #5
Yes, I had assumed malware/zombie and so forth but have found nothing using various scanners and, as you helped me understand, the packet traffic does not appear to show that the pc is being used by someone else, so I remain stuck.

If nothing new turns up in the forum, I'll revert to a full backup made when the pc was new and, if that fails, will reformat/reinstall and if that fails, take it to a repair shop and hope for the best.

If anything else comes to mind, I'm eager! Thank you again.
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08-Jun-2009, 11:13 AM #6
Try Safe Mode with Networking.

If the problem disappears you know the cause is software.

If the problem continues in Safe Mode with Networking nothing is proved but it points more towards hardware or drivers.

But, I'm still at a loss trying to imagine some explanation (other than what you and John discussed) at how this PC could affect the entire network.
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08-Jun-2009, 02:53 PM #7
It's a mystery!
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08-Jun-2009, 02:54 PM #8
Thank you! What a relief. Yes, indeed, Safe Mode with Networking resolved the problem with the PC and, thus, with the home network. That, of course, doesn't tell me what software is causing the problem but at least I know it is not the hardware..

Can you suggest anything to track down the offending software or should I just roll the system back (using a complete backup from more than a month ago) or try a Windows Repair or go all the way with a reformat/reinstall.

Thanks again. Any further advice you can give me will be MOST welcome!
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08-Jun-2009, 02:57 PM #9
Well, we're making progress!

Next, use MSCONFIG and disable groups of startup applications until you find the one that is causing the issue.
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08-Jun-2009, 03:09 PM #10
Terrific. Thanks .. I should have thougth of that one!
Unfortunately, I have be a grandparent tonight instead of an IT wannabe so will check off and get back at it tomorrow.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your work, and that of others, in this forum.
Thank all of you!
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08-Jun-2009, 03:15 PM #11
It's really your choice of how to proceed. A Windows XP Repair Install or a format the disk and start fresh each have a more-or-less defined amount of time and effort involved. But could eventually lead you back to the same issue.

Determining what task (using MSCONFIG) or what service (Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Services) or what combination of them may take 10 minutes or may take "forever." There's nothing difficult about this process, but you need to keep notes to keep yourself straight on what has been tried already.

Selfishly I'm hoping you'll try to determine the bad actor, 'cause I won't learn anything if you reinstall.
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08-Jun-2009, 08:03 PM #12
You can disable groups of applications and services using MSCONFIG and do a binary search on the offender. It's much quicker than doing them one at a time.
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09-Jun-2009, 11:27 AM #13
Problem Solved
With great help from this forum, my network slowdown has been traced to a single auto-loading program, GPNotify.exe. This is one of 4 auto-loading programs associated with the free virtual printer "Green Print" available from www.printgreener.com. It is purportedly an ink-saving printer. GPNotify.exe is, presumably, the program which phones home for updates and so forth. With it disabled on startup, the computer and the network return to normal operation. I have uninstalled the entire Green Print program and have informed the company of the problem. I appreciate the help provided in the TechGuy forums. Thank you!
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09-Jun-2009, 12:17 PM #14
Nice detective work. Thanks for the feedback.
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09-Jun-2009, 03:30 PM #15
Glad it all worked out. It's nice to see a prolblem get resolved.
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