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Is this lag my browser...or cable?

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by gcomstock, Jan 26, 2002.

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  1. gcomstock

    gcomstock Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Messages:
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    Longtime lurker, first time poster...had several problems solved by searching for similar issues, and just following previously offered advice. But I can't find this specific issue answered...so...

    PIII, 1GB Dell, 256mb ram, 30gb free space
    WinMe, IE5.5
    Cable modem hooked up to AT&T Broadband

    The problem is an intermittant LAG in my browser display, and it's "intermittant" in several ways. First, it doesn't happen every day. Second, it's almost like the "flow" turns on and off every few minutes. In other words, it can occur at any time of day...so it's not clearly indicative of too many folks on the node, and I can go days without suffering this slowdown. Second, during any given session, the problem will plague me for a few minutes, then the pages will display and function normally for a few minutes, then it goes back into this "lagging" mode.

    Strange thing is...the pages are quickly and fully displayed, but the status bar shows the browser is still trying to open them, and they are inaccessible (meaning I can't close them, scroll them, or click any links in them, or move to other open browser windows) for maybe 15-30 seconds. Still faster than my dial up, but frustrating. This problem is ubiquitous enough to NOT be related to the specific websites I'm visiting, since it will occur (or not occur, depending on its "mood") on hundreds of different websites.

    Of course, I've cleared my cache, and run various ping and pc diagnostics...none of which indicated any problems. With regard to ping and bandwidth, it's as if as far as the network is concerned I've got my page...but as far as the computer is concerned, it's frozen. Rebooting doesn't make any difference. Installed the latest MS Virtual Machine, thinking that maybe my IE5.5 is choking on java...but no changes (and before or after, the java console isn't showing any error messages anyway).

    I've wondered if this is a video display problem....but my 32mb. Nvidia card has the original drivers which are only a year old, and when this haunting lag isn't happening, the system works great. Of course trying to discuss this with Dell, or AT&T is like trying to debate diversity with a fundementalist...

    Don't want to download IE6 if this is simply a flukey bandwidth problem. Any ideas, or kindred suffers of this kind of malady? Thanks.
     
  2. jbcalg

    jbcalg

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2001
    Messages:
    2,056
    i've had similar problems and still not sure what's happening

    - likely not the video card

    - i tried the following and it seems to help, but i'm on a local network so it may not apply to you

    ==================
    Always BACKUP your registry before making any changes
    ===================
    This tip works on ALL Windows 95/98/ME and NT4/2000 systems with MS Internet Explorer 4/5/6 installed.
    This Registry tip speeds up internet/remote (using Windows Explorer and/or Internet Explorer) browsing process considerably on most MS Windows 32-bit machines connected to a network and/or remote computer(s).
    This actually fixes a BUG in MS Windows OSes that scan shared (remote) folders/files across the network for Scheduled Tasks, and can add a delay as long as 30 seconds (!), because it uses extra time to search the remote computer(s).
    To do this, open Regedit (Win95/98/ME) or Regedt32 (WinNT4/2000) and go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RemoteComputer\NameSpace
    Highlight this value:

    {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}

    and delete it: right-click on it -> select Delete -> click OK.

    RECOMMENDED: Export (BACKUP) this Registry key to a REG file FIRST, to be able to restore it (by running the REG file) if necessary. In Regedit: highlight the key name in the left hand pane -> click "Registry" from the menu -> select "Export Registry File..." -> type a file name in the "File name" field -> browse to the destination of your choice -> push the Save button.

    This Registry change takes effect immediately.
    Just start MS IE while connected to the network/internet to see the difference.

    NOTE: Upgrading to a newer MS Internet Explorer release may add this key to your Registry during Setup, therefore you may need to delete it again after installing MS IE.
     
  3. gcomstock

    gcomstock Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Messages:
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    Thanks JB, I gave it a try, figuring that my cable access is sort of a network anyway...but it didn't fix the problem.

    It's strange. This hanging is occuring both when I connect via the cable modem, *and* when I use dial up. With both, pages fully display FAST (a second or two with cable, several more with dial up) with all the icons and images fully drawn.

    Yet the fully displayed page remains "frozen" for up to thirty seconds. Can't close it, can't access any pull down menus, can't move to another open page page using the task bar or alt+tab. It's happening right now, even though it's 4:30 am local time, and I don't really expect my local cable servers to be heavily used at this time.

    Thinking maybe (?) I have some other file corruption in IE, I used the Repair tool (in the add/remove programs box), but all that seemed to do was move a few bookmarks around and try to push MSN as my homepage choice.

    What's also surprising (I'm easily surprised since I really don't know much about computers!) is that some resource heavy web programs (like java applet slot machine and blackjack type games) are able to perform without any lagging at all...whereas they are first to go buggy when I'm having low resource issues, etc. I also checked many of my non-internet programs like MS Word, to see if they were displaying this latency...and no, they're fine.

    If it weren't happening with my dial up also, I'd figure it was just flukey throughput from AT&T Broadband, or a cable modem slowly frying itself....especially since it comes and goes. Maybe I won't experience it at all tomorrow (I hope!).

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. If there are any more "do it yourself brain surgery" ideas out there...I'm game (doing any registry editing is a pretty fearsome/exciting task for this greenhorn...)
     
  4. PeteBaines

    PeteBaines Guest

    i also have the same problem *i think*

    Is it when, your browser starts to open the page but seems to stop halfway thru and the little symbol thing (on the bottom right hand which tells you when you are online) stops flashing. I click that then on details and it isn't sending information or recieving any.

    This also happens with downloads,it gets so far and just seems to give up as if it cant be bothered, sometimes if i click cancel and restart straight away it starts from where it let off.
     
  5. dbcoooper

    dbcoooper

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2001
    Messages:
    79
    I have a similar problem I was blaming on my cable connection. It's not nearly as severe as the others have described (maybe 5-10 sec's at worst and no disconnects). I'm currently pointing the finger at certain servers being busy at certain times, but for me it's just an annoyance since I never get dc'd or broken downloads.
    So since it's merely annoying I haven't dived into any "fixes".
    The Tools section of DSLReports
    http://www.dslreports.com/tools
    has some packet loss and latency tests in addition to their cool bandwidth speed tests (I do the speedtests whenever I suspect my ISP is lagging - & I'm usually wrong). They also have a 24/7 line monitoring thingie which I think you have to pay for.
     
  6. gcomstock

    gcomstock Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Messages:
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    Just a follow up (and thanks for your response and suggestions).

    In addition to the ideas already tried...I've since run various speed and ping tests both when the problem is occurring and not...and both when I'm connected via cable and dial-up. The test results are all consistent:
    * I'm getting good speed and pings with both dial-up and cable (at the better end of expected ranges)
    * this "browser lagging" problem is NOT reflected in the results of speed tests.

    The problem remains flukey/ intermittant. No lagging at all for a week or so, and then early yesterday it's happening again right up to this moment. Again...it happens both when I'm connected via Cable AND dialup...which would seem to rule out my ISP.

    Another fact: I have AOL access using "bring your own" ISP...meaning that I can use the AOL browser with my cable access. When I surf the web that way (pasting URL's into the AOL browser addy field) I DON'T seem to experience this lag.

    It's weird. For instance, if I simply back space to the page I viewed previously to this one, you'd think it was in my cache and wouldn't take from heck to breakfast to go *live*...but it does. Again...the pages will fully display. Sometimes the status bar indicates "done" other times it still displays the "progress bar," but the bottom line is still that I can't do ANYTHING for up to 30 seconds...can't close the page, click any links, move back to a previously viewed page, or even open one of the other browser windows showing in the Quick Launch bar.

    I've installed the SP-2 for IE5.5, and I've even installed a new video card (unrelated item). As previously posted I used the repair tool, and did the regedit jbcalg suggested. If my browser was sick or busted...you'd think it would always act crummy...or start crashing and displaying other problems beyond this merely annoying LAG...right?

    From what I've read, downloading 6.0 wouldn't likely do anything helpful. And the IE 5.5 SP-2 ostensibly would have replaced any corrupted files, right? All AT&T can offer is to maybe replace my cable modem...but the problem happens with dialup also.

    Any other ideas? Is my browser just haunted?
     
  7. HiPing

    HiPing

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Messages:
    27
    Had a similar thing in a game. It was Zone Alarm.
     
  8. gcomstock

    gcomstock Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Messages:
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    I don't have any firewall or zone alarm software. Have tested running without Norton Antivirus as well. This is driving me crazy...every page is frozen for 30 seconds.
     
  9. Gnosisless

    Gnosisless

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    Messages:
    482
  10. gcomstock

    gcomstock Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Messages:
    40
    After over three months of IE becoming nearly worthless due this lagging problem, I read about this freeware program called BHO Cop on the usenet IE page. Turns out I *did* apparently have some kind of spyware, called Tracker Class, which AdAware doesn't locate. BHO Cop identified it and I disabled it, and my browser is back to full speed...it's a miracle!

    Here's a link to an article by the programs author:

    http://www.zdnet.com/products/stories/reviews/0,4161,2760348,00.html

    And here's a link to the download page, if you're interested:

    http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/stories/info/0,10615,77432,00.html
     
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