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Internet hangs every 3 minutes for about 45 seconds?

Posted on 2002-03-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
My Internet connection hangs every 3 minutes for about 45 seconds repeatedly eg 3 minutes great connection, 45 seconds freeze, 3 minutes great connection etc. I have changed ISP's and now have changed from modem to broadband, still same problem. Also changed CPU from AMD 700 to 1.3, problem same. Any ideas most welcome.
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Question by:blackbarn
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:trekie1
ID: 6891285
dont by any chance have your email set to check every 3 min for new mail do you ?
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Author Comment

by:blackbarn
ID: 6891363
No, it is set for 30 mins.

Same problem via AOL, normal modem, and now broadband, but the strange thimg is if you download via gozilla, audio galaxy, napster, etc, the data flow is constant?
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6891427
I believe you have something running in the background.  You will need to do the trial and error thing to find out what it is.  Shut down Windows and restart it.  Now do a CTRL-ALT-DEL and end task on everything except for Systray and Explorer.  Now start up your browser and see if it happens.
Have you checked for viruses?  Try http://housecall.antivirus.com
Do you have a firewall installed?
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Author Comment

by:blackbarn
ID: 6891437
Thanks for advice. Tried CTRL-ALT-DEL before (with aol helpline)and still had same problem. No virus as far as I know. Got zone alarm installed, bit only put it on recently, problem evident before. Thinking about it, it seams problem started with AOL and still present even though AOL no longer installed.

Thanks for any advice.
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 6891461
Do you have Task Scheduler running?  If so, you should see a little icon that looks like a window with a clock in front of it in your System Tray.  (If you hold your mouse over the icon, a tool tip tell you what it is will appear.) You can then right click on it, select Open, and you will see a list of scheduled tasks.  One of these might be the Microsoft Critical Update task, where, usually every 5 minutes -- but can be set differently -- your computer will go out to the MS web site and check if a Windows Critical Update is present, for downloading.
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by:trekie1
ID: 6891464
take a look at this url concerning uninstalling AOL  http://www.techsoup.org/qod_answer.cfm?qotdid=276
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 6891467
The Microsoft site is very slow to respond these days, what with all the XP traffic, probably, and perhaps this is what causes your computer to hang for 45 seconds.  You would need to disable the Critical Update by uninstalling it in the Add/Remove Programs applet of Control Panel.  If you unschedule it, it turns itself on again with each boot.
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Author Comment

by:blackbarn
ID: 6891960
Task Scheduler is not running.
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Author Comment

by:blackbarn
ID: 6892199
Tried the link for uninstalling Aol and deleated the dial up adaptor. Problem still evident?
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by:blackbarn
ID: 6892200
Tried the link for uninstalling Aol and deleated the dial up adaptor. Problem still evident?
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CyberStretch earned 100 total points
ID: 6892418
Try removing and re-installing your Network adapters, clients, protocols, and services again. START > SETTINGS > CONTROL PANEL > NETWORK. Uninstall everything and reinstall.

I am presuming that the constant pattern of latency may be due to a corrupted TCP/IP protocol stack. AOL has been known to mess with system settings and, at times, interfere with subscribers using other ISP services. Hopefully, the reinstall will resolve the issue.


Some other potential problems may be that your ISP might:

1) Have an unstable network connection that is causing the latency (ie, way over-subscribed). Run tracert to the same sites during the latency and before/after the latency and see if any particular hop increases dramatically.

2) Have monitoring software/equipment that periodically checks your system (using IP or maybe MAC address) for current connectivity or any other of a myriad of reasons. This could also be embedded in the broadband software you may be required to use to access the service.

3) Have problems with DHCP and or DNS servers that cause them to either a) constantly check up on your dynamic IP allocation lease or b) cause latency in looking up DNS information.

Unfortunately, if the problem is on the ISP side, you have very little recourse.


Also, since you are using broadband:

If you are using DSL (which runs over phone wires) your in-house or local loop may be experiencing issues. Call your telco and have them do line quality tests to see if they have any issues. Sometimes, just running the tests seems to clear some issues.

If you are using Cable service, this could be due to the fact that most Cable broadband connections share bandwidth with a node; generally a neighborhood or a local geographical area. Likewise, there is always the possibility that the cable from pole to house or pole to cable company is faulty.

If you are using a broadband router to share the connection, run through the settings again and/or see if the manufacturer has an update for the firmware and/or drivers if applicable.


If the problem only persists with one or a few sites, run a tracert to the site(s) and see if they have a common routing path. It could be possible that an uplink provider may be experiencing difficulties within their network as your packets are being routed through them.


There are many possibilities, so further troubleshooting and diagnosing is needed.
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Author Comment

by:blackbarn
ID: 6892492
Thanks Cyberstretch for the advice. I will try remove network stuff.

The fault has been evident via aol on a phone connection and ntl via phone and now broadband. When the internet hangs it just will not refresh or you can not open new pages, if you try all you get is blank browser page which loads after the 45 second stall. Yet if I am downloading a file I get constant data flow?

Thanks for all the advice.
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Expert Comment

by:CyberStretch
ID: 6892620
When you are sending HTTP requests, even for the same page, you are generally re-requesting DNS and re-establishing a TCP connection.

However, when you are downloading a file, your DNS and TCP connections remain up until the download is finished or the connection is broken. This is probably the reason you are seeing differences between the two processes.
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Author Comment

by:blackbarn
ID: 6895024
CyberStretch, thank you. Deleting the network stuff has stopped the problem. Thanks to everybody who helped.
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Author Comment

by:blackbarn
ID: 6895026
Thanks CyberStretch.
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Expert Comment

by:CyberStretch
ID: 6897074
Glad to be of assistance.
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