Slow/erratic download speeds in Vista, normal in safe mode

Hi all,

My Vista Home Premium laptop gives strange results when I check the download speed on any of the speed test sites.  I have a 10Mbit cable connection, but www.speedtest.net (for example), shows a speed of up to 150Mbit...  It starts off very slowly, around 1 Mbit, then bursts up to some crazy speed towards the end of the download.  The upload speeds are always pretty accurate (about 1 Mbit).  Download speeds for large files (rather than just tests) are generally much less than they should be (as low as 10-20%).

When I boot into safe mode, the speedtest.net results are as expected (around 10 Mbit).  Same when I check the speed using an XP machine.

Device Manager shows the network card to be a Realtek RTL8168C(P) Family PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC.  I've tried several different drivers, and uninstalled and reinstalled drivers in safe mode, but nothing has made any difference.

Can anyone help me please?

Thanks,

Paul.
paulc2000Asked:
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paulc2000Connect With a Mentor Author Commented:
sorry for the long delay...  I tried your suggestion, but still no difference...  still seeing hugely inflated speed test  results, but underperforming download speeds in practice...
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Blizz127Commented:
Run a virus and malware scan just to be on the safe side, could be a hidden trojan sucking your bandwidth.. Or lets take the other route and see if its a program that is causing the issue... Have you installed any programs that would cause the problem? Shutdown everything non system in the task manager and see from there.
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paulc2000Author Commented:
Thanks for the reply.  I don't think the trojan/virus possibility is likely, as I keep Windows and my AV up to date.

I'll first try shutting down the processes as you suggest.  The problem is on my home machine, so I won't get to try it until tonight.
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