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

Posted on 2009-04-23
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
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 (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 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?


Question by:paulc2000
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    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.

    Author Comment

    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.

    Accepted Solution

    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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