XP, WLAN, Lag Spikes

Posted on 2009-04-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-05

thanks for looking into my problem.

I am running XP 32bit with 4GB in an Athlon 64 X2 5200+. My WLAN has static IP with a PSK. I am using an Edimax EW-7128g to connect to a FritzBox.

For a few days now I have a strange lag spike problem. I first realized it while playing games: Every so often, the game would stop remotely for maybe a second: I could still move (so I deducted that it wasn't my computer that hang) but the game lagged. As I usually have a 14-16ms ping, it was strange. Later, I used teamspeak while playing and noticed that during my lags, even teamspeak traffic seemed to stop.

I did a few experiments (ping -t and et voila: Every so often (maybe once per minute) in between the 15ms replies, I get one with about a second delay. That matched what I was experiencing. What was interesting is that I did not have this problem before and did not change my software, at least not to my knowledge.

I called my ISP and there I heard of a problem with the latest Windows Update. He said that there was a "kernel change" which generated problems with certain firewall applications. I remembered that I had a Windows Update (set to automatically d/l and install) the day before. After deinstalling the firewall (Sygate Personal, I still have my packet filtering appliance) and still getting this problem, I investigated on the net and found a number of similar problems, despite the difficult to describe nature of the problem. However, most of the replies either did not offer sufficient information ("I just reinstalled and all went fine") or did not apply to me ("Disable WLAN Zero Configuration service", my system does not seem to have that service).

So I'm guessing that could be a known problem/issue, but the nature of it makes searching for answers difficult and finding one very rare. I hope you guys can help me shed some light onto this problem.

Question by:tme-ee
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    As a first step, I would suggest that you scan the computer for malware by downloading either SuperAntiSpyware ( or MalwareBytes Anti-Malware(

    It would also be worth defragmenting your PC to get some speed back.

    Author Comment

    I have an up to date version of Avira running which updates every day. I will not fetch different software solutions which sources are dubious (companies that have "super" in their URIs) and install them randomly when there's an acceptable solution already present. I admit that I did not provide this information before. I am sorry.

    I will not accept solutions that only consist of steps that could be applicable to every single XP problem in existence (defrag) which just take time and have virtually no chance of impact on the problem (A wireless network lag every 60 seconds? Just defrag, it will go away!).

    I will not accept solutions that suggest insane amounts of dedication (Try a new router, you can get one for 50¬! Try new networking hardware! Buy a frequency analyzer and scan your surroundings!) because they are insanely overpriced to a simple solution like RJ45/Ethernet which is still an option.

    I get that wireless networking is a sometimes fragile subject, with alot more potential problem sources than cabled networking. I suspect that the problem is somewhere in the chain of pass-through-responsibility for my packets, so from networking driver to my XP TCP settings to channel interference (there are some more wireless networks around, not more than the last 4 months though) to a router bug I could accept anything.

    If you suggest a solution, please state why your suggestion could have a positive effect on the lag that only happens every 60 seconds.

    Thank you.
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    SuperAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes Anti-Malware are specialised solutions for treating spyware, they are not a replacement for your normal anti-virus product like Avira or AVG. They act as supplement to existing antiviruses. Lots of times, when viruses use rootkit technology to hide themselves from traditional antivirus scanners, these tools come to the rescue and detect the rootkits and remove them. There are other tools as well that I can mention here, but these 2 are always the first things to do.

    Both of them are trusted utilities and are free as well (free version is fully functional, but will not provide real-time protection in the background). I suggest that you have a look at other threads in Experts Exchange within Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus Apps categories and see for yourself that lots of experts are recommending them to users.

    I use both of them myself, and haven't had an infection or any problems since I got my new laptop (I got this before 7 months). What I feel is that you might have a virus that is using the internet in the background. This is one of the possibilities. I don't suggest buying new stuff, have never done it to anyone so far.

    Other possibility was defragmentation because you had mentioned that you uninstalled the firewall and the problem continued, so it could be the hard-disk that might be fragmented and needs de-fragmentation to make it normal again.

    Thirdly, you need to look to make sure that nobody else is using your wireless internet connection, that might divide the bandwidth and you might see lags that way.

    Hope it helps.

    Author Comment

    Hello warturtle,

    thank you for replying.

    That explanation sounds more like it. I can (and will) try one or maybe both of your malware solutions. I will conduct a scan and report back. I will also check for foreign connections to my WLAN, another good hint.
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    lol this one is easy its simply just xp wireless zero searching for other networks every 1minute i suggest using the manufacture of ur wireless cards software instead of wireless zero

    Author Closing Comment

    As hard as it is to accept an answer in this kind of language, it was nevertheless exactly on the spot. Thank you.

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