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XP file download and flash player vid windows randomly freeze

Posted on 2010-11-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
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Product: ThinkPad T60 2623-D6U
Operating system: Windows XP Pro
Original description: T2400(1.83GHz), 512MB RAM, 80GB 5400rpm HD, 14.1in 1400x1050 LCD, 64MB ATI Radeon X1300, CDRW/DVDRW, Intel 802.11abg wireless, Bluetooth/Modem, 1Gb Ethernet, UltraNav, Secure chip, Fingerprint reader, 6c Li-Ion batt, WinXP Pro


In firefox 3.6.3 with updated flash player, and internet explorer 8, hulu videos stop and start, and eventually stop. Youtube videos stop at random points and won't start again unless I drag the progress bar, then they play fine until another stopping point. The youtube videos show the usual "hourglass" of dots going in a circle, when it's stuck.

Downloads in IE get stuck, whereas downloads in firefox get stuck, and if I click paus, and unpause, they resume until they get stuck again.

This happens with both WIRELESS only and ETHERNET only, connections. (So I didn't bother updating the network adapter drivers - plus I can't download them.)  

It happens in normal mode and in safe mode with networking as the admin user.


I tried deleting temp internet files, which didn't help. The hard drive is NOT full.

I don't know if this is relevant, but I noticed that at one point, webpages were loading ok and I could ping them ok, except for youtube.com, which I couldn't even ping. Then about 2 mins later I could load and ping youtube.com.

At one point I had a file downoad window, and ie8 flash video, and two firefox flash youtube videos playing. The file download got stuck first, then ie8, then the first youtube vid, then the second youtube vid. Then at that point the network graph in task manager drops to nothing.

At no point does performance monitor show that the cpu, ram, hard drive or page file are working particularly hard (as far as I can tell!).



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Question by:dgrrr
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Expert Comment

by:Daxit
ID: 34220737
Hi

Are you sure your adsl/network connection is good enough? Have you tried to do a online speedtest?
First of all you must be sure that your internet connection is good stable and fast enough.

Then just try to reinstall the flash player program. You should do it with all programs closed as usual when installing new software.

If does not work well try first to uninstall flash player from software management in control panel and then reinstall the player.

On the adobe site check well to download the right version, and avoid eventual side-installations they might propose with the player.

Normally is not necessary at all for flash player, by the way try first to reboot the PC before starting your browsers again.

Consider that even if everything is working well all what you can see from networks alike youtube are stremed data, so if your network for any reason is not working pretty well, you will never be able to see anything properly and smoothly.

I have a weak internet connection, and there are hours in the day in which I can see everything very well, in other hours, when a lot of traffic is on, I can barely see some come-and-go clip.

One good idea anyway is to install the video-downloadhelper as a addon of firefox, so to have the possibility to download the flv files from those sites, so at least whence downloaded you can watch at them offline.

Another good idea about movies in genral is to download and install the k-lite megacodec pack from codec guide, this will help you to play back all sorts of most common actual video formats.

Bye
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Author Comment

by:dgrrr
ID: 34227511
Daxit, doesn't the fact that file downloads are affected rule out flash player as a likely culprit?  Do either IE or Firefox use flash player in any way to download files?

BTW I'll have the computer owner do a online speed test. (altho those use flash too, right? speakeasy speedtest, and numion?)
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Expert Comment

by:Daxit
ID: 34234814
Hi

Yes adobe flash player can be malfunctioning, but if I was there I would first check if the network is ok and fast enough performing a speedtest, to do this try one or more of this services:

http://www.speedtest.net/

http://www.my-speedtest.com/

http://www.bandwidthplace.com/

http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest?flash=1

http://www.ip-adress.com/speedtest/

http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

From those you will discover how well or bad the adsl line is, if it is anything below 1Mbit in download it is difficult that you can reach good streming experiences, if it is higher but scattering, alike stop and go, also will not be very smooth.

Uninstall the flash player from the control panel in software management, do it with all programs closed.

Download the updated flash player installer.
http://get.adobe.com/it/flashplayer/

And also give a look to this pages:

http://www.adobe.com/it/products/flashplayer/productinfo/instructions/

http://www.adobe.com/go/fptroubleshoot

Once you have read it well close every program again and luanch the flash player installer.

If requested reboot the PC after installation.

Now go on this page and download this installer for klite mega codec pack:

http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/KLite-Mega-Codec-Pack/1080441198/1

close every program again and install it, reboot if requested

Now go on this page and install this video-downloadhelper firefox's extension:

https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/addon/3006/

Restart firefox once requested

Now do your tests.

Go on youtube and try watching a movie (this even if your broadband connecction is not so good) if you can see it properly now the problem was solved, if there are still problem further diagnosis and search is necessary, BUT as soon as the movie clip begins to load you will notice that the video-downloadhelper logo next to the address bar of firefox on the top of the window, will begin to rotate (there are three colured ball that start spinning when a downloadable video is available).

Now click once on the little downward arrow that appears on the right side of the 3 spinning balls, a menu will popup showing titles of the movies you can download, click one of them, the videoclip will be retrieved for offline playing and saved in a folder called DWHELPER usually located by default in documents and settings /your user name folder.

Once the download is completed launch the video, and thanks to k-lite megacodec pack you should be finally able to watch it.

If the flash player plugin will not be reapired by this procedure, post more information and we will try to sort out what is happening on that PC.

Consider that sometimes is very complicate to pin out what can be making problems, in the truobleshooting page from adobe you should find out almost all well known problems related to the player.

By the way let us know what happens and you will get more help.

Bye
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Author Comment

by:dgrrr
ID: 34253551
FYI the user of the computer since tried speakeasy speedtest. She got:
0.93 mbps download
0.40 mbps upload
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Daxit
ID: 34254086
Ok
meanwhile the upload is not bad the download is bad, you have to consider that this is the result of a test in which only one program is trying to download  and then upload a dummy test file from one random location to the PC where the test is asked.

But in real enviroment the thing is worst normally, as the browser is sending requests to many difennt servers, and all requests are enrouted first to DNS servers and then to real destinations, the incoming data might arrive at this maximum speed measured only when everything is just fine and flawless, so you can expect that the incoming trafic is normally slower than those 0,90 mbps.

In this conditions the average surfing experience might be good only for webmail , websurfing and occasional downloads, for the streming at least a double speed is required and not suffice as soon as trafic is heavy.

So let´s say tha this PC OS is clean and pristine, with that network speed the problem would come up anyway as soon as the net is congested.

You should now act on both sides, on one side try the laptop where you have a surely fast connection and test if the machine works well there, if it works well you can stop working on it and concentrate on the network speed only.

So if the machine have trouble anyway try doing what I wrote already.

On the other side, ask to see the contract of the ISP provider for the line service, normally they declare which are the maximum speeds reachable with their service, both for the upload and the download, read it well as they normally declare things like this for example connection at 8 Mbps max in download and 250kbps in upload, BUT average speed will be 4 Mbps and 125kbps AND minimum guranteed will be 2Mbps and 64kbps.

So having this information you can make several tests and record each one with provable statements that are reporting date, time and speeds achieved at different times, for example every 2-3 hours during a period of 24/48/36 hours.
Then you compare the results with the contract declarations, and at that point if the service is too bad you have easy way to force them to reapir it up to a acceptable level.

Take care of the fat that sometimes the service IS GOOD up to the door, I mean that the cable is OK but the internal implant in the house is bad, wrong for some reason, or other electronics used in the house are disturbing the line.

Best enemies of adsl lines are cordeless phones and bad cheap phones, so before to proceed with complaining and testing, try to check properly the wiring in the house, unplug everything else, connect to the main plug from where the external cable arrives, and test in a virtually "clean" enviroment.

Once you absolutelly sure that the problem is comeing from ouside, then you can pretend that the contract must be respected, and if they can't you can look for a better ISP if available in that area.

In some places her is just no good cable around, so no ISP will never be able to giv  good service, best thing to do is to check the neighbours experiences with it, if they have problems too is bad if there is a problem only in that house than is possible to have a fix.

For areas which have no good central and copper cables, a solution can be to go wireless on UMTS or to go wireless with a SAT internet provider, the first is easy and migh be convenient, the latter is comolicate and might be expensive, in certain very isolated areas a TWO WAY SAT solution might be the only reasonable one by the way, a very large dish and expensive subscrition is needed for this.

Hope you can proceed now.

For further help post action taken and results achieved.

Bye
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Author Comment

by:dgrrr
ID: 34316498
The user hasn't used the computer on a different network. I told her to try this and see if the same problem happens.
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Accepted Solution

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Daxit earned 250 total points
ID: 34327315
OK

She should try if it is easy, as it is a laptop should not be a big problem to just go to a friend who have a PC too, connect to the internet and make a comparison between her computer and the other PC when watching at the same video on youtube, but not at the same time, first should be done on one machine and then on the other, so there will be no risk of bandwidht sharing issues.

What best than this to show if there are problems on her PC or on her network?

To say the truth there are other ways, I am suggesting the most easy and applicable in minutes, many times instead of starting procedures which need also a little to wide IT experience, it is just better to use logical steps that anyone can fast and easily do.

Riskless, no special efforts, no long times.

In 30 minutes, maybe just going to visit a friend she can try out it all having a milestone to begin a reasoning on.

Bye
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Author Comment

by:dgrrr
ID: 34363728
OK the user said the problem did not happen when she used the laptop on a different network.  So it appears to be the network or internet connection.

How likely is it that the router is causing it? As opposed to the ISP? The router is obviously working to a certain extent - how common is it for a router to work, but to provide a slowed-down or intermittent signal through both the wired and wireless connections?
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Expert Comment

by:Daxit
ID: 34366879
Hi
This can happen, of course again the easiest way to check is to use another router.

By the way the other fast easy thing to do is to switch i off, wait one minute, switch it on, wait another minute or so to let it settle up and try surfing.

At this point if it was somehow scrambled should work fine, BUT, it might get scrambled again.

The firmware is an operative system and might be buggy as any other software on this world, so in certain situations bugs can be triggered, and it is very likely that first or late this will happen again.

So one thing to do is to check the whole configuration and make sure it is ok, back up the configuration, many of them have an utility to do it.

If there is not automatic way to back it up, write all paramenters by hand, and if the subscription requires a username and a password it is necessary that you come to know the password, might be written on the contract, or could be necessary to mail or call the ISP to retrieve it if was given and then lost for whichever reason.

Note well that is never a bad idea to do two things:
1) compare the actual configuration with the configuration that was suggested by the ISP
2) Even if you have the backup utility is always safer to write the paramenters on paper, you never know

Once you have all the configuration paramenters saved either as a file to restore or as a written note, you can check the firmware version, go on the producer site and compare the latest version available and your one.

If there is a newer version might be wise to update the firmaware, to do this you must strictly follow the producer instructions.

If the instructions are scarce and ambiguos, do not trust it, and require a better procedure tutorial if possible.

During the upgrade the PC and the router must no be switched off no disconnected one to eache other, this is a process that must start and end without any interference, otherwise you might end up with a unusable router.

Once the firmware is replaced and upgraded, it is necessary to perform a deep reset via deep switch or any procedure given by the producer.

So at this point you can restore the configuration or input it again by hand.

NOTE WELL, that...:
1) If the router is a CISCO, it might be very complicated all of this process.

2) If the router is a very cheap machine, it might be wise to get rid of it and buy a better one.

3) If  the router is already a good machine and i worth keeping it following the procedure is reccommend.

4) Buying a new modern good modem+4_or_more_ports_ethernet_network_cable +wifi_+router+switch today is very easy and cheap, so, it might cost 40 dollars. So you should fast understand if the time is costing much or the bucks are to be valued.
It might be that the fast cheap solution is to buy  a fresh modern good router (and take care to buy a update featured machine)

By the way if the update solution is choosen, when finished you can start testing it, if the problem is gone you are OK and ready.

If the problem persist, you have reasons to believe that the machine is defective, or that the ISP connection is BAD.

Reasons for the ISP side to be bad are mangles in nearest telephone lines dispatching central, mangles in the main lines central, poorly conducted service, damaged cables, bad distribuition of the resources from te ISP service, very intense continuos traffic from other users in the area and many others.

In the house there must be a ADSL filer otherwise the telephones disturb the line and the ADSL disturb the telephones, noise on the line must be low.

I guess this is all or most of it, you have also much information on the other posts about checks to do in the house.

Bye

Most of the times the ISP is able to repair it via software, other times the need to check it manually.
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Author Comment

by:dgrrr
ID: 34455958
wtg for user response
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Expert Comment

by:Daxit
ID: 34457022
OK
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Author Comment

by:dgrrr
ID: 34643149
Just sent her another email. If she doesn't re spond soon I"ll assign pts.
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Expert Comment

by:Daxit
ID: 34650729
Ok

Thank you
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Daxit
ID: 34872638
Hello LeeTutor

I gave a full guide to solve this kind of problems, in fact it was recognized that the problem is merely a bad adsl connection and / or bad router, bad internal network

"15/12/10 08:48 PM, ID: 34363728
      
dgrrr:
OK the user said the problem did not happen when she used the laptop on a different network.  So it appears to be the network or internet connection.

How likely is it that the router is causing it? As opposed to the ISP? The router is obviously working to a certain extent - how common is it for a router to work, but to provide a slowed-down or intermittent signal through both the wired and wireless connections? "

dgrrr Agreed on assigning me the points as was satisfied overall:

19/01/11 10:41 PM, ID: 34643149
      
dgrrr:
Just sent her another email. If she doesn't re spond soon I"ll assign pts.

The point is that is not doing it in reasonable times as you underlined.

Thank you.

Bye
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