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DSL downloads slow down--WAY down


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#1 huntsviller

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 06:42 PM

Using Qwest DSL 1.5 mb, downloads start at 130kbps +- but after 5 sec or so start to slow down gradually, all the way down to as low as 29kbps, and sometimes stop altogether for a few seconds, then start again, vascillate in the 40's, 50's, 60's, etc. ISP and maintenance people said it was the old combo modem/router, so got a new one from Qwest, Zyxel PK5000Z, and it still does it. Qwest has no clue. Speed tests show download speed around 130, but they are bursts, and this only happens after a few seconds of downloading. Any ideas?

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#2 noknojon

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 06:57 PM

Hi -
The first thing to do is to run a Disk Check on your system -
Run a Disk Check on your C: drive in Windows XP:
  • Click Start and open My Computer
  • Right-click on C: and select Properties
  • Click on the Tools tab
  • Under Error-checking click the Check Now... button
  • Mark the box next to Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors
  • When the message box pops up, click the Schedule disk check button and restart your computer
  • Once your computer restarts it will check the drive, don't press any keys so that it is allowed to do so
This can take 30-45 mins for a full 5 stage check , so please let it run -

Thank You -

#3 huntsviller

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:02 PM

Will do, but here's a thing. Just downloaded Adobe Reader 10, 35 mb, and it stayed in the low 100's (102,103) up to 22mb, then dropped to the low 90's and stayed there. Never done that before. Other DL's are mainly small (4-7mb) wmv's and mpg's attached to emails. That help?

#4 noknojon

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:12 PM

Hi again -
Try the scan first and see if it picks up faults first , then look for other items -
Post back after the Check has ended if you still have problems -

Thank You -

EDIT -
My D/load of the latest Adobe caused no problems -

Edited by noknojon, 07 December 2010 - 07:14 PM.


#5 huntsviller

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:29 PM

Scan done, nothing came up (maybe it just repairs and doesn't tell?); got email with 4700+-kb attachment. Opened it. Went almost immediately to 40+kbps, the gradually up to mid-60's, low 70's, and stayed there to the end. Did notice in process of scan that I am occupying 75 of 80 gigs of memory. Could that be it in and of itself?

#6 noknojon

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:28 PM

Hi -
Can you go to Start > Accessories > System Tools > Defrag > and try to defrag the system -
Also do you have CCleaner or ATF Cleaner installed ?? You may also be overloaded with Temp Internet Files -

Thanks -

#7 huntsviller

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 10:24 PM

My recollection is that system won't let me defrag unless it has about 15% free space, and at this rate it doesn't. Don't know about CCleaner and the other; I'll check if I can. Looked for temp internet files and found none. I'll have to look in the morning. Got a lot of music and photos and probably other junk. Time to purge!

Thanks for your help. Not there yet, but I feel we're closing in.

#8 noknojon

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 12:52 AM

Hi -
First go to Control Panel > Add/Remove and delete all programs that are not required - Be Ruthless and remove all you can -
Your system is not able to hold All the programs that you have in there - Remove Several --- Many ---
Download and install CCleaner slim
  • CCleaner slim Scroll down to Slim Version -
    Click on the downloaded file "ccsetup_slim.exe" and install the application.
  • Keep the default installation folder "C:\Program Files\CCleaner"
  • Click finish when done and close ALL PROGRAMS including your Web Browser
  • Start the CCleaner program.
  • Click on Registry and Uncheck Registry Integrity so that it does not run (basically the very top, uncheck it)
  • Click back to Cleaner and under SYSTEM uncheck the Memory Dumps and Windows Log Files
  • Click on Run Cleaner button on the bottom right side of the program.
  • Click OK to any prompts
    Note, this will remove cookies as well so if you do want to keep them then uncheck them before running it.
This will remove many Temp Internet Files that are not needed and free some space -
Now check for free space and see if you can defrag - This is needed -
If you must install anything it should be SUPERAntiSpyware to remove Tracking cookies also -
Only this program with only one Antivirus (Microsoft Security Essentials is good for XP and free)is all you need for now -

Thank You -

EDIT -
Save any Photos and music on CD if you do want them , but they must be removed -

Edited by noknojon, 08 December 2010 - 12:56 AM.


#9 huntsviller

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 08:29 PM

Sorry; haven't been able to do any of this. Our dog has just developed autoimmune hemolytic anemia and is in VERY serious trouble. I'll pick this up as soon as I can. Sounds like a LOT of work. BTW, this problem is of fairly recent duration (maybe 2-3 weeks), and I can't think of any triggering event, except the advent of winter and mega-cold temps. Which reminds me: are download speeds dependent on the site from which they come? On anything having to do with DSL? Why would they vary widely in any given download, when so many things remain the same (same dl site; same receiving computer; same dsl line, etc.)? What can/does vary?

#10 noknojon

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:54 AM

Hi -
The CCleaner item is only a 5 min job -
ATF Cleaner by Atribune is always another good remover for Temp Files on XP units - Download it to your desktop and run it from there -
Double click on the icon (looks like a trash can) Click Run > Select All > Empty selected > OK when finished -
The removal of excess items/programs from your computer is up to you -

Thank You

#11 PolaBar

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 07:26 AM

Which reminds me: are download speeds dependent on the site from which they come? On anything having to do with DSL? Why would they vary widely in any given download, when so many things remain the same (same dl site; same receiving computer; same dsl line, etc.)? What can/does vary?

The site you are downloading from can have a large influence on your download speed, especially if it is a site that a number of people may be downloading from at the same time. Your DSL service provider, the health of your modem and your anti virus program are large influences also.

All of those are actually much more likely to influence your download speeds than clutter on your computer, particularly if you are not showing any other symptoms of machine problems like slow programs, freezes or crashes.

#12 ThunderZ

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:32 AM

As PolaBar stated. The site being d\l`d from is a factor, as well as it`s usage and general Internet traffic.

Line\wire, equipment conditions will affect speeds as well. Many people have a misunderstanding and think that when they are viewing a site or d\l`ing something that it is coming directly from the server to their PC. Not the case.

Example. Go to Start > run > type in cmd. At the flashing prompt type in or copy and paste tracert google.com. This will show you how many nodes\hops\junctions\ other servers and the distance your d\l is going through before it gets to you. The traffic on each of these servers will affect your speed as well as the line conditions between each hop and other hardware related factors.

#13 noknojon

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 04:00 AM

Hi -
To also add to the two above items , the time of day can also have some changes on your speed as you find many people using home computers at a time that they get home from work and they check emails , F/book and other private sites also - Company usage also slows speed during some work hours -

However after adding this , your problem is more related to an overloaded personal computer , without even enough space to defrag -
I have not asked how much memory your system has , but many XP home units only run a minimum of ram (another problem you may have) -
This is why I have asked you to remove unused items , or rarely used items , and store your music and pictures on CD's unless you want to add more ram -

#14 huntsviller

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 08:57 AM

Well, I promised to get back; just didn't think it would take this long. BTW, the dog recovered and is better than ever. Long, slow process, still on prednisone, but good.

I had service people out three times from Qwest. The first time the guy claims to have done something at Qwest's little building down the street. It sped up a little bit, but still declined after a few secomds. Second (different) guy pulled the cover off the little green box out by the street, claimed it was full of badly-done slpices, fixed them, and got speed up to 150k steady but couldn't figure out why I was only getting 150k when Qwest was supposedly furnishing 1.5 meg. Said he would mess with another one of the little green boxes when the snow melted.

Same guy came back, said the little green box was ok, and that there was nothing further he could do. Must be my ISP. He traced signal right to my modem sitting right next to computer and said I was getting 1.3-1.4M, as good as it ever gets from a 1.5M Qwest DSL line. Also said not to trust the little dialog box that shows d/l speed on XP. "They're notoriously innacurate." I actually timed a few d/l's, and they were right on the money.

So I'm at Best Buy ordering an iPad 2, and asked a Geek Squad guy about the problem. Without batting an eye, he solved it. There is in fact no problem. It's the difference between bits and bytes! The little dialog box registers in kBps, and qwest is delivering mbps. Big B, little b; 8x larger; not really a problem after all, besides the mess in the little green box out on the tree lawn that apparently was making it slow down once it got into a d/l a ways.

Thanks to all of you who made suggestions. I did many of them, and I guess it cleaned and sped things up. Best bet, however, is knowing the lingo!




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