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something is using my bandwidth


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#1 duzi

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 02:44 PM

Hi,
I use a computer in an isolated area so no one else has access to it. I connect to the internet via a vodafone USB modem on the vodacom cell phone network in South Africa. I originally used a 500MB contract and struggled to use 10MB a day then all of a sudden sometimes over 160MB disappear at once. Has been going on for over a year but has got worse and worse. I have sort lots of help and doing these scans was recommended to me. What ever is downloading or uploading on my computer can do it a lot faster than any down or uploads that i try to do myself.
Hope someone can help.
Thanks

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#2 1972vet

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:21 PM

What's the name of the company that owns that computer? Do you have permission from the company IT folks to have that system worked on? Have you not consulted with your IT department yet regarding these issues?

I ask because in my travels around the web, I've never seen norton 360 installed on a home computer. That software alone could be the cause for your issues. Norton's live update, with the 360 (as well as almost ALL of the symantec products), will take up close to 100% of the cpu usage...that combined with the fact that you have a questionable toolbar installed. That McAfee write up is for the crawler toolbar adware issues. With that thing installed, each time you try to open your browser, you'll begin to attract the ads like bees to a honey comb, and that's not even considering the redirected searches you'll encounter.

On your next reply, please let us know who owns that computer and whether or not your IT department sanctions your solicitation for assistance outside the company. Thanks!

Edited by 1972vet, 01 February 2011 - 01:22 PM.

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#3 duzi

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:20 AM

Computer is owned by Panthera (wildcat conservation organisation).
Have consulted with them and their IT guy, Kirk Johnson, who requested I do the scans and post here as part of trying to find problem.
Kirk looked himself, remotely (i am in the middle of the bush), through the computer but hasn't found anything yet.
I have contacted the service provider and asked them to look from their side as well, but they just tell you your computer must have a virus. The bandwidth disappears even when no programs are open. the norton is only a new addittion. Problem was before I installed it.
Is there any antivirus that would be more suitable for me who only has a very slow connection to the internet and has very limited bandwidth?
Many thanks for any help or advice!

#4 1972vet

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 09:16 AM

Thanks for the answers!
Yes...there is a much better product suitable for your situation. Please consider using Microsoft Security Essentials. It's fully automated and it's default installation settings are just fine.

Your issue however is caused by a combination of errors...the heavy usage of resources from the Symantec product combined with a conflict with the native Windows Defender is also causing system instability.

By default, Windows Defender is turned on in Windows 7. Symantec cares nothing at all about writing their products to accommodate other security products one may have on board. As such, upon installation, the conflicts begin. Microsoft Security Essentials is written with other security products in mind such that upon installation, the Windows Defender is turned off to avoid conflicts and wasted resources.

First, you must use the Symantec removal tool to untangle it's strangle hold on your system. That product is more difficult to remove than some of the rootkit infections I have encountered over the years.

You can download the removal tool Here...follow the instructions on that page.

When you finish, please download and install the Microsoft Security Essentials from Here...

When the installation completes, you can feel confident that your system is protected automatically. That software will download updates automatically and will schedule automatic scans for you.

Before you go much further, you should also uninstall the Crawler Toolbar with Web Security Guard. Otherwise, you may be interrupted by alerts from the Microsoft Security Essentials real time malware protection feature.

Next, I need to point out the system errors that show in the log:

2011/01/20 04:59:44 PM, Error: Tcpip [4199] - The system detected an address conflict for IP address 41.12.93.33 with the system having network hardware address 02-50-F3-00-00-00. Network operations on this system may be disrupted as a result.
2011/01/20 02:22:34 PM, Error: Disk [11] - The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1\DR1.
2011/01/19 01:22:30 PM, Error: Tcpip [4199] - The system detected an address conflict for IP address 41.11.101.34 with the system having network hardware address 02-50-F3-00-00-00. Network operations on this system may be disrupted as a result.

...the Tcpip error indicates that another computer on the network may be using the same IP address. Each system should have a unique address of it's own. That particular error is something your IT folks should certainly be able to rectify.

The Disk error should be resolved by following the instructions in This Microsoft Article.

Post back when you've gone over all of these instructions and let us know how the system is behaving at this point. There is much more to do. Good luck!

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#5 duzi

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 06:16 AM

...I downloaded the symantec removal tool but could not run it as it said it was not a valid Win32 application. So then i asked norton website how to remove and it just said go to start menu uninstall etc. When i did that some error flashed up briefly (too briefly for me to read). It appears to have uninstalled but now i cannot access the Microsoft security essentials site to install that...i don't know if it has something to do with trying to remove norton or if there is a problem with the microsoft site. have you any advice on what i should try next?

#6 1972vet

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:27 AM

Alright, we'll use a big gun and have a go at trying to remove norton if it's still present:
Please download combofix from This Webpage...and read through the instructions there for running the tool.

***Important Note***
Please read through the guidance on that web page carefully and thoroughly...and install the Recovery Console. Using this tool without the Recovery Console installed is NOT RECOMMENDED.

If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can skip the recovery console step...in Vista/7 it's in the System Recovery Options menu. The System Recovery Options menu is on the Windows Vista or Windows 7 installation disc. If Windows doesn't start correctly, you can use these tools to repair startup problems.


The Windows Recovery Console will allow you to boot into a special recovery (repair) mode that is not otherwise available. This allows us to more easily help you should your computer have a problem after an attempted removal of malware. It's a simple procedure that will only take a few moments.

Once installed, a blue screen prompt should appear that reads as follows:

The Recovery Console was successfully installed.

When you see that screen, please continue as follows:

  • Close/disable all anti virus and anti malware programs so they do not interfere with the running of ComboFix.
  • Click Yes to allow ComboFix to continue scanning for malware.

When the tool is finished, it will produce a log file for you. Please post that log back here on your next reply. Thanks!

Note:
Do not mouseclick combofix's window while it's running....that may cause the scan to stall

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#7 duzi

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 03:07 AM

Thanks again for all your help.
I ran the combo fix and am posting the report.
After running combofix i have been able to install microsoft security essentials.
Most of Norton 360 seems to be gone but it is still showing up under the programs list on the start menu? Can I just delete the shortcut from there? Or do i need to try and run the norton removal tool again?

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#8 1972vet

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:43 AM

That log looks fine. How's it running now?

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#9 1972vet

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 08:29 AM

This thread, having no response for more than a week, is closed to prevent others from posting here. If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to anyone of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this thread with your request. This applies only to the originator of this thread.

Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread. Thanks!

The fixes and advice in this thread are for this machine only. Do not apply the instructions from this thread to your own machine. Please start a new thread describing your issue and someone will be along to assist you.

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#10 1972vet

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:35 AM

Finally back with us duzi? Please advise how the system is running now as the last log looked just fine.

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#11 duzi

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 05:14 AM

Hi,
I am having trouble working out if the problem is fixed or not as the counter for the bandwidth usage has stopped working. It stopped working after I installed norton 360 (which i have since removed and now use MS security essentials). I have just installed the most up to date software for my USB modem but it has carried over the problem and still does not display the data used (it just sits on zero). Otherwise I just have to wait and see how the month goes and if I suddenly run out of bandwidth. So that would take me a month to see if the problem is fixed...do you have any advice or know how i can find the problem that is preventing the bandwidth counter from working?
Many many thanks

#12 1972vet

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 08:22 AM

I'm assuming you're account is similar to a professional business user's account. Many folks who monitor their bandwidth usage have registered complaints regarding their usage as compared to what their ISP says they've used. In order to maintain an accurate record, the folks at "Net Traffic Meter" have written an excellent piece of network management software that monitors your modem (or network interface) and gathers statistics in order for you to control and analyze your home or professional network environment.

"Most important features: Monitor any modem or network interface available; Customized profiles and automatic adjustment options; display daily, weekly and monthly statistics about your traffic usage; Graphical representation of your current volume and usage per month, week, day; Export statistics as a Rich Text Document, CSV or even export real-time information to an SQL database; Advanced alerts to notify you on specific events."

...and best of all, it's free. Give it a test drive and see if this suits your needs. Let us know if your issue is resolved. Thanks!

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#13 duzi

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 05:45 AM

I seem to be having the same problem. Even when all programs are closed the bandwidth is being used. I cannot get the net traffic monitor to work. It is also reading zero and continually coming up with errors on the screen. I will post a copy of one of these errors.

#14 duzi

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 06:02 AM

this is the error from net traffic meter:
There was a problem trying to write/update statistics and settings:Access to the path "C:\Program Files\NET Traffic Meter\stats.xml' is denied.

#15 1972vet

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:28 AM

It's difficult to properly asses the issues with your system since I hear from you so infrequently. The lag in response always has me wondering what might have been done with the computer during all that time.

Anyway, your issue with the meter might relate to your firewall. Have you allowed it access or did you deny it? Try booting to safe mode with networking to see if it reads ok. If so, it's your firewall.

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