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Win 8 laptop continuously uploads data to net


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#1 jnewell

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

Hi all,

I have recently purchased a Toshiba Satellite P850 laptop with Windows 8. I am broadly pleased with the machine and Windows 8 despite compatibilty problems with earlier software.

However I have found that since I have had the machine, it is uploading about 0.5GB of data to the net each day. Obviously this only happens when the m/c is switched on and connected. To date this month my upload data is about 8.5GB and download about 3.5GB. This ratio alerted me to an issue as I would expect download to exceed upload. I don't use 'the cloud', upload to eg soundcloud or youtube etc. I don't game. I just use the machine for email, google search and occasional download of TV programs (3 half hour progs in last month).

I have spoken to my service provider (BT) and they are unable to help, other than to say they will charge for excessive upload!

Looking at Task Manager and displaying the sent/received data graph I see that a data spike is being sent about 8 or 9 times a minute of about 800-900MB. This I believe is where the upload is originating. I don't know why or what I can do about it. A screenshot of the Task Manager screen is attached.

Can anyone help, please.

Thanks ... John N

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#2 jnewell

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

Hi All,

I may have solved this but the outcome is worrying, I think. I produced a Performance Report using the tools within Windows 8 and it identified the top IP addresses sending and receiving network data, both as 157.55.60.56. I input this address into the address bar and where do I find myself? Microsoft Windows Update Site! So it looks like Windows 8 sends status info to microsoft 8 or 9 times a minute whenever a Windows 8 PC is connected. I disabled Windows Update on my machine and lo and behold the network traffic disappeared. The Task Manager graph after stopping Windows Updates is attached. Anyone got any thoughts on this? It may be that a parameter on my m/c is set incorrectly causing this behaviour.

Best wishes ... John N

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#3 Grinler

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:53 PM

Sorry for the long delay in this. Did you ever discover what and why data was being sent? Anything shown if you use a sniffer like wireshark?

#4 jnewell

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:45 PM

Hi Grinler,

Thanks for your continuing interest.  This does seem to have been a problem with my pre installed version of Windows 8. I spent about four hours on the phone to Microsoft support over several days. The calls would drop out and I had to redial and speak to someone else and repeat the whole story over and over. I got several different explanations from Microsoft. The predominant explanation was that Microsoft needed all this data from me to 'improve the service they gave, and to help other customers'. In answer to my question 'does anyone else have this issue', the replies varied between 'no', 'yes', and 'some'.

As stated earlier the Top Outbound and Inbound Client was the Windows Update site. One of the Microsoft technicians denied that this IP address was anything to do with Microsoft!

The cure was to reload Windows 8, which meant I lost all other applications involving me in a lot of downloading and installing.

I have since had an email from my ISP saying that I am to be charged for all this excess data, which exceeded my monthly allowance.

Sorry to have left followup on this for so long but I wanted to be reasonably confident that I actually had sussed the solution. Note that I say solution because I still don't actually know what the root cause was, and none of the Microsoft technicians seemed to have an inkling either, just the old mantra of 'reload'.

Once again, Grinler, thanks for your interest.

Best wishes ... John Newell



#5 Grinler

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

Reinstalling, though, stopped the traffic from being sent?  Did you configure it differently?

 

I wonder if it was one of the privacy settings under the Start screen PC Settings screen.



#6 jnewell

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:19 PM

Yes, reinstalling stopped the traffic. But to be clear when I reinstalled I used the 'refresh your PC without effecting your files' option. The windows 8 op system came preinstalled.  So I guess it was 'reinstalled' from the recovery partition on the hard disk. This didn't involve me in configuring anything at all, just having to reload my 3rd party software again. When I first got the PC I made a recovery DVD which I have never used (so any ones guess if it would work). I wonder if I made another recovery DVD now would it have my 3rd party software on it? Probably not;  I suspect that refreshing the system is going to be a frequent pass time with W8. I've had a look at the Privacy settings under settings/change pc settings/privacy and there are only three options there, none of which seem likely to have impacted on this issue. Incidentally I see you're pushing secunia PSI. I do use this and find it good, all my progs are up to date so I don't think it would have been a security breach in them. Interesting that the traffic was going to Microsoft Update site though.



#7 Grinler

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:14 PM

Yeah, strange indeed.  The only thing I can think of was that Windows was using the BITS service to predownload updates.  Still it should eventually have stopped.



#8 jnewell

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

Well, I wonder if this us a common problem with preloaded windows 8. If my upload and download limit wasn't constrained to 10GB per month I wouldn't even have been aware of this. The response of the MS techs sort of suggests that this may be a deliberate policy. I don't know what the system is in the US, but here in the UK the average BroadBand customer probably has the same constraints as me. my ISP is British Telecom which is certainly a major player here (I used to work for them as Digital Exchange Designer!).  If a pre download facility is being used, then it shouldn't really have contributed much to the upload data. After all, PSI is able to check for latest status (including MS updates) without a great data over head. I would always expect download to exceed upload by a considerable margin unless people are uploading loads of photos, videos or movies etc. I have no peer to peer stuff like Bit Torrent for example. As you'll see from the notes at the bottom of attached screen shot this has been happening since I had Win 8, although it has stopped now.

.... can't actually work out how to add the screen shot, maybe the site has changed since I last did, or maybe a few more brain cells have died. Anyway my upload data was approx twice the download data since I bought a m/c loaded with Win 8. Has dropped back to more like what I would expect now. I don't suppose I will ever Know the real reason, but who does when Windows is involved. Even with XP it always worried me that the disk drive was whirring away even when I wasn't doing anything, but then it would stop if I disabled the network adaptor! I feel a conspiracy theory coming on.






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