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General discussion

Slow internet speed

by Paige1 / March 25, 2007 12:47 AM PDT

My computer is opening internet pages extremely slow lately and I'm at a loss as to what to do about it. I have a Dell Dimension Pentium 4 with 2.80 GHZ and 512 MB Ram. I have Windows SP home edition version 5.1 and a physical memory available of 522,224 KB. My Internet Explorer version is 7.0.5730.11.
I even d/l and tried Firefox cuz I heard that was faster but that did not make a difference. I've already tried deleting temporary internet files and the cache but nothing seems to make a difference. I did notice that pages that have photos on the page seem to take forever to load. I timed it yesterday at 30 seconds for the intial page to load and another 15 or 20 seconds when I click on another page to open. Any thoughts?

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More information please
by linkit / March 25, 2007 1:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Slow internet speed

Using dial-up, DSL, cable, other? (Give details.)
What do antivirus and antispyware scans find?

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Slow internet speeds..
by Paige1 / March 25, 2007 2:24 AM PDT

Hi Linkit....I thought I mentioned that I was using Comcast cable modem but then I accidentally deleted my first post and had to type it all over again...arggghhhh. I also think I neglected to mention that I have McAfee antivirus and do run scans occasionally and never have any viruses. I do run the Adaware and Spybot on occasion and of course I find things that need to be deleted. I just wonder if I deleted something that I need. That's always a fear of mine. It's what makes me nervous to run those things but what else can you do. You run the program and you delete the files that it finds.

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Ok, what's your speed?
by Coryphaeus / March 25, 2007 2:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Slow internet speeds..

Go here (Don't worry, it's for all broadband.)

On the left, click Tools. Click Speed Test and run it. Remember the speed. Now, on the left click Tweak Test. Follow the instructions. After you're finished, go back to Tools and download and install Dr. TCP and make any adjustments necessary. Run the Speed Test again.


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Slow internet speed
by Paige1 / March 25, 2007 2:45 AM PDT

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the problem but on occasion I get a pop up message that states that my virtual memory is low. I'm not quite sure how that can be cuz this is a relatively new computer that came with plenty of memory and I really only use it to look things up and get my e-mail. Maybe there is some place that I can check that?

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Virtual Memory
by linkit / March 25, 2007 3:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Slow internet speed

On a computer with 512MB system RAM, I wouldn't set Virtual Memory to a custom size; set it to "System managed size."

What is the total size of your hard drive?
How much free space is there on the hard drive?


What programs do you regularly have running? Any P2P (Limewire) or torrent programs?

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Virtual speed
by Paige1 / March 25, 2007 7:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Virtual Memory

Hi there...well first of all. I have done the test at Speakeasy. I had comcast on the phone once and of course he told me to go there and check the speed. He said that there is nothing wrong with the speed and it fact, it was registering a faster speed then I was supposed to have according to him. Anyway, I just went and did it again and it registered as d/l = 30978 and u/l 1269. I did it once more and it registered as d/l = 27762 and u/l 1329. I went to that other site that was mentioned and ran that test and here is what was said. Frankly I have no clue what any of this means really.
Your Tweakable Settings:

Receive Window (RWIN): 65535
Window Scaling: off
Path MTU Discovery: ON
RFC1323 Window Scaling: OFF
RFC1323 Time Stamping: OFF
Selective Acks: ON
MSS requested: 1460
TTL: unknown
TTL remaining: 112
TOS/TOS subfield: 0
2. Test Download

Actual data bytes sent: 1024001
Actual data packets: 703
Max packet sent (MTU): 1500
Max packet recd (MTU): 1500
Retransmitted packets: 0
sacks you sent: 0
pushed data pkts: 101
data transmit time: 4.362 secs
our max idletime: 2829.4 ms
transfer rate: 219568 bytes/sec
transfer rate: 1756 kbits/sec
transfer efficiency: 100%
3. ICMP (ping) check
Target unpingable
Notes and recommendations:
RWIN is in range
Looking good

I really have not changed the system virtual memory as I have no clue what that even is. If I need to set something to help in that regard, please let me know how to go about that and also how to get a read on my hard drive size and how much free space I have on it. I might sound like I know what I'm doing but I assure you I do I am trying to learn though. Anytime I don't have to resort to calling the Geek Squad, I'm happy. So far I have not had to and I'd like to keep it that way. I can't tell you how appreciative I am of all the help I ever get here. I swear, it's like grabbing at a life preserver sometimes... :-)) Paige

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These Steps will Let You Check Free Space & V.Memory.....
by tobeach / March 25, 2007 4:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Virtual speed

To check HD Free Space (%age used)From Desktop.D.Left click>My Computer>
R.Click on Drive C: (or another if C not your OS drive)>L.Click on properties. See chart & #'s.

For Virtual Memory: Start>Control Panel> D.Left chick on "System">L.Click on Advanced Tab>L.Click Performance Settings Button> Performance Options L.Click on Advanced Tab> setting button> Virtual Memory (should show 741 or more MB for 512 MB memory: 1.5 Times RAM) on "change" button and find circle for "System managed size" and click to put dot in.
Mine is 512 RAM & I've got "Custom "showing with Minimum of 744MB & Maximum of 1488MB.

Hope this helps! Grin

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OOPS!! I Think I Forgot last Bit on V. Memory Set....
by tobeach / March 25, 2007 4:13 PM PDT

After you put dot in System Managed size ( or change Minimum /Maximum #'s Higher), I think you have to L.Click on the "SET" button and then OK your way back out. Happy

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(NT) OOPS Again!!! You Must Be Using ADMIN ACCNT to Do !!
by tobeach / March 25, 2007 4:16 PM PDT
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Hard drive size
by Paige1 / March 25, 2007 8:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Virtual Memory

Hi Linkit,
Thanks to tobeach I was able to go in and get the info that you were asking about. Used space = 12 GB
Free space = 22 GB
My virtual memory is set to custom and a range of 768 to 1536

As far as what programs I have running at any given time. I really don't run any programs. I sometimes have a couple websites open if I want to keep them to view on another day. I'll have my hotmail and outlook express open cuz that's what I do on this thing for the most part. I do alternative health research which means that I might have a page or two open to read. That is why this is so baffling to me cuz it's not like I play games or the sort of thing that takes a lot of memory. What I have noticed is that pages that contain photos seem to just open up extremely slow. I'll see where it says 14 items loading...that sort of thing and slowly the photos appear. My e-mail seems to open up fine, it's just when I click on a website to go and read something. It's driving me nuts and I sometimes just walk away rather then get aggravated.

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Slow internet speed
by Paige1 / March 26, 2007 12:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Hard drive size

Ok, I did a little experiment with my home computer vs my work computer. I went to a site that has a few photos on the front page and it took 92 seconds for it to totally open up, 72 seconds to get to the forum page and another 92 for one of the threads to open up. Obviously I gave up and decided that it was not even worth waiting around as I've been doing lately. I got to work and decided to do the same exact thing and it took about 2 seconds for the site to open and another 2 seconds to navigate from one page to another. Of course I knew that my home computer is definitely not responding the way it should but I really need to find ways to check it. Will I need to call a techie to come and work on the computer? I was so sure that I could get some help to try and do that myself. Thanks for any further thoughts on this.

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I Think Maybe You've Given a Clue.....
by tobeach / March 28, 2007 6:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Hard drive size

"I really don't run any programs. I sometimes have a couple websites open if I want to keep them to view on another day. I'll have my hotmail and outlook express open..." I think you're spreading your limited system resources over too many (open) baskets.

I could be wrong but I believe each time you open a 2nd or 3rd web site (for example) you CUT YOUR ISP SPEED basically in half.
If you were 56K dial up and kept 1st site open while opening a 2nd your net speed would then be 33k, a third down to 16.5. Outlook Express equals another (access cut). Similar to splitting incoming line between 2,3 or more computers.
I suggest instead, you create additions to "Favorites(IE) or Bookmarks(Mozilla)lists for those sites. that way you can pop from one to the other quickly without cutting speed. Closing the 1st allows 2nd to open at full capacity.

Pictures (depending on size) can be very large & slow to load.

If you have MS automatic update enabled, it could be checking & downloading large updates in the background while you're on line. This can really suck up resources. Better to disable & check manually & download at a time convenient when not doing other online things.

RE: OE: OE keeps a channel open to your machine as long as you have mail labeled as "unread" (also if you're using the open and wait for a "You have mail" function). OE also has a back channel that can be used by malware to deliver pop-up ads or worse.
Suggest you check mail, read what you want, the at upper left click on "EDIT" and at very bottom of drop down, click "Mark All Read". This will close that open channel. Then just close OE.
You can get AdawareSE from Lavasoft (FREE)which will find & remove ad cookies and they have a (FREE) add-on which will disable the OE back channel.From:

I may get rid of my Hotmail! They not only download a large amount of ads (some of which can even damage your machine by causing conflicts or just by poorly programmed ;Ad Farm & Mediaplex ads come to mind). MSN AD networks were recently invaded by the Winfixer infection. Yahoo AD is currently getting hit by same which can cause infection or viewers machines. Additionally, Hotmail has started adding LIVE LINKS into users posts which could lead to trouble (like Winfixer) and your contacts may think you added the link for them to see! At very least Hotmail is using you to get their ads past your contacts junk mail box & directly into their safe "IN BOX".

There are several more items which may be slowing things down:
Major build up of ever accumulating files in system restore, temp files (reg & internet), index .dat (full history of everywhere you went since day machine was new), re-directs thru multiple servers
(invisible to you), needed defrag or disk clean-up etc.

A great little cleaner program (CCleaner)(Free) can remove most of these in under 5 seconds if you use once per day. First cleaning pass may take 10 minutes to clear backlog (often 100 or more megs of junk).
The following link to one of my posts will give you Dwnld Link & instructions:

Spybot Search & Destroy (Free) will remove many spies & will (in advanced mode) allow you to see ALL programs running in the background at start up. You won't believe how many. It also, there, allows you to disable un-needed ones temporarily or long term by checking/unchecking box by each one.
Mine had 23 listed, I disabled all but 3 (not counting system inis).
The disabled ones will still start when you call for them(like printer or media player if you land at site needing it) if you click icon on your desktop

Some Anti-Virus/security progs are major system hogs (you don't mention yours) but Symantec/Norton & McAfee come to mind. There are ones lighter on system like AVG (Grisoft) which maybe a consideration.

Hope this helps some. Grin

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Thanks so much for all of your help...
by Paige1 / March 29, 2007 12:47 AM PDT

Hi tobeach (I love this name cuz I love the beach..*S)
Anyway, the latest is that I decided to restore my home computer back to an earlier date thinking that this might help and surely could not hurt. Anyway, when I reboot, I had no internet. Somehow my IP addy got screwed up.....I know...what the heck ?? Anyway, I spent an hour and a half on the phone with 3 different Comcast techies who finally determined that I needed a new NIC card. Well I said ok but the more I thought about it, that was just too convenient and too much of a coincidence. Anyway, long story short. I have a techie friend who will be stopping by soon to get me back up and running and will probably totally reformat my machine. Probably my best option at this point to bite the bullet and just start fresh. I'm going to print out this entire message thread to keep because there have been many excellant suggestions and I want to absorb all of them.
Your comments about keeping sites open and my OE open are interesting Tobeach...I'll have to consider this in the future. Paige

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(NT) Glad If I Could Help. Good Luck for You & Techie Friend! :D
by tobeach / March 29, 2007 2:57 PM PDT
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Link 4 CCleaner Description of Items 2B Cleaned:
by tobeach / May 5, 2007 4:33 PM PDT
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Thanks ToBeach
by Paige1 / May 6, 2007 1:01 AM PDT

That was a great tip and I've just d/l that CCleaner. Thanks for your help.

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Restart your Internet connection...
by fjord_fox / May 6, 2007 12:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks ToBeach

I have had the same problem of the Internet slowing down to a snail's pace--especially when my sons come over for the weekend and do downloads to their own computer. Whenever it happens to me I have a number of steps that I do and it always works. I will outline it below, but first, here is an article that why this happens. Apparently it is because there are some viruses that can jam your ADSL box or router or both. The article is at:

The steps that I follow are:

1) First, clear the Internet Explorer cache:
a. Right-click on the Internet Explorer icon
b. Choose ?Internet Properties?
c. ?Delete Cookies?
d. ?Delete Files? (If you have IE6, click on ?Delete all offline content? too)
e. ?Delete History?

2) Turn off your computer. Don't just hit "Restart". Hit "Turn Off". This will make sure that your memory will be completely cleared.

3) If you have a router or wireless router:
a. Unplug the power line.
b. Unplug the Internet cable from the ADSL box or modem
c. Unplug the Internet cable(s) that go to your computer(s)

4) Do the following for either your ADSL box or modem:
a. Unplug the power line.
b. Unplug the Telephone line that goes to your ADSL box or modem
c. Unplug the Internet cable that goes to your computer if you don?t have a router or wireless router.
d. If you do have a router or wireless router, unplug the Internet cable that goes to it.

Now, to restart the Internet, do the following:
1) Do the following for either your ADSL box or modem:
a. Plug in the power line.
b. Plug in the telephone line.
c. Wait for two of the Internet lights to turn from yellow to green.
d. Plug in the Internet cable that goes to your computer if you don?t have a router or wireless router.

2) If you do have a router or wireless router:
a. Plug in the Internet cable that goes from the ADSL box or modem to it.
b. Plug in the Internet cable that goes to your computer.
c. Plug in the power line.
d. Check the third light on the ADSL box to see if it is now turned on and green.

3) Turn your computer back on. Your Internet should be as fast as normal. To test the Internet speed, go to

I hope this works.


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System may be affected by a virus
by praneelreddy / March 26, 2007 2:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Slow internet speed
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