Windows Legacy OS forum


Why is my PC sending gigabytes of data at startup?

by jacovitz / November 10, 2015 10:15 AM PST

After I boot my XP PC and log in, the "local area connection status" shows typically 7 million packets of data sent, and just 25 packets received. Is this normal or does it suggest a virus/spyware? I have AVG Free installed and a recent scan is clear. I also scan regularly with Malwarebytes, again all clear. I also installed SpyBot, and that gave a clear scan, though I removed it afterwards because its essential service would not start automatically as supposed to.

On one occasion, when my PC had been on for a while, there was a flurry of disk activity after which it said 30 million packets sent. That's a heck of a lot of data, about 2GB if I'm right in thinking the packet size is 68 bytes. Anyone any ideas? I've installed Tcpview to see what's going on, but by the time I'm logged in it's all over!

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All Answers

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stay off internet
by James Denison / November 10, 2015 2:19 PM PST

till you can track it down. Also keeping unplugged from internet might kick an error msg leading to some discovery of what's up. You should check tasks running and see which one is using CPU power the most or constantly. Check your Activity and Error logging in Events area.

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Still sends when not connected!
by jacovitz / November 13, 2015 4:10 AM PST
In reply to: stay off internet

OK. I've tried unplugging from the phone socket and rebooting and it still tells me, after I've logged in, that 7 million or so packets have been sent. There are no untoward tasks or processes running. How can I log what happens at start-up? I've checked the event log and there are no clues there.

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Re: 7 million packets
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 13, 2015 4:37 AM PST

- One of the strange things is that "it tells". My PC never tells me something like that. What program is it that tells you about it?
- If it sends packets while not connected, it seems it sends to localhost. If nothing is active to receive it, it just disappears. That's like using a hosts file and setting all kinds of unwanted urls to localhost (, but works also).
- Does it happen also if you boot into Safe Mode?
- What programs and services are running at startup? Use sysinternals' autorun (free) for a full list.


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Re: Re: 7 million packets
by jacovitz / November 13, 2015 9:35 AM PST
In reply to: Re: 7 million packets

I'm talking about the figures in the "local area connection status", which comes up when you left-click the network tray icon.

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Safe mode with networking
by jacovitz / November 16, 2015 9:53 AM PST
In reply to: Re: 7 million packets

Yes it still does it in Safe mode with networking. I've noticed that each time I reboot the number of packets sent gets a bit bigger. It's now at over 9 million packets sent.

I've installed Autoruns and it highlighted 4 marginally suspicious files. I disabled those by changing their filenames, but it didn't make any difference. I've tried disabling all the things in autoruns that I dare (not sure about disabling display drivers, and it won't let me disable anything connected with the AVG antivirus) and that makes no difference either.

Any further suggestions would be welcomed.

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sounds like constant "pinging"
by James Denison / November 14, 2015 6:33 AM PST

I suspect some malware that is doing "denial of service" attacks on your own computer, such as constantly pinging IP with packets. Use an AV and MalwareBytes. Check network settings in windows program. Don't connect back to modem or router till you get it fixed.

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Time to scan for infections.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 10, 2015 2:19 PM PST

And more. Got firewall?
Raise shields?

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Scans clear
by jacovitz / November 13, 2015 4:12 AM PST

Yes I have a router which acts as a firewall and I use Windows firewall as well.
I have scanned with AVG and Malwarebytes and nothing shows.

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More scans.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 13, 2015 9:41 AM PST
In reply to: Scans clear
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Did you rip out IP networking and start over?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 16, 2015 9:58 AM PST

It's XP so we know these can get infected and have hardware issues.

I see nothing about the machine yet have found failing network cards (WiFi, Ethernet, TokenRing, Bluetooth and others) that do this for reasons too long to get into here.

The lack of machine detail and story means it's time to reload from scratch or backups.

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Thank you - sorted
by jacovitz / November 17, 2015 10:23 AM PST

You hit the nail on the head. I've updated the network adapter driver and the problem has gone, just like that. I'm just left with the question of whether it was a virus/spyware infection that might have stolen sensitive things, or a condition of the network adapter that caused the older driver to malfunction. Given it passed Malwarebytes' scan, hopefully the latter.

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Computer Utilities Software
by Satya_Singh / January 21, 2016 2:57 AM PST

Some virus create issue "Computer Utilities Software" are not working properly.

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by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 21, 2016 3:55 AM PST

Is this an answer or a question?

And if it is a question, can you rewrite it so it can be understood by others than just you? And better start a new thread for it, unless your PC is sending gigabytes of data at startup also.

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