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Network Woes

Discussion in 'UO Resources' started by WarderDragon, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    I have a problem that has been plaguing me for several months now.

    We have a pretty decent internet connection (I did an online diagnostics test the other night which showed it as being 404k, whereas the company advertises it as being 1.5mb). On a good day, I usually have pretty low latency and can keep up with most PvPers. I would say that when things are as they should be, I pull roughly between 70-110ms to Baja with 0% packet loss. My sister, who plays Warcraft, pulls about 60ms to Silver Hand.

    Well, that is when things are running smoothly. When a particular computer on the network is turned on, the whole thing slows down to a craw. We've narrowed it down simply by noticing which computers on when we have the problems, and how the problems go away the moment it is shut off. The computer, which is my moms home business computer, is hooked up through a switch. When it is turned on, my latency almost immidiately shoots up to 600-1500ms with 0-50% packet loss. At one point, my sister was telling me she was seeing 3000-15000ms, and couldn't stay connected to the server for more than ten seconds. You turn this particular computer off, and immidiately we jump down to our original latency and everything is fine again. We can several computers on the network running games (UO and Warcraft), streaming video, voice chat, and we hardly notice a difference. You turn on that one computer, and even so much as pulling up Stratics is a slow and painful experience.

    So I checked her computer. I ran tests. I got her the latest version of AVG, Spybot, AdAware, and CCleaner. I ran everything. AdAware picked up one significant piece of malware, but we seem to have quarentined and taken care of that. I went through with Windows Defender Software Explorer, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

    I am at a complete loss as to what on her computer might be causing this. She uses Outlook, and some program called Turbo Lister for eBay. But the computer simply has to be on and connected to the internet for us to have problems.

    Anyways, as far as our setup, we are running Clearwire Wireless, which is suppose to get roughly 1.5mbs bandwidth (Yeah, right). We'd be on Cable or DSL if it were offered out here, but currently nothing is available. We also are on a DLink DGL-4300 108mb Gaming Router (I want to upgrade to the Gigabit version soon). All the computers on the network are running Windows XP.

    Any thoughts on what could be causing this?
     
  2. Shamus Turlough

    Shamus Turlough Lore Master
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    Interesting problem. First thing I would recommend after seeing your post is to try changing network cards. When a nic goes bad sometimes it will "chatter", flooding the LAN with traffic.

    Failing that, Run a scan with malwarebytes antimalware and see what it finds. I use it to clean on a daily basis and it finds things that most others cant touch.

    When you power this computer on, does it make every other PC in the house slow down?
     
  3. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    I'm not sure that its the very moment her computer is booted up. It may be. I might test that out. It seems like by the time everything is loaded on her desktop, I begin hearing screams throughout the house like...

    "This dragon is eating me alive and I can't run away!..." "I'm being outrun by my friend on dial-up!" "The Lag! The Laaaaaaaaaaaag!"

    I will try Malwarebytes later tonight. And we've been needing to upgrade her network, so if that doesn't work, I will try the NIC.

    Thanks!
     
  4. UOKaiser

    UOKaiser Guest

    You said you are using wireless for your connection to the internet. Are you also using wireless for each of your pc's to the router or is it ethernet cable to DLink DGL-4300 108mb Gaming Router then wireless only out to internet?

    I think you might of mention it but just want to make sure.
    You also said the business computer is hooked up to a switch, is it the same switch as the others are with?
    The network is definelty being bogged down. Could be large file transfers are happening with that pc or network priority some where has being enabled so that pc can get the traffic before any other usually done on a switch or router if feuture is available.
     
  5. Rykus

    Rykus Guest

    If the offending computer is connected via a network cable, try swapping that out also. I've seen this situation caused by either a bad network interface card (NIC), or the cable. It's possible that it got stepped on, or damaged in some way, and the small twisted pairs inside got crushed/crimped in a way that's causing problems.
     
  6. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    As others have mentioned, it's most likely a faulty NIC on your mom's computer sending jabber packets and collisions.

    But just in case, connect her computer to the network cable that either of you are using and see if it solves the problem. A cable is cheaper to replace compared to a NIC.

    Does your router have an LED to indicate "collisions"? If so, see if that indicator flashes like crazy every time her computer is connected.

    Besides that, check your router's logs for outgoing packets from her PC. See if it's trying to reach any IPs that it's not supposed to (ie non windows update/av updates sites). She doesn't run a BT client does she?
     
  7. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Ethernet Cable. We run lines from the computers four ports, and another cable from the WAN port to the Wireless modem.

    One of the cables runs to a switch, which splits to her computer and my fathers. The other computers are hooked directly to the router.

    I'm wondering if she is somehow getting priority. The router we have comes with a program called Gamefuel (includes dynamic fragmentation and whatnot), and it is suppose to prioritize high priority streaming packets (Games) and VOIP. FTP and HTTP traffic gets secondary priority.

    What I've always wondered if some program she is running, intentionally or not, is tricking the router into thinking its a game and is taking up all the bandwidth. Normally, things like Warcraft should be the ones getting higher priority, but when it is turned on and we're seeing 3000+ latency, that doesn't seem to be the case.

    I'm looking at the lights right now. I don't know if the LEDs are suppose to indicate collisions or simple internet traffic, but mine is solid blue while the one out to my sisters computer (who is playing Warcraft right now) is flashing a bit, and my mothers (who has her computer on but is not doing anything) is flashing like crazy.

    I'm not sure what that is.
     
  8. UOKaiser

    UOKaiser Guest

    If you have tried cable switching before going into switching the nic try to disable gameful. If still no change and you said that even youre mother computer sees the slow down as well? Either way I would plug her computer directly to router bypassing the switch just to make sure the switch is not the cause. Then check services running on her pc to make sure there isn't one that is not familiar to you. Msconfig on the run tab will allow you to see any start up services as well.
    Then still no good I will temporaly switch out the nic or if it's built in install another one just to see if thats the cause. Just got to eliminate each probability one by one. Eventualy you will run into the problem. All this shouldnt take more than several hours in the day to find the cause.

    Could also do it the opposite way but will take a little longer by removing everything that might be the cause and if it works ok then adding one by one to identify the cause. I prefer the first method I only do the second method if am really stuck.
     
  9. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Possible. Traffic prioritizing works by determining which packet types/port numbers should be given more bandwidth. It's not unheard of for different applications to use the same packet types.

    Connect just your PC to the router and browse to the "logs" page to isolate. See what traffic is going through to what destinations. Once you have a feel of it, power up your mom's PC. See from the logs if there's a sudden increase of activity from your mom's PC to the internet.



    Means either it's sending out lots of network activity or there're lots of collisions (eg from faulty nic). Or a variant of virus that war-dials every ip/port in the network to find a vulnerable system.

    Check the router logs first, you should be able to tell if there's any increase in internet traffic from there. Esp weird ones that your router cannot resolve the domain name of (meaning the destination shows up as IP addresses instead of domain names).



    Probably not then :D BT is short for Bit Torrent.
     
  10. Skylark SP

    Skylark SP Available Storage: 0
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    Other than the suggested malware scan, I personally would not alter anything software/configuration related before ruling out faulty hardware first.

    Before replacing either cable or NIC, is it possible to disconnect her computer from the secondary switch, and connect it directly to a switch port on the router for testing purposes? Although they are rare, I've seen faulty switches cause major collisions and slow down the network. Make sure the secondary switch is completely disconnected from the home network for this test. If the problem still occurs, then you can try troubleshooting the cable & NIC in that order.

    -Skylark
     
  11. Shamus Turlough

    Shamus Turlough Lore Master
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    One mantra of the computer technician is K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid!)

    Always start with the easiest things to troubleshoot, in this case hardware.