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I have a relatively new Windows 7 laptop (Gateway NV79).

Inexplicably, all browsers on the machine periodically freeze-up for 10-20 seconds while browsing common popular sites - Gmail, Facebook, Amazon, stackoverflow, ...

I initially had Firefox. When the problems started I uninstalled it and installed Safari.

Amazingly the problem remained.

I decided to remove Safari and fallback to the original IE 8. No luck. Same problem!!

Tried disabling plug-ins, no luck.

Scanned for adware, malware, viruses, nothing found.

I don't want to reinstall Windows except as an extreme last resort (I have a fully configured Eclipse environment that's a pain to setup again from scratch).

What's causing this? Please help!! All ideas appreciated.

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Interesting to see someone else with this problem. I have the same thing at home with both my Windows XP boxes, but NOT with Vista and Fedora! –  Brian Knoblauch Aug 2 '10 at 14:23
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5 Answers

Probably a DNS issue. Try:

nslookup a.site.you.didn't.just.used

like

nslookup google.com

and see how much time it takes to answer. If it is not an immediate answer, change your DNS to one of the suggested from google or opendns (nslookup one.site.to.test 8.8.8.8 to test with google DNS) and try again. DNS should work.

If it doesn't and takes time, you may have a network issue so you should try to ping your gateway (ping ip). If the answer is quick (a few ms or less than 1) then the problem seems to be from the gateway to the internet and not on your machine. Try to ping another IP and see the results - if you ping google.com, the time should be around 10ms and that depends on the server you are connecting but should not be over 200-300 ms for most IPs.

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It sounds like a networking problem. Can you check to see if you're connected? When the delay occurs, can you ping your router? What about google?

Try replacing your DNS settings with either OpenDNS or Google DNS servers to see if that helps.

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If you have WiFi, one reason for such freezes might be Windows periodically scanning for Wireless networks (even if you're already connected).

You may disable this behavior using WLAN Optimizer or Vista Anti-Lag.

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Go into "Compter" and check how much space is left on you hard drive. If it looks like its full (or nearly full) you may be eating into swap space on your hard drive which would cause that.

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I'd certainly try an alternative DNS as mentioned by @chris.

But also, what anti-virus software are you using? I previously used AVG and had a similar problem with browsers freezing, having to Refresh (F5) in order to reload the page which would sometimes be OK. Uninstalling AVG resolved the problem immediately. I now use Avast! without any problems.

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