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I have a single Windows XP laptop and my site is on on an external shared host.

Other visitors to my site all say that it loads fast. But when I try to access it from my laptop, the first page always loads fast but 95% of the time subsequent pages take about 1-2 minutes to load. If I wait 2-3 minutes before clicking to open one of the other pages, it usually opens immediately.

I get the same problem if I switch off my PC firewall, use IE or Chrome browsers. It even happens if I try accessing from a clean Windows virtual machine.

5% of the time I can suddenly access all pages in quick succession for a short period.

I'm using Firefox 3 and can always see all other web sites quickly, no problems at all. My hosting company has checked out the server and site and says there are no problems with it.

Does anybody know what might be causing this and how to fix it?

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Do you have externally hosted libraries/images on this page? How far does it get during that first load within a few seconds? Whats your dns service? – tobylane Apr 15 '11 at 14:26
I don't think there are externally hosted libraries on the site, but I can't be sure. It's a Drupal site. – Michael Q2 Apr 15 '11 at 15:00
The first page (which loads quickly) loads completely as far as I can tell. – Michael Q2 Apr 15 '11 at 15:00
I assume the DNS service on my PC uses my ISPs service. The DNS IP addresses in my wireless connection are set to auto. – Michael Q2 Apr 15 '11 at 15:02
If you take your notebook to another Internet connection, does it still behave the same way? Or if you use a different computer on your Internet connection, does it behave the same way? Does your CPU show as very busy when waiting for these slow pages? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 15 '11 at 15:43
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here are a few things you can try:

  1. Clear the cache in your web browsers (in case the cache is corrupt or the site isn't sending updated timestamps in the HTTP headers).

  2. Flush out your local DNS cache with this DOS command (then reboot): ipconfig /flushdns

  3. Make sure your computer has enough RAM. If there's less than 1 GB then this is likely your problem -- for Windows XP it works better with 1 GB of RAM (and a performance gain is often noticed with 2 GBs; unless you're playing video games 2 GBs should be plenty for XP).

  4. Defragment your hard drive (if the Disk Defragmenter tool claims you don't need to defragment, don't believe it -- run it anyway): Start Menu -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter

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I have 4gb ram and I have cleared the cache and flushed dns. This still doesn't fix it. I will have to wait till I can afford the downtime to defrag the disk, but there is minimal disk activity while I'm waiting to connect. This feels like a dns issue. – Michael Q2 Apr 15 '11 at 16:00
I have also tried connecting using the domain ip address rather than domain name but still have the same problem – Michael Q2 Apr 15 '11 at 16:01
@Michael Q: Browsing to an IP address rules out DNS unless the web page itself references resources (such as images) using absolute URIs that include domain names (as opposed to relative URLs which is the common practice for a number of good reasons including bandwidth conservation). Check Microsoft's web site for a WinSock repair tool (they keep moving it around but try the keywords "winsock" and "repair"): – Randolf Richardson Apr 15 '11 at 16:10
Thanks. Here is another clue. After I "repair" my wireless network connection it seems that I can achieve fast page loading of my site. The site has only 5 pages, but after about 10 pages randomly selected the connection freezes up again. – Michael Q2 Apr 15 '11 at 16:34
@Michael Q: Okay, then you might be dealing with interference issues, or wireless equipment overheating problems. To rule out interference, change to a different wireless channel that your neighbours aren't using. A free tool called Network Stumbler will reveal which channels your neighbours are using (that's a fun one to leave running while driving your laptop around town too): – Randolf Richardson Apr 15 '11 at 16:46

I think it may have something to do with overheating of the NIC as suggested by Randolph. When the computer is cool after boot up, I can browse the site quickly for over 30 pages. Bizarre.

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