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I have a Windows 7 64-bit machine connecting via Ethernet to an ADSL Router.

The last few days I noticed that watching any online streams would stall repeatedly. I ran a continuous ping test against an external site and the router's IP address and found there would be frequent periods of "Request Timed Out" on both, indicating this was a problem with the connection between my PC and the router. The time outs happen happen every 20 seconds - 2 minutes and last maybe 5 - 10 seconds.

I tried the following with no effect

  • Changed the network cable between PC and router
  • Changed the ethernet port being used on the router
  • Plugged in an wireless dongle to the PC to connect to the router (disabled the network card)
  • Updated my network adapter's drivers
  • Updated my graphics card's drivers
  • Tested in safe mode
  • Used System Restore to recover to last week
  • Ran Microsoft Security Essentials
  • Removed any virtual network adapters
  • Disabled all firewalls
  • Removed any applications that I thought maybe interfering with the network connection

I also tried a ping test from my smart phone to the router via wireless and this worked perfectly fine with no drops out of a test of 1000 pings. Watching a video stream on the phone was also fine with no stalling.

I don't recall installing anything in the last couple of weeks that would have caused this and checking the system restore logs confirms.

Given all the above I was lead to believe that this is most likely a software problem as changing the connectivity type doesn't help but using another device works fine.

However I'm a bit stuck for ideas now.

Does anyone have any suggestions for debugging this issue? My last resort is to re-install the OS but would like to avoid that if possible!

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2 Answers 2

Try to isolate the problem.
Boot from a Linux live CD and run a ping test. If the problem is not there, you can be pretty sure your OS have a problem. If the problem still appear, well... you have to call you're ISP hot line.

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1000 pings means absolutely nothing compared to the network load from streaming videos. Have you tried a different router?

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True, but just doing pings without any video streaming or just browsing the web I get the time outs too. Unfortunately I don't have a different router to hand to try out. I did also test streaming on to my phone over the wireless with the same router and that seemed to be pretty stable. –  Mike Q Apr 15 '12 at 19:22

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