Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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!

share|improve this question

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.

share|improve this answer

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

share|improve this answer
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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.