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Scott Mueller's Upgrading and Repairing PCs Forum • View topic - Download speed differences
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 Post subject: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:12 am 
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Ok I tested both my Laptop and my self built desktop at Speedtest.net. On the Desktop pc I got around 18900KB, on the laptop I get about 3!. Why is there such a huge difference?. Both are connected through wireless N adapters. One is an SMC and one is a belkin.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:56 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:21 pm 
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I have had this "problem" since I purchased the laptop back in 06. I posted before about it, only then I used the built in wireless on my Thinkpad. At that time I would get disconnected often. Since I upgaded to N and got a different adapter I have not lost the connection once. Still though I get a huge difference in speed between my desktop connected wirelessly and my laptop. My laptop is on the coffee table while I sit on the couch. The wireless router is 10 feet or less away from me and the Thinkpad. The desktop pc that is also connected wirelessly is in my bedroom which is right behind me litterally. There is a wall behind the couch that the couch is pushed up against. So my desktop wireless connection that gets the faster speed, almost exactly the same as my wired connections is further away from the access point. The Thinkpad does have a constant excellent signal strength. I even tried switching adapters between the pc in the bedroom and the Thinkpad and still I got the slower speeds on the Thinkpad.

Here are results from the Thinkpad tests,









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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Here are some results from my desktop that is further away from the router,











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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:58 pm 
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Maybe I will search for a gigabit switch on Newegg.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:06 pm 
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If you switch adapters between them (that most likely means you are using USB adapters), and yet the performance remains the same (tied to the system), then the adapter is not the reason. In otherwords, if the same adapter is run on either system, but it runs consistently more slowly on one system and faster on the other, then some other difference in the systems is the cause. It could be the specific driver and adapter configuration used (i.e. settings under the Advanced tab in the network adapter properties), as well as differences in the OS, USB configuration, etc. It might also be location based, try swapping locations to see what happens. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:23 pm 
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Yes they are usb adators. I will try moving the laptop to a different location and see what I get. Also about the settings, there are a lot of settings for this adaptor and I really don't understand most of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:34 pm 
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What the settings are doesn't matter if you use the same adapter on both systems, and make sure the driver and settings are also exactly the same. In testing, you always want to minimize variables if you want to isolate the true cause of a problem or difference. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:45 pm 
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The thing that stands out to me is that I had this same problem when I first got this pc and this internet service. Do you think it would make a difference if I try the SMC utility with the laptop?. I just use windows instead of the software utility usually. Oh yeah the adaptors are not exactly the same. They are both USB but one is an SMCWUSBS-N(On the laptop). On the other pc it is a Belkin F5D8053N.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:17 pm 
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Do not use any other utilities. Use the same adapter in both systems, insure that the driver and all of the settings are identical as well. Test both systems with the same adapter in both locations. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:02 pm 
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Ok I just finished testing both with the same adaptor in the same location. Still getting the much slower test results on the laptop.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:15 pm 
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For each speedtest result list the location, system, OS, adapter, adapter driver (and version), and adapter settings (all of them). You should probably run the tests at least 3 times on each specfic setup, then change one parameter (such as the location, system, or adapter) and run the tests again.

Don't forget to include a list all of the adapter settings (and their values) for both adapters on both systems as well. The idea is to isolate what relevant hardware or software is different between each test. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:38 pm 
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Ok Scott on the tests that I just did I did check the adaptor settings to make sure they were all the same. The driver version was also the same. I will do more testing, but for now I have to get back to studying for my microsoft exam. Thanks again for your help. I'll continue testing and I'll post what I do with some screen shots.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:04 pm 
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Move your laptop to a different location and test. Wireless phones, microwave ovens for example can interfere.

Here is an idea, move your laptop into the same location as your desktop. Turn the desktop off (unplug to make sure the wifi is off) so it will not interfere with the laptop. See if laptop improves. If it does not then it is something with your laptop (antenna orientation, settings, difference in receivers, etc. There is no chance your USB ports on your laptops are operating as USB1.1 ports is there?).

If it does improve go back to where you usually use your laptop and rerun tests with the desktop still off.

If laptop improves from what it typically performs then you know the desktop (probably the wifi) wifi is interfering with it. If not, then you know something near the laptop is interfering with it...something transmitting at 2.4Ghz. Wireless phone, microwave oven, look around....alternatively a neighbor's wifi setup on the same channel may interfere more where you use your laptop than where your desktop is located getting some protective shielding from a wall.


Last edited by FascistNation on Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:15 pm 
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FacistNation: I moved the laptop to where the Desktop is and unpluged the wireless adaptor from my deskptop, pluged it into the laptop. Before this I opened up the properties of my wireless connection on the desktop, clicked on "configure" on the general tab and then clicked the advanced tab. So then when I pluged in the adaptor from the desktop into the laptop I could check the same settings and make sure everything matched up. Everything did. So,

Same location, Same adaptor, same exact settings - and extremely different results as far as download speeds go. I had the same type of problem when I was using the internal wireless connection for my laptop except I lost the connection often. When I replaced it with a usb adaptor, same problem with speed differences but I never lose the connection and it is constantly "excellent". My wireless phone is at 5.8 Ghz.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:37 pm 
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Another thing to note here is that this problem has been consistant, even after a fresh clean install of windows this problem occurs.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:53 pm 
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Try turning off all anti-malware and firewall software. I'd like to see a picture of what processes are running on both systems as reported by Process Explorer: viewtopic.php?p=2455#p2455

I'm getting the feeling that something running on the laptop is slowing down or interfering with network data transfer. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:49 pm 
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Hey Scott I know you said not to install any other Utilities, but I went ahead and installed the SMC utility because I'm stubborn. Anyway with it installed I increased the download speed test to around 11000Kb, that is up from around 3000 with just using the windows software.

There is something that says "noise strength" and that is at 26%


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:19 pm 
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For contrast look at my results after I installed the "software" for the SMC adaptor. I changed it back to "use windows" but the software is still running as it can work "with" windows. Anyway thats what it says. Look at these results now,



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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:21 pm 
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Its not as good as the desktop but is an imrovement of more than double the speed I was getting before.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:24 pm 
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I tried connecting it wired and got about 15...Still lower than what I got through the desktop in my bedroom connected wirelessly.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:17 am 
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Today it seems slower and I tested and I am back down around 3 again. Oh well back to square one. Gonna uninstall the SMC software.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:11 am 
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Ok I just unistalled the software(actually I went back to a previous acronis image I made before installing it). Anyway here are some results after that.







I did move the antena around and move my RJ45 cables over one plug each on the router. Really I have no idea at this point but I can say I don't think it is software. It has to be something elese in order to flucuate this much....































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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:01 pm 
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Well, no I am back to super slow again...I think I will just get a new cable and connect through a wired connection. There is really no reason to go through all this....


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:14 pm 
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Safe mode with networking results,












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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:31 pm 
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These are results with a few services stopped,

TVT Scheduler (don't know what this is)
Window Washer Engine(for the webroot window washer program)
IBM KCU Service (have no clue)
System Update(for the lenovo system update program)
Office Source Manager(No idea here either)
Install Driver Table Mana(it cuts off there, don't know what it is)
Thinkpad PM service(have no clue here either)

Thats about it. I left all Microsoft services enabled.














So I guess it was one of the services. Scott is right about this. I should have listend in the first place. Sorry Scott, sometimes I can be an idiot.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:41 pm 
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Here are some results using the same configuration with a wired connection,













I don't know I still think there is something elese messing with the connection.


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 Post subject: Process explorer on laptop
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:56 am 
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process explorer.JPG
process explorer.JPG [ 147.35 KiB | Viewed 44821 times ]



This is for the laptop...

The only services I have turned off now are,

Install Driver Table Manager(I looked it up and supposedly it was spyware in the %Windir%\Temp folder). Did a scan and no spyware on my system.

System Update
TVT Scheduler(Part of System update)


This laptop is now wired and here is a test I just did. Never got this low with it wired before,



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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:16 am 
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Ok here is my Dell that is wired,


wired dell processes.JPG
wired dell processes.JPG [ 129.18 KiB | Viewed 44810 times ]






I usually get over 18 but I seem to get a slowdown right after running process explorer. Still there is a major difference between the Dell that is wired and the laptop that I now have wired.


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 Post subject: Went back to a different Image
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:28 pm 
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Ok I went back to an image I took a few hours after a fresh install from the service partition. I uninstalled all Thinkpad software besides Active Protection, Productivity Manager, and PowerManager. I still don't get as good a download speed as my dell that is wired and my other pc in my bedroom that is wireless. Keep in mind that I now have this laptop connected wired.

















So I cleaned it up a bit. I searched all the processes online. Now I have only 6 non microsoft services running according to msconfig. So you can see I still get about a 1-3 megabit difference in speeds from my Wired dell pc. I purchased a 25 foot Cat5E cable and I am using that now on the thinkpad.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:30 pm 
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Scott, I don't know if I can optimize it anymore than I have. It starts up much quicker now also. Unless there is some utility I can use that will speed up the network connection somehow?.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:25 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:53 pm 
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Those items you saw were before I went back to image of a fresh install. I only have 6 non microsoft processes running at this time. Thanks for the links. I am gonna try the tcp optimizer. Of course I'll make an image before I install it.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:23 pm 
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I just installed the TCP Optimizer. Wow, what a difference!,















I pay for "up to 20 Mbps" so I really can't ask for anything better.

Thanks a lot FN!.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:05 pm 
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Christ I cannot believe your default settings were that out of whack! I have always gotten improvements with either utility (I too find TCPOptimizer more intuitive -- but both work well), but not like that! You should visit and (TCPOptimzer authors) for tips, tutorials, news, etc.. They do a good job of explaining broadband and its optimization.



from Cablenut (and info links)

of TCP/IP settings (whiter paper)


Last edited by FascistNation on Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:07 pm 
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I download a program called Process scanner from processlibrary.com(the place where I was looking up my processes). There are only a few processes using the network. Here are some screen shots,


processes screen 1.JPG
processes screen 1.JPG [ 198.19 KiB | Viewed 44773 times ]



process screen 2.JPG
process screen 2.JPG [ 153.57 KiB | Viewed 44771 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:14 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:24 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:25 pm 
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I am uninstalling processscanner from uniblue for now. I like to try different things before I actually commit to an application. I am gonna take a look at the application linked below. Maybe I will purchase it. I have seen it at my school/shop my teacher showed it to me before. It is free but I would rather have the paid version if it offers more. For some reason I don't trust free Microsoft applications so much. Maybe it is because I am studying for 70-290 and I think Microsoft delibrately tries to make things over complicated. I am enjoying learning though on my way to MCSE.

http://www.neuber.com/taskmanager/


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:07 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:45 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:37 am 
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One final optimizer specific for the Firefox browser (actually it works with other and I suspect all Mozilla based browsers) is called (Totalidea Software). Free. This program is a one time deal, makes changes to the Mozilla config: file and is done, leaving no part of itself behind.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:57 am 
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Hey FN. I have been noticing some slowdown every once in a while now. It is usually after I turn my laptop on after going into hibernation. I go into tcp optimizer and click "optimal settings" then it asks me to reboot, I do and it is fine. I thought the changes it made were permanent?.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Here is an experiment I tried today. I went into msconfig. I disabled all start up items. Then I ran the speedtest, everything was fine. I closed the lid to make the laptop go into hibernation. Waited a little bit, opened it back up and turned it on. Did the speedtest again and it was really slow again. I tried the same thing after running tcp optimizer and had the same results. So I am guessing it is a service doing this?. I wish the settings would stay after running tcp optimizer but it seems they do not. Every time I put the laptop into hibernation and come back, I have to run it again to get my speed back.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:37 pm 
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That doesn't make much sense unless the OS or an application is altering the settings. You should be able to get a listing of the settings and then do your thing, come out of hibernation and see if some settings have altered. If so let us know, it would be an interesting discussion as to what is going on.

I have not used TCPOptimizer in a while so, I am going on memory that it displays your settings before and after optimization.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:54 am 
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Ok here is today first thing coming out of hibernation,



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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:07 am 
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Here are screen shots of before I run TCP Optimizer again,


ScreenShot005.jpg
ScreenShot005.jpg [ 50.55 KiB | Viewed 44648 times ]


ScreenShot006.jpg
ScreenShot006.jpg [ 46.52 KiB | Viewed 44649 times ]


Not sure what elese to take screen shots of. Now I will run tcp optimizer and do comparison shots.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:18 am 
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Here are the results of speedtest.net after rebooting when tcp optimizer asks me to,



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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:20 am 
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Now I will put my laptop into hibernation.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:45 am 
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Ok here are the results of the speedtest after puting the laptop into hibernation,




I noticed all of the settings that were in tcp optimizer in the registry changes that I did not take a screen shot of were listed either as "no change" or they had the exact same values. So it seems that after I put the laptop into hibernation after "optimzing" my settings with tcp optimizer something is changing something but I have no idea what it is. I could maybe try turning the laptop completely off and see if that makes a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:04 am 
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Ok this is after an actual shutdown. Then I turned it on and went right to speedtest.net,




So it has to have something to do with hibernation....


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:13 pm 
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I disabled hibernation and now I just have it set to go into standby when I shut the lid. There is no problem after going into standy, no problem after a cold boot and no problem after a warm reboot...I wish I could pinpoint the problem. So for now I just won't use hibernation.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:08 pm 
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Very interesting (puzzling). How you use standby/ hibernation on a laptop depends upon laptop usage. I use mine every day. I have mine set to go into standby when I close the lid, or it sits idle for 10 min. on battery, or 45 min. on AC. I usually shutdown at the end of the day to reset any memory crud that builds up over time, but this is much more frequent than needed. It is just convenient for me to do.

I set my power settings to beep me when running on battery and the level reaches 9% charge remaining. If I do not plug in to AC, it will enter hibernate mode at 4% remaining and shut down. This way I do not lose any work, but by using standby instead of hibernate routinely I get a much faster boot time.

If you do not use your laptop frequently, standby will drain your battery eventually (days) if the laptop is not plugged into the AC.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:02 pm 
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Well my battery went bad a long time ago, probally because I never used it. I always have the laptop plugged in. What I do now is just leave it on most of the time, if I plan on going out for a short while 30-45 minutes than I just shut the lid and let it go into standby. At the end of the day I just shut it down. I used to have it go into hibernation when I closed the lid and had been doing that for probally 6-8 months....Once in a while I would restart it because of an application install or windows update but besides that I never would restart unless prompted to.


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 Post subject: Reinstall
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:05 pm 
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Hey today I did a complete resinstall from the service partition on my Thinkpad Z60 laptop. Anyway, I thought I would update this thread since last time I just went back to a previous image. This is full clean install. I still had the same problem with the very low download speeds. I ran TCP optimizer and now it is working and the correct speed again. I have not tried hibernation yet though. I will try that but I am guessing it is gonna be the same as far as having to run Tcp Optimizer again.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:25 pm 
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I tried Hibernation and yep the same thing happened again, I had to run TCP Optimizer again. The sad thing is I knew about this "problem" before my warrenty ran out. Maybe I could have got a new laptop from Lenovo. I just never bothered with trying to solve the problem at that time.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:34 pm 
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Scott, since this problem also occured yesterday right after a fresh install from the service partition wouldn't that rule out a problem with windows?. I can live with the problem by working around it by not using hibernation but it still drives me nuts just not knowing exactly what the problem is.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:32 pm 
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I don't think there is any problem here. All the optimizer program does is change some registry settings (which I don't necessarily believe should be changed anyway), and those settings are not somehow being changed back when you come out of hibernation. In addition, those settings wouldn't be changed by the hardware either, so I don't think it is a "ThinkPad" specific problem as well. There might be some other software in your load that is affecting things, if you are using any sort of anti-malware or firewall software it may have an effect, so for testing purposes it should be disabled. You could try installing a standard Windows load (i.e. not a ThinkPad product recovery) to a spare HD, with no anti-malware, firewall or other software installed, and see if you notice the same effects. The speed difference after resuming from hibernation may simply be an effect of the speed test program, and may show normal results after running for some time. A single run of any test is worthless anyway, you should be running multiple tests and averaging them, perhaps throwing out the fastest and slowest results. Bottom line: the testing you are doing is incomplete and doesn't really tell me anything useful. I really think that you are putting way too much faith in these so-called speed tests, which aren't necessarily accurate or reliable. The true test would be to transfer files between your system and a known system, but even then the status and condition of all of the links in-between will have an effect as well. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:59 pm 
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Ok Scott I am gonna try what you said and install a fresh copy of XP. I will let you know the results.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:29 pm 
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Ok Scott, well I just did the clean install from an oem xp pro cd. I got the exact same symptoms. When I went into hibernation and came back and tested the speed it was around 3Mbps. Before going into hibernation it was around 15Mbps. So the same exact situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:31 pm 
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Unfortunately I don't think the test is accurate. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:45 pm 
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Ok Thanks Scott again for your help. Also thanks for tolerating my evil thread!. I reinstalled again this time from the service partition. I am not gonna run the optimizer this time since you suggested not to change those registry settings.


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 Post subject: Re: Download speed differences
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:00 pm 
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This thread is getting too, too long and my head hurts today.

The end is now here.

Mike.

:locked:


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