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Windows 7 Stops Responding or Becomes Very Slow After Connecting to the Internet

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This document applies to computers with Windows 7.
The computer stops responding or performance becomes poor after connecting to the Internet. Use this document to resolve the most common problems that cause the computer to stop responding or cause Internet browsing to slow down.

Step 1: Detecting and removing spyware and adware software in Windows 7

If the computer becomes slow after connecting to the Internet, or your home page changes to a page you do not want, or unwanted desktop links appear, or advertising windows pop up repeatedly, then the computer probably has spyware or adware installed. Spyware and adware can be very difficult to remove manually. Refer to the following HP support document for more information about spyware and how to remove spyware from the computer: About Spyware, Adware, and Browser Hijacking Software .

Step 2: Scanning and removing viruses in Windows 7

Many viruses use an Internet connection when a browser window is opened and can cause the computer to slow down or stop responding. Refer to the following HP support document for more information about how to scan and remove viruses: Resolving and Preventing Viruses on Your Computer (Windows 7, Vista, XP) .
NOTE:After scanning and removing spyware and viruses, update Windows using Windows Update (in English).

Step 3: Clearing history, temporary files, and resetting settings in Windows 7

Use the following steps to remove temporary files that may be causing problems and to reset you Internet settings:
NOTE: If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser, you can run Internet Explorer without any add-ons to see if add-ons might be causing problems. To start Internet Explorer without add-ons, close all open browser windows and click Start , Accessories, System Tools, and then select Internet Explorer (no add-ons).
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click Tools on the menu bar.
  3. Click Internet Options.
    The Internet Options window opens.
  4. Click the General tab.
  5. In the Browsing history area, click Delete.
    Figure 1: Internet Options - General tab
    Internet Options - General tab
    The Delete Browsing History window opens.
  6. Click to place a check mark in front of Temporary Internet Files and History. Then click Delete.
    Figure 2: Deleting the Browsing History
    Delete Browsing History
    The Deleting Browsing History message appears.
  7. When the browsing history is deleted, click Close to return to the Internet Options.
  8. Click the Security tab, and select Reset all zones to default level.
    Figure 3: Changing the Security settings
    Changing the Security settings
  9. Click the Content tab, and click Clear SSL State.
    Figure 4: Changing the Content options
    Changing the Content options
  10. Click the Advanced tab, click the Reset button, and then click Reset in the confirmation box.
    Figure 5: Changing the Advanced options
    Changing the Advanced options
  11. A window opens showing the settings that are being changed.
    Figure 6:
    Click Close when done.
  12. Restart Internet Explorer.
  13. Connect to the Internet. If the computer stops responding, or performance becomes poor, continue to next step.

Step 4: Updating network or modem drivers in Windows 7

Some lockup issues have been identified and resolved through driver updates for network cards and modems. Install the latest update for the computer's network hardware. Update the network card software if you connect to the Internet using DSL, Cable, or LAN. Update the modem software if you connect using dial-up.
  1. Go to the HP Consumer Support page.
    Select your country/region if necessary.
  2. Enter the model name for your HP or Compaq computer. For example, SR1820NX or m7434n.
  3. Select the version of Windows on your computer.
  4. Select the network or modem driver update. For example, Realtek RTL8139 LAN Driver Update.
  5. Follow the instruction on the download page to download and install the update.
  6. When done, restart the computer and try to connect to the Internet again.
  7. Connect to the Internet. If the computer stops responding, or performance becomes poor, continue to next step.

Step 5: Disabling Software that opens with Windows 7

For troubleshooting purposes, reduce the amount of software that opens with Windows to try to find out if a software conflict is occurring. To do this, use the Microsoft System Configuration software (Msconfig) as follows:
  1. Click Start , and type msconfig in the Search box.
    Figure 7: Opening msconfig
    Opening msconfig
    The System Configuration window appears.
  2. On the General tab, click Selective startup. Then click to remove the selection next to Load Startup Items, and click OK.
    Figure 8: Setting Selective startup
    Setting Selective startup
  3. Restart the computer.
Connect to the Internet. If the computer stops responding, or performance becomes poor, continue to next step.

Step 6: Contact your ISP in Windows 7

Call your local Internet Service Provider (ISP) or visit their Web site to see if your provider is currently experiencing technical difficulties. If your provider is currently experiencing technical difficulties such as poor latency or long wait times, you must wait until the problems are resolved by your ISP. Also, If your ISP requires special software that you must use to connect the Internet, ask them if they advise reinstalling the software. If so, use instructions provided by your ISP to remove and reinstall your ISP software.
After contacting your ISP, if they are not experiencing problems, continue to next step.

Step 7: Disabling or modifying how software programs access the Internet in Windows 7

Sometimes software programs automatically access the Internet. This is usually done to keep the software up-to-date and to provide alerts of new product availability. Sometimes, the software that is accessing the Internet can lock up, such as when a software program is attempting to connect to a website that is no longer in service.
Examples of programs that access the Internet automatically include:
  • Java updater
  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows update
  • Symantec Live Update
  • Adobe Acrobat
Symptoms and solutions related to software programs and Internet connection problems are:
  • The connection to the Internet becomes very slow or freezes at a specific time of day - Many software programs attempt to get updates or information at regularly scheduled times. For example, Windows Update may attempt automatically download and install important updates for Windows every night at 12:00 A.M. The problem may be worse when two or more software programs attempt to connect to the Internet at the same time. To resolve, disable automatic updating within the options of the software program(s) or adjust the time the software program automatically gets updates (if an option is available).
  • The connection to the Internet becomes very slow or freezes when a software program is opened - Some software programs immediately attempt to connect to the Internet when opened. Either disable the connection feature inside the options of the software program or consult the software vendor's support website for a solution. When searching for a solution, be sure to use the exact title of the software and the version of the software program if known.
  • The connection to the Internet becomes very slow or freezes when Windows loads - When Windows initially starts and an Internet connection becomes available, many software programs attempt to connect to the Internet as soon as the Internet connection becomes available. To resolve, prevent software that uses the Internet from loading with Windows (as was done in Step 5), disable automatic updating within the options of the software program(s) or adjust the time the software program automatically gets updates (if an option is available).
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