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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Windows Vista Stops Responding or Becomes Very Slow after Connecting to the Internet

This document applies to computers with Windows Vista.
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
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
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.
  note:
After scanning and removing spyware and viruses, update Windows using Windows Update (in English).
Step 3: Clearing history, temporary files, and resetting settings
Clear the amount of temporary files that the browser uses as follows:
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click Tools from the menu bar.
  3. Select Internet Options.
    The Internet Options window appears.
    Figure : Internet Options window
    Internet Options window
  4. Click the General tab.
  5. In the Browsing history area, click Delete.
    A Delete Browsing History window opens.
  6. In the Temporary Internet Files area, click Delete Files, and then click Yes in the confirmation box that appears.
  7. In the History area, click Delete history, and then click Yes in the confirmation box that appears.
  8. Click Close.
  9. Click the Security tab, and select Reset all zones to default level.
  10. Click the Content tab, and click Clear SSL State.
  11. Click the Advanced tab, click the Reset button, and then click Reset in the confirmation box that appears.
  12. Click Restore advanced settings, and then click OK.
  13. Restart Internet Explorer.
  14. Connect to the Internet. If the computer stops responding, or performance becomes poor, continue to next step.
Step 4: Updating the network or modem drivers
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. 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 the PC is using.
  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
For troubleshooting purposes, reduce the amount of software that opens with Windows to try to find out if a software conflict is occurring. Open the Microsoft System Configuration software (Msconfig).
To run Msconfig:
  1. Click Start .
  2. In the Start Search field, enter msconfig.
    The System Configuration window appears.
    Figure : The System Configuration window
    System Configuration window
  3. From the General tab, select the Selective startup radio button, remove the selection next to Load Startup Items, and then click OK.
    Restart the computer.
For more information, refer to Preventing Programs from Opening When Windows Vista Starts.
Connect to the Internet. If the computer stops responding, or performance becomes poor, continue to next step.
Step 6: Removing and reinstalling ISP software
  note:
If you do not use Internet Service Provider (ISP) specific software to connect to the Internet, continue to the next step.
Visit the Web site of your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Read and print out a copy the instructions provided by your ISP on removing and installing the ISP software. Remove the ISP software and install the latest version.
Connect to the Internet. If the computer stops responding, or performance becomes poor, continue to next step.
Step 7: Disabling or modifying how software programs access the Internet
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.
  note:
If the Internet connection or the computer performs poorly when the Internet connection first becomes active, but improves later (up to 30 minutes), this is an indication that a program could be connecting to the Internet on its own.
Examples of programs that access the Internet automatically include:
  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows Live Messenger and other instant messaging software
  • Symantec Live Update
  • Adobe Acrobat
If a program is suspected of accessing the Internet excessively, or causing the Internet connection to perform poorly, disable or modify how the software accesses the Internet.
Software access to the Internet can be disabled or modified in the following ways:
  • Open the program and select the Internet access feature of the software. Check and modify the interval the software uses to check the Internet for updates, or only enable manual updates.
  • Adjust the computer firewall parameters to allow or deny access to the Internet by selected programs.

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