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wierd kind of problem

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My brother has got a HP nc 6120 laptop, and its been about 2 years. So far it was ok, but recently what I have noticed is when I connect to the internet there is a lot of bytes being received(downloaded to the laptop), even when I am not opening internet explorer or downloading anything, that includes windows automatic update, and norton antivirus automatic update being shut off manually. The laptop has also become a little slow(has a centrino 1.6 ghz, 512 mb ram), so he decided to upgrade his hard disk from 40 gb to 120 gb. So he got a 120 gb hard disk and copied 40 gb hard disk to it using norton ghost 9, which worked very well and the laptop booted with the new drive flawlessly. But even then the unknown internet download still continues.

So he decided to get norton antivirus 2007(earlier was 2006), and installed smoothly. But when full system scan is run, the norton antivirus will scan merely about 2600 files, and will say "there is no virus/threat". When a drive is attempted to scan, Item scanned would be "1" (yes, just 1 when there is 50,000 files inside the drive) and it would say no virus threat is found. The same problem is with the source (40gb) drive as well. But If we try to scan files that are 2 levels deep, eg, system32 inside windows, it will scan all the files inside it (whereas if we right click "windows" folder and choose "scan with norton antivirus", again it would scan "0" items and would say "no virus threat detected".

So what could be the problem? How could I get the laptop running faster, and there would be no (or minimum) data transfer when the internet connection is idle). Please Help.
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To get the laptop running faster you first need to get rid of any Norton security products and install an alternative. Norton Antivirus is notorious for being a heavy user of system resources, leaving a lot less for Windows and applications to use. This results in a general slowdown of the whole system. Add that to the tested fact that NAV performs poorly in virus detection, so there's little to recommend it. I would be very surprised if getting rid of Norton AV and installing the free AVG Antivirus did not give your laptop an instant speed-boost. I recommend AVG because not only is it free but it consistently beats NAV in virus-detection testing -- hard to believe for a free product you may say, but it's been proven. You can get AVG Free Antivirus here: http://free.grisoft.com/

The problems you're currently having with NAV would also cease to exist if you switch to something else, but it's important to get rid of every trace of it since it's also notorious for not uninstalling completely, leaving remnants behind which have been known to prevent the installation of a newer version or indeed a competing product. Aware of this, Symantec have released a 'Removal Tool' here: http://service1.syma...005033108162039

Use this tool instead of using Add/Remove Programs as it is is much more thorough.
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