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On dial-up; something big is downloading.


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#1
Twins_1997

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I'm on dial-up, and every time I dial in, something starts downloading. And downloading. And downloading. Thus far this evening about 10 mb has downloaded. I imagine it's some sort of innocuous update -- maybe Avast? -- but I'm not sure. I thought it was a Windows update, so I turned off automatic updates. I turned off Firefox updates. I ran ATF_Cleaner. Still, it's downloading. Despite having turned off Windows updates, I'm a bit concerned that it might be SP3 downloading (at 300 MB, it will take until roughly March).

Meanwhile, it is slowing my browsing down to the point of frustration. I would REALLY love to find out what it is so that I can figure out whether I actually need it, and figure out how to turn it off if not.

Suggestions? Thanks!

ETA: still downloading; according to the connection status page, it has downloaded 6mb in the past 35 minutes.

E again TA: I do know that visiting web pages, etc. will cause stuff to download and the "Bytes Received" to climb. But this continues to climb steadily even with all browser windows shut, and it is DEFINITELY slower than it typically has been.

Edited by Twins_1997, 12 December 2008 - 10:20 PM.

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#2
happyrock

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SEE SCREENSHOT
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#3
Twins_1997

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Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, that doesn't show me what's downloading, though, unless it's done via Firefox. For example, just to test it out, I just started up my Anti-Malware, and told it to get the most recent update. I can see that it's currently downloading 774k of 1350k. But if I click on the Firefox downloads button, it doesn't show any activity at all (presumably because it only shows downloads initiated via Firefox).

And that's what I'm curious about: when I'm not consciously downloading anything, I don't have a browser open, but I can see the "Received" bytes steadily ticking up 3k or so at a time. Something is downloading, but I wish I knew what. Meanwhile, if I try to do anything else on-line, it really slows stuff down.

Edited by Twins_1997, 13 December 2008 - 08:10 PM.

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#4
delawaredrew

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2 simple things you may already have tried can help ID at least what service or program is doing it....

Perhaps run msconfig in the start menu and see what starts up automatically to see if anything is hiding an update manager. Alot of stuff will be easily id'ed. Google entries if you don't recognize before you kill them, a limited few are critical. Look in the services and start-up tabs. Run Spybot SD or Ad-aware yet? Avast updates on mine alot...

Another real quick approach is to hit ctrl-shift-esc and see what is running and using system system resources and kill processes that seem to be using memory, also has a network usage graph that will give you an idea of usage...

There are traffic monitoring programs that tell you where traffic is coming from and going to, but I'm not into that so maybe a more knowledgeable member can advise/

Edited by sari, 14 December 2008 - 08:43 AM.
Removed dangerous advice

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#5
happyrock

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it could be java or real player or quicktime or windows or many other programs trying to update ...
you can set them to update manually and not automatically...
you will then have to monitor those programs yourself ( regularly ) and update them as needed

BTW DO NOT USE THE HIJACKTHIS ANALYZERS ONLINE...

Edited by happyrock, 14 December 2008 - 07:36 AM.

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#6
sari

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An antivirus program will also check for updates frequently. Programs such as that may sometimes have larger updates, if they're updating program components in addition to definition updates.
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#7
delawaredrew

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BTW DO NOT USE THE HIJACKTHIS ANALYZERS ONLINE...


Been using it for for years, have you found it unreliable or unsafe? I don't automatically do anything it recommends without a little research but I have used it alot. Maybe I've just been lucky?

Edited by delawaredrew, 16 December 2008 - 12:24 PM.

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#8
Rorschach112

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It is extremely unreliable

You will wreck your PC if you trust the results and go off fixing with it
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#9
sari

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I will add this: Advising one of our members to use hijackthis and then find an online analyzer constitutes malware advice in my book. According to our TOU:

Because of the potential for harm, only staff members approved for malware removal are allowed to reply to malware topics.


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#10
delawaredrew

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I will add this: Advising one of our members to use hijackthis and then find an online analyzer constitutes malware advice in my book. According to our TOU:

Because of the potential for harm, only staff members approved for malware removal are allowed to reply to malware topics.

It was recommended to me several years ago on this very forum, no idea by who though. I'll post no more about it. I stand corrected.
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#11
Twins_1997

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Thanks, everyone. I had removed automatic updates from the obvious stuff just as a test, but there is still occasionally something big downloading. Because I had cleaned a trojan off of one of my computers just a day or two before and the other computer was acting funky in its own way (svchost errors), I was definitely wary and skittish. Still am a bit, though my computer seems clean with only a rare error now.

It's still amazing to me that with all of the things that you CAN check, that there's not a simple way to find the name of files that are downloading, or at least the websites they're coming from.
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#12
happyrock

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this is almost mandatory using dialup...helps with broadband as well
there is a nice speed bump you can use...
You can use a HOSTS file to block ads, banners, 3rd party Cookies, 3rd party page counters, web bugs, and even most hijackers. This is accomplished by blocking the connection(s) that supplies these little gems.

Example - the following entry 127.0.0.1 ad.doubleclick.net blocks all files supplied by that DoubleClick Server to the web page you are viewing. This also prevents the server from tracking your movements. Why? ... because in certain cases "Ad Servers" like Doubleclick (and many others) will try to open a separate connection on the webpage you are viewing. thus always trying to loads some ad for you


Important! Windows Vista requires special instructions

The MVPS HOSTS file was recently updated
http://www.mvps.org/...p2002/hosts.htm

Download: hosts.zip (144 kb)
http://www.mvps.org/...p2002/hosts.zip

How To: Download and Extract the HOSTS file
http://www.mvps.org/...2002/hosts2.htm

HOSTS File - Frequently Asked Questions
http://www.mvps.org/...02/hostsfaq.htm

Note: the "text" version makes a great resource
for determining possible culprits ... (629 kb)
http://www.mvps.org/...p2002/hosts.txt

Sign up for HOSTS file update notices
http://www.mvps.org/...002/updates.htm

Visit the Hosts News blog
http://msmvps.com/bl...ws/default.aspx

Mike Burgess
Microsoft MVP - 1999-2007
"There's no place like 127.0.0.1"

FIREFOX SHOWS ONLY 2 DIFFERENT CONNECTIONS...CHROME SHOWS 3

Edited by happyrock, 19 December 2008 - 05:44 PM.

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#13
happyrock

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one more thing to try and see whats downloading things in the background...
without opening your browser...click on start...run...type in cmd...press enter
in the dos box...type in netstat -b...get a screenshot and post it back here for us

Edited by happyrock, 20 December 2008 - 08:02 AM.

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#14
The Skeptic

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If you can't identify the downloaded file after cancelling automatic updates (windows, Adobe, java, antimalware, etc etc) you can try to block it with a firewall.

What firewall are you using? If it's microsoft's you could try another one, like ZoneAlarm, set it to standard or above standard protection and see what happens. Three notes:

1: If you go for another firewall please be advised that ZoneAlarm will slow down your computer to a certain degree.

2: If you disabled automatic updates for antimalware programs I would recomment to enable as soon as you finished your tests.

3: do you have any remote control program running on your computer, such as LogMeIn? If yes, disable or uninstall it
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