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Windows 7: Gigabit LAN Connection Speed Problem

10 Nov 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Gigabit LAN Connection Speed Problem

Most times, after my PC has booted, the Local Area Connection Status dialogue box shows a connection speed of only 100Mbps instead of the 1Gbps that it is designed to run at.
My PC does occasionally connect at 1Gbps on a cold boot, usually after Iíve run a registry optimisation programme.
This shows me that it is actually capable of running at 1Gbps but, usually upon a reboot, it defaults to 1Mbps again.
It also, occasionally and spontaneously, changes its connection speed from 100Mbps to 1Gbps upon Resume from Sleep mode. (i.e. say after a cold boot it runs at 100Mbps (as per usual), if I then put it into Sleep Mode for a while and wake it up again, it sometimes resumes showing a connection speed of 1Gbps!
I have carried out all the checks/BIOS upgrades suggested by Gigabyte for my motherboard with no change. I have replaced the Ethernet cable with a new (CAT5E) cable that I know supports 1Gbps connection speeds.
I use a Netgear GS108 8-port Gigabit Switch on my LAN which shows me when my LAN connection is running at 1Gbps (green LED) and when itís running at 100Mbps (orange LED). I observe that, during a cold boot the LED flashes green 5 or 6 times and then defaults to a steady orange colour (i.e. 100Mbps), by which time the Log In screen has appeared. Itís as if the system attempts to load the gigabit driver which fails and so it resorts to the 100Mbps driver?
I think this may be a driver issue but I donít know how to tackle it.
My PC's network card driver details: Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.20)
Any ideas will be gratefully received.
Thank you for reading all this through!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Nov 2013   #2

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

Do you have more than one NIC (Ethernet) on your motherboard? My Gigabyte motherboard has two, an Intel and Atheros 8151. If yours has more than one, try the other and see what happens.

As you have a switch, between your PC and the modem, can you connect directly to the modem - at least for testing to see how it reacts connected directly to the modem.

Registry "optimization", cleaners, PC speed ups, repairers, or whatever they are called can cause more problems than they claim to fix or speed up. NEVER use one and especially in Windows 7 and Windows 8. Most "techies" consider them in the "snake oil" category. I do PC repair and I've had to fix several clients PC's after running these so called registry programs. Even the one with Ccleaner.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2013   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hi Fireberd and thanks for your suggestions.
Unfortunately my motherboard has only one NIC socket and, as for connecting directly to my router/modem, there's no difference there either which is a shame - nice idea though!
I've used Iolo's System Mechanic on all my PCs and Laptops for the past decade (l've caused too many screw-ups in the past, so I leave the OS alone now except for reviewing the list of services and disabling those that I know I can get rid of).
System Mechanic seems to have worked very well with Windows XP and I'd never have suspected that it might (if it's like other reg optimising software), create some problems with Windows 7. In its defence I've found System Mechanic to have a number of redeeming features, such as easily turning off unwanted background processes and start up software. However I've not yet tried Win 7 without it so this may be worth a shot when I next do a complete re-install on my PC.

I wondered if, when a PC boots, the sequence in which the various drivers are loaded into memory may make a difference?
Is it worth attempting to re-order this boot sequence? or would I be on a hiding to nothing?

Thanks once again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Nov 2013   #4

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

XP did not manage the Registry very well. However, its different in Windows 7/Win8, what they "fix" is very questionable. There are some interesting posts on here about why not to use them with Windows 7/8.

I have "Win Patrol" and it does the management, monitoring, etc. Many "techies" have this program. BillP Studios Download Page

What you can do, to see if helps, is to uninstall the NIC in the Device Manager. Then restart the PC and when Windows starts it will detect and reinstall it. This can put it in a different initialization point and may even put it on a different shared IRQ that may make a difference.

The saving part is that it doesn't matter if its operating at 100Mb/sec or 1Gigabyte/sec, your internet speed is no where either one's speed.

Here is a current Windows 7 forum thread on the Registry Cleaners. Basically says what I have said.
Registry cleanup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2013   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64

That's great, thanks for the links and advice: duly noted.
Next time I do a clean installation I'll leave the registry well alone - you never know, my computer might work better!
Thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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