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Windows 7: Unknown downloads

08 Oct 2010   #1

windows 7 Pro
Unknown downloads

I connect to the internet via satellite (not by choice but by necessity) and have a 200MB daily limit. Every so often I see the lights on the satellite receiver blinking rapidly, which means a large download is occurring, even though I did not initiate any downloads or updates. It happened last night and when I couldn't find out where it was coming from I shut down the computer. When I checked the satellite usage this morning it showed that 51 MB had been downloaded at the that time. It was not a MS update and the other programs that I have with automatic updates always give an indication as to what they are doing. These phantom downloads often push me over my usage limit so I would like to find out what and where about them and get them stopped or at least controlled. I can do unlimited downloads between 0200 and 0700 so if this something legitimate I can direct it to that time frame. I find Windows very opaque compared to XP; I really miss the old Explore function. Any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

Try using something like Bandwidth monitor or Wireshark to figure out the phantom traffic.

Bandwidth Monitor - Monitor Bandwidth, Network Bandwidth Monitor, Bandwidth Monitor Software

Wireshark Download

Other than that, just switch off the sat receiver when you are not using it. What kind of security (password etc.) do you have in this connection?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

This may also help.
What's My Computer Doing?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 10 Education 64 bit

Windows update maybe, or one of your installed programs trying to update online (in the background without telling you)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2010   #5

windows 7 Pro

Bill2: Thanks for your input. This download occurrs while I am using the computer on-line. I close everything and go to sleep mode when I am finished; the computer is password protected. I use AVG for virus protection plus the Windows Firewall.

Jacee: I have downloaded the program you recommended and will use to try and find out what is happening the next time this download occurrs. Thank you.

Alphanumeric: I am going to call Adobe Systems tomorrow and check on their update frequency and file size. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by javapoppa View Post
I use AVG for virus protection.
Could the 51 MB download possibly be an AVG definitions update?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2010   #7


Turn off everything in msconfig>Startup except AV and gadgets/stickies if you use them.

If any program turns itself back on, dig into it's Preferences or other settings until you turn it off or uninstall it. For example: Update tab on Adobe Reader, uninstall Google updater, no toolbars except built into browser.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 10 Education 64 bit

A new version of adobe reader has just been released to patch some security issues. The .MSI (Microsoft installer file) file version is 41 meg, the usual .exe that adobe wants you to download will be even bigger. I'm not saying that is what your download is, but its a good candidate. I was going to say that 50 meg sounds a little big for an MSI definitions file, but the one I have saved to disk is almost 56 megs. Keep in mind though that is a stand alone definitions file with every definition up to the date I downloaded it on. Not the sequential update you get once or twice a day though windows update. These days there are so many programs that want to phone home to auto update etc, its hard to know whats going in and out of your internet pipe some times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Unknown downloads

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