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Windows 7: Extremely slow network - OEM Home Prem 64bit

11 Dec 2018   #1

Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" Cinnamon 64-bit
Extremely slow network - OEM Home Prem 64bit

At first I thought this was some evil Microsoft trick for new installs which had not yet been activated with a valid product key, but I have successfully activated this installation of Windows 7 for my friend (using the automated phone prompts), so there should not be any evil tricks at play.

The network is wired, the controller is an onboard Intel gigabit Ethernet. The driver is reportedly working. From the adapter "Status" dialog, I am seeing:
  • Upload speeds between 100 Bytes/sec to 5,000 Bytes/sec (that is right, Bytes/sec), averaging on the low end of 100 Bytes/sec
  • Download speeds between 500 Bytes/sec to 10,000 Bytes/sec, averaging about 5000 Bytes/sec.
This is unbelievably horrifically slow. Dial-up was faster than this. I also connected a USB-to-Ethernet adapter rated at 100Mbit/s, and I got the exact same speeds as detailed above. I am certain that there are no problems with the hardware as the machine dual-boots to Linux and there are no network problems there.

I have attempted to download updates via Windows Update, in case there was some update needed to resolve the network speed, however it keeps failing, probably because of timeouts downloading from the update server.

I don't know what's going on. I have heard from a friend that the Home Premium edition of Windows 7 does not allow advanced changes to the network settings, but he never heard of this serious a bottleneck on network traffic.

If anyone else is having this issue installing Windows 7 in 2018, please reply so at least I'll know it isn't just me.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2018   #2

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring


open the Advanced tab for the Ethernet driver, have a look at the speed/Duplex settings

Is it set to Auto

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2018   #3

Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" Cinnamon 64-bit

The "Intel" Advanced Settings tab (the Intel logo is displayed within this tab) contains the following:
  • Gigabit Master Slave Mode = Auto Detect
  • Interrupt Moderation = Enabled
  • Jumbo Packet = Disabled
  • Large Send Offload V2 (IPv4) = Enabled
  • Large Send Offload V2 (IPv6) = Enabled
  • Legacy Switch Compatibility Mode = Disabled
  • Locally Administered Address = "" (the information box says this is for customizing the MAC address)
  • Log Link State Event = Enabled
Offloading Options:
  • Checksum IPv4 Offload = Rx & Tx Enabled
  • Checksum TCP v4 Offload = Rx & Tx Enabled
  • Checksum TCP v6 Offload = Rx & Tx Enabled
  • Checksum UDP v4 Offload = Rx & Tx Enabled
  • Checksum UDP v6 Offload = Rx & Tx Enabled
Performance Options:
  • Adaptive Inter-Frame Spacing = Disabled
  • Flow Control = Tx & Rx Enabled
  • Interrupt Moderation Rate = Adaptive
  • Receive Buffers = 256
  • Transmit Buffers = 512
  • Priority & VLAN = Priority & VLAN Enabled
  • Receive Side Scaling = Enabled
  • Receive Side Scaling Queues = 1
  • Wait For Link = Auto Detect

I'm not seeing any direct settings for duplex here, but there is an "Intel" tab called Link Speed and under this, the setting is Auto Negotiation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Dec 2018   #4

win 8 32 bit

How are you getting these speeds from interent download which doesnt tell the whole story what do you get if you do it on local network as it may a internet problem not the network. What is your mtu set to Change your MTU under Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2018   #5

Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" Cinnamon 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by samuria View Post
How are you getting these speeds from interent download which doesnt tell the whole story what do you get if you do it on local network as it may a internet problem not the network. What is your mtu set to Change your MTU under Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8

It is definitely not an Internet problem. We have FTTH 300/300 synchronous here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2019   #6

Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" Cinnamon 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by samuria View Post
How are you getting these speeds from interent download which doesnt tell the whole story what do you get if you do it on local network as it may a internet problem not the network. What is your mtu set to Change your MTU under Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
Okay, to follow up, I have continued trying and I have determined that this is not a hardware issue. The network speed is fine transferring data in some cases, and extremely slow for other cases. This is very suspicious.

Note that for the descriptions below, my primary site for testing was I also experienced slowdowns with the popular search engines and other popular sites.

Details before my discovery

I tried re-installing Windows 7 and also tried using the USB 2.0 to 10/100 Ethernet adapter again, and the speed was just as bad with the USB adapter as with the onboard Ethernet. I can transfer files from USB flash drive and a USB hard drive on the same USB 2.0 port with proper speed, so there is no issue with the USB port or USB driver.

Nonetheless I tried the advice. According to the tutorial on MTU, this would solve inaccessible sites, not slowdowns. But I followed it anyway, and per the results from ping, I set the MTU from 1500 to (1464 - 28) 1436, for the onboard, the USB ethernet and USB Wireless adapters. None of those changes produced any result, so I reverted to the default of 1500.

I also tried setting the gigabit adapter to 10-half, 10-full, 100-half and 100-full duplex modes, and no difference. (Even if I could get it to speed up to 10-half duplex speeds, it would be major improvement!) I tried disabling all the "Offload" features as recommended by a blog, nothing. I tried disabling everything to do with gigabit, and still the same slow speed at 10 or 100 modes.

I know that this same PC and its onboard Ethernet port works perfectly fine under Windows 8, 8.1 and 10, as well as Linux Mint. This instance of Windows 7 is the problem for sure.
Just before posting all of the above, I did try transfering data from a webserver in my house using the wireless USB adapter. I was able to transfer at the full speed I would expect from the Wireless network, about 4MB/s. I then went back to using the Gigabit adapter, and local transfer went to 9MB/s - appropriate for the 100mbit port on my webserver. But and the various search engines were still unable to load because the traffic was so slow.

Now suspicious, I tried downloading a Linux ISO from a random Internet server by typing only the IP address, and this time, I did get good download speeds of about 300KB/s. I bet it would be faster, but that server's network throughput was much less than our 300/300 FTTH Internet service here.

Curious, I installed Virtualbox to see if the cause of slowness (if it was malware) would also slow down the virtual network traffic. I connected to the Host-Only adapter for transfers between the VM and the Windows 7 OS. My virtual machine was able to transfer a 200MB file in under 5 seconds, so the virtual network was not affected by this speed issue.

Lastly, and the most condemning thing of all, is that my virtual machine, when I switched it over to bridged networking, was able to properly load the web page from its own IP address, and the speed test ran at about the full 300mbit mark.

So my speed issue is one where only well-known sites are affected, accompanied by a complete inability of Windows Update to connect for downloading updates. At this point, there are only two explanations:

1. The ISO I downloaded, from ("en_windows_7_AIO_sp1_x64_x86_dvd.ISO", which appears to be genuine, is actually a sabotaged version pre-loaded with malware that's crippling the network speed to popular sites, and blocking Windows Update altogether. I wish there was an official md5 or sha checksum so I could determine if the ISO has been altered, as it sucks that the Windows 7 ISOs are no longer available from Microsoft's website...

2. (Unlikely) Microsoft pre-set this behaviour as some sort of "kill switch" that Windows 7 versions installed in 2018 and later would be intentionally crippled, to force people to buy a new version. (Even if they were that evil, they wouldn't completely block Windows Update from connecting, that makes no sense.)

I need to know if I have a genuine ISO, but I really don't know where I can find either official checksums or known official copies of these installers. (I know it is against the rules to discuss piracy, so I will reiterate that I do have an authentic product key for this version of Windows)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2019   #7
wither 2

Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2019   #8

Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" Cinnamon 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wither 2 View Post

Thanks for the link, however that page will not accept our HP Windows OEM key:


The product key you entered appears to be for software pre-installed by the device manufacturer. Please contact the device manufacturer for software recovery options."
It only wants to provide ISO downloads for retail keys.

Speaking of the retail version, I have now found 2 sources that state the authentic Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit ISO has an MD5 sum of:
Source 1 - ISO image: Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version Free Download ISO [32-64Bit] - Softlay (MD5 not posted, but I checked myself after downloading)
Source 2 - Download Windows 7 ISO, Legally and for Free |

And that was the ISO which I used for attempt 1 of 2 to get my friend's PC installed. I erased that install because of the horribly slow network speed.

So, if that md5sum is legitimate, then I can rule out malware or viruses. That means that the genuine Microsoft product is selectively slowing down Internet traffic to popular web sites and search engines, when the network hardware is working perfectly fine.

But if that were true, than wouldn't there be more people complaining? Or is it only targeting installs done after a certain date? And if the OS is not to blame, than what have I missed? Does my Internet modem have some hidden hatred of Windows 7 PCs? (if it could even determine the OS version of PCs originating traffic)

I guess this is a mystery worthy of a bit more of my time. I am going to try the following:

  • Installing with the date set to 2010, and no Internet access for date synchronization
  • Installing on another PC with a different motherboard / chipset
  • Using a VPN gateway for web traffic, just in case my Internet modem decided to start rejecting packets from machines running Windows 7 (highly, highly unlikely)

Since this is a forum for Windows 7, I would be really grateful if an admin / moderator would try to install that version of Windows 7 with a confirmed matching MD5 sum, even if in a virtual machine, with the current date set. I am skeptical of my own conclusion, but if this OS is really set to self-sabotage in 2019, that'd be kind of important for Windows 7 enthusiasts to know, right?

Thanks again,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2019   #9

Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" Cinnamon 64-bit


Okay, I have installed the more sketchy "AIO" all-in-one ISO here under VirtualBox on my Linux Mint PC. The network speed is fine using both NAT and Bridged modes for the Ethernet port, so that means the OS and my Internet modem are fine.

There must be something freaky about his PC's motherboard chipset. Something that causes only Windows 7 to experience slowdowns on all network devices, even ones connected by USB ports... Of course HP (the OEM vendor) will be of no help, they don't offer support except if we're going to buy a new PC or buy Windows 10 for it.

I'll mark this thread as solved. The mystery isn't solved, but it isn't important enough to dig deeper. Windows 8 and Windows 10 and Linux Mint work, I just thought that going back to Windows 7 would help us to diagnose the cause of issues (to narrow down to the OS or motherboard or graphics card) with a game he likes to play.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2019   #10
wither 2

Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit

I don't know what you mean in your discussion of HP support. They certainly provide drivers, firmware and BIOS's for their products.

They also have a chat line and forum. I don't know if you've tried any of those.

Are you using Win 7 that was pre-installed by HP?

Can you do a factory reset?

Which browser are you using?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Extremely slow network - OEM Home Prem 64bit

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