Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Windows 7 64-bit machine that is losing up to 20% of IP packets on both adapters - wireless & LAN. Browser traffic appears to be affected the most, but it is happening to all protocols.

All other computers on the network are functioning fine.

If I ping from my faulty machine to any machine on the LAN (wired or wirelessly), including the router/gateway and internet sites, I get up to 20% packet loss.

If I do the following commands:

  • ipconfig /release
  • ipconfig /renew

then I sometimes get my network performance back for a matter of a few seconds to less than a couple of minutes.

Rebooting also works for a short period of time.

This problem has been occurring for a couple of months and is getting worse. The computer used to work just fine.

I updated the wireless adapter firmware the other day with no effect.

Does anyone know what is happening?

share|improve this question
Try debug with Wireshark. Run capture on interface and ping gateway. – alvosu Feb 3 '11 at 9:57

I have ran accross this kind of issue before, the first thing to figure out is if the problem is being caused by a Hardware issue or by a Software issue. My method of choice for this test is to run a copy of Ubuntu Live from the CD (Where it loads Linux to a RAM Disk) and test the ability to browse the internet and ping other IP's.

(Obviously, Ubuntu is just my choice - you could run any Live CD version of linux or even WinPE if you have the right image).

If the problem persists it's a hardware issue.

If the problem doesn't occur under Ubunutu then its a Windows issue and my advice would be to nuke the OS from orbit and redeploy the system.

share|improve this answer

liveCD is a great test, but the problem might be a bug in the windows driver or the NIC's firmware, so make sure these are up to date. The next step is inserting a NIC with different chipset, before you try nuke & pave :-)

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your answer. I believe my drivers and firmware are up-to-date. I'm using a laptop so I can't readily add a new NIC, but in any case it's happening on both my wireless and LAN adapters so shouldn't that rule out faulty hardware specific to the NIC? – Enigmativity Feb 4 '11 at 1:17
Correct, but it doesn't rule out other hardware/driver trouble. What results do you get with a liveCD? – DutchUncle Feb 4 '11 at 17:29

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.