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Netflix freezing my computer


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#1 Peanut Butter

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:42 PM

I've had Netflix streaming to my computer for a few months, but just lately, it's started freezing my computer. The video gets choppy and then so does the audio. As soon as that happens, the whole computer freezes up and I can't get out of it unless I do a hard shutdown with the power button. I called Netflix and they told me that they could see that my CPU was running at the high 80's to 100 % I looked at my three heaviest memory users and they were: plugin container.exe (Microsoft Silverlight?) at 149876 firefox.exe at 128328 system at 123620 I don't know if that will mean anything to anyone. It's beyond me. I'm running Windows XP Professional service pack 3, on a Pentium 4 at 2GHz with 2GB or RAM. Not exactly a powerhouse, but it should be able to stream Netflix without being maxed out shouldn't it? If anyone can offer any suggestions they'd be appreciated. Thanks!

#2 Lee

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 09:53 PM

Hi Peanut Butter, Sounds like your PC is not quite coping (or at least, barely) with Netflix streaming. Depending on your PC specs., you might need a better CPU, maybe even a better Video-card and you should have at least 2GB of RAM. What is the brand and model number of your PC? You could safely get rid of Silverlight with 'Add and Remove Programs' and unticking Firefox from your startup menu might help a little (it will still work). Cheers, Lee

#3 Peanut Butter

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 10:08 PM

Thanks Lee. It's a Compaq Evo desktop. I do have two GB of RAM. Seems weird that the video card / processor are suddenly not keeping up when they've been fine streaming Netflix for 2 months. I can't get rid of Silverlight because I can't stream Netflix without it.

#4 Lee

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:46 AM

Is it the D500 or the D510 (Pentium 4) ?. The 510 (better than the 500) only has a Intel Pentium 4 2.0GHz CPU which is a lowtech CPU for video streaming. Problem now days is that modern programs and websites are far more PC resource intensive. You might have added other programs recently which would have pushed the resource load demand beyond a P4 PC's capabilities. What Screen resolution are you running? I'd recommend a resolution of no more than 1024x768 (or even 600x800) for a P4 PC for video streaming. Just forget about any higher resolutions. To make matters even more difficult, your running integrated graphics, no video card. So you really are pushing the envelope (uphill). I hate being the barer of bad news, but if you want to run streaming video, you need a suitable computer, and that probably means an upgrade or setting your PC for 'bare bones' running. With a normal setup running, an old P4 is just not up to the demanding task you want it to do, even if it did work for a short time (a bit of luck maybe). Without Video streaming tasks, a P4 is a fine computer. Cheers, Lee

#5 Peanut Butter

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 02:50 PM

Thanks Lee. It's the Pentium 4 model. I'm running 1440 X 900 resolution as I always have. I have not added any new programs. I know it's an old computer, but I'd call 2 months of trouble free streaming on Netflix more than a bit of luck. It just seems strange to me that this issue has arisen out of the blue. I feel that something must have changed to bring this on.

#6 Lee

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 04:28 PM

It seems the definitive factor is the CPU and your's is running at 80-100%, which suggests not enough grunt.

If you were streaming Videos or TV for 2 mths. without problems, that's just a mystery and I cannot come up with a solution fix based on that claim. What is happening now (CPU at 80-100%) is what is relevant.

From googling the issue and concentrating on what Netflix users (not sellers) are saying, it seems that:

Minimum Hardware requirements (Updated as of 11/23/10)
dual core 2.5ghz 1mb L2 cache (Intel or AMD)

Your P4 2.0GHz CPU is not really good enough for the job (and I doubt your Motherboard's integrated video is either).
Its not just the limiting 2.0GHz, but the early design and lack of cache of the P4 CPU is also a problem. Old hardware is often not up to the needs of many modern software applications such as Video and TV streaming.

Cheers,
Lee

#7 Peanut Butter

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:57 PM

Sigh. Guess it's time to start shopping. Thanks again!

#8 Jimbo1

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 11:17 AM

Peanut Butter, If I may add to this with the assistance you have already received from Lee and he is giving you the info based on the facts presented and that you may benefit from considering the following..."

Even though something must have changed." The question we have to ask is this; we don't know "what" may have changed; only that "something" probably did.

So what is it?

To let you know I also use a low end machine to watch streaming video from Netflix, Hulu, CBS Video, NBC Video, TNT video with no problems, but as of late and being a bit more frequent and I found out 4 weeks back after speaking to a Netflix tech support.

Many of these folks are now streaming in HD Format and even on my higher end machine I would get stalls (freezes) from time to time. But on this low end machine it’s stalling a lot when I am watching one of the shows that is broadcasting or streaming in HD, so this being the case the onboard video, CPU or memory may or may not be up to snuff.

Getting back to the original question, what" may have changed; only that "something" probably did. So what is it?

The list could be endless:

1. Netflix is now streaming in HD format and no longer be able to be streamed by this machine?

2. Was any "new software" been installed that may conflict with or degrade ability to stream video?

2. Are updates to drivers indicated in your operating system?

3. Has Microsoft pushed Internet Explorer 8 Updates...? So many older XP machines may do better with IE 7 or Firefox or Chrome)

4. Are Browser Tool Bars which degrade internet access been installed as to what I call drive by install?

5. Hard Drive running out of FREE Space?

6. Are the Temp and Temporary Internet Files become loaded?

7. Applications and processes running from Startup?

8. Any applications demanding "auto-update internet access" checking that could be disabled and checked manually?

9. Is the HD excessively Fragmented?

10. Does the machine need a good physical cleaning? Or worst Has Malware invaded?
The list can go on, And on...

We would need to do a little detective work and see could any of these possibilities may be causing you the problems listed.

If you want I can try to help a little and as my colleague has said the machine may not be able to have the ump or horsepower to watch these types of movies anymore.

If you would want to try do a check, go here to have a look at the machine:

1. Please Run the PCPitstop.com OverDrive Full Tests

Here's how:

You must use your Internet Explorer for this procedure. (doesn't work so well in Firefox or others)

Go to: http://www.pcpitstop.com
Click on "Free Computer Check-up" listed below PC Pitstop OverDrive
In the User Login - Click on "Sign up FREE!"
You'll need to submit a valid email address and create your own password, then click - Create Account(button)

Now enter your email address and password to Log in, Select - Scan this system Now!(button)
You will then be asked to download an ActiveX component and allow it to install.
It is safe and does not compromise your privacy.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install the ActiveX and to allow the Full Tests to be run on your machine.

The Full Tests take about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes on most machines.
When complete, a Results - Summary - Recommended Fixes will be displayed.

Please post the URL internet address from your Results, back here into this Topic Thread so that we can review the configuration and present performance levels of your machine.

Note: During the graphics 2D and graphics 3D testing, your screen will display some rapidly moving objects.
If you are sensitive to visual flashing, it may cause dizziness. Therefore, look away from the screen during that portion of the testing.

After reviewing the results we will be more informed and may be able to provide better recommendations for you to work towards improving your machine's performance.
___________________________________________________________________________

2. Start Up Service.

It would also be good to see what is starting when you boot your computer. Install and run

CodeStuff Starter.

http://codestuff.tri...ts_starter.html

Select the Startups tab then click on File, save as plain text.

Copy and paste that info here.

After we can take a look to see if anything may or may not help.

Jimbo1

Edited by Jimbo1, 06 April 2011 - 01:32 PM.


#9 Peanut Butter

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 09:19 PM

Question. If I were to purchase a video card, would I be able to disable the onboard video and use the card instead? Would that be likely to improve my video performance?

Jimbo1, I'll answer your questions to the best of my ability.

1. Netflix is now streaming in HD format and no longer be able to be streamed by this machine? I've streamed plenty of HD content with no issues so far. I just got laid off at the end of January, so I've put plenty of mileage on the Netflix subscription :lol:

2. Was any "new software" been installed that may conflict with or degrade ability to stream video? No. Haven't installed anything that I can recall. I did move up to Firefox 4, but I've experienced this same issue while using the Chrome browser.

2. Are updates to drivers indicated in your operating system? I'm all up to date on Windows Update.

3. Has Microsoft pushed Internet Explorer 8 Updates...? So many older XP machines may do better with IE 7 or Firefox or Chrome) I have IE8, but almost never use it. I use Firefox and occasionally Chrome.

4. Are Browser Tool Bars which degrade internet access been installed as to what I call drive by install? No browser toolbars at all. I hate those things with a passion.

5. Hard Drive running out of FREE Space? 60 GB free on a 465 GB drive. That should be enough free space, right?

6. Are the Temp and Temporary Internet Files become loaded? Cleaned all that up and wiped the free space on my drive. No change. Did a scandisk as well, no errors found.

7. Applications and processes running from Startup? There may be some unnecessary items.

8. Any applications demanding "auto-update internet access" checking that could be disabled and checked manually? There are a few.

9. Is the HD excessively Fragmented? Haven't defragged in a while, but it shouldn't be.

10. Does the machine need a good physical cleaning? Or worst Has Malware invaded? The machine is pretty clean. If there's malware, then AVG and Malwarebytes are both missing it, and it's showing no other symptoms.
The list can go on, And on...


Here's the PC Pitstop link
http://www.pcpitstop...?conid=24297390

Here's the file from the Codestuff Starter

Name,Value,Section,Enabled,Description,Company
"","","Registry - Machine Run","1","",""
"Acronis Scheduler2 Service",""C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedhlp.exe"","Registry - Machine Run","1","Acronis Scheduler Helper","Acronis"
"Adobe ARM",""C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0\AdobeARM.exe"","Registry - Machine Run","1","Adobe Reader and Acrobat Manager","Adobe Systems Incorporated"
"Adobe Reader Speed Launcher",""C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\Reader_sl.exe"","Registry - Machine Run","1","Adobe Acrobat SpeedLauncher (Adobe Acrobat)","Adobe Systems Incorporated"
"AVG_TRAY","C:\Program Files\AVG\AVG10\avgtray.exe","Registry - Machine Run","1","AVG Tray Monitor (AVG Internet Security)","AVG Technologies CZ, s.r.o."
"ctfmon.exe","C:\WINDOWS\system32\ctfmon.exe","Registry - User Run","1","CTF Loader (Microsoft® Windows® Operating System)","Microsoft Corporation"
"DrvLsnr","C:\Program Files\Analog Devices\SoundMAX\DrvLsnr.exe","Registry - Machine Run","1","DrvLsnr (adi DrvLsnr)","adi"
"ERUNT AutoBackup.lnk","C:\Program Files\ERUNT\AUTOBACK.EXE %SystemRoot%\ERDNT\AutoBackup\#Date# /noconfirmdelete /noprogresswindow","Startup - Current User","1","",""
"Google Update",""C:\Documents and Settings\Admin\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Update\GoogleUpdate.exe" /c","Registry - User Run","1","Google Installer (Google Update)","Google Inc."
"HotKeysCmds","C:\WINDOWS\system32\hkcmd.exe","Registry - Machine Run","1","hkcmd Module (Intel® Common User Interface)","Intel Corporation"
"IgfxTray","C:\WINDOWS\system32\igfxtray.exe","Registry - Machine Run","1","igfxTray Module (Intel® Common User Interface)","Intel Corporation"
"InCD","C:\Program Files\Nero\Nero 7\InCD\InCD.exe","Registry - Machine Run","1","InCD (Nero AG InCD)","Nero AG"
"ISUSPM",""C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\UpdateService\ISUSPM.exe" -scheduler","Registry - User Run","1","Macrovision Software Manager (Software Manager)","Macrovision Corporation"
"itype",""C:\Program Files\Microsoft IntelliType Pro\itype.exe"","Registry - Machine Run","1","IType.exe (Microsoft IntelliType Pro)","Microsoft Corporation"
"NeroFilterCheck","C:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\Lib\NeroCheck.exe","Registry - Machine Run","1","NeroCheck (Nero AG NeroCheck)","Nero AG"
"OutpostFeedBack",""C:\Program Files\Agnitum\Outpost Security Suite Free\feedback.exe" /dump:os_startup","Registry - Machine Run","1","",""
"OutpostMonitor",""C:\PROGRA~1\Agnitum\OUTPOS~1\op_mon.exe" /tray /noservice","Registry - Machine Run","1","Outpost User Interface (Agnitum Outpost)","Agnitum Ltd."
"RoxWatchTray",""C:\Program Files\Common Files\Roxio Shared\9.0\SharedCOM\RoxWatchTray9.exe"","Registry - Machine Run","1","RoxMMTrayApp Module (CommonSDK)","Sonic Solutions"
"SecurDisc","C:\Program Files\Nero\Nero 7\InCD\NBHGui.exe","Registry - Machine Run","1","NBH (Nero SecurDisc client)","Nero AG"
"SetRefresh","C:\Program Files\COMPAQ\SetRefresh\\SetRefresh.exe","Registry - Machine Run","1","SetRefresh","Hewlett-Packard Company"
"SpywareGuard.lnk","C:\Program Files\SpywareGuard\sgmain.exe","Startup - Current User","1","SpywareGuard",""
"SunJavaUpdateSched",""C:\Program Files\Common Files\Java\Java Update\jusched.exe"","Registry - Machine Run","1","Java™ Update Scheduler (Java™ Platform SE Auto Updater 2 0)","Sun Microsystems, Inc."
"TrueImageMonitor.exe","C:\Program Files\Acronis\TrueImageHome\TrueImageMonitor.exe","Registry - Machine Run","1","Acronis True Image Monitor (Acronis True Image)","Acronis"
"Windows Search.lnk","C:\Program Files\Windows Desktop Search\WindowsSearch.exe /startup","Startup - All Users","1","Windows Search System Tray (Microsoft® Windows® Operating System)","Microsoft Corporation"




Thanks very much for your help!

Edited by Peanut Butter, 06 April 2011 - 09:25 PM.


#10 Peanut Butter

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 09:24 PM

By the way, I'm transferring about 400 GB of files to my external HD, so that'll clear up a lot of HD space.

#11 Lee

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 12:11 AM

Installing a video Card would be a good move, but without also upgrading your CPU it would be a waste of time. Second-hand P4 CPU's (try 2.7-3.0GHz) are cheap as chips ("fries" in the US?) on e-bay at about $10-20. It would be pretty hard to end up with one that doesn't work I have a spare P3 here (has been tweaked to within an inch of it's life) that has a videocard and a great CPU and it would stream HD standing on it's head and play some fairly recent and intense PC games. :lol: Cheers, Lee

Edited by Lee, 07 April 2011 - 12:25 AM.


#12 Jimbo1

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 09:45 AM

Question. If I were to purchase a video card, would I be able to disable the onboard video and use the card instead? Would that be likely to improve my video performance?

As Lee said Installing a video Card would be a good move, but without also upgrading your CPU it would be a waste of time.

2. Was any "new software" been installed that may conflict with or degrade ability to stream video? No. Haven't installed anything that I can recall. I did move up to Firefox 4, but I've experienced this same issue while using the Chrome browser.

Was every thing doing fine before upgrading to FF 4 ?

4. Are Browser Tool Bars which degrade internet access been installed as to what I call drive by install? No browser toolbars at all. I hate those things with a passion.

From the pitstop test it shows a few been installed from AVG

5. Hard Drive running out of FREE Space? 60 GB free on a 465 GB drive. That should be enough free space, right?


Yes

7. Applications and processes running from Startup? There may be some unnecessary items.

Code Stuff showing a lot

8. Any applications demanding "auto-update internet access" checking that could be disabled and checked manually? There are a few.

Need to shut them down

9. Is the HD excessively Fragmented? Haven't defragged in a while, but it shouldn't be.

Would not hurt to do so

__________________________________________________
Now I have notice in the Pitstop test a few things:
1. It showing a problem with your network adapters, not sure why but their is a red x in place of it.

2. You have a lot of what I call heavy footprint programs running
a. AVG, AVG Watchdog,AVG ID protection,AVG Resident Shield -- massive hogs
b. Spyware Guard
c. Outpost Security
3. I found in the Pitstop report also IE is running at 28%, as you said your not using it but from some reason its running in the background, going have to look into it as of why.

In the code stuff report logs it would not hurt to disable the unnecessary stuff, that you do not to be loaded up on start up.

Like I said I have a P4 2.7 CPU with 2 gigs of ram and again in the past few weeks I have notice a lot more freezes, as Lee pointed out your machine is a tad lower than the one I use and it may be that you done pushed it as far as it can go.

But let me speak with my colleagues to see what we may can try and I get back with you.

Jimbo1

#13 Jimbo1

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 08:53 AM

Ok Peanut Butter after conferring with my colleagues these are the recommendations based on the reports of Pitstop and CodeStuff Starters. Again these are recommendations, it will be up to you if you want to follow them or not.

Warning, before proceeding here: It is very Important to do a full backup of all your data files to insure you have a full copy of everything, just in case their will be a need to use them.

1. First thing to do is set a Restore Point.

In XP
To set a System Restore Point...

•Open the Start menu
•Open the Programs menu
•Open the Accessories menu
•Open the System Tools menu
•Finally, start System Restore
•Pick the option for setting a System Restore Point and click on the Next button
•Fill in a name for the restore point so you can find it and click on the Create button
•Click on the Close button when done
If you need to restore the system to a particular point or change the options Windows uses to set restore points use the System Restore tool as well.

2. Turn off the rest of those auto-updates
a. Dump third party Firewall – Outpost Security
b. Dump AVG in favor of MSE + native Windows Firewall
AVG, AVG Watchdog, AVG ID protection, AVG Resident Shield – recourse massive hogs
Many techs here favor MSE, here is the link to MSE http://www.microsoft...curity/mse.aspx

c. Uninstall Spyware Guard – another resource hog


3. Using Code StuffStarter look at the txt file I have attached, all the items I have listed Disable, uncheck those items, they are using up a lot of rescores. Once done reboot machine to see how the performance is of boot times and such.

4. I notice the Nero Software, Nero Ahead Do you use this as your means of data storage? If not then disable it, again another resource hog.
EDIT: Keep your Nero CD Burning Software. But most likely you will never use the "Nero Ahead" CD-RW erasible CD software.
--------You would know if you are using Nero "Ahead". Otherwise, it is a resource hog.

5. Download and run ATF

Here is the link; this is a temp file and junk cleaner program. http://www.atribune..../click.php?id=1

6. Defrag the hard drive, this will not hurt.

7. Configure Internet Receive Buffer
This is based on the Pitstop Test Report; here are the instructions to do so.

To change your TCP Receive Window size:

1. Launch window registry editor by clicking on Start | Run.
2. Click in the Open dropdown box and type in regedit.exe then click OK.
3. Back up your registry by selecting File | Export type in a meaningful file name, in the export range section select All and save to your hard drive. To restore your old registry you simply import this file.
4. Next you need to create a new registry key. On the left side you need to go to the directory HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ Services\Tcpip\Parameters
5. Select Edit | New | DWORD Value .
6. Rename the new registry key to TcpWindowSize.
7. Modify the registry setting for TcpWindowSize by double clicking on the key.
8. Change the Base Setting to Decimal.
9. Enter the value 64240 and click OK, then exit RegEdit.
10. For these settings to take effect you need to close all your open applications and reboot your system.

Once all this has been done, run another Pitstop Test and post the link here.

Jimbo1

Edited by Jimbo1, 08 April 2011 - 01:21 PM.
doug - distinguish between Nero & Nero Ahead


#14 Peanut Butter

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 11:52 AM

Thanks again Jimbo1! I should have time to take care of this early this week, and I'll post my results. Cheers!

#15 Peanut Butter

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 12:26 PM

OK. I did everything listed and re scanned at PC Pitstop
http://www.pcpitstop...?conid=24306281
There's the new link.

Cheers!



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