[SOLVED] Wireless connection on single PC suddenly degrades after around 10 minutes

Cantra

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Mar 15, 2014
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Hey there,

Over the last few days, I have been experiencing a wireless network issue on a single PC only. This has gone from being a little annoying as websites can take a while to load, to frustrating, since I'm now unable to play online games, they were fine on Tuesday.
When I turn the PC on, and run a packet loss test, the results are perfect at first -> View: https://imgur.com/a/dXOYzOI

After 10-40 minutes later, and from then on until I reboot, regular latency spikes appear and make me experience packet delay and packet loss -> View: https://imgur.com/a/lIiPkhD
, sometimes the spikes are perfectly evenly spaced, like every 5 seconds or so.
I used a network scanner to check for interference -> View: https://imgur.com/a/HzpdEUf
(do I need to hide mac addresses? Did it anyway), looks fine.

I have run the same tests on my work laptop and phone, and they show no signs of a problem at all, no packet delay or loss.

I had assumed my ISP was the cause initially, reset my router a few times, but other devices are all working fine, as they've always done, and just to repeat, the PC also works completely fine as it always has done for those first 10 minutes, connection is perfect. Only after that, does the connection quality take a noticable hit.
I have tried uninstalling any Windows update from the last few days, I have tried putting my wireless card in other USB slots, and I have tried another wireless card, none of these helped. Checked the drivers, they are fully up to date and have not changed recently.
Oddly, putting the card in a different spot for the first time, made my wireless keyboard act a bit strangely, like that was experiencing a delay/data loss, but I've been unable to replicate this.
I'm not aware of anything that has changed over the last few days to cause this, but I can't find out what.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Full details,
  • Provide us with the make and model of your router (if provided by your ISP please note) Virgin Media Superhub 3.0, provided by ISP.
  • Provide us with the make and model of your modem (if provided by your ISP please note) same as above,
  • Provide us with the exact specifications of your PC (if applicable) including: Intel i7-6700K @ 4.GHz, 16 GB RAM.
    • Make and model of motherboard: ASUSTek Z170 Pro Gaming , Rev X.0x
    • Make and model of USB / PCI-E / motherboard Wifi Adapter: Realtek 8812BU Wireless LAN 802.11ac USB NIC
    • Operating system and current version being used: Windows 10
  • You will also need to post your ISP and connection type*. Virgin Media, 250Mbps, 5GHz Band.
  • You will also need to post the exact number of devices connected to your router: 3 others; a wireless printer, work laptop and my phone. Others may connect but are not at this time.
  • Post any and all error messages you are getting from your ISP or Windows itself: No error messages, troubleshooters don't detect anything. Just experiencing very clearly degraded performance and packet loss.
 
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You have already done almost all the more common things I would have suggested. Most times when it works fine for a while and then fails you would suspect say a heat/cooling related issue but you have tried a different hardware device.

Almost all other wifi issues should either be all the time or much more random. Most wifi issue are some kind of interfering signal. Problem is with out massively expensive equipment you will never be able to detect these signals. It would be nice if the wifi chipset makers would tell you why they disconnected but they seem to like to hide that information away. If you are lucky you see a deassociation message but that only tells you what you already know that it disconnected.

Things like insider are pretty worthless even for the function they claim to be designed for. They only see the router broadcast message they do not see the end devices and/or how many devices there are actually using bandwidth compared to idle. In addition it many times just shows a single 20mhz channel usage when it can actually be different on the same router depending on what the end device can support. You can have wifi6 devices using 160mhz radio and 802.11n devices using 20mhz on the same router at the same time. Of course it does not show anything that is not wifi. I mean you have baby monitors and cordless phones and even bluetooth stuff interfering that does not show up. I guess it is better than nothing because a spectrum analyzer that can show the actual radio energy on frequencies is not a cheap device. As a note mac addresses never leave your house. They are not even unique even though many people think they are.

This almost has to be some software in the pc but it is going to be tricky to find with all the crap windows and other things have running in the back ground. If you boot the pc and do nothing at all pretty much just run the testing tools with everything else not running does it all the sudden after a period of time just start to do this.
Maybe you see something in the network tab of the resource monitor. If something is uploading data to the internet it could spike the usage. If you say boot a linux USB image can you make this happen. Linux running from a USB stick is kinda limited to avoid messing up your windows install but it should be able to run web browser tools and you can use the linemode ping command to ping your router IP. Still if linux image works fine it just tells you there is something wrong with windows. Used to be you saw errors like this for a feature microsoft called wifi autoconfig. I don't even know if you can turn this off anymore but they seem to have fixed the problem people where complaining about where it cause large latency spikes on a regular schedule. It was doing stupid stuff like looking if a better network was available.
 
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You have already done almost all the more common things I would have suggested. Most times when it works fine for a while and then fails you would suspect say a heat/cooling related issue but you have tried a different hardware device.

Almost all other wifi issues should either be all the time or much more random. Most wifi issue are some kind of interfering signal. Problem is with out massively expensive equipment you will never be able to detect these signals. It would be nice if the wifi chipset makers would tell you why they disconnected but they seem to like to hide that information away. If you are lucky you see a deassociation message but that only tells you what you already know that it disconnected.

Things like insider are pretty worthless even for the function they claim to be designed for. They only see the router broadcast message they do not see the end devices and/or how many devices there are actually using bandwidth compared to idle. In addition it many times just shows a single 20mhz channel usage when it can actually be different on the same router depending on what the end device can support. You can have wifi6 devices using 160mhz radio and 802.11n devices using 20mhz on the same router at the same time. Of course it does not show anything that is not wifi. I mean you have baby monitors and cordless phones and even bluetooth stuff interfering that does not show up. I guess it is better than nothing because a spectrum analyzer that can show the actual radio energy on frequencies is not a cheap device. As a note mac addresses never leave your house. They are not even unique even though many people think they are.

This almost has to be some software in the pc but it is going to be tricky to find with all the crap windows and other things have running in the back ground. If you boot the pc and do nothing at all pretty much just run the testing tools with everything else not running does it all the sudden after a period of time just start to do this.
Maybe you see something in the network tab of the resource monitor. If something is uploading data to the internet it could spike the usage. If you say boot a linux USB image can you make this happen. Linux running from a USB stick is kinda limited to avoid messing up your windows install but it should be able to run web browser tools and you can use the linemode ping command to ping your router IP. Still if linux image works fine it just tells you there is something wrong with windows. Used to be you saw errors like this for a feature microsoft called wifi autoconfig. I don't even know if you can turn this off anymore but they seem to have fixed the problem people where complaining about where it cause large latency spikes on a regular schedule. It was doing stupid stuff like looking if a better network was available.
 
Reactions: Cantra

Cantra

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Mar 15, 2014
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Thank you for your reply, bill001g,

I did indeed try a few of the other things you mentioned,
Understood about InSSIDer, that does make sense. My thoughts were that if something I can't detect is affecting my connection, it should affect the other devices. On my older wi-fi card, I even forced it to use 2.4GHz mode (dual band router, my work laptop connects over 2.4GHz) to see if anything changed, but still the same latency issue affected the PC.
I did indeed just let the system sit after a boot, with me running a test every five minutes, 15 minutes in without doing anything else, no browsing, etc, the issue kicked in.

I will look into the Linux suggestion, not anything I've ever done before but I'm sure there's a good guide out there. So bypassing Windows and its software should let me work out whether Windows is the culprit or the hardware?

However, before that...

Used to be you saw errors like this for a feature microsoft called wifi autoconfig. I don't even know if you can turn this off anymore but they seem to have fixed the problem people where complaining about where it cause large latency spikes on a regular schedule. It was doing stupid stuff like looking if a better network was available.
Good call! I think we might be on a winner with this one. I located WLANSVC and shut it down, which shut down my Wi-Fi connection, to be honest that might be a 'duh' moment but I had been reading articles that seemed to imply it was optional. But then when I re-enabled it, my connection was back to normal, and has been for the last40 minutes, getting those flawless packet test results. I find that significant because no other non-reboot actions (swapping wi-fi cards, disconnecting and reconnecting, etc) did this, it'd immediately reconnect with the latency spikes.
Looking that service up, I saw many people with the same symptoms, the regular, detrimental lag spikes. I'm holding my breath for now, wondering when it will kick in again and start misbehaving, at least I know a way to quickly reset things. Also I have some things to try to get a permanent fix in place. The articles I read seem to imply that I can still use my wi-fi card without this service, people were talking about their connections being fine while it was disabled.
 
Not sure but from what I have seen people complaining about the newer patch levels of windows will force this service back on even if you disable it. Not sure it is like mircrsoft forcing updates even after people found ways to hack it so you had to manually apply updates.
 

Cantra

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Mar 15, 2014
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Sounds likely yeah. Everything has been fine since I fiddled around with it, that was six hours ago. I'll see what happens when I reboot, not risking it just yet, taking advantage of it while things are working.

Edit: Problem reoccurs once I reboot, but restarting WLANSVC immediately fixes it. While it is not a permanent solution, I set up a batch file to do it for me after I reboot. I could try to fix it for good, but this PC is almost 7 years old and was hardly contemporary when I got it. So I treated myself to a new system, and I'll consider this one solved.
 
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