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Old 10-09-2003, 05:47 PM   #1
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internet fast-slow-fast-slow

Hi guys. I just installed Mandrake 9.0 and it is my first distro of linux that I have used and actually got my internet connection working. I do have a problem with it though... I notice quite often that while I am browsing the internet, all of a sudden my connection speed drops and it may take up to 10 minutes to load a single website with a few .gif or .jpeg images.. I thought that maybe it was just konqueror, but I tried Mozilla and it was even worse. I decided to download firebird anyway, because I like it and my download was at around 70k/sec until it got to about 40% completed, it then said "stalled" and is currently sitting idle. Websites still load for some reason but my downloads keep "stalling". The stalls last for several minutes and are divided by short spurts of download for about 15 seconds or so at a time. Any idea's on what may be causing this would be greatly appreciated. I am running dsl through a westell wirespeed modem with a D-link DE-528 CT ethernet card. I have not changed many configuration settings since I installed Mandrake 9.0 last night (mostly because I don't know what the majority of the tools on linux are) any ideas on where to start gettings things set up properly? thanks.
Old 10-10-2003, 12:27 AM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Birmingham UK
Distribution: Various
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you need to switch DMA on
this might not seem connected
but it will help a little

open a terminal
su to root


hdparm -d /dev/hda
press enter

if it comes back saying dma is off then type (still as root)
hdparm -d1 /dev/hda
(you do NOT need to reboot at this point)
hdparm -c /dev/hda
if this comes back as 16bit support
32bit support turned off
then type
hdparm -c1 /dev/hda

you need to add these lines to one of the start up files

still as root

gedit /etc/rc.local
go to end of file
and add this

hdparm -c1 -d1 -k1 /dev/hda

-k1 tells it to hold this settings even after a reset

save and exit
on next boot dma is all sorted

this can be repeated for the cd drive/s
the cd is hdc

then see if this makes any difference
data should be flying round your system
instead of walking

this suprised me
because enabling dma seemed to speed up my net connection
Old 10-10-2003, 02:12 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Mocksville, NC, USA
Distribution: Gentoo, Slackware.
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why is switching dma on the hard drive going to help his internet proformance? it does not effect mine hardly at all if im just browsing, that would just effect how fast it start and possibly how fast it would load up diff plugins as needed not not much else, your saying that his connection is downloading the file at a speed fast enough that the connection has to wait on the hard drive? he's getting 70kps, that'd be a DAMN slow hard drive not to keep up with data transfer rates of 70kbps
Old 10-10-2003, 04:21 PM   #4
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i don't know
but it made a difference on my system

otherwise i wouldn't have made the suggestion

it doesn't spring to mind as first thing to look at
Old 10-10-2003, 04:50 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Barking, Essex, Britain
Distribution: PCLinuxOS and MX-Linux
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I have Cable Internet through ethernet myself, but similar things happen. Ever considered that it may be that too much strain is on the server at the other end? Some sites I visit are like wading through treacle!

Old 10-11-2003, 05:44 PM   #6
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Registered: Sep 2003
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Okay, thanks for your help, salparadise, I will try it even thought I agree with the second reply.. Who knows, I am totally new to Linux and might even have trouble entering those commands, I dont know.. I am about to try them soon though. My hard drive is fairly fast. 7200 rpm, so that shouldnt be a problem. I have considered that the strain may not be on my end, but even websites like google, yahoo, and other sites that I visit regularly time out at random.. The last few hours it has seemed to be okay, but every once in a while I run into a slow spurt. I did manage to get my downloads done yesterday and now that I have firebird installed it seems to be running a little smoother for browsing. Possibly an outdated version of the bundled browsers?


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