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Opposite problem of update failure!.. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been using OneCare for almost a year now, and up till recently.. had broadband but I'm back on dial-up now though that has no bearing on this problem except for the fact that my OC installation has remained active throughout.

    About two months ago I had this same problem but it seemed to have resolved itself within a few days and at the time I hadn't identified it with OC. Now it's back.. and it's been several days on now.

    Normally.. on dial-up.. when I sign onto the internet OC detects an active connection and the "checking for updates" notice will be visible in the main menu for a few minutes as it checks and/or downloads updates. Thereafter.. while still online.. it will usually finish and display the manual "check for updates" link. For this reason.. I usually don't even open my browser until I see the network activity icon in the systray go dark.

    Starting again about 5 days ago.. I noticed the icon (the one with two little monitors) staying on indefinitely after signing onto the internet (both monitors lit - incoming and outgoing.. solid.. continually). When I click on details it does indeed show both incoming and outgoing packets being continually transmitted; although the incoming (downloading) amount is much greater (10 to 1) than the outgoing (transmitting up) and all total.. I'd say I've downloaded about 150 megs in the last 4 or 5 days. At first I thought maybe I "caught" something but OneCare showed nothing on scans and I even installed a couple more spyware apps to use.. both came up clean. Then I noticed that the "checking for updates" message was remaining on (EVEN when I'm not connected to the internet!).. it seems to be stuck.

    I think I've pretty much narrowed the "bandwidth" hogging to this OneCare problem. First I deleted all my firewall exceptions and reset to defaults. The only thing I figure CAN'T and WON'T be queried by the firewall now.. is OneCare (at least.. I've never seen IT come up asking for permission). Also.. when I used "Reset permissions for OneCare" option under Help>Questions & Answers>Help with updating OneCare automatic-fix option.. for a few brief moments while there were two command prompt windows on my desktop.. the connection icon went completely dark.

    I have very few other programs running in the background.. and NONE that automatically update or check for them.. on the internet.

    This is driving me nuts.. mainly because as long as this semi-"unknown" program is somewhat running and hogging my bandwidth in the background.. I can only download at about 1/4 my normal spped.. even surfing is suffering. I need to turn it OFF.

    Un-installing and re-installing OneCare altogether is a very last resort as now that I'm back on dial-up.. downloading the base program and all updates since.. takes about a half a day!

    Any suggestions? My thanks to all for your time & attention.

    BTW.. one last thing I forgot to mention..
    OneCare itself seems to be working fine in the meantime. It performs scheduled scans and always shows the definitions "up to date" as of the current date.. even though it seems to be constantly checking. I have version 2.5.2900.28 and it DID download an application update for itself.. seemingly about 2 months ago, which took awhile in the background.. but as I recall.. it told me it was doing so and that doesn't seem to be the case now.
    Sunday, September 27, 2009 9:27 PM

Answers

  • Run a manual Windows Update and make certain these are all up to date, since these can have priority higher than a OneCare update and cause this exact symptom, since OneCare will display its attempt even if it's being blocked by other updates in progress.

    Then, realize that within the last few days there was an ~30MB monthly definitions update and at leaast one daily (delta) update that are stacked up behind these.  I've also seen cases where it appeared that some large updates would not auto-continue when they were cut off by disconnecting from the Internet, so they start over again the next time dial-up makes a connection.  I'm not certain if this occurs due to changes in download bandwidth (DSL to dial-up) that aren't being detected or some other unrelated issue.

    In any case, the most dependable method to fix this I ever found is to leave the dial-up connected continuously for as long as possible, since short sessions while you are working on the PC allow little actual download time for the background update processes.  The simplest idea is usually to log in late in the evening before going to bed and in most cases the update will have completed by morning.  I also generally performed the Windows Updates manually, since then this took precedence and I could confirm that it was completed, so only the OneCare backround updates would normally remain.

    Also, if you have moved to MSN for dial-up, realize that its client also uses the same background update channels as OneCare and the Windows Automatic Updates, though I'm not aware that any recent updates have occured there.

    What you are experiencing is exactly what I learned before I finally managed to move a relatives' PC to DSL a year ago, it's nearly impossible to maintain a current Windows PC using 56Kbps dial-up anymore.  In fact, if you aren't attaining at least 40Kbps or better, it's likely not to work at all, since below this threshold the BITS (Background Intelligent Transport System) operation begins to break down.

    Rob
    • Marked as answer by emdeec Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1:17 AM
    Sunday, September 27, 2009 9:58 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Have you checked if turning off Windows Automatic Update changes this behavior? Other programs that check for updates often but we tend to not give much thought to are Adobe, Quicktime, Real Player, and Sun Java. Contacting support might be worth a shot if you can't isolate the program that is connecting to the internet. How to reach support - http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/onecareinstallandactivate/thread/30400b52-7f26-4ba0-bc18-17e305329d90
    Jim - MVP Windows Live - Forum Moderator - Live One Care - Live Mesh - Microsoft Security Essentials
    Sunday, September 27, 2009 9:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Run a manual Windows Update and make certain these are all up to date, since these can have priority higher than a OneCare update and cause this exact symptom, since OneCare will display its attempt even if it's being blocked by other updates in progress.

    Then, realize that within the last few days there was an ~30MB monthly definitions update and at leaast one daily (delta) update that are stacked up behind these.  I've also seen cases where it appeared that some large updates would not auto-continue when they were cut off by disconnecting from the Internet, so they start over again the next time dial-up makes a connection.  I'm not certain if this occurs due to changes in download bandwidth (DSL to dial-up) that aren't being detected or some other unrelated issue.

    In any case, the most dependable method to fix this I ever found is to leave the dial-up connected continuously for as long as possible, since short sessions while you are working on the PC allow little actual download time for the background update processes.  The simplest idea is usually to log in late in the evening before going to bed and in most cases the update will have completed by morning.  I also generally performed the Windows Updates manually, since then this took precedence and I could confirm that it was completed, so only the OneCare backround updates would normally remain.

    Also, if you have moved to MSN for dial-up, realize that its client also uses the same background update channels as OneCare and the Windows Automatic Updates, though I'm not aware that any recent updates have occured there.

    What you are experiencing is exactly what I learned before I finally managed to move a relatives' PC to DSL a year ago, it's nearly impossible to maintain a current Windows PC using 56Kbps dial-up anymore.  In fact, if you aren't attaining at least 40Kbps or better, it's likely not to work at all, since below this threshold the BITS (Background Intelligent Transport System) operation begins to break down.

    Rob
    • Marked as answer by emdeec Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1:17 AM
    Sunday, September 27, 2009 9:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you gentlemen for your replies and suggestions.

    I had not tried actually changing Windows automatic Update back to manual.. though I had thought of it.. I knew this would "mark" my status icon as "at risk" (red), but I gave it a go and it made no difference. As far as other software goes.. I have kept this a fairly sparse OS (XP) install since it's last re-install about a year ago. No major apps (Adobe, Corel, Office, etc.).. only a few games and a few freeware apps (CCleaner, IrfanView, etc.).. none of which are enabled to check for updates and nothing running in the systray or background (except an HP app that always gets exited from as soon as I boot into XP). I have not installed any new software in a few weeks except for a Games for Windows Live update that was semi-forced upon me when I installed a new game (even though I have no account as of yet).

    As for running a manual Windows Update.. even though I have mine set to "automatic" as well (I recently changed it from daily checks to late Weds nights once a week, a day after "patch Tuesday") I usually manually check for updates weekly as well. Just did.. and I'm all up to date on priorities, only two optional ones left.. Silverlight and Windows Live Essentials.. which I don't need or can utilize on dial-up.

    Thanks for the info as well on the recent definitions size and status. I've been keeping a "running tab" on the download amounts each session for the last 4 or 5 days and cumulative it's been about 150 megs.. so certainly a 30 meg update should have finished (I "surf" 1 to 4 hours a night).

    I will try and leave the connection open for as long as possible tonight (my ISP seems to disconnect at the 4 to 5 hour mark even if a download is in progress) and see if something finishes up.

    Rob.. a friend of mine and I have discussed many times how one can hardly run and maintain a properly operating OS nowdays without some kind of broadband (let alone game and software patches). I certainly miss my streaming news media and movie trailers as well.. it is limiting.. I agree. I regularly attain a 45.2Kbps connection though.

    Just wondering about one other thing my friend and I discussed.. has there ever been.. or is it even possible to make.. software that can identify where a download stream/packets are coming from? Or even yet.. which running process is utilizing a connection at any given time? Like I said.. I'm fairly certain this is not any kind of benign or "mal" process.. given all my negative scans and the fact that it's more of a download to me than anything going back out, but it's got to be something.

    Lastly.. do you think that running the "CaclsDeleteDB.exe" tool that Stephen Boots refers to in his Update problems thread might help? He says it "will attempt to reset the local database and download signatures immediately". "This small utility stops the service, deletes the database, and restarts the service. It will immediately download the updated signature database, which could take up to an hour on a slower dial-up connection, during which time OneCare will be in a red status."

    Thanks again for all your help.
    Monday, September 28, 2009 5:13 AM
  • There are log files for both OneCare and Windows/Automatic Update that can help identify 'what' is being downloaded, but they aren't easy to read and interpret, it takes some practice to fully understand them.  'Where' a download is coming from isn't as useful as you might think, since just about everything you'll see on that PC comes from 'something'.microsoft.com and some of the services tend to overlap.

    Though it's possible you have a damaged database, I'd try the overnight online first.  If your gaming and other activity while you're logged on keeps the Internet connection fairly busy, you may get much less downloaded by the background update services than you might think.  The chunks it tries to transfer are fairly large which causes the lagging effects you can see, but the actual update transfers are just as badly affected by your use, since unless the dial-up network is idle for at leat a moment the BITS service won't try to download another portion of the needed files.

    Rob
    Monday, September 28, 2009 5:59 AM
    Moderator
  • I am indeed happy to report that the questionable behavior has stopped. I'm not sure if it had anything to do with turning off Windows Automatic Updates (as I had it off for almost an hour) or the fact that I left the computer connected just enough longer.. but about an hour after my post last night.. the connection finally went "dead". I pulled up the L OC main menu and indeed the "Check for updates" link was back and all background activity had stopped.

    Perhaps as you said Rob, it WAS simply trying to download a rather large update package and simply needed time; or as my old tried & true practice usually works.. when I start to ask questions.. the problem usually resolves itself <sigh>.

    At any rate.. thanks to all for your suggestions and insights. The next time this seems to happen I'll simply give it more time.
    Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1:17 AM