USB wireless adapter slows PC down

  PurplePenny 18:02 13 May 2005

I recently networked Kev's PC, my laptop and my old Win98se PC using Belkin Wireless G products.

All machines are connecting to the internet OK but when the USB adapter on the 98SE PC is plugged in the machine slows down to an unusable crawl.

If the adapter is in when the PC is booted it adds at least 10 minutes to boot up time (and prevents ZA initialising at all). Applications take minutes instead of second to open, Firefox for instance takes 15 mins..

The adapter is NOT connecting to the internet except when it should; it is just being plugged in that makes the difference. I've run AVG, A2, AdAware, Spybot S&D and found nothing. I've used CCleaner and defragged (using WinME's defrag) a couple of times.

Without the adapter plugged in the PC performs well.

Belkin said that I needed the latest USB host controller, I've done that (I think that it was the same version that I had already). I contacted the manufacturer of the USB 2 expansion card that I'm using and all they could suggest was trying their card in a different PCI socket and making sure that the on-board USB was disabled.

I don't think that putting it in a different PCI slot will make any difference as everything else works just fine through the card; no other USB device slows the PC, only the Belkin wireless adapter. I have disabled the on-board USB to free up resources but it has made no difference.

I don't think that memory is the problem as I have 768MB (with VCache set just under 512MB). When I check the performance tab it usually something like 72% or 85% free. I've run the resource meter and it never shows red.

What else could it be? Could it be related to the swap file? Would restricting the Virtual Memory help? The PC has an AMD K6-2/450 processor which copes with everything else that I throw at it. The hard drive is partitioned and Win98 is on a 5gig partition, all data is saved in a different partition and properties claims that there is still over 2gig free space.

All ideas gratefully received because I'm completely out of them.

  woodchip 18:08 13 May 2005

I found that ZA stoped my Wireless working. But I did not need it as the Modem Router as a Hardware firewall. As soon as I removed ZA it fired up

  jimv7 18:15 13 May 2005

If you have placed the usb card directly under the agp slot, move it down as the slot is shared. Also check the psu, if this is not suppying enough power that could cause it. 2 suggestions to try.

  PurplePenny 18:23 13 May 2005

I'll give those suggestions a try and report back.


  TomJerry 19:35 13 May 2005

it will search for a network connection until it find it, this is main reason why it takes so long to boot

  TomJerry 19:40 13 May 2005

(1) get a cheap multi-purpose wireless accesspoint/client such as £23.44 ASUS WL330B click here, this one can use as a wireless client

(2) connect your 98 PC to this client via ethernet connection, if your 98 does not have a lan port, you can get one Ethernet adaptor for £2.99 click here

usb network adaptor is alway trouble, so throw away it

  TomJerry 19:44 13 May 2005

Ebuyer Wireless PCI Lan 108Mbps Adapter £16.10 click here

  PurplePenny 12:15 15 May 2005

I tried all sorts of things. I can't even remember what! I did move the card, it wasn't in the slot next to the AGP slot but the card manufacturer had also suggested moving so it was worth a try anyway. That seemed to speed things up a tad.

I'd already stopped ZA from loading at start up which had taken a bit off the boot time but I uninstalled it altogether. That too seemed to speed things up just a tad.

But overall it was still too slow to be usable.

BUT ... jimv7 had it. I'd reached the stage where my head was spinning from all that I'd tried so I read all your suggestions out to Kev hoping for a fresh perspective. He said "Have you tried the powered hub?"

The powered USB hub was last used in 2001 with an old motherboard that had working onboard USB but only two sockets. I haven't needed it since getting the expansion card for the present motherboard because that has four sockets.

This morning the first thing I did was to dig out the old hub. Plugged the USB wireless adapter into the hub ... and .... TADA!!!!!! It works!

Speed back to normal. In fact better than normal because I've done so much cleaning up and tweaking to try to sort the problem that I've speeded it up overall :-)

Thank you all. As ever this forum came up trumps.

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