Network connection problems - lag, rubberbanding



Since somewhere around December 7th, I've been having serious problems with my Internet connection in MMOs. Lag, rubberbanding, and frequent "server not responding" messages that can last up to several minutes. I've called my ISP, and run the tests they requested. They assure me my connection is fine, and yet the problem remains.

I have run all my anti-whatever scanners, and found nothing. (Which only means that if there is something, it is smart enough or new enough that the scanners can't see it.) However, when I am not actually running an MMO, the network connection is quiet - there is nothing talking to the Internet that shouldn't be doing so.

I am connected to the Internet via an ethernet router, which is then connected to a DSL modem. The router also has WiFi capability, and I have checked: my security settings are still in place, and no unknown devices are connected to my network that I can see. (And yes, I changed the default usernames, passwords, and network names before I ever allowed the router to connect to the DSL modem when I originally set it up.) I have also tried cycling the power on both the router and the DSL modem.

In-game, I have run the /netgraph command, and it shows exactly what I'm experiencing. My connection is good, except for massive spikes of lag where the game simply stops talking to the server for up to several seconds at a time.

I do have a firewall. I do not intend to turn it off, because I think it would be hard to see if it makes a difference through the flood of incoming virus and botnet attacks. (Every article I've read points out that a computer that doesn't have at least minimal firewall protection will be automatically scanned and attacked in a matter of seconds.) I have an anti-virus program, but it is NOT allowed to run in memory resident mode. I load it only when I wish to run a scan. The only memory resident programs that are allowed to run that I am actually aware of are the firewall, and driver components for my sound and video card. And DragonAgeUpdater, because I haven't finished the game yet and haven't taken the time to figure out how to turn that piece off. (Since it's from EA, I assume turning it off will cause the game to flip out and refuse to allow me to use the DLC I have installed.)

The only change I've made to my system or drivers in the last month or so was an attempt to update the drivers for my HP printer on Wednesday. And since the network connectivity issues started at about the same time, I have actually rolled the system back to a Restore Point from December 1st, which was well before I attempted to update the drivers.

My knowledge of network connection and setup is limited, and I've pretty much done everything I can think of. I still have no idea what is going on, or even where to start to figure out what the problem might be.



Additional information, assuming any of this has anything to do with what's going on. The antivirus program was running when I collected this info, but normally is NOT running when I'm in CoH. (To be more accurate, it had spent the last hour and half attempting to download a 30Mb update file.)

Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.4
Scan saved at 2:23:02 AM, on 12/11/2010
Platform: Windows XP SP3 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v8.00 (8.00.6001.18702)
Boot mode: Normal

Running processes:
C:\Program Files\Creative\Shared Files\CTAudSvc.exe
D:\Games\Stardock\Dragon Age Origins\bin_ship\DAUpdaterSvc.Service.exe
C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011\avp.exe
C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011\avp.exe
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe
C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011\klwtblfs.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\OssisCorripio\My Documents\My Downloads\HijackThis.exe

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = about:blank
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL =
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Search_URL =
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page =
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page =
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
O2 - BHO: IEVkbdBHO - {59273AB4-E7D3-40F9-A1A8-6FA9CCA1862C} - C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011\ievkbd.dll
O2 - BHO: Java(tm) Plug-In 2 SSV Helper - {DBC80044-A445-435b-BC74-9C25C1C588A9} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jp2ssv.dll
O2 - BHO: link filter bho - {E33CF602-D945-461A-83F0-819F76A199F8} - C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011\klwtbbho.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CTxfiHlp] CTXFIHLP.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [nwiz] C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\nView\nwiz.exe /installquiet
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvCplDaemon] RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvCpl.dll,NvStartup
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvMediaCenter] RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvMcTray.dll,NvTaskbarInit
O9 - Extra button: &Virtual Keyboard - {4248FE82-7FCB-46AC-B270-339F08212110} - C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011\klwtbbho.dll
O9 - Extra button: URLs c&heck - {CCF151D8-D089-449F-A5A4-D9909053F20F} - C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011\klwtbbho.dll
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: @xpsp3res.dll,-20001 - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O15 - Trusted Zone: *
O15 - Trusted Zone: *
O15 - Trusted Zone: *
O15 - Trusted Zone: *
O16 - DPF: {1E54D648-B804-468d-BC78-4AFFED8E262E} (System Requirements Lab) -
O16 - DPF: {6414512B-B978-451D-A0D8-FCFDF33E833C} (WUWebControl Class) -
O16 - DPF: {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} (Shockwave Flash Object) -
O20 - AppInit_DLLs: C:\PROGRA~1\KASPER~1\KASPER~1\mzvkbd3.dll
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Browseui preloader - {438755C2-A8BA-11D1-B96B-00A0C90312E1} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Component Categories cache daemon - {8C7461EF-2B13-11d2-BE35-3078302C2030} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: ObjectDockShellExt - {1984D045-52CF-49cd-DB77-08F378FEA4DB} - C:\Program Files\Stardock\ObjectDockPlus2\ODMenu.dll
O23 - Service: AVG WatchDog (avgwd) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\AVG\AVG10\avgwdsvc.exe (file missing)
O23 - Service: Kaspersky Anti-Virus Service (AVP) - Kaspersky Lab ZAO - C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011\avp.exe
O23 - Service: Creative Audio Engine Licensing Service - Creative Labs - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Creative Labs Shared\Service\CTAELicensing.exe
O23 - Service: Creative Audio Service (CTAudSvcService) - Creative Technology Ltd - C:\Program Files\Creative\Shared Files\CTAudSvc.exe
O23 - Service: Dragon Age: Origins Updater (DAUpdaterSvc) - BioWare - D:\Games\Stardock\Dragon Age Origins\bin_ship\DAUpdaterSvc.Service.exe
O23 - Service: NVIDIA Display Driver Service (nvsvc) - NVIDIA Corporation - C:\WINDOWS\system32\nvsvc32.exe

End of file - 5354 bytes

---System information gathered by CoH Helper version

DxDiag gathered at December 11, 2010 02:21 (-08:00)
Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.100427-1636)
System Manufacturer: System manufacturer
System Model: System Product Name
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Central Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 3070MB
.Net Memory Report: 2432MB out of 3070MB available
Page File: 4506MB (450MB currently in use)
C Drive: (WDC WD25 00AAKS-00VSA SCSI Disk Device) 80491MB out of 238464MB (33%) free
D Drive: (WDC WD25 00AAKS-00VSA SCSI Disk Device) 110942MB out of 238464MB (46%) free
G Drive: (LEXAR JUMPDRIVE SECURE USB Device) 51MB out of 247MB (20%) free
E Drive: (ASUS DRW-2014L1T SCSI CdRom Device) zero-size drive
Windows directory location: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DirectX Diag version: 5.03.2600.2180 (32-bit version)

Display Notes: No problems found.
Sound Notes: No problems found.
Input Notes: No problems found.

Monitor: HP w1907 Wide LCD Monitor
Monitor's Max Resolution: 1440,900
Video Device Name: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
Manufacturer / Chip: NVIDIA / GeForce GTS 250
Video Memory: 1024.0 MB
Driver Version: 6.14.0012.5896
Driver Date: 7/9/2010 2:38:00 PM
Driver Language: English

Sound Device Description: SB X-Fi Audio [EC00]
Driver File: ctaud2k.sys
Driver Version: 6.00.0001.1373
Driver Date: 6/4/2009 1:47:14 AM

WMI Information
Motherboard Manufacturer: ASUSTeK Computer INC.
Motherboard Model: (empty)
Motherboard Product: P5N-D
Motherboard Version: 1.XX
BIOS Manufacturer: Phoenix Technologies, LTD
BIOS Name: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
BIOS Version: Nvidia - 42302e31
BIOS Release: 20090113000000.000000+000

Registry Information for Current User
Resolution: 1440x900
3D Resolution: 1440x900 (Not using renderscale)
Full Screen: Yes
Maximized: No
Screen Position: 0, 0
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Vertical Sync Enabled: Yes

Physics Quality: Medium
Maximum Particles: 50000
Max Particle Fill? 10.000
Physics Card Enabled: No

Anti-aliasing: 2x
Anisotropic Filtering: 4x
Texture LOD Bias: Smooth
Water Effects: Ultra quality
Bloom: 1.000 (turned on)
Depth of Field Enabled: No
Desaturation Effects (Sepia) Enabled: Yes
Shader Detail: Medium?

World Texture Level: Very High
Character Texture Level: Very High
World Detail Level (Vis_Scale): 1.000
Entity Detail Level: 2.000
Shadows Enabled: Yes
Shadow Mode: Shadow maps
Shadow Map Shader: High quality
Environmental Reflections: Ultra quality
Advanced Occlusion Settings: No
Ambient Occlusion: Off
Occlusion Strength: Off
Blur: Bilateral
Ambient Resolution: Performance

Gamma Correction: 1.000
Geometry Buffers (VBOs) Enabled: Yes
Suppression of FX When Camera Close Enabled: Yes
Close Suppression Range: 3.000
Show Advertisements: Yes

Audio Mode: Performance
3D Audio: No
FX Sound Volume: 0.250
Music Sound Volume: 0.203

Show Advanced Graphics Options: Yes
Overall Graphics Quality: 0.500
Reverse Mouse Buttons: No
Save Login Username: Yes
Transfer Rate: 606367 bytes/second
Current Game Version: 1900.201011102104.11
Installation Directory: D:\Games\MMO\City of Heroes

Mod files in the Data directory
.\texture_library\MAPS\city has 1 file
.\texture_library\MAPS\Midnight_Squad has 1 file
.\texture_library\MAPS\Safeguard has 9 files
.\texture_library\MAPS\sewers has 44 files
.\texture_library\MAPS\static has 38 files
.\texture_library\V_MAPS\Outdoor_Missions has 9 files
.\texture_library\V_MAPS\Static has 16 files



And as a further update, the problem has disappeared. As far as I can determine, there was an unspecified problem with my ISP in my immediate area. Or so I gather from the fact that the last time I called tech support, I was directed to an automated message advising customers in "My City" that there had been a recent unscheduled maintenance, and that DSL customers could experience ongoing connectivity problems until they power-cycle their DSL modems and all attached networking hardware.