Strange Azureus Problem

September 26th, 2007 by Potato

I have a bit of a strange Azureus problem recently. I thought at first that Rogers’ throttling had gotten even more restrictive, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. It looks as though there’s some sort of negative interaction between PC-Cillin, Azureus, and possibly my network card.

Symptoms: As soon as I open Azureus (even if I have all torrents stopped), I can’t surf the web any more, or connect to any local computers over http (that was my first clue that it wasn’t just Rogers’ throttling, my second was that while I was complaining about the network being down, Wayfare was having no trouble at all). I simply get a long wait period and then a could not find server message. The download on Azureus is even more erratic than normal: varying between 0 and 15 kB/s (this torrent was running at around 30-40 kB/s, which is fairly decent, but not a mind-blowing speed, last week). When I was watching it earlier today, the speed seemed to mostly stay around 2-4 kB/s: dreadfully slow, but moving at least. Within the last hour or so, the download speed has been essentially zero (in the 40 B/s — that’s bytes per second, no kilo!). The upload is steady at whatever max I choose to set it at, until I get to about the halfway of my connection’s theoretical maximum, where it plateaus. This all started sometime within the last week — I had left my file downloading when I went away (and the house got broken into), expecting to have finished downloading long before I got back.

Troubleshooting so far: I noticed that PC-Cillin was using well over 70 MB of memory with Azureus open (not checked with it closed). I tried tweaking its firewall (there were a lot of obvious torrent traffic hits in the firewall log with “packet matched filter rule” or some such message, and I have no idea if that means that the firewall let the packet through, or if that means it was stopped. Disabling just the firewall part of PC-Cillin didn’t seem to help the web surfing problem. Closing PC-Cillin entirely, and I can surf the web again. Closing Azureus (with PC-Cillin open), and I can surf the web normally within about 20 seconds. Adjusting the max upload rate down did not allow me to surf with PC-Cillin open. The only things changed on the computer recently are various automatic updates (Firefox, PC-Cillin, etc.), and being forced to upgrade my MSN Messenger (though I still have the problem with Messenger closed).

Solution: I haven’t a clue right now. I’m not comfortable running my computer with PC-Cillin closed, so the download will just have to suffer. I don’t know what makes Azureus kill my connection, even with nothing running. If anyone can suggest anything, let me know!

During my troubleshooting, I had a look at my router and cable modem, and noticed in the logs that my router lost power after midnight (closer to 1 am) on Friday Sept 20. It might be possible that that was the time of the break in. It could be coincidental, since I’m not sure exactly why my router would lose power. I at first thought the thief might have flipped some breakers in the basement to kill an alarm system, but then that would have reset some of the clocks, and they all seem fine. It’s possible the power bar or cord got moved when they were searching my room, and maybe was temporarily disconnected that way…

Edit: Now my firewall log is filled with outgoing ICMP requests every second, so now I fear I have a virus/spyware/something evil going on…

Edit2: I seem to have fixed the problem, but I’m not sure how, exactly, since I sort of did a bunch of things at once. I did remove some suspected spyware with PC-Cillin, and one more piece of unrecognized software that HijackThis found, but I also killed a few background processes (including ATI’s hotkey detection thingy and the PC-Cillin proxy server, which I wasn’t knowingly using, but for some reason was eating 40 MB of RAM anyway). I also set up my router to block outgoing as well as incoming ping requests (previously it just blocked incoming).

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