I´m running XP Home Edition (german) on a Gericom notebook (Webshox 1720E DVD), and have been plagued for the last 3 months or so by a freeze effect when I dial into the Internet using its 56k modem (either AOL or Arcor access). Access via a home network with a Desktop PC (also XP home) & DSL seemed unaffected, but every time I needed to use an analogue telephone line (hotel etc.) this bug just crippled the notebook immediately after initial Internet access.
This freeze effect first appeared in June 2004, either after an automatic update, or after I had linked up my desktop & notebook (again!) in a home network (ethernet 100) with DSL.
The mouse cursor moved, but everything else just didn´t respond (apart from one brief spurt of limited activity) until suddenly after about 9-10 minutes all those stored-up clicks got executed and everything seemed normal again.
I´ve spent literally hours and days trying to solve this, not wanting to re-install XP again (apart from this bug, the notebook was really stable).
By starting the Taskmanager before dialling, I was able to identify one "svchost" process as at least being involved in the bug (when I killed this particular svchost process, everything unfroze, but internet access was broken and could only be restarted by rebooting - and then the freeze re-ocurred...).
There was no excessive CPU or HDD activity, Zone Alarm indicated no Internet traffic, and the freeze continued for the full 9-10 minutes even if I disconnected the telephone line or killed AOL in the meantime.
However, I´m not a Windows programmer & had no idea what exactly "svchost" does (there are 4-5 instances of it running, the one with the most memory was the culprit).
A few weeks ago a computer-savvy accqaintance suggested Network Address Translation (NAT) as the culprit, but my googling delivered a little more information than I wanted, which I had little time or inclination to read and digest.
Finally last night, after hours of trawling the Internet, loading & executing several Spyware programs - all found different items to be immunised/quarantined/deleted, but none solved the problem - I found a tip suggesting "tasklist" to show what´s running in the "container" of "svchost". After downloading "tasklist" (not included in XP Home Edn. - how useful!), I was able to see the services contained in the suspect "svchost" process.
The first one was "6to4".
Google took me to a description of "6to4", on reading that, NAT came immediately to mind.
XP Help for "6to4"delivered the syntax:
"ipv6 uninstall": Bingo!
Rebooted, dialled in and everything seems to be working fine now - no freezing, no noticeable negative side-effects.
Can someone provide some insight into what the f**k this was all about, and why there appears to be so little information on this bug (if bug it is)? Most of the "freeze" tips I found pointed towards Spyware, virus, sh*t AOL etc, but I suspect this could be the cause of headaches for many other users. It´s hardly likely that this effect is specific to my notebook & software setup.
Can I expect problems running without "ipv6"?