Win7 computer takes several minutes to get online

Windows 7 computer takes several minutes to get online followed by frequent disconnections that eventually stop occurring


After a cold boot or reboot, a Windows 7 computer takes several minutes to get online. This is followed by several, unpredictable disconnections that eventually stop happening. Remedies tried unsuccessfully: checking the wireless network adapter and ADSL modem/router, running in Safe Mode with networking that can access the web, looking at the Event Viewer and looking for solutions on the web.

Possible solutions

Try using an alternative type of connection

If you are using a wireless network connection, which appears to be the case, try using a wired Ethernet connection. (If you are using a wired connection, try using a wireless connection.) If using that works well, the problem has to do with your wireless setup. Maybe Windows Update installed the wrong device driver for the wireless adapter or it got corrupted, so try downloading and installing the latest device driver from the adapter’s manufacturer’s website or try using a different adapter. They are cheap now. If that solution fails, the fact that the problem persists while accessing the web in Safe Mode, suggests that you are going to have to try some of the less frequently used troubleshooting options. Here are some of them.

When a computer runs out of RAM memory…

When a computer runs out of RAM memory and requires a more effective way of running than using the Windows swap file that is created on its hard-disk or SSD drive, it gets bogged down and can’t operate properly, which might result in disconnections, so the problem might be solved just by installing more memory if you have 2GB or less installed.

A 32-bit version of Windows cannot use more than 3.2GB of memory, so if you have a 32-bit version, 4GB can’t be exceeded. A 64-bit version of Windows requires twice as much memory as a 32-bit version. So, 4GB of memory in a 64-bit system is like having only 2GB in a 32-bit system. Your computer’s or its motherboard manufacturer’s user manual will tell you which types and configurations of memory can be used. I use the Crucial Advisor tool on to suggest memory upgrades. There is also the Crucial System Scanner that is downloaded and installs to scan the system and advises on which memory upgrades are available.

To find out which bit version of Windows 7 you have click the Start button, right-click Computer and click Properties. You can see the system type under System. Or just open System in the Control Panel.

Faulty RAM memory or a faulty keyboard…

Faulty RAM memory or a faulty keyboard can be the cause of problems that you wouldn’t normally ascribe to them. Most PCs have more than one module of DDR / DDR2 / DDR3 / DDR4 memory but can work using only one module, so you could try using one module at a time to find out if one of them is faulty. You could also run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool (search for articles or YouTube videos on how to use it).

There are also free third-party memory-testing tools, such as Memtest86. Keyboards are cheap if you don’t have or can’t borrow an alternative for testing purposes. A keyboard with one or more faulty sticking keys can be the cause of some strange problems.

Check the integrity of the cables or replace the filter that is installed into the telephone socket

Check or replace the filter that is installed into the telephone socket that splits the line into an Internet and phone-call line. They operate at different frequencies on the same line. More than one filter is usually supplied with a modem/router. I have accumulated plenty of filters over the years. Try using a different filter.

Check the integrity of cables – Ethernet, phone line. Use any self-testing or diagnostic tools provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Phone the ISP and ask them to check your connection

Phone the ISP and ask them to check your connection. Most ISPs monitor their connections and can tell you if they are detecting disconnections and might advise you what to do. Its support person might agree to send you a new modem/router if it is old or has been detected as behaving in an erratic way. I was sent a new router when my ISP’s support detected disconnections and, when in use, there was no problem with the new router. I just had to pay for the the delivery charge. The previous one was five years old – the sort of age at which a router can start malfunctioning.

Make sure that your networking equipment is well ventilated – fan(s) are working properly

Make sure that your networking equipment is well ventilated and not placed near sources of heat. I have my router propped up by a rubber eraser that keeps it away from being flush with the surface on which it rests.

Check that your computer’s fan(s) are working properly. Fans or their outlets tend to get bunged up with dust that causes overheating, which can be the cause of intermittent failures that could be the cause of the web disconnections.

Don’t use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of dust because they tend to discharge static electricity the many thousands of volts of which are harmless to humans but fatal to electronic equipment. Use a can of compressed air, available from most computer stores, or a small soft paint brush, using tweezers to hold fan blades in place. If you are using a desktop PC, clean out the dust in its power supply unit (PSU).

Try connecting the computer to a different mains socket by using an extension lead if you don’t want to move everything away from a telephone socket.

Wireless interference of outside sources

The interference of outside sources close to your network setup, such, radio transmitters, a microwave oven using the same wireless radio band as the router, any kind of heavy-duty motor, etc., can be the cause of web disconnections.

Try using an alternative PC if the one you are using is getting old

If possible, try using an alternative PC if the one you are using is getting old. Most desktop PCs last at least five years. My desktop PC was self-built in 2005 and is still going strong. If you have alternative components, such as the RAM memory, power supply and motherboard, the ones that are most likely to be the cause of your problem, try swapping them with the existing ones in your networked PC.

There are more suggestions on the web, such as the ones on this page:

Frequent disconnection of Internet –…

In the unlikely event that none of these solutions worked or you don’t have an alternative PC or components, you’ll probably have to get yourself a new PC.

About Eric 275 Articles
I am an experienced PC technician who has been the owner and sole writer of the PC Buyer Beware! website since 2004. I am learning all the time in this very dynamic, ever-changing field.