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Macs on 10/100 TCP/IP network slow and freezing

Have a customer who has some Kingston KNE100TX (i.e. 10/100 auto on UTP) cards in some Umax (Mac clone) machines all 604e 180/200MHz CPU's.Running the latest version of the NIC driver and on OS8.0. He seems to be getting very poor performance even though it seems to be negotiating at fast ethernet speed. The LED on each NIC confirm 100MBps. He has these machines connected via a switching hub. It also freezes 1 or 2 or 3 machines during a long transfer.

Behind the switch is a larger network of MACs (and PC's) as well as a Win NT 4 server and Netware 4.11 server.  

Well, an interesting experiment was conducted. We removed both Apple talk and TCP/IP from the Control Panels folder. Well, the machine was still able to log on to a variety of other machines as well as the Internet. (without TCP/IP !!). Could one or both of the servers be routing the information through? And therefore, with those Control Panels enabled could we be having protocol conflicts?

Further, it only seems to be afflicting the higher end machines (604e processors, 180/200MHz). The 200MHz 603e UMAX's seem to be immune.

Also, what are some reasonable transfer rates for both 10 and 100 mb/sec.

Regards
Michael
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mikhael
Asked:
mikhael
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TheHubCommented:
Removing the control panels is not the same as deleting or moving the prefs for said control panels out of the System Folder:Preferences and restarting, which would reset the controls to their defaults (AppleTalk to ON and TCP/IP to OFF).

Using a UTP protocol instead of TCP/IP may be an issue.

Upgrade to MacOS 8.1 (free download). There have been modifications to the ethernet and OpenTransport extensions and MacOS 8.1 is more stable overall. Be sure to save the clone enabler from your old System folder.

Transfer speeds are dependant on the speed of the HD. You cannot transfer faster than the drive can write. 10Mbit is pretty close to the max. xfer rate without using a SCSI accelerator on a fast and/or wide drive.

Get a LAN utility to verify that all AppleTalk nodes/networks and TCP/IP addrs are unique and the subnets are identical. Your system admin should have the tools for that, if not, get EtherPeek.

http://www.aggroup.com/epmac/

The freezes are caused by the microsoft products (how surprising) used to connect to the NT server. I do not know if there is a bug fix (or bug fix masquerading as a expensive upgrade) yet.

ftp://ftp.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/US/
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mikhaelAuthor Commented:
Thehub, Thanks for your prompt reply. I WILL try everything you suggest.

Meanwhile, what do you mean by a UTP protocol instead of TCP/IP. (I know that TCP/IP is a protocol but UTP is a medium, surely.)

You're right about the Xfer speed. These machines use IDE HDD's capable of 16MBps !! So of course that would be the maximum. (Should we experiment with a pair of RAM DISKS?)  Nevertheless, we are getting 150 to 250 kbytes/sec. ( 640MByte transfer was going to take about an hour !!)

Re: the Etherpeek and s/ware updates, I'll look into that. (We have MacPing - latest version. Would that suffice?)
Thanks


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mikhaelAuthor Commented:
Thehub, Thanks for your prompt reply. I WILL try everything you suggest.

Meanwhile, what do you mean by a UTP protocol instead of TCP/IP. (I know that TCP/IP is a protocol but UTP is a medium, surely.)

You're right about the Xfer speed. These machines use IDE HDD's capable of 16MBps !! So of course that would be the maximum. (Should we experiment with a pair of RAM DISKS?)  Nevertheless, we are getting 150 to 250 kbytes/sec. ( 640MByte transfer was going to take about an hour !!)

Re: the Etherpeek and s/ware updates, I'll look into that. (We have MacPing - latest version. Would that suffice?)
Thanks


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TheHubCommented:
recant, repent, regurgatate...
UTP = Unshielded Twisted Pair (Physical Layer)
TCP = Transmission Control Protocol (IETF)
IP  = Internet Protocol (IETF)

UTP is much cheaper than standard "full-spec" Ethernet cable. CloneLand seems to be ruled by the "cheap = good" principle, when in reality, the "you get what you pay for" theory (something Apple has not been able to sell to the m[asses]) should be employed.

MacPing will only tell you if a machine is on the network and how long it takes to send and receive a packet. So, no, it won't do what you want.

What protocol(s) are in use there? What about the priority settings at the server, have you tweaked them yet?
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mikhaelAuthor Commented:
TheHub, I enjoy your cynicism !  :)

However, I need to be a little clearer...  By UTP, I actually did mean CAT 5 cabling and connectors (all CATEGORY 5 / 100MBps certified). I suppose I should have specified that.

By cloneland, were you referring to UMAX's vs. MAC's (or UTP vs CAT 5)? Are you saying that REAL Macintosh's would not exhibit this problem?

Re protocols, we are using TCP/IP (configured manually) and Appletalk.

Re "the priority settings" at the server, if you mean the TCP/IP settings in the "config" sub-menu, they have been left on default. (or do you mean at the NT or NETWARE servers - in which case they have been untouched since before the problems began)

Awaiting your further (dry) response.  :)             (or anyone else's please...)
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TheHubCommented:
Its, like, gotta be a MacOS revision thingy, man!

Cloneland = The Wintel Conspiracy (Brother Bill and Lesser Known Enemies)
Settings at The Wintel Conspiracy NT or Netware servers

Do you have the 10/100 init(s) installed? They have been upgraded several times since January 1998, but probably do not apply to your issue, since everything else that I have told you seems erroneous.

There were some problems with Open Transport that were solved with version 1.3.x, which is freely downloadable from:
ftp://ftp.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/US/Macintosh/
and is part of MacOS 8.1.

MacOS 8.1 info:
* Open Transport 1.3.1
Open Transport 1.3.1 provides improved performance and single-link multihoming support. Complete details are provided in OT 1.3.1 information.

* Finder
Now has improved performance when copying to and from shared
volumes.

MacOS 8.1 notes:
http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/N30340

There is a checkbox at the TCP/IP cdev that reads, "Use 802.3," have you tried using it?
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TheHubCommented:
Addendum (correction?) to erroneous answer proposed above:

PCs use either the NetBEUI or IPX protocol.
Install MacIPX (pronounced - eye pee ex) or the Mac equivelent of NetBEIU.

Gotta love Novell:
http://www.novell.com/intranetware/products/clients/clientmac/

other related links:
http://lime.weeg.uiowa.edu/~itslan/its/
http://www.benchin.com/$index.wcgi/prod/1109852

It's not my fault...my Physical Geography teacher said so...
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ipierceCommented:
I have had positive experiences with the KNE100TX card you mentioned.  It is fast.   But i agree that you need to jump up to OS 8.1, the improvements in open transport are a good thing.

As for transfer speeds, it is somewhat protocol dependent.  For example, when copying a 20meg file from a g3/266 w/IDE drive (yuck) to a nt4 server with ultrascsi (yay!) it took about 22 seconds using NT's Services for Macintosh.  I put the demo of DAVE on the g3 (www.thursby.com; it's a NetBIOS stack for mac) and the same file transferred in 15 seconds.  I can't speak for IPX, since we are Novell-less at work (yay!) but don't expect superfast transfers on an older mac, w/an older IDE hard drive.

Also check the versions of the kensington drivers, mine shipped with 1.7 but I got 2.0 on their website and that was 3 months ago.  But you said you checked that so I will shut up now.

TheHub is right about the control panels; your server is not "routing the information through" unless you have some crazy setup that I would like to know more about.

As for download speeds, I never see anything above 120k/sec in the little IE Download Manager window when I'm at work, on either macs or PC, and it's all 100baset there.
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rjhawkinCommented:
PC's dont only use either NETBEUI or IPX, Those are simply the most popular
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rjhawkinCommented:
It could also be a problem with the fullDuplex setting. There is no error correction on a 100Mb line. 100 MB is a marketing ploy and is best left to server<->server connections. Go with Switched 10 over non-switched 100 for client workstations.

Also remember that your talking BITS here not BYTES. A Switched 10 network has no problems pushing 500K bytes per second if your the only one on the link. What you have are network problems and you should get that taken care of before you  try any other solutions.

ALSO:
PC's dont only use either NETBEUI or IPX, Those are simply the most popular PC's as well as Mac's will run what ever protocol Stack you want to load onto the driver. Most PC's I know are running straight IP. Netbeui is for Microshoft resource shareing only and IPX is for Novell networking, although both are pushing towards a IP standard.

Know wherefor thou speaks before thou openest mouth.


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