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Slow transfer Mac to PC Fine from PC to Mac and PC to PC

Posted on 2002-05-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13
We have a Gigabit ethernet setup that is connected with several PC's and one Mac G4 733MHz. We are running Cat7 cabling and TCP/IP. Our server is a W2K with a Raid solution.

The problem is the slow transfer rate from the Mac to the server (we are transfering big video-files >1G Byte). The transfer rate we are currently experiencing is around 3-5 Mbyte/s from the Mac but to the Mac from the server is around 22MB/s and the same both ways from PC to server and back again.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Question by:loland
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16 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 7032910
Are you running OS 9 or OS X?
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Author Comment

by:loland
ID: 7035154
We have tried both with the same results.

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 7036321
If it were a client software problem you would have seen a difference between OS 9 and OS X. I'd look to either the server or the cabling. Is there connection throttling going on? Run a diagnostic on the server drives? Is there a significant difference between read and write speeds?
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Author Comment

by:loland
ID: 7050695
Thanks again for helping.
I have tried the Mac with 2 different cables and even directly hooked it up to the server gigabit card but that didn't help. Everything works as it should between PC's and server both ways. There's nothing wrong with the drives on the server or the Mac. Actually we get similar results when we hook up two Macs (G3 and G4) over 100Mbit ethernet but then even at slower speeds <2 MByte/s one of the ways and 7-8MByte/s the other way wich is fine (Goes via TCP/IP through a router and a hub). What do you mean with connection throttling? And as mentioned this slow speed occurs only when a Mac writes to the W2K server. There is no unusual CPU utilisation on the W2K server.
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 7051400
Wait a minute. You get slow speeds when you hook 2 macs together but then "this slow speed occurs only when a Mac writes to the W2K server."....?
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Author Comment

by:loland
ID: 7053185
Sorry for the confusion.
When I wrote the first question I hadn't tried transfering from the Mac we're having problems with to another Mac. (Becausce we didn't have one available and the use for us will be G4's or G5's connecting to a W2K server).This test showed also a very slow transfer rate through TCP/IP (on the same subnet). This test was done just to see if transfering between two Mac's went OK but it didn't. Anyways our main problem is still with our G4 and the W2K server. I've seen other comments on slow transfer rate but until now I have yet to see anyone solving it.
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Assisted Solution

by:weed
weed earned 300 total points
ID: 7053193
The fact that it happens in OS X and OS 9 puzzles me though. OS X's networking is a complete rewrite from OS 9's. They have almost nothing in common and somehow the problem persists. So far all the transfers have gone through a hub or switch. What happens if you use a crossover cable between either the two macs or between a mac and the server?
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Author Comment

by:loland
ID: 7053208
We've tried connecting the Mac directly to the server but only through the Gigabit ethernet card and not using a crossed cable. (As you know you shall not use a crossed cable on Gigabit) the result is about the same. I could however try to connect the mac to the 100Mbit card we have in the same server. I'll try that later today with a crossed cable and see if that improves anything).
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Expert Comment

by:WIF567
ID: 7118602
Hardware!  Apple System profiler tells you what speed the mac is connecting at.  Check the switch (software is better than looking at lights)  And see what speed the switch thinks it is connected at.  Also chk for half or full duplex.
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Accepted Solution

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huafi earned 300 total points
ID: 7178578
Problems like this have been pretty widely reported. A few possible fixes:

1. There is a known potential problem known as "Ethernet deafness" that may affect Macs placed on large networks. The workaround is to install a small unmanaged hub between the Mac and the rest of the network.

2. If you're using a managed switch, try disabling the "Spanning Tree Protocol", which is enabled by default on Cisco, HP ProCurve, and other switches. This protocol is known to interfere with AppleTalk. Apple Knowledge Base Article 30922 covers this issue: "When the Spanning Tree Protocol is enabled on an Ethernet bridge or switch port to which a Macintosh computer is directly connected the computer may be unable to use AppleTalk services...Issues observed range from no AppleTalk services, local (to this specific network) AppleTalk services, degraded performance, and intermittent network services...If the Spanning Tree protocol is enabled on the port to which a Macintosh computer is connected packets necessary for AppleTalk address assignment and network discovery can be dropped by the switch. This causes the Macintosh to acquire invalid or incomplete network information resulting in the behavior discussed above."
If you're unwilling to give up the network-architecture protection of STP, you can try enabling "fast start" or "portfast" on your switch -- this eliminates the delay of starting up STP when negotiating the connection between the switch and the node hooked up to it. That delay often causes the Ethernet on the Mac to time-out and drop the connection.

3. Try installing a third-party gigabit Ethernet (or even Fast Ethernet) card into one of your Macs, and see if that improves the situation.

4. Disable Services for Macintosh on your Win2K Server, and connect via ASIP (AppleShare over IP) or SMB. ASIP is known to be faster than SFM, but I'm not sure about SMB.
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Author Comment

by:loland
ID: 7255813
We're running our switch on full duplex and both the PC server and the Mac reports gigabit connection.

Our switch has very limited options in what we can do in setup. (Trendnet TEG-S80TX).

However we just installed OS 10.2 and that helped a lot so we have a reasonable filetransfer speed but when digitizing video to the server we still get dropped frames. We will look into the server a bit more and se if there's more to do. SP3 W2k will be installed among some other things like VIA chipset upgrade.

The file transfers are faster using AFP than SMB.
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by:EliteKiller
ID: 7299193
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by:Computer101
ID: 7375294
For reasons stated below, proposed answer rejected

Computer101
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by:CleanupPing
ID: 9156425
loland:
This old question needs to be finalized -- accept an answer, split points, or get a refund.  For information on your options, please click here-> http:/help/closing.jsp#1 
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 9160049
Sounds like he got it mostly figured out with an OS update.
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Author Comment

by:loland
ID: 9194239
I would like to thank all of you that has tried to answer my puzzle.
We at our end have tried a lot. We are very happy with the speed now as we awerage around 34 MB/s to/from our G4's. It got mostly solved by several upgrades of the OSX and changing Gigabit ethernet card in our server from Intel Pro 1000 to Alachritec (higly recommended card).

We have still some FCP4 issues but that is another question.

Again thank you all for participating and escpecially a thank you to mr. weed.
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