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slow copy performance from Novell to XP

Posted on 2003-03-31
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Posting here on advice of person in W2K forum.

Recently replace my NT desktop with a much faster one running XP.  Everything is indeed faster except file copying in some cases.

For example, if I copy a directory from Novell to the XP it takes over 4 minutes.  However, If I create a copy of this directory on Novell  The copy of he new directory takes less than 30 seconds.  This is not a one time occurrence.  If directory A and B are identical and both are on a Novell server, why such radically different times.  P.S.  If instead of using windows explorer to do the file copy I use xcopy, it runs fast just like directory B does with explorer.

XP is SP 1
Novel is 4.83 SP 1 with SP 1 Post Patches just applied.
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Question by:jbeckstrom
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52 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:MSGeek
ID: 8239486
Here' sthe URL of orginal question: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win2000/Q_20568777.html

jbeckstrom, will request refund for you on old question.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8247411
sounds like you need to do this:

http://www.ithowto.com/novell/clientspeed.htm
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Expert Comment

by:MSGeek
ID: 8247757
DSP.. that's a great link, one to add to the books.
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8253361
Tips don't seem to apply.  Recall A and B on same volume.  If copy A with xcopy, its fast - with explorer slow but A and B are identical.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8255816
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8255836
Did that the other day based on a suggestion from the windows forum.
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Expert Comment

by:MSGeek
ID: 8255871
Sorry DSPoole... :)
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8255983
when you installed the Novell NetWare client - what options did you choose?

Are you running both IP and IPX on the NetWare client?

You should try just one protocol - at least on the NetWare client.

On the Novell Client for Windows Properties dialog box, select the Protocol Preferences tab.

If you have BOTH IP and IPX in the Protocol: box, then you should reinstall the client (and patches) and select just a single protocol.

Since I don't know what version of NetWare you are using, or it's configuration, here is a simple method:

If you are running NetWare 4.2 or earlier - select only IPX as your protocol.

If you are running NetWare 5.0 and above AND you have installed IP on the server, then select only IP as your protocol.

If you are running NetWare 5.0 and above AND you have installed IP AND IPX on the server, then select only IP as your protocol.

If you are running NetWare 5.0 and above AND you have installed IPX on the server (but not IP), then select only IPX as your protocol.

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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8256012
Shows both IP and IPX w/IP as the preferred protocal.  Running mix of netware 4 and 5 servers so would need both.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8256068
not unless your NetWare 5 boxes are running Pure IP.

If they are not, then switch over to IPX on your workstation until you phase out the NetWare 4 boxes in favor of NetWare 5.1/6 (or 6.5 when it arrives later this summer).

the problem seems to be Explorer searching thru the different protocols - at least that is what it sounds like to me...

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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8256164
But shouldn't switch just because directory name changes.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8256235
server cache.

NetWare cache's pretty much everything.

If I have a file (say a 50MB database) and I copy it from one location on the server to another - that get's stored in the NetWare cache.

It may take a few minutes to copy that file.

If I go back and attempt to copy the new database file I just copied, it's in the NetWare cache (RAM) - so it's faster.

I think the big crux of your problem may be the amount of RAM in your server - the amount of RAM in your server is directly proporational to the amount of storage space on the server (combined NetWare volumes on a single server).

The more storage space, the more RAM you need.

What do your Cache Buffers look like on that server and what version of NetWare is it.

Also, how big is this directory you are copying?
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8256257
In one case the directory is about 5 M.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8256667
5MB?  That's too small to be causing that much grief - you should be able to copy a 5MB folder in seconds (not even 40).

I suggest we look at the server:

1)  how much RAM installed?
2)  what does your Cache Buffers look like?
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Expert Comment

by:JWolhuter
ID: 8260281
This is clearly a client problem.  I do not think it has anything to do with the minor patches on the client. Rather look at:

1.  Client cache level
2.  Cache password
3.  Client cache size

The windows explorer uses the Novell client as network provider if used through Windows Explorer.  If you use XCOPY it is not Novell aware and basically do a "dumb" copy (no Novell attributes/trustees).  I would start to look at where your primary Novell connection is, because it can also be a case of where you get your NDS information from.  If the NDS info must first be looked up on another server, this can influence the file copy.  

Secondly I would like to explain why server-to-server copy is faster than server-to-client.  Once more: in Windows Explorer the Novell network provider is used.  If the provider detects activity on the same server, it will do a "in-server" copy of the info.  That means that the information never crosses the line.  Try doing a "in-server" copy with XCOPY (non-Novell aware), it should take quite a while longer.
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8260787
I really agree must be something to do with the client.  Just don't understand why A is slow and B fast.  B was creating via explorer doing copy/paste of A and renaming it.  Really would expect both A and B to be slow.
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Expert Comment

by:JWolhuter
ID: 8261097
As I said: if B is on the same server as A, it is copied locally on the server and not to the workstation and back.  That is why B is fast (copied locally on server from A) and A is slow (copied over network from client)
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8261115
But I timed copying both A and B to the client and B screams while A limps along.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8263015
JWolhuter -

except jbeckstrom has stated that A and B are fast using either XCOPY or Explorer.

As I understand it A is slow with Explorer but fast with XCOPY while B is fast with either XCOPY or Explorer.

and XCOPY still has to use the Novell client (aka redirector) or else the workstation is not going to be able to see the NetWare server!

I still say that 5MB is too slow to copy in 4 minutes (A with Explorer) and 40 seconds is still too slow (B with either).  But since it's faster than A, it indicates it was cached.  I bet you anything that if A was copied to B and then left alone for a day (untouched) or two, that B would be just as slow as A because the NetWare cache would have been cleaned out and replaced.

I say we look at the Cache Buffers and the amount of available RAM in the server.
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8263045
The original A / B playing with our about 60+M.  I have left them alone for a while and B still fast.  A is a few months old - at least.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8263082
define "a while"

60+M?  Recently you said 5MB...
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8263106
5 M was for a smaller directory I was trying to copy.  The original problem was w/the 60 M directory.  Connection is 100 M adapter to the network.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8263170
so - is the 4 minutes/40 seconds timing you are getting - is that for 5MB or 60MB of data?

also - Cache Buffers, go to MONITOR and look at the main screen, what is your Long Term Cache Hits %?

then go to System Resources option - what is your Cache Buffer Memory %?

then go to Disk Cache Utlization - post everything in there.


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Expert Comment

by:JWolhuter
ID: 8268810
LRU Sitting time is the important one under Disk Cache Utilization, but I still think that it is a client problem, due to the fact that it was fast on a previous installation with the exact same server config.

This tells me that whatever the cache was previously it is now also and if it was experienced by the user as "fast" then it should still be "fast" whatever the speed is.  Changing OS's on the workstation was the last change in this config, so start there before you look at any constants (like the server config...)
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8270579
I agree has to be client since that is the only change.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8270839
then try this:

http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?/2965032.htm

and apply the server-side op-lock patch as well.

if your system begins to BSOD after that patch, then apply this one:

http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?/2965379.htm
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8301274
patch did not help
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Expert Comment

by:wandrey
ID: 8847444
I also search a long time for the right solution on "XP slow with netware client".
Thanks DSPoole for his comment:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
try this:

http://support.novell.com/servlet/filedownload/uns/pub/nt483pt5.exe/
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

where nt483pt5.exe must be read as nt483pt7.exe and was found at
ftp://ftp.novell.de/pub/allupdates/
look around for nt483pt7.exe.
First you must install nc483pt2, found in the same place.
After applying these patches my Explorer-performance is high
as known as under W2K !!!

good uck all "poor xp-performancers"
regards
Willi
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8870400
I just installed nc483sp2 - no change!!!
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Expert Comment

by:wandrey
ID: 8874741
Yes perhaps no change, the crazy thing is in fact to downgrade
the newly setup nc483sp2 dowto files from pt1 with nt483pt7 !
Try out and let me know the results - for me it works great.
Regards
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8879142
grrrrrrrr!

okay - try this:

on the same WinXP box, wipe it out and install XP from scratch with the latest hardware drivers from the manufacturer (not Microsoft).

If that doesn't work, wipe it out and install 2000 Pro and see what happens.

Let's narrow this down to an XP problem or not...
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Expert Comment

by:wandrey
ID: 8891016
I suppose, this is the allmost last step, short befor you drive crazy? ;-)
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8891998
Sort of already did that.

PC running XP I had been using crashed and had to be rebuilt from our standard image.  This image had additional patches on it that original PC did not have.  Still no better.  Looks like have to live with it.
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Expert Comment

by:wandrey
ID: 8899109
I think this must have something to do with the NW Client (for me)!
Some PC's (same HW same Type same shipment) in our Office-environment
dont have this (dont ask why). Maybe its associated with some other drivers (dont know)
but for me it was dissolved with the NW-Client patches.
Try to build up beginning with the first XP kompatible client 4.80 (i think), then ascent
step by step with 4.81, 4.83 ...
Check all other drivers, video, nic, x-interfaces for updates.
If thos dont work, you will hear nothing more from me.(Bad english, I know)
Regards
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8903709
Jbeckstrom - try backreving to Win2K Pro and see if that makes any difference.

I know that I am using Client32 v4.83 SP2 on Win2K Pro SP4 and I have none of the issues you have.
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Expert Comment

by:wandrey
ID: 8914740
Me too, W2K is fine.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 8936729
got it (I think)

1)  Install SP1 for XP
2)  Go to Services - shut down the Webclient service

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Expert Comment

by:wandrey
ID: 8940261
Hmmm, mysterious ...
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Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 8972374
jbeckstrom -

The whole A/B thing is not a valid test unless you shut down your client between copies to the client.  You may have A locally cached after the first copy speeding up the A xcopy and the B copies.   If you have been rebooting between each test, then it's more likely to be  on the NetWare server side.

That means that it is because the files are cached on the server after the first A copy, speeding up throughput for the A xcopy and both B copies.
 
In that case, then you probably need to tune your NetWare file access/caching settings to improve your A first-copy throughput.  The NetWare cache is doing its job, but needs to cache the files faster for your initial access.

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Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 8972396
jbeckstrom -

If what I said makes sense, then please post your server configuration and file/directory cache settings so we can help you tune your server.
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Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 8972417
Oh, one more question - how many files are in the larger (50+MB) directory, and how deep is your directory structure on the server?  This makes a difference in what settings to tune in what direction...

One big file, in a directory one level from the root of the volume, is accessed and cached differently than would a directory 10 levels from the root, with an additional 20, multi-branching subdirectories, each holding 50 512K files...
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 8975538
Have also noticed a slowness when copying files that are only a few meg is size.  xcopy flies but explorer is slow.
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Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 8976988
Have you done it "cold" with xcopy first?  Or do you copy with Explorer and immediately follow with xcopy?  Or are you saying totally different files, taken at random, fly with xcopy every time but other, different, files also taken at random, always crawl with Explorer?
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Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 8977157
I have to disagree with all that are pointing at the Novell client, or at the difference in Novell redirect explorer vs xcopy.

There are a number of slow access issues with the XP client, but it appears jbeckstrom has addressed those already.

From what everyone has said, thus far, the only conclusion I can come up with is that it is a NetWare cache tuning issue.

jbeckstrom - does it behave exactly the same way doing the copying from or to NetWare 5.x as it does doing the same on NetWare 4.x?  Have you tested it that way, or is it always the same server?

If it is always the same server, then it is likely to be server tuning you need.

Also check to see if the directory structure that A is in is set for immediate compression and the structure B is in is set for don't compress.
Compressed files always take longer to access because they need to be uncompressed as they are loaded to file cache.
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Author Comment

by:jbeckstrom
ID: 9048044
Our network admins are now thinking this is part of a larger problem wherein the router isn't handling ipx traffic well.  Just put in a citrix server on W2K accessing an application on Novell.  Time to copy a file from Novell to the Citrix server was horrible so network people put in a "box" and it is much faster.  So something is slowing down Novell traffic.   Maybe just under some threshold earlier and now over it so its causing a problem.  

On another W2K server tried installing a file from this Novell server mentioned in the beginning and install failed saying bad image.  Copied to the server and installed and worked.  Must be something w/windows and Novell.  
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Accepted Solution

by:
ShineOn earned 1000 total points
ID: 9048779
Unless you're running NetWare 4.x or earlier, you don't need to run IPX.  If you're using NetWare 5 or later, it prefers IP.

There are issues the M$ has built into their systems to try to make NetWare look bad.  If you don't change certain settings, some of which can only be changed by massaging the registry, you will run into stuff like you just described.

If a router is not routing IPX well, by the way, that's because it hasn't been set up to do so, not because it can't handle it.  Also, just like any other M$ system, the Citrix box has to be configured to undo the stuff M$ puts in "accidentally on purpose" to slow down access to NetWare and cause other problems.
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 9049347
ShineOn - can you provide details regarding Microsoft's little attempt to demonize NetWare?
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Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 9049527
hehehe.  That WAS a joke, right?
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Expert Comment

by:DSPoole
ID: 9049738
no, I would like to see these registry changes that need to be made to properly configure Windows the way it should be to work properly with NetWare...
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Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 9050096
I'll have to dig them up - I haven't used them recently.  
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9971591
This question has been classified as abandoned.  I will make a recommendation to the moderators on its resolution in approximately one week.  I would appreciate any comments by the experts that would help me in making a recommendation.

It is assumed that any participant not responding to this request is no longer interested in its final disposition.

If the asker does not know how to close the question, the options are here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hs5

ShineOn
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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by:ShineOn
ID: 10229628
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:

PAQ - no points refunded

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.
PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

ShineOn
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