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Slow File access by Win 98 PC viewing Win XP PC

Posted on 2003-11-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I am running a small network with 4 Win 98 pcs 2 Win 95 pcs and a Win XP pc. Until recently it was set up as peer-to-peer but recently we are using our Linux/Mitel firewall to authenticate users (no email or file sharing on the Linux pc).

I am experiencing problems with 2 of the Win 98 pcs reading files on the Win XP machine. Normally there is no problem, but just now and again (just frequent enough to be really annoying) the Win 98 take a very long time to open files on the Win XP pc. When I restart the Win 98 pcs the problem seems to temporarily rectify itself, but this is getting really annoying for all the users.
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Question by:Muz1
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:cooledit
ID: 9722395
is there any WINS server in the network (Win98) requires WINS wheremore the XP does not run effectively under WINS / Netbios, you could make an entry in the Win98 lmhostfile where u set in a "record" for the XP mashine.

does the Mittel server hands out DHCP + DNS entries ???
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by:mav7469
ID: 9724313
Are you running any virus checking software on the XP machine?  If so, try setting it to scan Incomming files only.

Good Luck

Mav7469
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by:ViRoy
ID: 9724562

try installing IPX/SPX on all the windows pc's
it is a much more effecient carrier of netbios in a LAN environment
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by:cooledit
ID: 9726366
not to make u feel sad but IPX/SPX is for Novell

would still required to be setup on all machines

If you look at the old way you used to run peer-to-peer when you are using it as your "name resolver" then Win98 writes own entries in the lmhost file

if you made your Mittels Server do the DNS either handed out by DHCP or static enter them in all the connected maschines then when running DHCP u get more dynamic if you wanna change some things.

If you wanna go for the thing with the static IP addressing in the Network Neighbourhood you will need the maschine to use DNS
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ViRoy earned 500 total points
ID: 9733058

im sorry cooledit, but your wrong and missing a big part here.
dont focus on IPX/SPX DNS or DHCP- we are working with NETBIOS here and nothing but.

TCP/IP is a very poor carrier of netbios and OFTEN has trouble with communication in a LAN environment and wont work at all if computers are segmented on different subnets. now here we have a case of authentication server coming into play. DHCP does not have anything to do with filesharing in a windows environment... and neither does DNS.

now we have only 2 things to take into account, one of these 2 (if not both) will be the problem.
-First for a windows pc to "see" another in network neighborhood or my network places, the "master browser" must be contacted and provide the list of computer names and the corresponding address. the "master browser" in a peer-to-peer environment will always be the computer that has the longest "uptime" (unless manually changed within the registry). in a server environment, the server will always dominate as the master browser. now i dont know linux well enough to know how its needed to be configured... im shure theres something pertaining to this however i would work on reconfiguring the server as a last resort.

-Second...
NETBIOS is the only protocol used. NETBIOS unfortunatley is more of a sub-protocol, it will carry over numerous other protocols however. the reason for that is because netbios does not have its own addressing method, it has ID's which rely on discovery (broadcasts).
the following standard protocols can be used to carry netbios:
  TCP/IP
  IPX/SPX
  NETBEUI

the vast majority of others cannot.

-now TCP/IP is a segmentable, routable protocol with parity... that means its SUPER SLOW in a LAN environment as it was designed for a wide area network- in particular it was designed to keep military systems connected in a "WEB" (research "ARPA net" if you want to know more).
-IPX/SPX is Novell's protocol which can easily be installed on Windows... IPX/SPX was designed for a LAN environment and each pc contains a unique 8 digit identifier, this is highly effecient and quite fast.
-NetBEUI is Microsoft's protocol designed especially for peer-to-peer LAN environments to allow for simple communication without all the overhead of the TCP/IP protocol. however microsoft cant program very well and i have had several problems with NETBEUI so i try to avoid this.

now IPX/SPX has in recent years been expanded on by many proprietary software companies, ESPECIALLY the pc gaming market. it has become widely used and recognized as a viable solution to networking needs.
so as a overall result, IPX/SPX should give MUZ the functionality he needs, it might or might not be whats causing the slowness he reports... however we wont know until he tries which shouldnt take more than 10 minutes and a restart.


if that does not solve the problem, then my best guess would be that theres confusion on the master browser.
when a windows client gets turned on its sends out a broadcast, the broadcast contains the computer "name" and a way to contact it, ie.. IP address or IPX identifier
the master browser then adds that computer to a index list.
now when your working on a windows computer and open network neighborhood.. that computer then asks the master browser for that list... once the list is gathered and you "open" one of the computers to view the shares, the computer you just "opened" will get cached in the ARP (address resolution protocol - can be viewed in DOS with the "ARP" command)
active connections will show with the use of the "NBTSTAT" command

so far we have covered the methods NETBIOS uses for communication, how the MASTER BROWSER is determined and discovery methods.
*IF IPX/SPX does not resolve the problem - then i know a trick to force any specific computer to be the master browser.
if we force one computer, and just make sure that computer is on whenever filesharing is being done, there should be nearly no latency.


http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/54/
          Registry Settings
          System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters]
          Value Name: IsDomainMaster, MaintainServerList
          Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)



so if you add ipx/spx and configure a master browser... these conputers will use tcp/ip and the linux server to go through the internet, however when viewing local network shares they will use ipx/spx... both tcp/ip and ipx can be used at the same time.
this means we increased functionality on all computers which results in faster lan viewing and faster web browsing


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by:ViRoy
ID: 9733169
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Author Comment

by:Muz1
ID: 9751622
Thanks - I set up ipx as you suggested and both machines have now gone 1.5 days without the problems recurring - so (fingers crossed) it looks like it has worked.

Many Thanks
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by:ViRoy
ID: 9751749

great!
that means the computers were trying to route through the server using TCP/IP instead of going right to each other.

so now your internet traffic and LAN traffic are seperated and your performance should increase on both ends! (not by much but its there)
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