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accessing Network folder takes long, search light comes up, for certain folders only

Posted on 2003-11-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-17
well we replaced win98 machine with new dellpc with windows xp home. now when i access a particular network folder (has around couple thousand files) on the nt4 server i get a delay before files show up. delay is portrayed by a search lite going right-left. this wasnt happening with 98 machine. is this a security issue? other folders seem fine maybe cause they got less files but still access with 98 seemed a lot faster.btw it doesnt matter whether u navigate to that folder from word or run/start. even if u go back and forth between that folder everytime u get a delay. so its not getting cached for sure.

Question by:rejus
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Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 500 total points
ID: 9734073
High Rate of Collisions on 100-MB Networks


The information in this article applies to:

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see Q169789 .

IMPORTANT : This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry

If you use the TCP/IP protocol and you have a 100-megabyte (MB) network adapter, you may notice slow network performance while you copy files. You may also experience this slow performance while you use Windows Explorer in Windows XP.

Note that although the slow performance is known to occur on several 100-MB network adapters, this issue is not specific to Windows.

This issue is due to a high rate of early collisions on the network. The interframe gap (the amount of time that a workstation waits before attempting to transmit on the wire) is less than the IEEE 802.3 specification of 9.6 microseconds.

WARNING : If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To resolve this issue, contact the manufacturer of your network adapter for information about increasing the interframe gap.

Intel EtherExpress 100B network adapters have a registry parameter that controls the length of the interframe gap. To modify this parameter if you use an Intel EtherExpress 100B network adapter, follow these steps:

Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

Locate the following key in the registry, where x is the number of your network adapter:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\e100b x \Parameters
Click Edit , click Add Value , and then type the following information:
Value Name: Adaptive_ifs
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 1 (enable adaptive algorithm)
The adaptive algorithm for detecting collisions and tuning the interframe gap is enabled by default. Setting the value data to 0 disables the adaptive algorithm. A value between 2 and 200 sets a predefined interframe gap. Begin by setting the value at 20, and then increase the value by 20s. Measure collisions and note performance, and set a final value that has a low collision rate and does not affect performance.

To work around this issue, you can create a TcpWindowSize registry parameter to have the sender wait to receive an ACK from the receiver before sending more data. Making this change reduces the potential for collision. Follow these steps:
Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

Locate the following key in the registry:

Click Add , click Value , and then add the following information:

Value Name: TcpWindowSize
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 2920 (decimal) - Number of bytes
Set the value to Decimal 2920 for Ethernet, or to twice the maximum TCP data size for other network topologies. This setting does not need to be modified for other networks, however, because networks that are based on topologies such as token ring or Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) do not have collisions as an Ethernet network does.

Note that modifying this parameter can significantly affect performance. In general, on a wide area network (WAN) or on a regular 10-MB network, there is some latency between the sender and the receiver, depending on the network topology. Therefore, the potential for collisions because of TCP/IP acknowledgement (ACK) does not exist. Tuning TcpWindowSize in this case only reduces throughput.

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

A "collision" occurs when two stations transmit simultaneously on the wire. An "early collision" is any collision that occurs before 512 bits of the frame are on the wire. Early collisions can occur regularly in a normally operating Ethernet network. There is no hardware malfunction or misbehaving station.

The IEEE 802.3 specification states that a station must wait 9.6 microseconds (the interframe gap) before the station can attempt to transmit on the wire. Several adapter manufacturers design their adapters with a smaller interframe gap to achieve higher data transfer rates. This smaller interframe gap can lead to a high rate of collisions.

The potential for collisions is also influenced by the behavior of the upper layer protocol. The TCP/IP specification is sending an ACK (acknowledgement) for every other data frame that is received. That is, after a TCP host receives two data frames, the TCP host transmits an ACK to the sender. The potential for collisions is high if a client that has received two packets tries to send an ACK while the sender is trying to send more data to the client.

Analysis of Windows Explorer File Copy in Windows XP
When the same file copy is initiated by using a command prompt or by using Windows Explorer in Windows XP, the pattern of data transfer is different. In this case, the redirector issues a 60-kilobyte (KB) "bulk read" or "raw read." The data transfer pattern is shown below:
   10 CLIENT SERVER  SMB C read & X, FID = 0x1004, Read 0xf000
   11 SERVER CLIENT  SMB R read & X, Read 0xf000
   12 SERVER CLIENT  NBT SS: Session Message Cont., 1460 Bytes
   13 SERVER CLIENT  NBT SS: Session Message Cont., 1460 Bytes
   14 SERVER CLIENT  NBT SS: Session Message Cont., 1460 Bytes
   15 SERVER CLIENT  NBT SS: Session Message Cont., 1460 Bytes
   16 CLIENT SERVER  TCP .A...., len: 0, seq:404791-404791, ack
   17 CLIENT SERVER  TCP .A...., len: 0, seq:404791-404791, ack
   18 SERVER CLIENT  NBT SS: Session Message Cont., 1460 Bytes
   19 SERVER CLIENT  NBT SS: Session Message Cont., 1460 Bytes
   20 SERVER CLIENT  NBT SS: Session Message Cont., 1460 Bytes
At the TCP level:
   10 CLIENT SERVER  TCP len:   64, seq:  404727-404790,  ack:   6992081
   >Client sends 64 bytes of data (SMB command to read 4KB);

   11 SERVER CLIENT  TCP len: 1460, seq: 6992081-6993540, ack:    404791
   >Server sends the piggyback ACK, and the SMB response with some data;

   12 SERVER CLIENT  TCP len: 1460, seq: 6993541-6995000, ack:    404791
   13 SERVER CLIENT  TCP len: 1460, seq: 6995001-6996460, ack:    404791
   >Server sends rest of the data to the client.

   >**Collision likely at this point because the client tries to send an ACK.

   14 SERVER CLIENT  TCP len: 1460, seq: 6996461-6997920, ack:    404791
   15 SERVER CLIENT  TCP len: 1460, seq: 6997921-6999380, ack:    404791
   >But server is able to get the wire and send more data.

   16 CLIENT SERVER  TCP len:    0, seq:  404791-404791,  ack:   6996461
   >Client is able to get the wire and send the ACK for data on frames 12 and 13.

   17 CLIENT SERVER  TCP len:    0, seq:  404791-404791,  ack:   6999381
   >Client is able to get the wire and send the ACK for data on frames 14 and 15.

   18 SERVER CLIENT  TCP len: 1460, seq: 6999381-7000840, ack:    404791
   19 SERVER CLIENT  TCP len: 1460, seq: 7000841-7002300, ack:    404791
   >Server continues to send data.

   >**Collision likely at this point because the client tries to send an ACK.

   20 SERVER CLIENT  TCP len: 1460, seq: 7002301-7003760, ack: 404791
   >But server is able to get the wire and send more data.
When you use the TCP/IP protocol, TCP acknowledgement (ACK) influences the collision. However, the problem is not due to TCP/IP or to the enhancement that makes Windows Explorer able to do 60-KB bulk reads. The problem can be illustrated by using FTP also. TCP/IP, the redirector, and Windows Explorer have absolutely no control over interframe gap. Interframe gap is at the physical layer, which is controlled by the chipset on the adapter. If your network experiences a high rate of collisions, contact the vendor of your network adapter.

For additional information about the TCP/IP protocol, see the white paper titled "TCP/IP Implementation Details," which is available at the following Microsoft anonymous FTP site:
The file name for the white paper is Tcpipimp2.doc.

Published Feb 11 2002 10:27AM  Issue Type kbprb  
Last Modifed Jun 11 2002 9:20AM  Additional Query Words  
Keywords kbnetwork  

COPYRIGHT NOTICE. Copyright 2002 Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington 98052-6399 U.S.A. All rights reserved.

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