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Server 2003 and Win XP clients slow browsing

Posted on 2004-08-25
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Okay, I have been all over the Internet and keep getting the same registry tweak to fix my problem. Here's the situation: i am running a Windows 2003 Server to share files among 30 clients, all of which are on Win XP Pro. The problem is slow network browsing, most notably among folders that contain a large amount of information. For example, when I try to open a file in ACAD 14 from the "Master Drawings" folder the file takes 30 seconds to a minute before it appears. If I open another file from the same folder immediately, it comes right up. If I wait 5-10 minutes before opening another file, the process starts all over again. The 'Master Drawings' folder contains over 2 gb worth of data in over 6000 files. I think that the mere size of the Master Drawings folder is my problem. I do not get the same problem when opening a file from a smaller folder.

I have applied the Scheduled Tasks fix on every client and that got me to the problem described above. Prior to that, it would take 3-5 minutes to open the first file so that tweak has helped significantly but I'm convinced that more can be done to enhance our speed. I have also tried turning off WebClient service and Indexing service on the clients. I did not notice any changes in performance when I did that.

I have not yet tried the fix described at

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Q_20819047.html?query=network+speed&clearTAFilter=true

Can anyone tell me if this is a fix I should bother trying or suggest something else?
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Question by:brianlardin
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by:tztrh
ID: 11901792
what are your DNS settings on client computers. You can set one of your DNS IP's ( primary or alternative) to be IP of your server. or you can map drives on your server. that should speed things up.
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by:brianlardin
ID: 11902575
The DNS settings match on the server and on the clients. Setting secondary DNS to match IP of server did not help.
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Debsyl99 earned 125 total points
ID: 11905436
Hi

The speed really shouldn't be that slow anyway - for example one of our server folders has over 17Gb of data - It still opens immediately from the client PC's. Most problems of this kind are down to resolution issues - well this needs to be ruled out first.
As tztrh has already hinted - your DNS settings here are crucial so just to check could you confirm that ...(I know feel free to kick me etc....) But you said this "The DNS settings match on the server and on the clients. Setting secondary DNS to match IP of server did not help"

Your server has it's own IP address listed as primary DNS server and no others in its own TCP/IP settings on it's NIC, and your clients ALSO have the DC's IP address listed as preferred DNS server and no others. Do not have any ISP's nameserver IP's anywhere other than configured as forwarders in DNS on the server, or things will be slow,

Deb :))



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Author Comment

by:brianlardin
ID: 11906157
Debsyl99,
  I did exactly what you said. I set the DNS on the server to match its own IP address. I then changed my DNS to match the DNS and IP address of the server. This worked great - but only ONCE! After I closed ACAD and went back in it was the same old problem. When you go to open a drawing from the server you get the wandering flashlight for 30 seconds to a minute to load up all the files. If you know your file name and you type it in and hit open, then you get a 30-60 second delay in the file actually getting displayed.

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Author Comment

by:brianlardin
ID: 11906796
Deb,
  I seem to have this working on my own PC now, but when I tried this on another machine I ended up with the same problem.

Any further suggestions?

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Expert Comment

by:Debsyl99
ID: 11906841
Hi

Troubleshooting these things can be a pain - I'd first check that all network settings are consistent,

so run ipconfig /all from server and clients from a command prompt - post them if you like and note any differences, and check that you can ping the server by it's name from all clients and note any variation in response times,

Then I'd also check the event logs on the servers and clients for any clues - the fact that it works on your pc is a good sign,

Am signing off for now - as my day is over, but will pick this up tomorrow. Post what you find,

Deb :))

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Author Comment

by:brianlardin
ID: 11907010
I'm done now, too.

It just stopped working on my PC again!!!!!!!!!!! AAGGHHH!!!

I'm out for the weekend. I'll be back to this topic on Monday.
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Expert Comment

by:tztrh
ID: 11910177
the problem could be in the number of clients browsing the network and trying to open files on server, and in the size of the file.
you can try mapping the drive on the server that contains your working files. in that case you will be connected to that drive at every startup. that could help.
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Expert Comment

by:Debsyl99
ID: 11911495
Hi
If it works then stops working - then I think we need to look elsewhere for the problem - try trztrh's suggestion above - is there any difference if you map the drive and then connect to it, also any difference accessing it through \\yourserver\share?

I think the link below is maybe worth a good look and some testing on one xp machine (they aren't sp2 are they? - also make sure that the internet connection firewall is definitely disabled on the XP Pro clients)

XP .... slow transfer rate
http://www.petri.co.il/speed_up_network_file_copying_in_windows_xp.htm

It's national holiday here next week - won't be back until Thursday so good luck,

Deb :))
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Expert Comment

by:cyberscan
ID: 11917025
You may want to check interconnecting wiring, reset switches (be careful here, some take awhile to get back to speed), clear cache and temp ffolders.  Ionce noticed a small kink in a network cable caused things to slow down tremendously at times.
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Expert Comment

by:macckone
ID: 13388583
This seems to be a common problem.  One cause hasn't been mentioned.  This can be caused by a stealthing firewall.  When the browser connection ends due to a time out the firewall prevents the outgoing RST on the TCP packet.  The client gives up after about 17 seconds and opens a new connection.  Solutions include changing the connection time out in security policy.

Security Settings/Local Polices/Security Options

Key:
Microsoft Network Server: Amount of idle time required before suspending session

Default: 15 minutes
Setting to 0 will prevent idle sessions from being suspended.

Keeping a browser window open to the share will also prevent suspension.

Of course turning off stealthing for ports 139 and 445 on the appropriate network interface will also solve the problem.
If the firewall doesn't have fine grained control the only solution may be to turn stealthing off.

This same problem will have the added symptom of slow reconnect to Remote Desktop connections.

Mack
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Expert Comment

by:psobkiewicz
ID: 13608003
IF you are running a P4 system with hyperthreading, disable hyperthreading in bios.  I had 2 identical P4 3.0 windows XP pro systems that took forever to browse CAD directories.  I disable hyperthreading and both run perfectly.  
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