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XP / Novell - My Computer & network drive response problems.

Posted on 2004-10-12
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We have a mix of Novell 5.1, 6.0 and 6.5 in our environment. Our clients are  laptops and Desktops with XP pro SP1.

3 weeks ago our laptops and some dekstops started having problems when opening My Computer.

We have computers running XP prox sp1 and Novell Client 4.9  sp2 . When we first start the machine and login to the novell network and in the background NT domain (single sign-on),. the login script runs and all the mappings happen. When you open My Computer , it shows the mapped drives but when you click on them it takes a long long time to show the contents and at the bottom left  corner you can see the number of files and at the right corner you can see the total size in MB of the contents, but NO directory listing at all. (Taskmanager displays My Computer Not responding)  After a long wait 5-6 minutes it shows up with the directory listing. If you logoff and logon again the display of the same drive contents  is instantaneous but if you power off and power on again .. the same problem occurs..

It feels like when you power on your machine and try to check contents of the network drives, XP tries to build some kind of cache of the directory/file listing and when you put off your machine , the  cache is getting cleared or something.


Would really appreciate if someone could advise me on this.
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Question by:pintoa2000
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16 Comments
 
LVL 34

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PsiCop earned 500 total points
ID: 12286760
<pet peeve>
"Novell" is a company. "NetWare" is a product. You "...have a mix of NetWare 5.1, 6.0 and 6.5...."
</pet peeve>

Congratulations on having a reasonably up-to-date NetWare environment. You'd be surprised how many people come into this TA not understanding why they are having issues getting their XP SP2 laptop to connect to their NetWare v3.11 server. Sure, it can be done, and it proves what great business value NetWare is, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense from the business maintenance perspective. Kudos for avoiding that trap.

While NetWare v5.0 and higher prefer TCP/IP, there are some people who continue to use IPX on their LAN. Does that apply to your LAN environment? If so, do you bind both TCP/IP and IPX to the Novell Client 32? If that's the case, then don't. Pick one protocol, preferably TCP/IP, and eliminate the other from the workstation Client 32 configuration. You can easily support both server-side, but binding both to Client 32 can lead to communication difficulties such as you describe.

Also, what is your primary login? The Novell Client 32, or the NT Domain login? You mention single sign-on - are you using Novell's SSO product, or just Client 32's ability to login to both environments?

Lotta questions for you so far - remember that the more you tell us about your environment, the fewer questions we have to ask you, and the less we have to guess.

You mention a mixed NetWare v5/v6 environment - is SLP properly configured? NetWare v5 supported SLP v1, which permitted, among other things, unscoped Directory Agents. NetWare v6 uses SLP v2, which requires Scope objects for the SLP DAs. Has this been done? Are all DAs running on NetWare v6.x servers? (This assumes your primary protocol for NetWare is TCP/IP and not IPX)
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by:ShineOn
ID: 12294391
Slow display of network drives when opening Windows Explorer usually is an easy fix.

1)  Update your SP1 with the post-SP1 hotfixes (unless you're confident you won't have problems with SP2 - haha)

2)  Disable unnecessary services - there are a LOT of them.  

3)  Make sure you have the UNC filter ON (Client32 properties, Advanced settings)

4)  Turn off (uncheck) Simple File Sharing and Automatically Search for Files and Printers in Windows Explorer, Tools, Folder Options, View.  Be sure to click the "Like Current Folder" button to set all folders to behave that way.  While you're there, turn off the "don't display known file types" - that's a common reason users run virus or worm files - 'cause they never see that it's an executable!  One of Microsoft's more idiotic "innovations."

5)  If it's still slow, do the registry tweak to remove the reg key that causes an automatic search for remote computers' scheduled tasks when you first open Windows Explorer.  Another moronic "innovation."  It's in HKLM, Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Explorer, RemoteComputer, NameSpace.  There are 2 keys, one for printers and one for scheduled tasks.  Get rid of the one for scheduled tasks.  It causes Explorer to search every computer it hits on the network, looking for scheduled tasks, whether it's a Windoze computer or not.  If it isn't, it keeps looking until it times out.  One of the post-SP1 hotfixes changes the timeout to lessen the impact, but it still happens.
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Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 12294447
By the way, you're correct - a cache IS built, but it's a computer-level cache and not a user-level cache, which is why logoff/logon doesn't clear it but a reboot does.

Also, to clarify - Windows Explorer is what displays folders and files when you double-click "my computer."  "My computer" is just another way to get at Windows Explorer.  Even though Task Manager shows My Computer, that's because that is what displays in the title bar...  It's still Windows Explorer, and I'll bet you have the same problem if, instead of opening My Computer after a fresh-boot login, you right-click your start button and launch Windows Explorer, or do a <Windowsbutton>+E to launch Windows Explorer, or browse your start menu to launch Windows Explorer...
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Author Comment

by:pintoa2000
ID: 12326067
Tried all of the above suggestions but no difference.  We setup SLP , scoped mode and have configured DHCP to provide the DA agent to all clients.. still no change..  

ShineOn , can you throw more light on the cache you say is built  when the machine starts. If can disable the clearing of the cache on every reboot it may help. Am getting really desperate now so could you please but some urgency in to this. I will be changing the credit points for a solution from 300 to 500 .

Thanks

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Author Comment

by:pintoa2000
ID: 12326070
Tried all of the above suggestions but no difference.  We setup SLP , scoped mode and have configured DHCP to provide the DA agent to all clients.. still no change..  

ShineOn , can you throw more light on the cache you say is built  when the machine starts. If can disable the clearing of the cache on every reboot it may help. Am getting really desperate now so could you please but some urgency in to this. I will be changing the credit points for a solution from 300 to 500 .

Thanks

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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 12326716
I don't suppose you can identify anything in common between the laptops and desktops that started having the problem 3 weeks ago, besides the problem...

Have you done a thorough check for spyware and trojans?
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Author Comment

by:pintoa2000
ID: 12337501
Here is an update on the problem :

We setup SLP on a NetWare 6.0 server in a scoped mode. This resolved problems for many Client 4.9 sp2 machines (laptops and desktops) but not all. The machines that still have a problem display the same symptoms , however if we downgrade to Novell Client sp1a on these machines  the problem goes away and things work fine.

A note that I would like to make which maybe irrelevant is about the, the output of the slpinfo /d from one of our XP clients..

10.10.0.20  MCST   UP  SLPV2   10.10.31.147    DXB_SLP_SCOPE

Some time we see  MCST  (multiicast) and sometimes we see DHCP in the output of this command. Any reasons why ?


Currently , since we do seem to have partial fix we are now taking things on a case by case basis and if a user reports a problem we downgrade the client to sp1a.. but we really need to get to the bottom of this and I would appreciate your advice.

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:pintoa2000
ID: 12337521
Oh ... the reason SLP did not work as I mentioned in my post on the 15th of October is because we had not restarted all the servers and hence did not have all Servers registered iin the SLPDA..Once we restarted we are in a better position but not out of the woods as yet as you can see in my earlier post today.

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Expert Comment

by:PsiCop
ID: 12340582
Hmmmm....

OK, so you now have an appropriate SCOPE object for the SLP DA, and you have restarted all the servers so their SAs would register with the DA, right? (Actually, all you have to do was unload and then reload SLP.NLM on the other servers - rebooting was a bit extreme, but no harm, no foul).

And after downgrading Client v4.9 SP2 to SP 1a, everything is fine, right?

I suspect that this has something to do with the default settings in Client 32 v4.90 SP2. I'm not sure if the SLP multicast vs. unicast has anything to do with this.

Questions:

1) How is the SLP information delivered to the client machines? Via DHCP?

2) You just have one DA, right? Not all servers are running SLPDA.NLM, right? Most just run SLP.NLM, and only one or two run SLPDA.NLM, right?
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Author Comment

by:pintoa2000
ID: 12356349
1| SLP information is delivered via DHCP. However when the output of the command slpinfo /D on the xp client shows the sources as MCST,DHCP.All other info i.e the ip address of the DA server and the scope name are correct.

2) Yes , just one server running SLPDA  , all other servers are running slp.nlm.
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Author Comment

by:pintoa2000
ID: 12356356
Yes, if we downgrade to Sp1 a .. everything works just fine.. really fast response on opening my computer and all mapped drives..
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Expert Comment

by:PsiCop
ID: 12358452
"However when the output of the command slpinfo /D on the xp client shows the sources as MCST,DHCP"

Hmmm...that sounds suspicious. But I don't have XP and I don't know of a way to control that. I think you want DHCP to be first.
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Author Comment

by:pintoa2000
ID: 12391640
Just tried removing the SP2 client and reinstallling it ,, no problem with my computer. Also the slpinfo /d shows the sources as DHCP only.., no MCST.

Is there a novell client tweak that disables MCST ...please advise ..

thanks
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:PsiCop
ID: 12400372
1) Right-click on the red N in the System Tray.

2) Select "Novell Client Properties"

3) Select the "Advanced Setting" tab

4) Set "Use DHCP for SLP" to "On"

5) Click "OK"

6) Because its Windoze, reboot

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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:PsiCop
ID: 12639247
pintoa, thanks for the points. What was the solution?
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Author Comment

by:pintoa2000
ID: 12640799
SLP was configured for scoped and unscoped on the servers , the problem went away ..
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