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Network is slow and I want to make a checklist of improvements to solve the issues.

We had a server a few months  ago with windows server 2003 installed and 602LAN Suite to issue the e-mails to the different computers.

The e-mails work fine but the internet and file sharing and seriously slow sometimes then other times its ok.

First, the server does not have antivirus and i'm guessing that a starndard Norton 2004 or McAfee Virus Scan V.8.0 will not work although I have both I have not tried because it may cause problems.

Secondly I have been told that a router should be bought to replace the 5 port d-link switch that I am using to share to 3 pc's and 1 laptop.

The network is hard wired....

Thirdly  the computers being used are typically duron 1000 computers but they are also about 3+ years old and the problems seem to be with slow log on, and file access, internet sharing... Should I consider upgrading the pc's at the same time.  E.G. a motherboard bundle upgrade consisting of a new cpu, MB, DDR and fan/heatsink and finally a new case

2 of the pc's are on win 2000 pro and the other pc in on xp pro and the laptop is on xphome although the laptop doesnt really come into it as it never really gets connected to the server.

your help will be appreciated

thanks

Mat
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auraorange
Asked:
auraorange
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4 Solutions
 
lyle-grangerCommented:
Mat,

First, you are correct in the assumption that Norton or McAfee standard will not work with your server.  You will need to purchase one of the following:

Norton's "Symantec AntiVirus 9.0 --> http://www.symantec.com/smallbiz/sav_sbe/index.html
or
McAfee's  "Active Virus Defense SMP Edition" or "Net Shield" --> http://www.shopmcafee.com/dr/v2/ec_MAIN.Entry10?V1=636645&PN=1&SP=10023&xid=43625&DSP=&CUR=840&PGRP=0&CACHE_ID=163483

Second, It would be good to use something other than a DLink switch, you can purchase a linksys router which will act as a router and a four port switch.  This will allow you to secure your network as well as share resources.    

I might suggest the following: http://netgear.com/products/details/WGU624.php (this also offers wireless networking)

Thirdly, I am not a big fan of building production computers.  You can purchase a corporate line computer for around $1000.00 which come with a 3 year parts and labor warranty from most all of the major computer vendors.  If you are dealing with older hardware you could certianly expreience slowness.  I might also suggest setting up DHCP and DNS on your server.  This will also help greatly with network access to the internet and file shares.  If you are not doing internal DNS it takes significantly longer for users to access internet and network resources.  If you have any further questions please post and I would be glad to assist if I can.

Good Luck.

Lyle
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johnrmorrisCommented:
The above comments are on target. I, however, have no problem with upgrading the PCs. Sometimes the $$$ saved are worth being the troubleshooter down the line. Is the Hub a 10 or 100 MB? A slower PC AND a slow hub could be the most of the problem. I'd start with a router, first, because it will for sure have a 10/100 switch (you can then check the led's to see if your PCs network cards are 100mb) And a Firewall is ESENTIAL!!

YEESSS put antivirus on that server. You could already have problems there!!! Install and scan ASAP. If you have a mass mailing worm it could slow down the server. I'm a Norton Corp. fan. (they have a 5 user pkg)

If you still have problems after that, I'd upgrade 1 PC and check the performance. If it is still slow, see Lyle's suggestion to have DNS running on your server. If it is still slow you might check to see if you have processes running that are malicious. Go to http://hijackthis.de and you can download the program hijackthis, put it in a folder on the c\:drive of the server and run it. Have it save to log, highlight the entire log and paste it into the above website and click the analyze button. Do be careful not to have it remove important processes (mostly concern yourself with the Red items)

Let us know how you fare.
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ashkaatCommented:
Dear Mat:

I understand that "602LAN Suite" has a built-in Antivirus, Anti-Spam and Firewall. So, i guess that you don't need an additional antivirus for your email system. But you sure need for the Server files and the PC's. I recommend McAfee Enterprise 7 with the Total Virus Defense Package including the e-Policy Orchestrator to enable auto Pull-Push Update.

So, here's the Checklist i recommend:

1- Scan the server and the PC's for Viruses.

2- Check that the NIC's and the Switch are running on 10/100

3- Make a Defrag and Scandisk for the Server and the PC's

4- Check the free Diskspace on the Server and the PC's

5- If you are using RAID on the Server, Check that the RAID Card is operating well

6- Check the Event Viewer for the Server when the problem happens to see if you have any problems reported in the Application Log or the System Log.

7- Try Lyle Suggestion running DNS and DHCP on the Server.

If you are finished with these last points and problem persists, go head and upgrade one PC and see how its performance is going on. If it worked well, you can go ahead upgrading the other PC's.


Best of Luck
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ashkaatCommented:
Oh, Sorry

i forgot a point in the Checklist

8- When the problem happens, see the Task Manager and see how your CPU Usage is going on and see if any process is eating the System Resouces.
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thribhuCommented:
hi,

comming to antivirus as u said u have both norton and Macafee.Install one of that in the server, but not both.
I prefer norton as it does not delete files without asking.
First thing u do is upgrade the norton antivirus through LIVE UPDATE option, so that u get all the latest virus definitioins updated........

If possible increase the RAM and processor speed of your server,  I mean max processor speed till the motherboard supports....

Comming to your workstations.......
the slow start is due to the unnesasary process running at the time of system boots........
Remove this by doing this..........
start -> run -> type regedit
in the registry

expand Hkey local machine -> Software ->microsoft -> windows -> current version-> run
In Run remove all the file links u have. press F5 to refresh the registry......
All this links will try to start the unnesasary process at system bootup...

this may help u for some extant.....

For the network u have, the Dlink switch is okey...technically speaking better than router as u have a small and single network.......

confirm your speeds by pining server from workstations if the delay is more than 1 MS then u need to check the pyisical layer link your cables and so.......
start->run-> ping serverip(x.x.x.x) -t

According to my knowledge each NIC can transmit few million of packets efficiently.......
So according to u, u r using the server from 3 + years , so if possible replace the NIC with better one ....
To reduce broadcasts i suggest u to disable netbios protocol...........

if u r not satisfied with this thn go for total brand new once  instead of upgrading board RAM etc as one relay on other for performence..................

cheers,
Thribhu..........



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auraorangeAuthor Commented:
The CPU on the server is a P4 2.8gb and the server is about 3 months from new.  I am using raid and that seems ok as I took the one drive out and run it as IDE and it made no difference.

The CPU usage was at 60% constantly but I disabled "NAT" on the 602 lan suite ands that resolved that problem

I am only using the 602lansuite for 5 users which is free and does not have antivirus.

I got a quote for 5 panda antivirus licenses for 1 server and 4 pc'd at £176.00, now i'm sure that is a good price, but is panda not a good idea?  I have experienced norton to slow down computers especially the computers that are a few years old.  I find McAfee Virus Scan 8.0 very good and it doesnt drain the pc, but I have not seen a server edition of it available?

Finally, my adsl is USB and I contacted BLACKBOX networking company and they suggest I ask British Telecom for a Ethernet adsl router so I was going to call them tomorrow.

"""""""""""""""
Comming to your workstations.......
the slow start is due to the unnesasary process running at the time of system boots........
Remove this by doing this..........
start -> run -> type regedit
in the registry

expand Hkey local machine -> Software ->microsoft -> windows -> current version-> run
In Run remove all the file links u have. press F5 to refresh the registry......
All this links will try to start the unnesasary process at system bootup...

""""""""""""""
I have copied and pasted this above advise, now I know i've removed startup programs etc from msconfig before on my home pc, is this good advice? as i know if I mess with the registry it can cause serious problems??

cheers

Mat
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auraorangeAuthor Commented:
Sorry I saw the McAfee links above.  Do you have the correct links for norton and mcafee based on one server and 4 pc's licensed?

I have looked at the norton site (UK) and there are so many versions...

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auraorangeAuthor Commented:
is this the correct Norton i would need??

http://www.symantecstore.com/dr/v2/ec_MAIN.Master2
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lyle-grangerCommented:
Mat,

It would be easier to contact either of the vendors McAfee or Norton for licensing information.  I have heard the same thing about Norton, however, I am running Symantec Corporate Edition 8 on a windows 2000 domain, including the servers without trouble.  I am also running McAfee on another domain and it works ok as well, however I haven't found as nice a management piece with McAfee.  I would stick with either of these two vendors, they are well known and have proven themselves.  

Here is a link to McAfee's 5-10 user licenses:
http://www.shopmcafee.com/dr/v2/ec_MAIN.Entry10?V1=636645&PN=1&SP=10023&xid=43625&DSP=&CUR=840&PGRP=0&CACHE_ID=163483

Here is a link to Norton's 5-10 user licenses:
http://www.symantec.com/smallbiz/sav_sbe_mt/index.html (and choose 5 user license)

I would be careful with removing items from startup.  You may remove something that you actually need at statrup.  You could remove items that you are aware of without any trouble.  I would say you would be safe using the msconfig on the windows xp computers and you could download the msconfig tool for 2000 from microsoft and then you would be safe editing 2000 as well.

Here is the link for Win 2000 msconfig utility:
http://www.perfectdrivers.com/howto/msconfig.html

Hope this is helpful

Lyle
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johnrmorrisCommented:
Your link did not work for me. Try this link:

http://www.symantecstore.com/dr/v2/ec_MAIN.Entry17c?CID=0&SID=27674&SP=10007&PN=21&PID=1269591

basically you want a small business edition 5 user and it will run about $350 with an anual renewal (includes upgrade insurance) They usually give you a break when you buy year 2 at the same time.

 I have the new Norton 9 running on several P2 400s and even 1 P5 233 (although most of my ws are AMD 1000 to 2600+)

I think if you are worried about going into the registry, msconfig is a safe way to do the same thing.

The dsl modem could slow up your network. I had one client who when they lost their intrernet their inside terminal clients acted up.
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UNS-TechCommented:
general slow traffic can also be due to running too many protocols

delays are found as they fight to become primary

check Network Connections  - NIC - Properties to ensure you are only using the one(s) that you need ( typically TCP/IP )

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auraorangeAuthor Commented:
The main issue here came down to Anti virus software, I changed from server 2003 to win 2k pro on the server and eventually installed McAfee V8 and found many viruses and the SASSER virus was there too so it appears that first time around the server settings seemed to be correct and the virus programs and lack of virus program really made a difference

cheers

Mat
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johnrmorrisCommented:
Sounds like it took drastic measures, but glad you all set.
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