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Shared MS Access 97 database causing 100% CPU usage on client workstation.

Posted on 2004-11-24
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Background:

We have an MS Access 97 databse stored on a network server that is shared by 30 to 40 users.  The server hosting the db and the client switch both have a GigE connection to the Cisco core switch.  The switches are optimized, spanning tree is correctly configured, portfast is enabled on the workstation ports and not on the uplinks, etc.  Optimal network configuration, and everything is extremely fast.

The domain is Windows NT 4.0 based.  The server hosting the db is Win2k Adv. Server, Compaq Proliant, dual PIII 1Ghz Xeons with 4 GB RAM.  The client workstations are both WinXP and WinNT, P3 and P4, from 64 mb of RAM to 368 mb of RAM, running both Office 2000 and MS Access 97.  The db is accessed through a proprietary C+ app developed within our organization (it's garbage), and is only compatible with Access 97.  Users access the db through a mapped drive created at logon, and the script calls the server by ip address, not the netbios name.

Using MS Access 97 itself causes no issues, and accessing a db on the network works without any issues.  When this application opens this 100mb Access 97 database, the CPU goes straight to 100%.  After you login to the application to use the database, the CPU remains at 100% for close to 3 or 4 minutes before returning to normal.  At this point, simply clicking the mouse on an empty part of the application window will send the cpu back to 100% for 30 or 40 seconds.

We will be migrating to AD in the next 6 months, so please, no suggestions regarding our archaic infrastructure.  We have no control over those aspects of this scenario, as it is dictated by others who know nothing technical.

Questions:

1.  Could this be a version compatability issue of either MDAC or MS Jet?  

2.  Could this have anything to do with the fact that Access 2000 and Access 97 are both installed on the workstation (in seperate directories)?

3.  Is there a Windows XP (SP1) service that if it were disabled, would have a negative impact on the accessing of a shared database in these conditions?  Same question for Windows NT Workstation.

4.  Is there a Win2k Adv. Server service or process that could help or hinder this?

I understand that there are lot more variables in play here, but they would take forever to list.  But I will provide more info if requested.  The app developer is convinced that this is a network problem, when it is clearly not.  Any help is much appreciated.
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Question by:cjansen75
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shanesuebsahakarn earned 1000 total points
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by:cjansen75
ID: 12663057
I should also clarify that the application is completely unresponsive, and 50% of the time it will never come back to a responsive state.
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by:peter57r
peter57r earned 1000 total points
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Hello cjansen75,

All Access97 apps will show 100% cpu usage when they can, for reasons indicated in the article that  shanesuebsahakarn mentioned.

However you are not using Access in this application.  You are using the Jet database engine, which is often inaccurately referred to as 'Access'.  The 100% issue is an Access GUI issue and (as I understand it) is nothing to do with Jet.
Therefore the problem would seem to lie in your C++ application and I don't think you'll get much help in this forum with C++.


Pete
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Author Comment

by:cjansen75
ID: 12663549
Thank you Pete.  Not being database oriented, I wasn't really sure what the right questions would be on this.

Is it possible that an older application would experience incredibly slow performance with a newer version of Jet.  
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by:peter57r
ID: 12664307
cjansen75,

The Jet version will be specified in the program I imagine, so it will be Jet3.5 for an app developed alongside A97.  I can't make any comment about C++ but in access or VB there are no issues that I'm aware of in using Jet4.0 with an 'access97' file.

Pete
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Author Comment

by:cjansen75
ID: 12664427
The real problem here is that the application is garbage, but we have no say in the matter.  I'm trying to contact the developers, but haven't had any luck.  It looks like all signs point to the application here, but unfortunately, I have no way of doing much to the application itself.  I appreciate your input.
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by:peter57r
ID: 12664528
Just re-reading your original post.
Can you clarify WHERE you are seeing this cpu usage? (Client or servermachine?)
(Not that I have any clues but it might be relevant)

Pete
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