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Intermittent slowness on Windows 2000 server

Posted on 2006-05-12
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There are several companies that all work on the same network (domain).  One of the companies continually has problems with slowness on their network.  It is a Windows 2000 Advanced Server running on a mid-end HP server (3.0ghz Xeon processor, 1.5gb of RAM).  The problems that they have are very irradic & have no explanation to them.  Basically, when someone is in explorer navigating a network drive (mapped to that server), sometimes it pulls up the directory listing immediately (with 2-4 seconds), other times it takes up to 40-80 seconds.  There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to why it is happening.  I have Symantec Corporate installed (v10), however, I have turned off all real-time protections (and scheduled a nightly scan...however, SAV still runs in the background for some reason).  I cannot figure out why the slowness occurs on this one server, not all the time & not on any of the other (10-20) file-servers.

Thanks for your help (let me know what details I forgot)

Are there any best practices for AV on a file-server?
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Question by:rustyrpage
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by:Debsyl99
ID: 16671866
Hi
Am not sure the issues are related but there are good practices it helps to observe when using AV scanning, particularly on servers. The following gives recommendations for file exclusions from AV scanning that apply to both Real-time protection scanning, manual and scheduled scans.
Virus scanning recommendations for computers that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, or Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;822158

Anything in your event logs - workstations and server when this problem is encountered?
Deb :))
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by:r-k
ID: 16672758
You may want to observe the Performance tab in Task Manager for a while to see how busy the CPU is over time, and see which applications might be taking the time.

inetinfo.exe in particular can use a lot of cpu time in small spurts of 40 or 50 secs every now and then.
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by:upul007
ID: 16673195
Also if there are two many connections to the server from several pc's at a given time, the users will notice this slowness. It does not need to be the same folder. Right click the my computer icon and select Manage. Here you can see how many connections and other info relating to the server.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 16673939
The CPU never has high utilization (I wish)...the memory has plenty left.  As far as number of users, that's what's really killing me!  My other companies have 30-60 people using one file server, while this company that is experiencing slowness only has 8 that use the file server.  I also pulled their Quickbooks off that server to ensure that there were no apps actually running on the server & to no avail.  

By the way though, when the network isn't performing slowly, I can transfer a few gigs worth of data in practically no time at all.  (we are all inter-connected with 1gb fiber links)
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by:upul007
ID: 16674025
To add to what r-k said, you could evaluate the processes tab on task manager as well. See which pid takes up the most cpu. Even 8 pc's can generate enough connections veer certain circumstances. Evaluate these one by one during the time that the slowness appears. Also see if the server has any outbound connections as well.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 16674056
It seems that whenever I check it (during slowness, which is only lasts for short periods of tim), the CPU usages is near 0%.
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by:Debsyl99
ID: 16674078
You haven't mentioned if there's anything in the event logs at all - server and workstations? ie any master browser issues. Also what are the workstations running? There have been issues like this seen in XP SP1 relating to SMB problems so are they fully patched?
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by:llefebure
ID: 16675351
Are you absolutely sure that you have the DNS set right? The clients are using a domain controller for DNS and the DNS servers all all of the active directory records in them.
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by:rutten-d
ID: 16677369
Is there a Distributed Filesystem involved?
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 16682471
No, there isn't anything in the Event Viewer.  There aren't any master browser issues that I am aware of (even though if there were, that would manifest itself accross the network wouldn't it?).  The workstations are XP SP2 on a 2000 domain.

Yes, the DNS is correct & the file server they are using is also a domain controller (no DNS on that one).

DFS is not involved.
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by:gsgi
ID: 16698966
There was a similar problem at a place I work as a consultant - slow w2k domain controller.  Turned out to be a Symantec antivirus issue.

-gsgi
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 16699256
What did you do to fix it?  

Was it SAV on the workstations or servers?
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by:gsgi
ID: 16699593
They called Microsoft - they had them replace a few symantec .dlls and possibly delete a couple of them on the server.
The solution had nothing to do with the clients.

I'll try to get more info from the IT manager there.

-gsgi

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by:rustyrpage
ID: 16699615
That would be great!  (since we use Symantec)  As of right now I have just disabled real-time scanning for the time being & then just scheduled a full scan every night.  I was hoping someone would tell me that would be an okay thing to do.  (I also am awaiting feedback to see if that even fixed the problem)
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gsgi earned 2000 total points
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Yeah that is ok.  However, that may not prevent the slow downs.  I am guessing (i.e. vaguely remember) that the issue had to do with the network.  So once these symantec .dlls are loaded, the network connections go really really slow, then speed back up.  In this case it kept getting worse - the slow down became more frequent to the point the thing was a problem.  He definately did what you did, disable real-time scanning, I just don't remember if it helped or if it did how much it did.  Dell also replaced many parts of the server (before the symantec fix) so you may want to run hardware diagnostics just to check - memory, the raid controller, etc.

-gsgi
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