Slow access to network files on SBS 2003 Server

Posted on 2006-11-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I have a network running SBS where I'm hearing complaints about slow access to files stored on the server.  I have implmeneted My Documents Redirection and various file shares.

The server is a new Dell 1800 with 1Gb of RAM and 160Gb of drive space.  The workstations are Windows XP Pro SP2 running AMD 2.0Ghz processors with 512Mb of RAM.  

I have seen this in action, where a user goes to open their file and it takes a few seconds to open.  Also, if they do Save As it takes a few seconds for this to happen.  This happens on all systems, so I'm comfortable in saying its not the local workstation.

The network is a wireless LAN, using Linksys WAP54Gs.  The server uses a wired AP to allow a connection to the workstations.  

I'd like to know what to do to speed up redirected my document access and file shares.  

Please advise.

Question by:jtcomstock
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Expert Comment

ID: 17934500
Try to connect a single workstation with ethernet, and see if the symptoms still exist.  Also, could you please post an ipconfig /all from the server and one workstation for review?

Author Comment

ID: 17934641

I did turn off SMB signing since I submitted the note.

Also, I had two access points, one was repeating off the other, which is connected via a LAN switch to the server.  I drop a cable to the second access point, so its now connected to the the same switch.  Things seem to be a bit faster.

I do have a nagging issue with Quickbooks.  The user that opens it on a regular basis says its slow.  She is connected to the access point that is connected to the switch and sites 15 feet from the access point.  

The office space is in an old house, so it would be a challenge to wire the place.

See below for the configs.


Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : miller.local
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Cont
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-14-22-CD-15-8B
        Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
        Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
        DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
        DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
        Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . :
        Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Monday, November 13, 2006 6:27:39 PM

        Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Tuesday, November 21, 2006 6:27:39 P


(C) Copyright 1985-2003 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

   Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : MILLERSERVER
   Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : miller.local
   Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
   IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : Yes
   WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : Yes
   DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : miller.local

Ethernet adapter Server Local Area Connection:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Network Connection
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-13-72-FE-3A-D6
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . :

Accepted Solution

manicsquirrel earned 1000 total points
ID: 17934850
I see you're using one network card on the server.  Everything looks correct for a single NIC setup.  

Is it Quickbooks 2006?  If so, I've already pulled all my hair out with my own customers over that one.  If they are using Quickbooks 2006, you must install Quickbooks on the server and open one of the data files with it.  Also, the folder that contains the Quickbooks data files must have QBDataMgr assigned with full access permissions.  This user is created when you install Quickbooks.

A practical tip on wireless:  If you must use wireless then you have to expect some latency and some connectivity problems.  If they use cordless phones in the office make sure they operate at a different frequency than the APs.  The APs may be on 2.4 GHz, so if their cordless phones are 2.4 GHz, talk them into buying a 5.8 GHz phone system.

Of course ethernet is always better for a workstation - when you can get it.  However, fishing wire isn't that hard unless the walls are brick or packed with insulation.  Drop ceilings, attics, crawl spaces, and basements are usually accessable.  You wouldn't believe the looks I get when I crawl down from a ceiling covered with insulation and dust - even us girls have to get our hands dirty sometimes.

Back to your problem (this banter isn't helping you any): make sure the firmware in your access points are up to date, you might want to experiment with the speed/duplex settings of your wireless cards instead of leaving them on auto-detect, you might take a look at the system and application event logs of your workstations to see if they are reporting in issues that might give us more insight.

Oh, and Jeff might get mad at me if my posts start looking enough like his that people think I'm Jeff.  :-)
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Author Comment

ID: 17935467
Yes, it is Quickbooks 2006.  I will try that tip on installing on the server.  

There are not cordless phones and I'm using channel 11 on the APs.  I did find that using one in a repeater mode for the other does create some issues.  This has been changed.  

I'm all for wire.  I've put a quote in front of the owner.  He's not ready to do it yet.  The house is 60 plus years old, so there are plaster walls.  

I've looked at the server logs.  I will check the workstations to see what is occuring.  


Expert Comment

ID: 17935573
Plaster walls?  Ahhhhh.  Decorative channel conduit is always an option as well.  They sell it at Lowes and Home Depot.  I think you can get it in bone, ivory, white and tan.  It's self adhesive and you put it on the wall and run the ethernet through it.  Although the last place I did that couldn't have a wall fish was a hotel that had steel-reinforced concrete walls.  We put a decorative crown moulding around the ceiling and ran the ethernet in it.  But crown moulding is pretty pricey.

Author Comment

ID: 17935591
That's an option.  They do make cabinets, so I think i could come up with crown molding.  
LVL 74

Assisted Solution

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 1000 total points
ID: 17942860
I'd agree that wiring would really help performance.  What you can do is use HUBS though which will cut down the number of runs you have to make from the server if there are clusters of workstations.

Everything else manicsquirrel has recommended I'd agree with.


Author Comment

ID: 18192005
Sorry for leaving this question open for so long.  The resolution to this problem is to get wiring installed.  We did a couple of runs from the server switch to the access points so that we could drop repeater mode.  This helped.  

The business owner has decided to go with wiring, as he has observed the performance improvement for a couple of workstatations that are now wired.  

Lesson learned about using wireless in a server environment.


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