Folder and files on DFS share are very slow to show properties dialog box

Posted on 2009-05-19
Last Modified: 2013-12-02
Hi Experts,

My scenario:

I have a number of sites; each site has 2 windows 2003 R2 SP2 servers that contain shared folders that are replicated with one-another with DFS.  Each of the 2 servers is joined to the AD as member servers, not domain controllers.

My problem:

From one of the servers, when I right-click and select properties of a folder or file that is in one of the DFS shares, the properties dialog box does not appear. This makes difficult to see the security permissions of the files, or to see which DFS host I am connected to.

I don't have any trouble browsing the shares, and viewing the properties of files outside the DFS shares works as expected.

Question by:M_A_D_C_A_T
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 24440650
Is this occurring while logged onto the server, or from a client?
Are your AD Sites and Services setup properly with subnets to allow for proper site awareness?

Author Comment

ID: 24447437

THis occurs on the windows 2003 servers, and the XP sp3

All my servers abd clients are on the same subnet - Do I need to configure a subnet in AD S&S if I only have 1 subnet?
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 24450586
AD sites don't necessarily need to be configured with one subnet.  The reason I asked the question is because I was curious if your DFS referrals were directing you to a remote location over a slow link.
do you have related events regarding DFS in the event logs?
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Author Comment

ID: 24463722

I've had more time to troubleshoot this problem and I've found out a few things.

A fully patched XP SP3 client does not have problems opening the properties dialog of a folder on a DFS share, but a SP2 machine does. I used a SP2 machine that was not able to display the properties box, and updated it to SP3, and bingo, right-click-> properties on a folder comes up instantly.

 A fully patched Server 2003 box with SP2 still has the long delay. I also noticed that the delay will hang the explorer.exe process. If I attempt to view the properites dialog of a folder and then log out before it appears, i get the exeplorer.exe process is not responding error, and the end task box appears.

It seems to me that Microsoft have patched something in XP, but left the patch out of Server 2003.

Author Comment

ID: 24463740
I had a look at the event log on the server, and there are no DFS errors, either on the servers hosting the folders, or on the servers I'm trying to access the files on.

I'm pretty sure it's a client side problem...
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 24466129

Author Comment

ID: 24469145

I also found this
The Properties dialog box of a DFS share takes several minutes to appear on a Windows XP-based client computer

But I can't find one that  applies to server 2003 machines.

I'll apply that patch you found, and see what happens

Accepted Solution

M_A_D_C_A_T earned 0 total points
ID: 24499716
Unfortunately that patch, kb873407, did not fix the problem - the ntmarta.dll file it replaces is a newer version on a sp2 2003 server...

It looks as though MS have identified the problem in XP and fixed it with the kb941133 patch, but have not patched the server version of Twext.dll under that KB article

I have looked around a bit more, and it seems that the bug in Twext.dll is patched in KB925066 - Installed the patch on the windows 2003 server I'm trying to access the DFS shares from, and it works!

To recap:
 to fix the XP SP2 machines, install patch kb941133 or update to SP3
to fix Windows server 2003 SP2 machines, install patch KB925066
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 24502305
Nothing like doing your own reverse engineering of one patch to find a file in another unrelated patch that updates the same file and it ends up fixing your problem.
Well good work.  Glad you got it fixed.  

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