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Slow file access in the morning

Basically I have a user who is complaining that when he comes in to work in the morning sometimes his files take a long time to access.  He is using XP Pro SP2 and the server is SBS 2008.

For example he was showing me today when he opens MS Word, then goes to open a word file on the server from with Word, sometimes it can take over two minutes to open this file.  But after a while everything seems to settle down and he works normally for the rest of the day. So this only seems to be happening in the morning.

I have checked the virus scan schedule, backup schedule and cant see anything else running at that time.  The user told me he doesn't like to reboot, so for starters i've told him to reboot when he comes in tommorow morning and then try again to see what results he gets.

The server is also using 95% RAM (4GB) but my senior engineer tells me this is normal for an SBS Server.

Anyone have any ideas?
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Tekky007
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Tekky007
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1 Solution
 
scrathcyboyCommented:
"open a word file on the server from with Word, sometimes it can take over two minutes to open this file"

This is an MS word problem and has been since MS first put out version 1 of their bad-networking program.

"Anyone have any ideas?"

Yes, this is the ultimate fix for MS WOrd's inability to speedily access network files.  You may not like it, but it is a time-proven solution to MS word's problem with accessing network files --

Teach all users to copy the file they want to edit to their local hard drive, using windows file manager (i.e. explorer).  Edit the file locally on their own hard drive, then when done, copy it back to the server.

MS Word has ALWAYS had a problem accessing files in a timely manner over network connections.  You can say it improves during the day (because of repeated access) but the problem still remains.

I have seen numerous instances where Word will just freeze a computer solid because the server where the last file was accessed over the network is no longer available -- Word uses links to the network features of windows, that if the file server is not there, even windows file mgr (explorer) will freeze.  They have never fixed this fatal flaw of their word processor.  If you do what I said above, none of your users will have problems.  Once the cache of networked files is removed from Word, their computer's speed access will increase back to normal.  Word's network links grinds it to a halt.
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johnb6767Commented:
I wouldnt go that far..... Risk too many versions of the same file....

I would check to make sure that there are no Mapped Drives that show Disconnected..... Same for My Network Places...

And check the DDE settings of the .doc/.docx file type in Folder Options...... Compare to another PC.

Rename the local copy of his profile, and reboot, have a new profile created and retest. If it isnt improved, rename the profile the way it was......

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hutnorCommented:
You can move your file shares to a different server with fast network access & hard drives.

If you have a lot of users & they are all logging on & accessing everything in the morning everything will be slow. You can get around it with fast hard drives & network. You can also have multi hard drive & network connections working together.

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Tekky007Author Commented:
No this is two people, with one server and two clients.  The network or hard drives dont seem to be the problem.

Keep the good idea coming guys, I will do some more testing tommorow and see what results I get.
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Iain MacMillanIT ManagerCommented:
have you disabled SMB2 on the 2008 server, as XP does not recognise this and can initially slow down network access and file transfer speeds.

i assume all systems and server are on the same switch and that the server in not on AUTO port settings on the NIC or Switch (usually set to 100FULL or 1000FULL)?
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scrathcyboyCommented:
John and Tekky007, it won't be solved permanently without doing what I said.  Good luck.
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johnb6767Commented:
"John and Tekky007, it won't be solved permanently without doing what I said"

If thats the only legitimate fix, then more people would be copying files locally/editing/saving up.......

I would get a sniffer started, and see if you can find out what the machines are trying to do, what they cant seem to find that they are looking for.....

Probably not the issue, but throwing it out there.....

The default dynamic port range for TCP/IP has changed in Windows ...
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929851

Doubel check NIC speeds/duplex etc as well. Try different switch ports. Are they managed switches? Any errors?
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hutnorCommented:
What is the clients desktop like? Is his PC hardware old or has he got a lot of things running to slow it down?

Are the other users also having the same problem? Are they also on old PCs/same hardware?
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Tekky007Author Commented:
Ok so im going down to swap out his HP switch with one of our cisco switches just so i can rule that out of the equation.

His desktop is fine, seems very responsive no issues.  There is another user on the network who is having some other unrelated issues with her PC but not these slow down problems.  Its like the computer (server or client) hangs while trying to access the file then all of a sudden kicks in and everythings fine until the next time it happens.  

Im out there tomorrow installing the switch so is there any other information that would be helpful for me to get off the clients?

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johnb6767Commented:
I would strees the sniff...... If the OS/Profile is looking for something, then it very well might be looping.....
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Tekky007Author Commented:
Wireshark you reckon?  Chuck it down for a day or two get the user to record the times of day it happenes then check the output?
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johnb6767Commented:
Sounds like a plan man.....
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Iain MacMillanIT ManagerCommented:
is there any odd manufacturer's software running, like net diags, or other tools running in the background??  Use AutoRuns to verify what's running on start-up.  I have had similar Office file issues with Lenovo laptops, due to issues with Access Connection app and its services - once removed, office files opened over the network fine.

I agree with Johnb6767, asking everyone to copy files locally is mad, but you could just test the system offline (disco the NIC cable) and see if it does it when the system is off the LAN to rule out a localised issue/fault.
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johnb6767Commented:
Any update?
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Tekky007Author Commented:
So I went to change the switch over yesterday and to do a little more testing but the client was busy and I have to go back early next week.  

My plan for when I get in there is to test the opening of files on the local machine while disconnected to the LAN.  Im going to turn off SMB2 and install my cisco switch for starters.

If no joy then I'm going to hound my boss for an old box I can put in there for a few days to sniff some packets and see if I can see the problem then.
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johnb6767Commented:
Good luck.....
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johnb6767Commented:
BTW, have you had any server changes recently?

Any oport filtering , EG. Cisco NAC?
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Tekky007Author Commented:
No server changes or anything like that I can think of.  Hoping to hear back from the customer today or tomorrow.
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Tekky007Author Commented:
Still waiting to hear back from the customer, not much I can do about it.  Unfortunately I have to work around his schedule but i'd much rather have this out of the way.
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johnb6767Commented:
Were not going anywhere.....  :)
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Iain MacMillanIT ManagerCommented:
ok so what was the solution/fix???
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