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Slow peer to peer network peformance using Peachtree Accounting Software with Windows Vista and Windows 7

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
The Peachtree Accounting Application software is installed on each computer that runs the application. The database is located on a computer running Windows VIsta. The application runs great that machine where the database is located, but accessing the database on the other workstations is extremely slow. The workstations access the database via a mapped drive. The workstation that runs Windows 7 seems to be slower accessing the database than other, older, less powerful computers running XP. Peachtree does advise not to run the new internet protocol (vp 6 ? vs vp 4 ) since the Pervasive Database manager does not support the newer protocol  and I have made those adjustments on the VIsta and Win 7 machines. Other types of files (large graphics files, etc.) do transfer quickly over the network. I have tried switching cards, cables, disabling firewalls and antivirus software, all to no avail. The network cards are gigabit as is the router.
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Question by:dltcpa
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11 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:shadowmantx
ID: 35033754
One thing to check is Windows Search, it slows down everything due to indexing.  Uninstall it or disable that service.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:Bill Bach
ID: 35036567
What you need is super-vision -- the ability to see inside the network and find out what part of it is running slowly.  Download Wireshark (www.wireshark.org) and install it to the client that is having problems.  Then, capture the network traffic and take a look inside to see what is taking so long.  If you've not seen Wireshark before, see here for a primer:
    http://www.goldstarsoftware.com/papers/CapturingNetworkTrafficWithWireshark.pdf

Watch the packet times as the creep up in the second-to-left column.  Look for periods of little activity with long times between packets -- and this will probably be where the issue lies.  If you're not network savvy, you may opt to post the trace, but please be aware that private data may be captured with it, so make sure that you have no web browsers or Email running at the time.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35041970
Windows 7 64 bit or 32 bit?

which version of Pervasive Database manager?
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35042945
OR

You may need to disable Remote Differential Compression for your Windows 7 as follows:-

1. Click Start – Control Panel – Programs – Trun Windows features on or off

2. Uncheck “Remote Differential Compression” and click OK.

3. Restart the computer and you should see an improved performance with copying files.

Source: http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-7/slow-network-file-copy-issues-in-windows-7-caused-by-remote-differential-compression/
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Author Comment

by:dltcpa
ID: 35218211
I captured network traffic information by running Wireshark as suggested by BillBach. Since files with extension of .pcap could not be uploaded into Experts-Exchange, I created .txt files by using the file export routine in Wireshark. I created captures of two processes: (1) running Peachtree accounting over the network [the database files are located on another computer], and (2) accessing file folders on another computer. For each of the captures, I created 3 export files with different levels of the captured information.
For the files related to accessing Peachtree accounting, my initiation of Peachtree occurs at around line 5 of the capture, it takes until about line 1680 until the Peachtree displays the sign-in screen, and until about line 3798 until the program actually signs me in an allows me to use it. At around line 3890 I attempt to open the customer master file, at line 4200 I am presented with the prompt to enter a customer ID. I continued to navigate through the program, and at around line 12300 I initiate closing the program. I waited for a while, and at about line 13800 I once again initiate opening the program.

As for just attempting to access a folder on another computer, I try for the first time at around line 4 where it takes some time to open. After the folder opens, I close it and then try again at around line 142, when it opens much quicker.
accessPeachtree1.txt
accessPeachtree2.txt
accessPeachtree3.txt
openFolder1.txt
openFolder2.txt
openFolder3.txt
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Accepted Solution

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Bill Bach earned 500 total points
ID: 35233710
This is clearly a name resolution problem:
     51 2.558146    192.168.0.188         192.168.0.198         TCP      53726 > microsoft-ds [ACK] Seq=2912 Ack=3032 Win=56022 Len=0
     52 3.338213    192.168.0.188         192.168.0.1           DNS      Standard query A NEWACCOUNTING.hsd1.fl.comcast.net
     53 5.350591    192.168.0.188         192.168.0.1           DNS      Standard query A NEWACCOUNTING.hsd1.fl.comcast.net
     54 5.542710    192.168.0.1           239.255.0.1           UDP      Source port: 23094  Destination port: 9303
     55 6.191644    D-Link_6a:5e:c4       Broadcast             ARP      Who has 192.168.0.198?  Tell 192.168.0.1
     56 6.958444    00000000.000074dfaf8b 00000000.ffffffffffff IPX SAP  Nearest Query
     57 7.975819    00000000.000074dfaf8b 00000000.ffffffffffff IPX SAP  Nearest Query
     58 8.991867    00000000.000074dfaf8b 00000000.ffffffffffff IPX SAP  Nearest Query
     59 9.360156    192.168.0.188         224.0.0.252           LLMNR    Standard query A NEWACCOUNTING
     60 9.360672    192.168.0.198         192.168.0.188         LLMNR    Standard query response A 192.168.0.198
     61 9.361068    192.168.0.188         224.0.0.252           LLMNR    Standard query AAAA NEWACCOUNTING
     62 9.361332    192.168.0.198         192.168.0.188         LLMNR    Standard query response
     63 9.362301    192.168.0.188         192.168.0.198         TCP      54470 > simbaexpress [SYN] Seq=0 Win=8192 Len=0 MSS=1460 WS=2 SACK_PERM=1

From the 2s mark to the 9s mark, the system is trying to resolve the IP address of "NEWACCOUNTING".  It tries a DNS several times, until it finally gets a reply via LLMNR, but this has already wasted 5 seconds of real time.  Ther5e's another such lookup from the 18s to the 26s mark, too.

The "right" way to fix this is to fix DNS.  Right now, your computer thinks that your DNS server is 192.168.0.1, but this server is not responding to DNS queries.  (It actually might fail faster if there were no firewall and the server sent back a RST packet.)  If you can enable DNS services on this box, or change your DNS entry to point to the correct server, then you'll likely get a faster response.

Another solution is even faster/easier -- create a HOSTS entry.  On the workstation, go to C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\ETC and edit the file HOSTS. (with no extension).  Add these lines:
    192.168.0.195     VOSTRO_440
    192.168.0.198    NEWACCOUNTING
Add any other lines for other computers in the environment, too.  This should make the first lookup just about instantaneous.  The downside with this solution is that the HOSTS file will need to be put onto each workstation, and updated manually if the machine names or IP addresses ever change.
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Author Comment

by:dltcpa
ID: 35236235
I tried the two solutions proposed by BillBach on 3/28/2011 as follows:

Bill's first suggestion was to enable DNS services on the 'box,' however I found that DNS services were already set to Automatic on the workstation. (I determined this by Start >Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services > DNS Client > and noted that the Startup Type was set to automatic. ) Assume that this is what he wanted me to do.  Since he refers to DNS server 192.168.0.1 (which is actually the D-Link Router) perhaps I mis-understood what to do and was supposed to change DNS settings on the router. I did access the router, but could find nothing where I could change DNS setting other than for 'Dynamic' DNS which appears to be unrelated to the issue.

Since I could not figure out how to implement the first suggestion, I made entries in the HOST file as Bill suggested as an alternate soluction. This did finally correct the problem. The speed over the network is now super.

I will accept Bill's suggestion as the solution, but wanted further comment from Bill related to implementing his first suggestion (enabling DNS) before closing out this case.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35238045
Have you enabled NetBIOS over TCP/IP for all your computers (other than the computer which hosts your Peachtree Accounting Software) in your network?

If yes, the NetBIOS cache in other computers regarding the NetBIOS name for the pc which host Peachtree Accounting  may be corrupted. Details are in the link below,
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Windows_Networking/Internet_Protocols/Net_BIOS_and_NetBEUI/Q_24578609.html

Finally, nabling DNS requires a server with the role of a DNS server, normally the router from ISP will not take up the role.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35238060
Besides, the information below may be useful for you.

Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP

If you have several computers on your network and would like to see the computers on your network, Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP to speed this process up.  NetBIOS allows computers to be seen by name on your network.  Enabling NetBIOS allows your computer to find other computers in your network (Network or Network Places).

To enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP on Windows 7:

   1. Click Start, and then click Network. (click Start, type ncpa.cpl into the search box for Windows 7 or Vista, hit ENTER).
   2. Click on the Network and Sharing Center
   3. Click Manage Network Connections.
   4. Right click on the Local Area Connection select Properties.
   5. Select Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
   6. Click the Advanced button under the General tab.
   7. Click the WINS tab.
   8. Click Enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP.
   9. Click OK and Exit the settings.

Source: http://ttcshelbyville.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/enable-netbios-over-tcpip/
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:Bill Bach
ID: 35240529
I'm sorry that it was not clear.  When I indicated "this box", I was indeed speaking about the computer at 192.168.0.1, which you now indicate is a DLink Router.

DNS is a computer "name service".  The design of this service is to resolve computer names into IP addresses, as you can see.  Right now, when your computer needs an address, it forwards the request to 192.168.0.1.  Apparently, there is no DNS service running on this box, so the DNS requests are failing.  When they fail to respond, the system still waits for the failure, before trying another alternative.  (By the way, this is likely ALSO making your Internet access much slower than it should be, as the DNS resolution is probably failing there, too.)  

If you update your DNS entry on the workstation to point to a valid DNS server, then you should get an immediate failure, which would help, too.  (It still wouldn't be best, but it will be faster.)  In an ideal world, you'd run an internal DNS server configured as a relay (that relays requests to an Internet DNS server) and configure all workstations to point to that server for DNS lookups.  However, this may require a server-class Windows OS, or finding a free, third-party DNS service, if your DLink doesn't support running a DNS server.

Honestly, configuring a DNS server is well beyond the scope of the problem, and can either be quite complicated or easy, depending on the machines and operating systems you have running.  Luckily, we don't need that for this issue.  We know the cause of the slow performance is non-resolving DNS, and we can avoid the DNS resolving altogether by using a HOSTS file configured with each computer name in it.  Again, the downside here is if the network addresses change -- then you MUST update the HOSTS files, too.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dltcpa
ID: 35262962
Thanks for the help. The speed of the network increased tremendously.I also edited the HOST file on another computer (XP based.) It also then accessed the Peachtree database much faster. What I find interesting is that the less powerful XP machine ran better than the new Windows 7 machine with an i7 processor before I edited the HOST file of each machine. This indicates to me that not having the entries in the HOST file was much more detrimental to Windows 7 than XP.
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