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periodic slow response on new server

Posted on 2011-03-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Added new server to my newrork.  A custom build, much more capacity and speed than a PC-class machine that it replaced.  Expected everything to be noticalbly faster and some things are but something seem to freeze it up for a long time, simple things, like, for example, opening a small RTF file in Word (file in a Home directory on the server; Word local to the client).  This could take a minute or more, and used to  be near instantaneous on the previous, lower capacity server.  Then it will be OK for a while.  Even a small startup BAT file, that doen't do much more than map some drives is taking noticably longer, and should, I think, fly by so fast that it's just a blip on the taskbar.  It might be taking a full minute.

All I can think of is that some process is running every now and then, and at a higher priority than on the previous machine.

It's a fairly plain vanila Server 2003 machine, 1 TB drive, 3 GB RAM, small to modest data files, and just two server based apps, our membership and financial database and our room scheduling system.  Only 20 users max and most of the time fewer.

I'm also running Exchange 2003, but it is still on a PC-class machine that is functioning as a 2003 server.  

I don't even know where to start looking.  Seeking suggestions of things to check please.

Ron Hicks, Washington DC
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Question by:Ronald Hicks
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13 Comments
 
LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:sjklein42
sjklein42 earned 50 total points
ID: 35050592
This could be caused by I/O errors (timeouts) on the hard drive.

Check the System Event Log.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 35051852
Is right click slow as well, when these files are slow?
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 35052053
No errors in the System log.  Lots of info items though related to the Win HTTP AutoProxy Service being sent a start command, entering the running state,  then going idle and then stopping because 1dle for 15 min.    It gets another start command 15 minutes after stopping.
.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 35079272
Context menu handlers and programs loading from a remote computer that may be turned off or no longer available may be the issue. I had similar symptomps. This is why I asked if right click was slow. But, here, check it out for yourself to see if you have similar symptomps:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/PCs/Q_23099683.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+comput+lazi
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 35094498
Thanks ChiefIT.  I did check right clicking.  I didn't notice that it was slow, but I might have been in one of those time frames when anything would have been fast.  Would it have mattered for the diagnostic that I was right clicking on a shortcut on the desktop?  Should I have been right clicking on the executable on the server?    I'll check out the link you sent when I'm in the office today.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 35113142
If you have a bad context menu handler, it could cause a variety of slowness problems.

If you have an application that was installed from a remote computer. It may be trying to find that computer for the application in order to run that application. That was my problem. I downloaded Winzip from a remote computer and ran the install from that remote computer. So, all registry entries to find and run Winzip pointed to the remote computer. When that remote computer is turned off, or retired, this is when you see slowness. If the slowness is itnermittent, It could be from the remote computer being turned off.
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 35116038
The most noticeable delay is in opening Windows Explorer, which can be instantaneous (1 to 2 seconds) when all is "normal" , but, when the delay phenomenon is present, will take two minutes to expand the folder tree in the left pane beyond the initial display of DocsAndSettings\currentuserProfile\StartMenu.

I don't think I have any apps that were installed other than on the server itself.

Thanks for sticking with me on this.  
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 35117308
Here's more info on the service that keeps starting and then stopping due to being idle.  It is the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) protocol for Windows HTTP services (WinHTTP).  The description in Services says it is to "enable an HTTP client to automatically discover a proxy configuration."  Also:  "If the service is stopped or disabled, the WPAD protocal will be executed within the HTTP client's process instead of an external service process;  there would be no loss of functionality as a result."

It gets started repeatedly by being sent a start control by the Service Control Manager (Event ID 7035).  I don't know why the SCM is doing that though.  Any clues?
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 35120126
If the client is restarting the WPAD, it probably means that you have group policies to control what's beeing filtered over the network, using the server as a web proxy.

Other than that, i wouldn't know why WPAD is repetitively restarted by the client.

Look at an IPconfig /all and see if your DNS servers on that troubled client is your DNS servers.
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 35120995
I don't think the client is cycling the WPAD.   I thought something on the server is triggering it.  DNS settings are OK.   This problem isn't on only one client;  happening on more than one;  on all I think, but I haven't sat at each and every one to be sure.
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LVL 38

Accepted Solution

by:
ChiefIT earned 250 total points
ID: 35123196
What you are explaining to me is, during accessing common information file shares (CIFS shares), it can lag. You are also having problems with logon scripts, that are probably located in Sysvol and/or Netlogon shares.

Both CIFS and logon scripts rely upon netbios resolution, not DNS. So, we should have tried to explore problems in Netbios. Please go to  your servers and look for any system events in the event logs under the 8000's. 8021 and 8032 would be and example. Also let me know if you have any software firewalls on clients and servers. Firewalls often block Netbios broadcasts. Furthermore, check your new server's netbios settings on the nic card to ensure netbios over TCP/IP is enabled. Make sure file and print sharing is enabled on the nic as well as the browser, workstation and server services are started.
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 35147387
Netbios over TCP/IP wasn't enabled.  Now is;  that seems to have fixed it.

A great big THANK YOU to ChiefIT.

Thanks also to sjklein for his (the first) response which eliminated something as a cause.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 35153973
Oh, excellent. Glad to see things are better.
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