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Fast traffic from server, but slow traffic to client

Hi, and thanks for any assist...

I have a client with strange network problem.  In a simple client server setup (MS SBS 2003 and  XP clients, and a simple 16 port DLink Gigabit switch and a patch bay sitting between all clients and the server. Only one client is experiencing application issues with a client-server application.  When trying to reinstall this application from the server, it was taking abnormally long, so I finally tried to test connectivity between this client and the server. To test this, a transferred a 350mb file from the client to the share drive on the server, which was very fast (<6 minutes), but when transferring the same file back from the server to the client, it was estimated to take 3 hours.  

No other performance issues with the affected client.  Plenty of RAM, CPU's are not challenged

I tried three other clients with the same test, and all sent and received with excellent performance.

So, my questions are: does this sound like a NIC issue? Or something else?  What can I do to staple down the root cause?

Thanks lots!

Mark Litin
Mark Litin
3 Solutions
You can try pinging the loop back on that client to ensure everything is working correctly.  I would then do a progressive test pinging further away from the client (ie client IP, Gateway, and then server) this could give you an clue.

I would try a new cable if that is at all possible.

Yes it could be a NIC issue or based upon your post it could be a hard drive issue on the local XP computer.  If the upload to the server was fast but the download from the server was slow......I would check the hard drive on the local XP client experiencing the problem.

First thing I would try is a domain admin or local administrator on the XP computer run the CHKDSK command.

From a command prompt c:> type: chkdsk c: /f

This of course assumes the disk you are checking is drive "C" if it is another volume replace 'C:' with the proper drive letter. This command will probably require you to reboot the computer and run the command at the next restart.  If the command returns a value that says something similar to: "This volume is in use and cannot be checked at this time would you like to run this at the next restart?"  I am just paraphrasing...but select 'Y' and then restart the computer.

If the upload speed to the server is good....I do not think it is a Network or cable issue this sounds like a drive issue.  Another thing I would do is check and make sure you have installed the most current Disk controller drivers for the XP computer having the problems.   Then finally check to see how defragmented the drive on the XP computer by running the DEFRAG utility within XP .
I can just about guarantee that you have a switchport to that machine in half-duplex. Whenever you notice a large difference in upload versus download speed, it is 99.99% of the time a duplex problem. If you can, set the network card in the pc for full duplex operation and set the port speed to be the max of whatever switch you are connecting to. Then do the same on the switch (like 1000Mbps Full Duplex, or 100Mbps Full Duplex).
If your card on your pc cannot do this, you might want to try replacing it with a good quality intel nic card that can.

Mark LitinOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks all,

It was the built-in NIC, which I replaced with a new one.  Diagnostics for the old NIC did indicate that full-duplex was engaged, but still crummy writes from the network, although internal writes were fast.  All is right now.

Thanks o the insights!

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