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Worstations slow using Dentrix

Posted on 2013-01-22
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
We have brand new windows 7 machines with i3 processors and 6 gb of memory. they pull up everything fast except a program called Dentrix which is a dental program we use.  It has a non SQL based database that sits on the server. The program requirements say we only need 2 gb of memory on the server, but every workstaion is taking forever to pull things up in this program.
However, when I pull the program up on the server itself, it works pretty fast. Any suggestions? Do I need to install more memory?
Should I replace my network switch? What else should i look at?
Thanks.
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Question by:raffie613
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 38807941
Any chance the workstations have anti-virus scanning the database on the shared folder?  It should be excluded.
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by:raffie613
ID: 38808059
i didn't even put antivirus on some of them yet.
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by:raffie613
ID: 38816549
I have run a constant ping and there seems to be intermitten droos from and to the server. Should I replace the nic on the server ?
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 38816647
What make of NIC is it?  Broadcom?
There should be no dropped packets on a LAN.

#1 cause of physical network problems is poor cabling.  All cabling should be certified, but as a test take two new factory made patch cables and connect only one PC and the server to a switch and see if the problem still exits

If so make sure speed and duplex on the NIC and server are the same.  If it is not a managed switch the only option is to set the PC to auto, which is the best option any way.  But if you set it statically on the NIC, it MUST be set the same on the switch.

Next common point of failure is a bad switch can you try another

Thirdly would be the NIC.

There are also some known configuration issues with Server 2008 and newer TCP/IP configurations.  Though they can affect performance I haven't seen dropped packets.  From an earlier post of mine:
There are some known issues with newer advanced NIC properties such as "Task Offloading", and “Receive-Side Scaling” which drastically affect performance and stability of file share access if enabled and especially if you are running older drivers. The following outline  changing for the command line but I have found in some cases you have to do so within the advanced NIC properties for them to take effect. Any of these changes require a reboot to take effect.

To disable Receive-Side Scaling, at a command prompt, with elevated privileges, run the the following command:
netsh int tcp set global rss=disabled

To disable Task Offload, at a command prompt, with elevated privileges, run the the following command:
netsh int ip set global taskoffload=disabled

To disable Add-On Congestion Control Provider, at a command prompt, with elevated privileges, run the the following command:
netsh int tcp set global congestion=none

For more information Information about the TCP Chimney Offload, Receive Side Scaling, and Network Direct Memory Access features in Windows Server 2008
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=189029

Related blog articles:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/11/14/the-effect-of-tcp-chimney-offload-on-viewing-network-traffic.aspx
http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderberkouwer/archive/2008/05/15/backward-compatible-networking-with-server-core.aspx
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951037
http://msmvps.com/blogs/thenakedmvp/archive/2010/02/23/rss-tcp-offloading-strikes-again-microsoft-should-kill-this-feature-for-the-masses.aspx
http://www.petestilgoe.com/2008/01/sbs-2003-sp2-broadcom-nics-slow-network/
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by:raffie613
ID: 38816997
Rob,
Thanks for all the info. really helpful.
I am using SBS 2003 though.  

yes it is a broadcom NIC

where do I change the duplexing and speed on the nic?

 Do I make sure each workstation nic is matching what is on the server nic?

I run ping -t command from several workstations to several other workstation and get no packets dropped or even a change in the speed of the ping reply.
BUT when they ping the server, I get drops every so often and constant speed variations in the response times.
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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 38817253
>>"yes it is a broadcom NIC"
I asked as Broadcom NIC's are notorious for performance issues.  If possible I would add an Intel server NIC and disable the Broadcom.

>>"where do I change the duplexing and speed on the nic?"
By default it is set to auto, which is the best option, and chances are you haven't changed.  However to verify look at properties of the NIC, then "configure" and "advanced".  All of the options like speed/duplex, RSS, Offloading, etc. are located there.

>>" Do I make sure each workstation nic is matching what is on the server nic?"
Yes.  In my opinion all should be set to Auto (the default), unless you have modified the switch.

>>"I run ping -t command from several workstations to several other workstation and get no packets dropped or even a change in the speed of the ping reply.
BUT when they ping the server, I get drops every so often and constant speed variations in the response times. "
It could be a bad switch port (the one connected to the server), but more likely a bad server NIC. especially if Broadcom.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 38817697
I would look at your switch.  What model is it?  How old is it?

Try swapping it out and see if that resolves the problem.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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