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Windows Server 2012 Essentials Network Slowness & Router Issue

Posted on 2013-01-24
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Last Modified: 2013-05-06
I just installed a brand new HP server running MS Server 2012 Essentials in our office that functions as our only Domain Controller, DNS, DHCP, and File Server. Network traffic to and from the server (ie. File transfers) is extremely (painfully) sluggish. The server is running off of a Gigabit connection to a Gigabit switch and the XP clients are using a mixture of wired and wireless to access the server. Internet traffic works with our current router, only.

I am also attempting to replace our FortiGate 60 Router with a brand new FortiGate 60c Router. I have configured the router and fully tested it and it is performing extremely well. When I configured the new router, I assigned it the same IP Address as the old router (192.168.100.1/255.255.255.0). When I swap the routers out, the new Windows 2012 server loses actual internet connectivity (ie: Web surfing and pinging). Although, the connection is showing that “Internet” is functioning. If I hook a laptop directly to another LAN port on the router, the laptop can connect to the internet.

I have tried removing the Ethernet card drivers from the server and rebooting to reinstall them and that has not worked. I also reset the TCP/IP stack and Winsock and those did not work, too. Any thoughts on this matter????? I am truly stumped!

The Ethernet card on the server is setup as follows:
Static IP: 192.168.100.21
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.100.1 (the router)
DNS1: 192.168.100.21
DNS2: 192.168.100.1

The DNS Server on the Windows Server 2012 box is setup to forward DNS queries to the Fortigate Router. The Router forwards queries to one of the two ISP DNS Servers.
What are your thoughts?????,

Thanks!,
Mike

P.S.
I should also mention that I just removed Quickbooks 2012 from the server thinking that that was causing some of our slowness. That only improved performance ever slightly. I only noticed the slowness after installing Quickbooks a week or so ago. The server ran great prior to that.
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Question by:vanvoorhis1979
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 38819228
Confirm that you only have one nic in the server?
How much RAM?
How are the disks configured

DNS forwarders should not be set to the router...they should be set to either your ISP's DNS servers, GOOGLE DNS servers or other public free dns servers.
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Assisted Solution

by:Davis McCarn
Davis McCarn earned 250 total points
ID: 38819272
You don't, perchance, have a system state backup from before Quickbooks' installation, do you?
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 38819533
Also, QuickBooks 2012 installs a lot of .NET Framework versions and updates if they are not already installed. So you might want to look at Windows Update and see if there are updates (including Recommended) that need to be done.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:vanvoorhis1979
ID: 38821039
The server actually has four network cards.  I am currently only using one of them and have disabled the other three in addition to unplugging their cables.  Originally, I had "Teamed" two of the network cards using Microsoft's Teaming utility, but I have since brought it down to just one 1-Gig network card during my troubleshooting process.  The server has 8-Gigs of RAM installed, with a RAID 1 Hardware-based Array (2 x 1-Terabyte Hard Drives).

The DNS portion of the Server appears to be working fine.  Additionally, the DNS server that is built into the FortiGate 60c router appears to be working fine.  The Microsoft DNS Server is properly forwarding requests to the FortiGate 60c and that is properly forwarding requests to our ISP's DNS Servers.  In the past, I have setup DNS this way as well as the way that was mentioned in the above post and have had success with both methods.  At one point, I did attempt to point the DNS Server on the Windows Server to our ISP's servers and that did also work (Names were resolved), but I could still not connect to anything (ie. ping www.google.com).

Regrettably, I never did think to create a restore point or even image the box before installing Quickbooks 2012 Enterprise.  Believe me, I am kicking myself now!

All Windows updates appear to be present on the server.

Thanks everyone for giving this issue some serious thought!
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Assisted Solution

by:Cris Hanna
Cris Hanna earned 125 total points
ID: 38821183
Just went back and looked at your net config again...
Rather than having the NIC configured with two DNS addresses, have you considered only listing the Essentials Server?

Then on one of your workstations, statically point DNS to the Essentials server
Any difference in the file transfers, etc?
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Assisted Solution

by:Davis McCarn
Davis McCarn earned 250 total points
ID: 38822135
Try LanSpeedTest to see if you get any real difference between the server and a few workstations: http://www.totusoft.com/lanspeed1.html
If the network performance seems OK, we're going to have to roll up our sleeves and dig into what is chewing up that server.  Any CPU hogs appear in the task manager?
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vanvoorhis1979 earned 0 total points
ID: 38845370
Ok, I think I have this figured out!!!!!

Regarding the Network Slowness Issue:
The problem was actually the Ethernet switch!  I've never seen a switch fail like this.  It just slowed-down, not either completely died or started losing ports.  I ran the LanSpeedTest program that was recommended and we now have acceptable file transfer rates (sweet little program--thanks for the tip!).  Since Quickbooks 2012 did also shrink our bandwidth, I have moved it to its own 2008 std. server to avoid future issues.  I did want to mention that the stats on the old managed switch looked normal to me, as well.

Regarding the Router Switch-Over:
I downgraded the Router's firmware from FortiOS 5.0 to 4.0 with the latest patches and now the server will accept the new router.  Its odd that when running the 5.0 firmware (extremely new), that my tests involving a 2008 std. server and XP machines worked great behind the router, but the Server 2012 Essentials, did not.  For now I'm just avoiding FortiOS 5.0.

The real problem is that we were in such a rush to get this upgrade completed, that we changed too many things at the same time.  Always makes troubleshooting a challenge.

Thanks everyone for their input!  I will try to split the points up between all of you!
Mike
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Author Closing Comment

by:vanvoorhis1979
ID: 38858740
This solution worked!
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