Intermittent communications problem between Win 2008 R2 Server and Win 8.1 Pro Workstation

Hi,

I have an odd problem that I am struggling to diagnose.

I have a Windows 2008 R2 Server and just a single workstation on the network, running Windows 8.1 Pro.

A lot of the time the workstation and server communicate normally, but from time to time it suddenly starts taking 5+ minutes to open a simple document on a share on the server.

When this happens all other server communications are fine, I can even RDC into the server and copy a file across at normal speed.

Normally when this happens, rebooting my workstation will fix it, but sometimes it doesn't and I have to reboot the server too. Occasionally even rebooting both won't help, and only time will fix the problem.

I originally thought my workstation was the problem as it had a dodgy SSD, but I replaced the SSD and did a full new install which appear to work for a couple of weeks, but now the problem is back.

Any ideas on how to start diagnosing this?

Thanks,

Richard
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rpmAsked:
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NVITCommented:
Is anything eating CPU time in Task Manager?
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VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
The first thing I'd look at is updating the network drivers on the Windows 8.1 workstation to the latest version. Are the network drivers up to date?
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rpmAuthor Commented:
NewVillageIT: I'll let you know next time it happens ... shouldn't be long!

VB ITS: Yes they are!

Do you think it might be worth installing a network card? Currently I am using the onboard network
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WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyCommented:
Reset the switch, it's a single point of failure. If it's a managed switch check the logs.
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WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyCommented:
Ping -t <ip address> run this from the workstation to the server and another to the switch. You'll be able to see where the time increases above <1msec which will help isolate the problem. As well move the cables on the switch, server, and workstation to see if ping is affected.

Ping -t <ip address> provides a constant ping.
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rpmAuthor Commented:
I have reset the switch and changed the ports around, which made no difference.

Sadly the switch is unmanaged.
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rpmAuthor Commented:
The problem has just occurred again so to answer previous questions:

Highest CPU usage was wuauclt.exe, but this peaked at 1% and mainly 0% so hardly eating CPU!

Ping times between workstation and server were all <1ms

Not much to go on, I admit!

Richard
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VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
Is it always a particular type of document, i.e. Word files, or is it any type of file on the network drive? Are you able to open folders OK during this period as well?
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rpmAuthor Commented:
No, it's all document types, also if I am playing music on media player at the same time, then it takes minutes to move between tracks. My music is on a share on the server. The problem can also occur if I have no music playing, so that isn't the cause!

Server based folders can be open on the workstation, but again it takes minutes to move between folders.
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NVITCommented:
When it happens, is it from Workstation -> Server? At that same time, can you check the other way, i.e. Server -> Workstation. e.g. does it slow file copy both ways?

Can you connect a different Workstation to the network and test?

If either has antivirus, turn it off temporarily and test.
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rpmAuthor Commented:
I'll try the Server -> Wks copy next time it happens.

I've tried turning off the AV at both ends ... no difference!
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NVITCommented:
When this happens all other server communications are fine, I can even RDC into the server and copy a file across at normal speed.
Copy from where to where?

Can you connect a different Workstation to the network and test?
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rpmAuthor Commented:
When the problem occurs, rather than access a file through the shared folder, I RDC onto the server, copy the file that I need from the folder on the server onto my workstation desktop, edit the file locally and then copy it back.

This works fine, even whilst the problem is occurring.

Next time it happens I will boot up my laptop and try accessing the server from that.

Richard
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NVITCommented:
Also try:
- During problem, copy using \\server\sharedfolder instead of mapped drive.
- Change the network cable on the client.
- If you can  install a network card on the Windows 8 client, that would help to isolate.
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VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
Might be worth trying to access the share via the server's IP address as well when the issue occurs, e.g. \\192.168.0.10\share
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WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyCommented:
What are the server specs? What drive configuration? Check how many reads and writes are going on with the drive.

Server is it running iPV6, WIN8 loves this.
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rpmAuthor Commented:
New network card now installed ... fingers crossed!
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NVITCommented:
Hi rpm... Just wondering if you still need help with this or not. Either way, if you would close your question appropriately we'd really appreciate it.
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rpmAuthor Commented:
The cause turned out to be VMWare Player in the end!
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