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

Posted on 2014-11-25
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Last Modified: 2016-06-16
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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Question by:rpm
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20 Comments
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 40465623
Is anything eating CPU time in Task Manager?
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40465634
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?
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:rpm
ID: 40467174
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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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:WORKS2011
ID: 40468194
Reset the switch, it's a single point of failure. If it's a managed switch check the logs.
0
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:WORKS2011
ID: 40468206
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.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:rpm
ID: 40468518
I have reset the switch and changed the ports around, which made no difference.

Sadly the switch is unmanaged.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:rpm
ID: 40468773
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
0
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40468795
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?
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:rpm
ID: 40468812
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.
0
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 40469286
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.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:rpm
ID: 40469346
I'll try the Server -> Wks copy next time it happens.

I've tried turning off the AV at both ends ... no difference!
0
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 40469376
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?
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:rpm
ID: 40469389
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
0
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 40469402
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.
0
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40469639
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
0
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:WORKS2011
ID: 40469874
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.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:rpm
ID: 40488800
New network card now installed ... fingers crossed!
0
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 40569585
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.
0
 
LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
rpm earned 0 total points
ID: 40626972
The cause turned out to be VMWare Player in the end!
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