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Slow transfer speeds from Windows 7 PC TO and NT4 server

Posted on 2015-01-12
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Last Modified: 2015-03-25
OK, this one has had me scratching head.  Next option is look what is happening over the NIC with wireshark etc. but for now any bright ideas, sorry for the long details but imagine most initial thoughts would be things already tried otherwise?

"old" situation.  XP machine, transferring files to NT4 server.  This has special transfer software to an ancient piece of CNC equipment so for the time being isn't changing, though I may virtualise it if it stays much longer.  Transfer rates from here are fine, think they were in the order of 800Kbytes a second, haven't looked yet but assume the NT4 box has a 10Mbit card.

So the XP machine is moved to a new location in the plant, same transfer, fine.

It is plugged into a small 5 port 10/100 switch as there is only one cable coming into that office.  In that switch there is also now a Windows 7 machine.  Same software, drive mapping etc.  It can READ from that share at the same sort of rate 800Kb/sec but writing to it is next to a crawl, i.e. a 15Mb file is predicted around the 3+ hours mark, something like 1Kb/sec, no it isn't connected via 9600 serial cable!

Connected my Win 7 laptop to the same switch, gave it relevent IP address range and same transfer speed issues.

There is no anti-virus, firewall or other software in the way here.  NIC is on latest drivers etc. and all on "Auto" for duplex etc.  Binding order correct, IPv6 off.

Changing NIC to 100/full fixed brings the transfer speed up to 30Kb/sec but the full line speed comms to other servers then drops to 300Kb/sec from 4.5Mb/sec or so like a duplex mismatch issue.  Other NIC settings don't make any real difference including flow control etc.

Now... Windows XP mode Virtual PC installed on that same machine will happily transfer through the same NIC and network at the full 800Kb.sec again.

So that pretty well rules out NIC, cable, switch, server leaving Windows 7 handling of file transfers to NT4?

Most internet searches etc. come back with the normal issues of duplex mis-match etc.  Are there any parameters that you think may help?

thanks

Steve
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Question by:Steve Knight
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dlethe earned 125 total points
ID: 40546344
copy files on that system to itself. Maybe issue is the HDD or RAID and it isn't the transfer of data that is bottleneck . Perhaps  it is the time it takes to write data from ram to the HDD.
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40546358
You don't happen to have Kaspersky Endpoint Security installed on the Windows 7 machines do you? If you do, have you tried completely exiting out of it?
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by:Iain MacMillan
Iain MacMillan earned 126 total points
ID: 40546359
usually you need to look at the Win 7 system, its going to be using Autotune, Heuristics and SMB2 (in some mixed networks its advised to disable these to make login/boot and file transfers work better).  I've posted several times on EE regarding these items & Win 7 and how to disable them (a wee search will find them).

In relation to NT4, I'm not sure if it even uses SMB1 liek XP & 2003 server, so you might want to disable SMB2 on the Win 7 box and see if that helps the transfer speed -- see if that helps:

sc config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb10/nsi
sc config mrxsmb20 start= disabled

Note there's an extra " " (space) after the "=" sign.
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by:masnrock
masnrock earned 125 total points
ID: 40546427
Odd. What type of switches are in play? Also, since you have NT 4.0, I assume you are using an IDE network card. How are the transfer rates without the small switch in the new location?

Does transfer rate improve if you lock into half duplex?
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40546443
Thanks for the comments. Half duplex makes things worse / little different from a Windows 7 PC, 100/full improves about 30 times but kills the transfer to the 2003/2008 servers.

The server shouldn't be an issue here as fine from the PC next to it (XP) and from XP virtual machine on the same slow PC and through the same NIC, cable, switch etc.

So Iain may well be onto something there.  I tried all the configs available within the NIC settings but not any tuning to SMB settings etc. yet.   I was hoping that talking to something that old that I'm sure doesn't even know SMB2 exists would be OK but Windows might be stupidly trying smething over and over again.

I am probably not on the site until Thursday now and adjusting NIC settings on workstations remotely isn't the best thing to do...

Will try as suggested and fire up wireshark if not to get some more clues.

Steve
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40546461
To answer the other comments, no Kaspersky anywhere near it, and without any firewall/AV installed or enabled on it does the same.

Switches for the last comment we are talking Netgear managed gigabit switches but this site location is connected to a cheap 5 port netgear 10/100 with cat-5 to another basic 10/100 switch and some old 10/100 fibre converters back to the main server room.

But... from the pc next to and the same NIC on the same machine from the XP VM it is fine so frankly MUST be Windows 7 config then?

When I am there next my Win 7 laptop also had the same slow transfer so to be sure will fire that up again with an IP for that network and work my way back through the other switche to the server room.

Steve
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by:Iain MacMillan
Iain MacMillan earned 126 total points
ID: 40546466
yeah it took me a while to figure out the issue years ago when we first started testing Win 7 Pro on our IT desktops (via VMware Workstation images), how the transfer rate to 2008 & R2 servers was fine, but you copy data to/from a 2003 or 2000 server, and it just chugged like you were copying your entire Amazon music library onto a USB1 memory stick!!  Do the same process on an XP Pro desktop and its was fine, and we had Gigabit to every desktop!

Disable SMB2 on all Win 7 systems was the key, until i got my final 2 servers off 2003 and up to 2008R2.  Then you can reverse everything to gain the extra bell/whistles of Win 7.  Hopefully your NT4 nic is an old 32bit PCI card and the drivers are not too old.  If everything is on auto and works with XP, then you might get lucky with the SMB trick on the 7 box.

I'd get rid of the NT box as quick as you can or at the very least, make a VM of it and run it on some new hardware!
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by:masnrock
masnrock earned 125 total points
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Iain is correct about SMB, but NT 4 does have SMB, just not necessarily on by default. So that is actually an ideal direction to go with respect to the Windows 7 transfer issue.
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40546516
Thanks, will feedback as soon as I can get to the site for testing (probably Thurs).
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by:Michael Pfister
Michael Pfister earned 124 total points
ID: 40548572
I fits not a hardware/cabling problem try  running

netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled

Open in new window


on an elevated command prompt on the Windows 7 system and re-check.

You can first determine the current setting by executing

netsh interface tcp show global

Open in new window


which should be "normal".
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40558955
Not ignoring this and your comments, I tried turning of autotuning earlier today when I eventually made it to the site and that seemed to make a bit of a difference.  Turning of SMB2 didn't.

I looked through wireshark trace of the connection and it seemed to be a right mess but I didn't have time to look much.

The NT4 server had 100/full fixed on it's NIC and various other possible oddities including having two different IP ranges defined on it's one NIC.  Have made some changes here but need to reboot to take effect being NT4.

Next time I'm there will boot the NT4 box and check before any other changes made and test out with Windows 7 box on same switch in case of some network issue.

thanks

Steve
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 40604535
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40604536
Apologies for leaving this.  Priorities changed and the issues here are still present.  I hope to pickup again with the next week so would like to keep it open and the channel to the people offering helpful comments so far.

thanks

Steve
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40639256
Coming back to this one, sorry for the delay.

I tried all options given to my knowledge.  Got it a bit faster (50Kb/sec) adjusting the settings on the NT4 server NIC itself.

From XP VM on WIn 7 physical machine was fine still.  From Win 7 host machine or my laptop etc. plugged in slow.

Just tried a load more and out of curiosity tried rocbocopy (same 50Kb/sec) and xcopy.... BUT xcopy /z (network restartable mode) it flies through at full speed.  xcopy without and it doesn't.

So does anyone have an idea of what /z does and whether I can do that through the gui.  meanwhile I'll make him a shortcut using xcopy!

Steve
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 125 total points
ID: 40639296
I'm concerned that you haven't done enough I/O for a proper test.  Try something that copies for minutes.  Also be aware that something hasn't really completed copying just because the windows O/S says it has.  This is easy enough to prove. Just copy a large file and then disconnect the NIC after the O/S said it completed and then check the file at the other end.  

Ignore all these windows-based copy  programs, you need to set a baseline and really understand what is going on before you can assess what works and what doesn't and how much throughput sustained you are really getting.  It could be network, disk, memory, settings ...

Use this MSFT tool to measure network performance

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/NTttcp-Version-528-Now-f8b12769
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by:Michael Pfister
Michael Pfister earned 124 total points
ID: 40639298
xcopy /Z copies file in restartable mode, meaning if copying a file gets interrupted, xcopy tries to restart at the point where it stopped. No idea whats the difference in your case.
There is no GUI option for this.
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by:Michael Pfister
ID: 40639301
Can you try xcopy /J ?
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40639444
Still not sure what is going on specifically, or having enough time on this site to investigate in depth - I will one day later this week hopefully!

Meanwhile with robocopy /z or xcopy /z the copying of a file around the 20Mb mark takes about 4 seconds which is what I would expect as maximum and very good frankly!

To re-iterate, GUI or xcopy FROM this NT4 server works fine, copy TO it is very slow.  Copy from save PC using an xcopy virtal machine through the same NIC using NAT works fine too.  So it is how Windows 7 is handling file I/o to NT4.

Bizarre thing with robocopy or xcopy of a directory of files between 50Kb and 20Mb.  The 20Mb file takes 4-5 secs, the 200Kb one takes maybe 30 seconds.  The bigger files are consistently quicker in xcopy /z.

So no doubt there is some limit in xcopy and robocopy that says to use the /z restartable logic only over a certain file size, maybe 1Mb as 1.2Mb file was immediate.

Without the /z the files take forever to copy.

Frankly I need to get them to chuck the NT4 server and hopefully later this week may be possible and/or will try a network trace with an xcopy /z to see what is different between a small and large file.

thanks

Steve
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40639478
Ran this with a few test files with consistent results:

@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
for /f %%a in ('dir /b /a-d *.h') do (

  echo !time!
  xcopy "%%a" Z:\test /y /z)
)
echo %time%

Open in new window


Results (just tidied up, not changed)
14:01:21.48  C:Ag1_BOp11_35.h
14:01:22.22  C:Ag1_BOp12_35.h
14:01:26.20  C:Ag1_BOp1_35.h
14:01:31.41  C:Ag1_BOp2_20.h
14:02:55.52  C:Ag1_TOp11_35.h
14:02:56.41

Open in new window

i.e.

1.4Mb = 0.7 secs
8Mb = 4 secs
76Kb = 5.2 secs
320Kb = 24 secs
1.4Mb = 0.9 secs

Without the "/z" option the bigger files take proportionally as long as the small files.

 Directory of C:\Users\stephen\h

02/03/2015  13:34    <DIR>          .
02/03/2015  13:34    <DIR>          ..
20/11/2007  13:47         1,465,066 Ag1_BOp11_35.h
20/11/2007  13:47         8,006,291 Ag1_BOp12_35.h
20/11/2007  13:46            76,002 Ag1_BOp1_35.h
02/01/1980  00:00           320,041 Ag1_BOp2_20.h
21/11/2007  08:48         1,407,763 Ag1_TOp11_35.h
               5 File(s)     11,275,163 bytes
               2 Dir(s)   3,021,324,288 bytes free

Open in new window

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by:dlethe
ID: 40639550
Look, your files are WAY too small to make any assumptions.   These tests of yours do not measure the time it takes to read, transfer, write, and flush to disk.     They only measure the amount of time it takes to read the file and give it to the TCP/IP stack for the smaller files.

Transfer hundreds of megabytes before you can make any assumptions .  Use a SINGLE file to measure network, or use the network socket test from MSFT to just measure that.   Multiple files allow for additional buffering and changes the metrics.

Bottom line, the numbers don't make sense because your tests are no good due to small files.  All that small file buffering is giving you bad data that you are making assumptions with.   Forget everything you learned with previous tests and transfer a 300+ MB zip file or something like that and then report back.
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40639595
That I appreciate the comments, but this isn't about raw throughput.  The same NIC / PC / network switch / server can transfer files from XP OS at full wire speed (at the same time) and can ready from Win 7 but writing from Win7 = SLOW unless using xcopy /z.

I did try bigger files and they were the same relative speed using xcopy /z, i.e. a 200Mb file was roughly 10 times the 20Mb file above.  From the same machine to another server gives 5-6Mb/sec read and write.

BUT anything under about 1Mb in size eems to not trigger the restartable mode method and so transfers at 10-50Kb/sec, about 100th of the speed which is why I was trying to find what this did differently before I fire up wireshark and try and work it out the hard way!

thanks

Steve
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40639614
To add to that the only files that need transmitting to this server for talking to it's connected CNC machine are normally a directory of 6-8 programs ranging from 50Kb to 20Mb in size so although I completely agree about file throughput testing with little files being pointless generally, in this case this is what is actually needed.

I'm not on their site any more but going to see what else I can find myself too now I know the xcopy /z works "normally".

Steve
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by:dlethe
ID: 40639836
Look, you do not know that the copy/z works 'normaly'. The program returns to the prompt AFTER it has been queued up to transfer, not after the file has been copied and flushed to disk at the other end.
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40640342
IMO command prompt commands work synchronously unless you specifically run something in a different process with a start command. I dont believe /z works any differently?

Appreciate all responses though!
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by:dlethe
ID: 40640358
Respectively, they don't run that way.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 40687718
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40687719
Thanks for all your inputs.  I went through and filled this in and closed off before but clearly didn't accept...

We have a workaround and gained access into the CNC configs which appears to only be acecssing an NFS share and nothing to do with the other software on this old NT4 box so trying to get firmware updated on the CNC to allow it to talk to SMB shares or the manufacturer transfer app or if not bolt in a newer NFS server.

Some of the above ended up giving me pointers to things I hadn't thought of checkings, others confirmed my own thoughts.  Easiest option frankly is get rid of this NT4 box now so will go down that route now we have access to what talks to it.

thanks again

Steve
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 40687725
Apologies for grade there, A of course.
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