Extremely Slow Programs

I have asked this question before but I have some new information so I thought I would try again.   I have a group of computers on my network that when opening programs run EXTREMELY slow.   Now to save some trouble the computers have been defragged, temp files cleaned, Winsock reset, TCPIP Stack reset, DNS changed, DHCP and Static tested, restore point done, updates ran, updates removed, etc.  We have run Virus scans and malware scans using Panda Antivirus and malware bytes. I have also run the offline antivirus scan using a disk created from Panda’s website.  I also ran an antivirus scan using TrendMicro also no threats found. I have run system repair using the windows install disk with nothing found.  

Now to describe the problem:  

We have 15 locations.   10 locations are having the issue.  At the locations we have some computers that have the problem consistently, some have it intermittently, and some do not have it at all.

The computers are all Dell OptiPlex computers but the models include 360, 380, 390, and 3020.  

The desktop remains responsive, meaning that when I am waiting a long time for a program to  to open I can still right click on any icon and get drop down menus so it is not the computer locking or freezing.   The programs such as calculator, task manager, notepad, just to name a few, will take anywhere from 90 seconds up to 3 minutes to open.  If you have Task Manager open and click on calculator the Task Manager will show little to no use on the computer and the memory will only be registering at 50% use.  

Now here is where it gets fun.   I am currently looking at one of the OptiPlex 360's.   When it was at location it was running slow, as described above.   Each of the fixes that I have tried, also listed above, would fix it for a few hours, or day if I am lucky, before the problem comes back.   I have taken the computer to our admin office and have had it running for about 5 days.  I have no problems with the computer (or any other at this location).   At the admin office I can open outlook 2013, play a video on YouTube and have the task manager open and I can still open any program and it starts in 5 seconds or less even though it is an OptiPlex 360 with 2 GB of memory.

So here are some other facts just to help.   At one location I have three identical OptiPlex 380's.  At this same location there are 3 computers with the issue.  One never had the issue, one had the issue but seems to have cleared up and the third just continues with the slow issue.

Each location uses SonicWALL for our firewall (we disable windows firewall and windows defender), including the 5 locations that do not have the problems.   Some of the locations use Cox for the ISP, some use Mediacom, and one uses AT&T U-Verse.  Each location that is affected does have some computers that have not had the issue.  

So a quick recap.  The problem happens on multiple models, but not every computer of that model.  It happens at some locations but not all of our locations.   Some computers seem to "heal" on their own, some seem to "heal" from one of the dozen or so troubleshooting steps we have tried.  All the computers use the same Panda antivirus, go through the same firewalls, travel over the same VPNs, all are on the same domain,  all use the same DNS (although we have tried changing those), Some are static and some are DHCP assigned and none have admin level security.
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Trenton KnewOwner / Computer WhispererCommented:
Are these computers joined to an Active Directory?  Have you (just for sh^*$ and grins) tried running wireshark on the affected LANs to see if there's any weird traffic?  I wonder if your hangup has something to do with permissions lookups taking too long, but I'm only grasping at straws since you've already tried a boatload of stuff... truly thinking outside the box here.
Carlos IjalbaIT Systems DirectorCommented:
Sounds more of a networking problem that a systems issue, but then again, it looks like a tough one.

Have you checked for duplicated IPs, and for asymmetric routing? -this can slow down everything, due to timeouts and problems with IPS, firewalls, etc.

If you unplug the network cables and do dry runs on the systems, ¿do the systems work OK? or are they still slow?
Perrin25Author Commented:
I have checked for Duplicate IPs but I will look into the asymmetric routing.   We have been leaning toward a network issue also but just not sure where to start looking. we keep running into the thought "how does a network issue interfere with the local computer calculator or wordpad?"   and that is where we go "hmmmmm....."LOL.
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Trenton KnewOwner / Computer WhispererCommented:
if those programs are trying to run as an active directory user, and the computer checks for permissions, but is slow to get a response from the active directory server, that could cause slowdows.  a good test would be to attempt to run those programs while signed into a local account on the machine and see if it's still slow.
Perrin25Author Commented:
okay.  if it is an active directory issue what would I need to change in AD to prevent the slow downs when checking permissions?
Trenton KnewOwner / Computer WhispererCommented:
My thinking is a slowdown between the workstation and the active directory server.  either DNS slow or maybe a security appliance?  firewall on the client?  Too much network traffic on the LAN?  can't be sure... it IS quite puzzling
Perrin25Author Commented:
Update.  Seems that we have found the culprit.   It is a program associated with Panda Antivirus.   There are some additional websites that Panda was having trouble with but instead of flagging an error message it continued to try to access the sites.   We have white listed the sites but it still does not explain why Panda would allow their program to slow the computer instead of flagging an error about not being able to connect.

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