Office Documents Opening Slow

We have an issue that just started a few weeks ago. When opening a Word or Excel document from any server on the network, it will take 45-90 seconds to open. We usually get the Word or Excel splash screen but it will sit at Downloading \\path\ (0%) for most of that time. These aren't large files and if I run a ping test to these servers during that same time, I'm at or under 5ms so I don't think it's a connection issue. I don't have any add-ins enabled in either program and if I open a PDF from those same locations, it's pops up right away. Most of our users are on Office 2016 but we do have some 2010 and 2013 as well.

Could there be something in the server settings that would cause this?
itgolferAsked:
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
We figured out the issue. We use Cisco FirePower and something must have changed outside of that because it had started scanning and verifying Office documents. We exempted a test machine and everything went back to normal so we exempted all of our subnets. Thanks for all of you suggestions and tips.
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David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
Using ping will only show you ICMP protocol speed, not TCP or UDP.

Windows is so hard to debug.

If this problem involved two Linux machines, I'd install ethtool + check physical adapter settings, then install iperf on each machine + do a raw speed test for TCP + UDP.

I'm unsure how you can duplicate this using Windows.

Try looking for equivalents of these programs. Likely you'll have to build them from source + maybe someone has already done a port or has written some article about how to duplicate their functionality.

You might also install tshark + see if you see any packet flow glitches that seem odd.

Another trick. Install Windows mtr port + run on each machine, pointing to the other machine + look for large percentages of packet loss. Also look for odd routes. If your packets are taking some odd route, this may also be the problem.
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comment. I have not done any packet monitoring but I just find it odd that it's only when opening Office documents. I would think if there was a packet glitch or an issue with routing, it would also affect opening PDFs and running applications on these same servers.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
You didn't mention if this is just one system or all? Generally for troubleshooting windows it is easy to narrow down the problem.

Copy a file to the local machine:
1. Is it slow to copy? This indicates what is most likely a network issue.
2. Does it open any faster? If not, restart windows in safe mode and try it again. This helps to indicate if something third party is the cause.

First thing I always try when weird things happen is disable antivirus.
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
I hadn't thought of trying that. I just copied a Word file to a folder on my C drive. It sat at "Discovered" for a few seconds and then just sits at 0% and calculating for about 45-60 seconds and then I got a message saying "There is a problem accessing \\path\path Make sure you are connected to the network and try again. I hit Try Again and it copied after about 15 seconds. The file is 14KB so I know it's not a large file issue.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
At least that takes the office programs out of the equation. Disabling AV is a quick test. Other than that it sounds more like a network issue.
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
But why would PDFs open just fine and not Office programs? I copied a PDF from that same folder to my C drive it it didn't even bring up the copying box it copied it so fast.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Right, forgot about that. Could be a system issue then. Either way I'd try the AV test first.
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masnrockCommented:
What version of Windows is in use on the workstations?
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Almost all are Windows 7 but we do have a couple workstations running Windows 10. It's happening on all of them.
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masnrockCommented:
Interesting. Go with what Brian suggested on a random workstation and see if that helps. However, you might also want to try disabling AV ont the server and see if that helps. Which AV are you using on workstations and server anyway?
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
I may try accessing some documents on a new PC I have built but doesn't yet have AV installed.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Good idea. A clean workstation is a better place to test.
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Also, I did notice that when I'm opening a Word or Excel document, I'm getting a bunch of Security-SPP event ID 1003 and 16384 information alerts. It appears that it's an Office software protection service. Not sure if that's related or not but there are bunch of them listed every time Word or Excel is opened.
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Paul SmartSenior Support EngineerCommented:
Firstly, when the document is 'opening', check to see what the network usage is.
Task Manager > More Details > Performance > Ethernet

If throughput is high it could be something i've come across before.

Also, what are the documents you are opening. Are they just plain word documents or are they from mail merge docs?

Have you turned off IPv6 (if you are not using it).

Lastly have you checked permissions for the user opening these documents
Oh and check that if opening from \\path\to\server there are no open connections (mapped drives for example) using \\ip.to.ser.ver\path\ running.  (We've had this weird issue before).
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay, I was out of the office.

I checked the Ethernet usage while it was trying to open and the highest it got was 104 Kbps for Send and 520 Kbps for Receive.

These are just basic Word and Excel files.

Yes, IPv6 is turned off as we don't use it.

The permissions haven't changed from a few weeks ago when this started. I did try remapping my mapped drives using the IP address instead of server name but I'm getting the same response.
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Paul SmartSenior Support EngineerCommented:
Did you try opening without mapped drives at all.
So direct address of document
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Yes, I opened Windows Explorer and typed in \\IP address\Share and tried opening a Word document and it took about a minute to open.
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Paul SmartSenior Support EngineerCommented:
Cool. And more over, did you try \\servername\location\document

(Rather than ip)
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Yes, I've tried that as well with the same results.

Thanks.
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masnrockCommented:
What antivirus is on the server?
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Symantec Endpoint Protection is on workstations and server.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Would try turning AV off at workstation and server as a test. Sorry if you already did that, this thread is getting long.
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
I have tried it on a new workstation that didn't even have AV installed yet and got the same response. I can see if I can disable it on the server temporarily to see if that changes things.
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masnrockCommented:
I can see if I can disable it on the server temporarily to see if that changes things.
Yes please.
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
I disabled the AV on the server and tried opening a couple of Word and Excel files but I'm getting the same result. I made sure to reboot the PCs and one of them doesn't have AV on it. I just don't understand why PDFs open just fine but Office documents take so long.
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Paul SmartSenior Support EngineerCommented:
Can I just ask what version of operating systems you are using (server and desktop).
Also..
Does it take as long to save the documents?

Please answer both questions
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Windows Server 2012 R2 and we're having issues on both Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Yes, it seems to take longer to save but not the 60-75 seconds it takes to open documents. I just saved a Word document to the network and it sat at "Saving to \\path" for about 10 seconds and then saved it.
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Paul SmartSenior Support EngineerCommented:
So I had a client who had this issue. We turned off smbv1 on the server and this resolved it.

Can you do that? I can provide a link to show how if you need it.

Also. I assume the health of the hard drive on the server is AOK?
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Yes, if you could provide a link, that would be great.

I have not seen any notifications that the health is not okay.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
itgolfer, correct me if I am wrong... Experts, don't forget this only happens with Office documents.

Looking back on my earlier posts, when you copy a file to the local computer we know it is slow. However how does it perform opening that same file off the C: drive? If it's still slow what about safe mode?
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
You are correct, this is only happening with Office documents.

If it take the same Word document that takes 60-75 seconds on the network and open it from the C drive, it opens right away. The same thing if you open an Office document as an email attachment, it opens as normal. The issue is when you're trying to open an Office document from the network. PDFs from the network open just fine and applications on those same servers are not having performance issues.

Thanks.
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masnrockCommented:
Just for my own amusement, try adding a network folder to Trusted Locations in an Office application and see what happens when you open files from that folder.
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion but that didn't seem to fix it. I made sure to try opening it through Word-Open and by double-clicking on the document inside that network folder but it's still take a while.
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
One thing we did figure out. Our servers are hosted in a data center on their own subnet. We tried it from a computer on that same subnet and there is not issue opening files so it's got to be something with the routing or configuration for our remote offices that are connecting to those file servers, right?
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Still weird that it is Office files only, but definitely a clue there. I can't see routing itself being a problem. Everybody does that. IS there any sort of firewall or inspection of certain files going on?
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Not that I'm aware of as we've disabled the AV on the server and I've tested from a workstation that has no AV installed and still run into it.

I agree it's odd that it's just Office files and I think that's why it's so hard to pin down.

I have been in contact with a 3rd party we use sometimes and they had some tool that they used on workstation or server that showed there is a directory that’s being referenced that isn’t connecting. Due to this office waits 20-30 seconds to try to connect to it and then when fails will try to do it again. I'm not sure what directory they're talking about though.
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masnrockCommented:
I have been in contact with a 3rd party we use sometimes and they had some tool that they used on workstation or server that showed there is a directory that’s being referenced that isn’t connecting. Due to this office waits 20-30 seconds to try to connect to it and then when fails will try to do it again. I'm not sure what directory they're talking about though.

This makes more sense than anything. Are you having problems with a particular server? Or maybe even the possibility of latency issues to wherever that directory is located?
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
No, I've tested with documents on multiple servers and they're all located in that data center. I wouldn't think latency would be an issue as PDFs open fine from those same network folders and applications that reside on those servers are not having any latency issues.
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masnrockCommented:
True, but I thought it would be worth asking anyway. Too bad you don't know exactly which folder is having the issues though, just to see if it's the same one.
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masnrockCommented:
Sounds like you have AMP for Firepower active on your network, which would explain some things. Check your File Policy. Someone may have changed some things without anyone else being aware of it.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Just checking quickly, but I did mention in https://#a42446556 and https://#a42412081 that the problem could be network or firewall.
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itgolferAuthor Commented:
Found out on own.
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