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Slow network access with Windows XP

chuck_20
Occasional Visitor

Slow network access with Windows XP

Here's a strange one. Recently a perfectly 'healthy' Win98 peer-to-peer network was upgraded to Windows XP. There are 7 pc's, the slowest being 800 MHz, and they were all formatted and a fresh load of XP Pro was done. One of the pc's I'll call a server, although it's just a typical workstation sharing lots of MS-Office files. Most network activity is just fine; all have web access through a shared cable modem, and they can all browse through the numerous shared folders in their network. The speed on the web and browsing network shares is great, just as it was with Win98 on all the machines. When a user opens a Word or Excel file across the network, the file pops up real quick. Then the problem starts. You don't have any control of your machine for 30 seconds to a FULL minute. Can't click anywhere with your mouse, can't move the cursor or cell pointer with the keyboard, and can't type anthing. It's a very annoying thing to see the file load right up, but then you can't do anthing for up to a minute. This never happened prior to XP being on the machines. And it's the only problem the network is having now.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Chuck
15 REPLIES
Roger Faucher
Honored Contributor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Chuck:

I would suggest going to Windows Update website and install all 'Critical' updates. Consider installing all 'Recommended' updates, as well and any 'Driver' updates. Then make sure you have latest Service Release for the version of Office you're running. Then re-test and let us know how it goes.

Good luck!

Roger

Make sure all the PCs networking is configured the same using TCP/IP only.
Make a great day!

Roger
chuck_20
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Roger,
Well none of the service packs or updates did a thing for me. It's got me stumped. In my quest to find the answer to this problem I've noticed LOTS of people are having LOTS of problems with XP networking. Looks like Billy G. and Company took a step backwards from Win2K with this release.
If network browsing was slow, or if it took a while to open these office files, the problem may be easier to diagnose. Oh well...I'll keep hunting, and let you know if I fix the glitch. I may just end up putting Win98se back on the PC sharing all these files.

Chuck
Jaime Espinoza_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Hello Chuck.

We have experienced similar symptoms after migrating some workstations from NT 4.0 to Windows XP.

We are in the process of troubleshooting this.

This week we have found that by disabling Norton realtime virus scanning on the file server, the documents do not lock up as they used to. Although, the problem is alleviated, this is not a desirable longterm solution.

The Norton knowledge base has documents relating to our experiences (see doc ID 2002042314030648 on the Symantec web site) but redirects our attention to the XP service pack. See MS KB Q309376.

I am not convinced that XP SP1 resolves this since a few workstations with SP1 were also affected.

Do you have real-time virus scanning enabled on both the client and the file server?

Are there any helpful updates from your troubleshooting that you can share?
chuck_20
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Jaime,
Hmmmm....anti virus software. Good point. I'm not at the location of this problem very often, I'm just a 'hired gun' that goes in to do PC and network maint. once in a while.
I know they don't have Norton, I believe they're using AVG virus scanning software. I'm sure it's on all the machines. I will try removing it from the server and see if that helps.
At this point they're about ready to have me just re-format ALL their machines and just put Win98se back on them. This would make them happy, but I'm sure I'll run into this same problem with another client sometime soon.

Thanks for the tip! I'll try and get out there this week, turn off the anti-virus on the 'server', and see if that helps.
Chuck
David Hewitt_2
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Chuck

I've just spent several weeks trying to crack exactly this problem - an XP Pro user was accessing Word files on a Win 98SE machine (just like yours, we call it a "server" though "shared file store" would be better) across a TCP/IP peer to peer network. The file would appear immediately but it would take up to a minute before the file could be edited. This sounds just like your scenario.

I finally found a solution. The Win 98SE machine has some password protected directories and these passwords were saved in a password file on the XP Pro computer. For some reason, known only to MS, this results in a dramtic slowdown.

On the XP Pro computer I went into Control Panel|User Accounts|[User name] and selected Manage network passwords. This lists the computers for which password information is stored. I removed the Win98 machine's name from the list and the problem was solved. Downside is that the user has to remember the password for a couple of directories and not save it.

Hope this helps.
Ryan Inman_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Check out...

http://www.mcpmag.com/Features/article.asp?EditorialsID=248

I have been looking for my own fix and ran across this. Look at the Networking Gotchas and see if it helps. I haven't tested it but may be something for you to try.

HTH,
Ryan I.
Trevor Lacey
Frequent Advisor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Another problem may be differing file systems. If some XP machines are running NTFS and some are running FAT32, you'll encounter slow network file access.
Shut up and reboot!
Roger Faucher
Honored Contributor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Chuck (and others):

I don't think this addresses your specific problem(s), but there are some good hints for increasing Office applications' performance: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;239431

I am curious about how you have the 7 computers connected to each other. Generally, broadband sharing is done with a router and most of the inexpensive ones have a four-port switch embedded. If that's what you have, how are the additional computers connected?

Thanks for the info!

Roger
Make a great day!

Roger
GotAProblem
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Did anyone ever solve this problem? I've done everything listed above and more - and cannot shake this. For starters:
2K Performance console on server to see if there were bottlenecks
Monitored old switch - Cisco 1900
Replaced network switch
Updated server OS to W2K SP3
Replaced 11 of the 14 client pc's; all now run XP SP1 w/ Office XP SR2 800Mhz+ 256MB+
Turned off Symantec AV
Specified network settings
Updated all NIC's to use current drivers (two types -3COM 3C905XC and Intel Pro)
Clean installs of all OS's
Added second server as DC (a temp fix, but I thought I would try it)
Reg Hack -
http://www.is-it-true.org/nt/xp/atips/atips14.shtml

Then I started grasping at straws -
Turn off spanning tree
Establish VLAN's - one per machine with the server as a trunk
Access files from a server not a member of the domain with individual user id's
Replaced the server with a new one

The machines have no connectivity problems using the external connections to the Internet (ADSL 7.1MB and Cable). The switch reprots very few hard errors; only 12 total in 87 days. I'm at a complete loss. To clarify the problem - it comes and goes, is not consistent in which machines it hits. It seems to be worse on the XP machines, but the 3 windows ME laptops that are occasionally on the network also have problems. If the user copies the files to their local machine first, there is not a problem. I have noticed the System process is responsible for the freeze - it goes to 99% after attempting to open a Word doc.

I offer a reward of $50 via paypal to the first one who can provide the fix for this problem. You will have to trust me - but I have pulled out enough hair and lost enough sleep over this.
GotAProblem
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

The official answer - wait for XP SP2. Before that, here is the Q article concerning the problem - my issue was resolved by applying the first service pack to the file server; I didn't do steps 2 or 3.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb%3Ben-us%3B814112
Wyatt Hammer
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

I've been having a problem similar to this as well. I have 2 XP Pro machines accessing files on a Windows 2000 workstation/file server. Things have been smooth until recently. I have a large Word 2000 document (750kb) that I access regularly. Now when I try to work with it, adding new type takes about 2 seconds per character to enter. It works if i open it in Wordperfect and if saved as an .rtf file it works in Word as well. Seems to be a .doc file problem. Any suggestions on this?
chuck_33
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

Well...it's been a while. :) I had to create a new profile for these forums, since I forgot my username and password. (oops) I tried ALL of the above by the way, or just about all. Some months ago (oops again) I figured something out that solved my original problem. Here's the kicker... there was another client on the systems that I failed to mention in my original post. For some odd reason, for which I have NO idea, they had the NetWare client on all their systems. Do they have a NetWare server you ask? NO...of course not! Some corporate computer dude loaded these new machines and put it on there....for kicks I guess.

Anyhow...after I took this client off the machines, everything started working fine. No more waiting after opening a Office document. Life is good. :)

I've printed these posts out though, and stuck them in my "XP Sucks" folder for future reference. I KNOW I'll need them! Thanks all.
Roger Faucher
Honored Contributor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

So how does a Netware Client on a different machine(s) translate into a 'black eye' for XP?

Roger
Make a great day!

Roger
justin ermler
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

I would not disable the antivirus on your file server.. On the client machines, add that network drive to the antivirus software's list of "exclusions". That may help.

Good luck
Hugh McCall
Occasional Visitor

Re: Slow network access with Windows XP

It's very interesting that this is posted on an HP site...

Try this:

Disable "HP Imaging Monitor" from your startup items.

Reboot.

Win.

http://hu.selfip.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=297