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Access 2000 multiuser application

By stromn ·
We have an Access 2000 program that resides on a server. Each user has an icon that calls a shell on their local drive to access the network application. The problem is that some machines load the program very quickly while others take several minutes to load. All machines are Windows NT 4.0 SP6a. All machines are at least Pentium II with 128 mb RAM. Some of the machines that load it slow are Pentium IV computers, so the machine speed does not seem to be the issue. We just upgraded our network switches to 100 mb so bandwidth is not the issue. Where should I start troubleshooting to resolve this issue?

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Access 2000 multiuser application

by Bob Sellman In reply to Access 2000 multiuser app ...

You haven't given an indication of where these machines are located relative to the network connections and the server. Since the machines are, apparently, similar, I would suggest looking at two different areas.

What applications are loaded on each machine at startup? Perhaps your slow machines are running some applications in the background that are using member or even network bandwidth. Try getting slow machines to load nothing automatically so that you can start your application and be sure that nothing else is running.

The network is another area to review. Maybe the slower machines go through a different part of the network (different routers, etc.) and there are network problems, such as problems with the lookup tables inthe network hardware in the network backbone. One test would be to take a slow machine and move it to where a fast machine is located, disconnect the fast machine's network connection and plug the slow machine into that network connection. See if the application loads at a speed similar to the fast machine. If it does, then you definitely need to look at the network.

I assume that the icon/shortcut is exactly the same on each machine.

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Access 2000 multiuser application

by stromn In reply to Access 2000 multiuser app ...

Thanks for your help. It turned out that the icon on some of the machines was pointing to an outdated file.

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Access 2000 multiuser application

by timwalsh In reply to Access 2000 multiuser app ...

Always check the simple things (connections, settings, environmental factors, etc.) first.

Several possibilities:

Check what other applications are running at the time users attempt to load Access. CPU/memory load could affect load time.

Do the affected computers appear slow when other operations crossing the network are conducted (downlading other files from the server, email, Internet access, printing)? If not, this could point to an Access configuration issue.

Do the shells on the affected computers have all the same paramters as unaffected ones?

Where are the computers experiencing slow downloads located? Are they at the extreme limit (or maybe past it) for a physical ethernet segment (100m)?

Are the lastest NIC drivers loaded on these computers? Are all network settings correct?
Do the affected computers maybe have 10mb NICs? Even if they are 10/100 NICS, they may be having problems auto-negotiating connection speed. Try to force the NIC to 100mb (if possible - this option may not be available on all NICs).

Is the installed cable in fact Cat5? Do the cable segments for these slow computers run near sources of EMI (flourescent lights, power cables, moters, etc.)? EMI could cause an excess of rejected data packets.

What things do all the affected computers have in common (location, software load, hardware, etc.)?

You may need a network analyzer/packet sniffer to troubleshoot if all of the physical things appear to check out.

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Access 2000 multiuser application

by stromn In reply to Access 2000 multiuser app ...

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Access 2000 multiuser application

by stromn In reply to Access 2000 multiuser app ...

Our network is divided up into 13 segments of 10/100 mb switches which all connect to a gigabit switch. The speed does not seem to relate to the switches, as there are both slow and fast ones on the same switches. I have checked all the ports and made sure they are configured the same. I have also swapped ports so that slow machines run from the same ports that fast machines were connected to. I think you are right - it does seem to relate to the individual PC's. I will start checking to see what loads at startup on each one.

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Access 2000 multiuser application

by stromn In reply to Access 2000 multiuser app ...

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