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Right-click on network files causes "Not Responding"

By somethinggood4 ·
Our small office runs six workstations (all XP Pro) off of a single SBS2003 server. With roaming profiles.

For a long time, the boss' machine was very slow in responding, seemed to take forever for programs to launch files double-clicked over the network. We assumed it was a processor issue, and finally got fed up and upgraded the boss' machine two weeks ago. Since that time, the gremlin has now invaded MY machine; whenever I'm attempting to right-click a file in My Network Places, it takes forever to come up with the right-click menu (this never used to happen). Occasionally, the window will go "non-responsive" and after a brief pause when it abandons what you were trying to do a right-click promptly brings up the menu. This even happens when using My Computer to access files on the local machine. I get the impression that this is a local issue (some setting or service on my machine) as opposed to a network issue, but I have included the "network" tag because it happened to more than one machine.

Also, double-clicking files (Word docs and .pdfs) takes a LONG time to open the files in the appropriate application, even if that application is already running on the machine.

I think whatever ghost was in the boss' machine is now in my computer. Anyone know how I can get my speed (and my sanity) back?

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All Answers

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If you unplug your network cable, does your PC run normally?

by robo_dev In reply to Right-click on network fi ...

If so, then several things to look at:

Links to things that do not exist: Mapped printers, network drives, shared folders in your network neighborhood that do not exist. These can cause all sorts of slowness.

Netware client can do this: got netware?

Some Anti-Virus or Anti-spyware apps can go wonky like this.

What is your processor utilization when all this is happening? If it's at 100%, then start looking at what app is hogging the processor.

A good virus or spyware infection can create all sorts of performance issues: any signs of virus infection?

General network health issues: I would connect a protocol analyzer such as WireShark , and assess the overall health of the network.

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Working down the list...

by somethinggood4 In reply to If you unplug your networ ...

If you unplug your network cable, does your PC run normally?
Yes. After unplugging the network cable there was a marked improvement in the response time for local files.


If so, then several things to look at:

Links to things that do not exist: Mapped printers, network drives, shared folders in your network neighborhood that do not exist. These can cause all sorts of slowness.
If there were links to places that no longer exist, how would I locate them? My Network Places contains links to network location folders that are all still there. There may be SUBfolders that have moved or changed, but how would I know which ones are the culprits? (On a related note, I tried mapping the files as network drives and avoiding My Network Places - the problem persisted)


Netware client can do this: got netware?
No. At least, I couldn't find anything titled "Netware" in Add/Remove Programs, and I'm not aware of any network management software on the network (and I think I would know if it were there).


Some Anti-Virus or Anti-spyware apps can go wonky like this.
We have had a lot of issues with Sympantec Endpoint crushing internal emails and slowing systems during virus scans mid-day. I wish we could get away without a virus scan, but what can you do?


What is your processor utilization when all this is happening? If it's at 100%, then start looking at what app is hogging the processor.
CPU Usage remains low during right-click... between 2 and 5%, so there's no process that's causing this.


A good virus or spyware infection can create all sorts of performance issues: any signs of virus infection? No, but I haven't run an unscheduled check in a while. I'll run Symantec and AdAware and keep you posted of the results.


General network health issues: I would connect a protocol analyzer such as WireShark , and assess the overall health of the network.
That is probably a very good idea... I'll see if I can find it online.

Thank you!!
GP

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Wireshark uncovered a whole mess of errors....

by somethinggood4 In reply to If you unplug your networ ...

OKay, I downloaded Wireshark and ran a capture on the network router for half an hour to get an idea of where the network health sits.

In the Wireshark manual, they talk about "expert info" a little guide that nudges you into where you might go looking for network issues. They come in four flavours (which I probably don't have to tell you, but anyway-) Grey, Cyan, Yellow and Red (for Serious problem). Out of 144 thousand packets, I have literally THOUSANDS of red flags.

The most common appears to be a Trans2 Response, QUERY_PATH_INFO error.

*sigh* I'll call our tech guys.

Thanks!

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Is the source of the query_path_info errors your machine?

by robo_dev In reply to Wireshark uncovered a who ...

look at those errored packets more closely (click on them)....you should be able to see what directory/share is being queried.

The Query_Path_info is a SMB (server message block) command, which is a Microsoft networking protocol.

144,000 packets is not much LAN traffic, so thousands of red flags sounds bad.

There are several virus/worms that can create lots of traffic of this type.

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No infection

by somethinggood4 In reply to If you unplug your networ ...

I ran SpyBot and Symantec, nothing worth mentioning.

Unless they're the SOURCE of the issue....lol

Another point about the network... When we log on using roaming profiles, the local logon (Ctrl-Alt-Delete) comes up in a matter of seconds... after the logon, the desktop takes about ten minutes to appear (no exaggeration, I have time to eat an entire banana muffin every morning while waiting for my computer to boot). That's obviously too long, and there is some kind of issue between my machine and the network. I think I'll re-run all the cabling next to see if that's it....

GP

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memory utilization

by jdclyde In reply to If you unplug your networ ...

is the first place I look for problems like that.

Know what your system SHOULD be using after a clean boot BEFORE you have fired up any apps. If an XP system is using over 220MB, you have a problem.

The next thing I look at is to fire up my normal applications and again look at utilization vs how much total ram the system has. Start nailing the swap file and you just put your computer into low gear.

System slows when ethernet is plugged in? check for a conflict in device manager. Update the driver and consider replacing the card.

I will also bring over my laptop and plug it into the cable that was running the pc that is having issues. If there is a problem either with a patch cable or a bad port, you will know because the laptop will also run slowly there but fine elsewhere.

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Bad ethernet switch port? network loop?

by robo_dev In reply to Right-click on network fi ...

What type of ethernet switch do you have?

After hours, plug a crossover cable directly from your PC to the server. If this works perfectly, then it's a ethernet switch problem.

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Problem vanished...

by somethinggood4 In reply to Right-click on network fi ...

After a server reboot over the weekend after some MS updates, the problem has (at least so far) disappeared. Thanks to all who posted. It the problem recurs, I may be back looking for more answres!

GP

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Right-click on network files causes "Not Responding"

by vijay_amirtraj In reply to Right-click on network fi ...

If you have installed any zip utility, please remove it and check the performance now or else this is due to shell context menu corruption issue,so you download the shellxview and try disable / enable the regitry context values, this will help you lot.

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