SBS 2003 Standard R2 Question

By john ·
Hello all,

First let me say I am new at working with SBS 2003 R2 as my education is with Server 2000.

We recently installed SBS 2003 on a small office network of 11 computers and we're running into a few issues. Here is some information about the setup.

The Structure:
11 computers in the office. Nine of them running 2000 Professional, Two of them XP Professional.

The Server is a Dual Core AMD 64 with 2GB of RAM running a Mirror RAID partition. We also have a 500GB external drive connected via USB for backups.

All clients have been setup with Roaming Profiles and their outlook.pst file stored on the server so its included in the backup. The roaming profiles and email all work fine.

The company has an Access database in which everyone connects to at the same time and works from.

The Problem:

Five of Ten computers can access the database with lightning speed. The other half is painfully slow. I know its a problem specific to the individual computers rather than their roaming profiles because I can log into a fast computer with any account and they are all fast from that computer. I'm thinking NIC problem on the hub or possible DNS problem. I checked the DNS on the Server and I didn't see any issues but I'll admit I'm no expert with DNS. Can someone guide me through or link me to a guide on checking the DNS settings?

On a side note, every computer on the network is identical

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All Answers

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When you installed the new Server

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to SBS 2003 Standard R2 Ques ...

Was all the other Network Hardware Replaced?

If not it's possible that a Hub/Switch or whatever being used on the 5 Slow Computers is slower than the other computers Hub/Switch and this is the problem. If you have a Gigabyte Hub and a 10 MBS Hub the older hub is going to =be much slower to access data off the server.

If that isn't the issue what is the Network Configuration?


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I think its the hub

by john In reply to When you installed the ne ...

I think we made some progress tonight. The company is running a 100/Mbps 16 port hub and all ports are used. The only port not used is the uplink.

Here is what I did...

I took everything off the hub by unplugging the cables and left ONLY the Server and one of the slow computers. Well low and behold that slow computer ran nice and fast even on the same port!

So I'm thinking the hub is the problem. Too much activity for it maybe?

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That is the most likely answer

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to I think its the hub
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If it was the hub and ...

by CG IT In reply to I think its the hub

if bandwidth utilization was at the upper end of network capabilities, all hosts would be effected. Not just 5. out of 11.

If your really running a hub and not a switch, just for the sake of running a switched environment, buy a 24 port switch.

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So lets hear your suggestions then!

by john In reply to If it was the hub and ...

I installed a 24 port 100/Mbps Switch today. We seen moderate improvements in our Internet speed but loading our access database from the server was still slow on 4 of the computers.

I just don't get it. Those slow computers work really fast if we plug them in where the fast computers are and visa versa.

Whats left? The Cat5 cables in the walls?

Does ANYONE have ANY other suggestions of what it could be?

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it's possible it's the cables just not probable

by CG IT In reply to So lets hear your suggest ...

your new switch ought to learn hosts by MAC address and send packets only to the host that is the destination, unlike a hub that just broadcasts packets to every host hoping that the right one is found.

I think you ought to run network monitor on the SBS box LAN NIC and see whats going on.

is the performance problem isolated to just the access database?

Also, what CALs are you using? device or user and where is the database located?

how are your disc partitions setup?

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Now we're getting somewhere! Thanks CG IT

by john In reply to it's possible it's the ca ...

So what your saying is by using the Switch it will learn the hosts after using it to do the daily tasks which will speed things up?

Its hard to isolate the performance problem. This company has only a few job functions. All employees use and update the Access database. It is the single most important file on the server and most used. In addition there are many other word and excel documents they work off of as well and I have ever employee's Outlook.pst file on the server incase of workstation failure. Everything seems slow on the slow workstations when they are in their usual locations. As I said, if I move them (or just use a really long Ethernet cable) to a wall jack thats proven fast the slow computer work fast.

We bought a 5 pack of Device calls and SBS came with 5 so that made up our 10 CALs (10 workstations plus server). We also have two printers on the network.

We currently have two 250GB WD 7200RPM drives in Mirror Raid partition.

God I need to get this done as I'm so sick of this project!

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I dunno... I'd make up a new cable ...

by CG IT In reply to Now we're getting somewhe ...

All I can suggest is run a new cable from the switch to one workstation, see if that solves the problem. Doesn't have to be through the ceiling or anything, just run it. If it's the cable you'll know.

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Well by your description about all that's left is the Internal Cabling

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Now we're getting somewhe ...

And while it would initially seem a Long Shot you have tried everything else. About all I can think of here is that the Internal Cabling is picking up some interference somewhere is it close to Electrical Outlets?

At a guess I would imagine that all the slow machines share something in common and it may be something as simple as the Cable Run. I don't suppose that you have a Cable Tester if you do try checking the cables you may find something there.


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