Slow Network Browsing ..

By aidanodr ·
Hi Guys,

I have a client ( solicitor ) with Server 2003, 5 XP Pro Workstations ( WS ).Each WS has Office 2007. In the last two weeks the secretaries have
been complaining - When one goes to Word / File / Open - to open their folder on the server - it takes an age to load the file listing ( the torch ).

Each secretary folder on server has anywhere from 1200 - 2500 Word
files of 4 to 50 pages or bigger in size. Any ideas??

Too many files?

The system is a basic 2003 setup, primary domain with AD. File Server function active. Mapped drive letters on WSes to a folder on the D partition of the server where their is a master folder under which are sub folders for each secretary. No huge security needed. Updates up to date.

I removed the AV from all the WS'es and the Server to see if that was it - no go, still the same. All units checked, no viruses or trojans.

Nothing of note in the Event List of either the Server or any of the

This system has been working away for 2 years with no probs. Out of
blue two weeks ago this issue. Could it be a windows / office 2007 update that started this?

Also alot of the files are opening in Compatibility Mode. They do have older word files, alot of them.

Separately I had a file of say 10mb on a workstation. I copied this to a folder on the server - took alot longer than I thought. I then tried to copy it from one WS to another - it flew. I read somewhere that this might be normal for larger file copying from server to WS or back???


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All Answers

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RE: Could it be a windows / office 2007 update

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Slow Network Browsing ..

Yes it very well could be related to a Office or Windows Hot Fix though I have not run into any complaints myself. But then again because 2007 has some strange features I don't have many customers running it. Most want to stick with 2003 which doesn't change it's saved Format with every Patch to something unreadable on others systems.

As you can copy between Work Stations quickly and the problem is coping to the Server or opening Files from the Server I would check any Rules in AD that may be applied and presuming that the Server here is issuing the DHCP addresses I would be checking for conflicts at that level.

You can try Wireshark to see what's happening with the actual network that wouldn't hurt at all.


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Thanks and a reply to OH Smeg

by aidanodr In reply to RE: [i]Could it be a wind ...

Thanking You OH Smeg for info and link,

What baffles me is that this system has worked for two years without any problems OR without this problem up to two weeks ago. Then this slowness of browsing just started out of the blue - thats why I suspect an update.

The rules in AD and the DHCP are untouched since the beginning over two years ago - However I will have a look ...

No one has been tinkering with the server, only ME gets to do that - and I made no sudden changes two weeks ago ..


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If this helps I remember a server

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Thanks and a reply to OH ...

In a locked room that no one touched yet mysteriously over night a Patch Lead got changed from a straight .5 meter CAT5 to a .5 Meter Crossover cable.

I wasted the best part of a day because management insisted that no one had been inside the room where the server was and they didn't want to find the keys. So it had to be elsewhere in the building.

When I exhausted all other possibilities I eventually got let into the Server Room and changed the Patch lead in under a minute. As the replacement lead was blue it was the correct lead to use right? I immediately spotted that ti was a made up lead and ripped it out and put it on a Cable Tester to confirm my beliefs.

Needless to say it must have been like that since I installed the server several years prior as No one had been in that room for ages. :^0

What had happened is that the cleaning contractors had gone in there and cleaned up and ripped the patch lead out of the socket breaking it. To fix it they grabbed another spare lead from elsewhere in the building and stuck that in place.

Or there was the server that fell over and when I went to grab the spare Boot Drive to rebuild the RAID I was told that the son had done this the week previously so instead of a simple fix I had to do a complete new install. Took ages to work out why the RAID wouldn't initialize as there where 2 extra SCSI Drives in it but no one had touched the server. So I just came up with the idea that I must have left them in there after originally setting up the unit. Didn't matter that these drives where over 1K each or that they where full of games I must have left them in the server. I was happy to live with that idea till the owners son facing the prospect of loosing 2 large SCSI Drives or continuing to deny touching the unit had to cough up and confess to what he had done. Apparently they came in after hours with his fiends and used the internal network as a Big Games System. But till that was admitted no one had touched the server or any of the other computers. :^0

Maybe I've just got cynical in my old age but when I hear that no one has touched something it is the first place that i look now.


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Office Freezes while Cut / Paste happens ..

by aidanodr In reply to RE: [i]Could it be a wind ...


Just called the site - It seems that other little things are happening.

One of the Secretaries had two Docs open in Word. They were copying a portion of the first doc and pasting into the Second Doc. Once Paste was happening OFFICE froze. So, mid way between Copy and Paste. The usual MS Error with END NOW popped up and office closed. ( The PC / XP were fine ). They got back the file via auto recover. This has happened to two different people this afternoon.

The server they are using does not have RAID. They are using ext USB drives to backup to. I say this because now I am getting worried. Could this be an imminent hardware failure, particularly the harddrive? EVEN though their is no errors indicating this in the Server Event Viewer.



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Further Explanation as I think of it ..

by aidanodr In reply to Slow Network Browsing ..


On the Server D Partition their is a folder called d:\docsmain. Inside this folder are 7 subfolders - one for each secretary and solicitor - eg d:\docsmain\mary. Most of these folders have 1200 - 2500 word files.

Their is one folder that only has about 200 files. This share on any workstation opens far faster than the other larger folders.

HERE I SHOULD MENTION - The share is the same on all workstations. Its a mapped drive to d:\docsmain, each of the staff need access to all the other folders under this.

Another thing mentioned by the staff yesterday is it seems to be slower in the morning first hour or so and faster / more normal in the afternoon. This sounded inexplicable until one might consider something up with the workstations logging in and the like?


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Two things to check

by scndtnr In reply to Slow Network Browsing ..

1. DNS. Try running "ipconfig /flushdns" from the command line on the server and each workstation.

2. Missing or disabled printer. Office/Windows Explorer functions can be significantly slowed if a shared printer is still on the system but is disabled or disconnected.

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