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XP Client Slow over the Network

By rajivsh ·
Hi:
I have a setup of WIN2K Domain Controller and around 50 XP Clients. I have a WIN2K File server. When clients access the Documents over the network, it takes forever to access those documents. When they restart their comptuer they can access the files quickly but after a while (like 2-3 hours) it again takes forever to access files. Even the logon on client computer takes atleast more than 3 minutes. This is very frustratring for everybody.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.
Rajiv Sharma

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by CptOmlly In reply to XP Client Slow over the N ...

You may also want to check to see if you have Netbios over TCP/IP on these workstations. If this is running, Windows may be causing the machines to do a browse of the entire network looking for the Master Browser. If NB over TCP/IP is required for your network, try entering the domain controller as the first choice DNS and see if that speeds things up.

If that doesn't help, try this article.
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=329457
Appears that it may be an issue of group policy application taking a way too long. According to the article, you have to contact MS for the patch since its still in testing.

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by CptOmlly In reply to

Are the clients set up with your DNS Server as the primary or with the ISP's DNS server?

You may find this helpful: http://tinyurl.com/33z4c

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by philldmc In reply to XP Client Slow over the N ...

I had the same problem. XP Pros taking forever to log in to a W2K domain. To fix the issue I had to rebuild the DNS.

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by rajivsh In reply to XP Client Slow over the N ...

Thanks for your response. Can you please explain me what changes you made on your DNS. I am using my Domain Controller as my DNS also.

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by rajivsh In reply to XP Client Slow over the N ...

Yeah my clients are set up as ISP's DNS address, but my Domain controlller DNS is set up as my DC's IP Address.

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by CptOmlly In reply to XP Client Slow over the N ...

I think the issue here is one of name resolution. When your XP clients log on to the domain, they are not getting the name of the DC resolved by your DNS (which is the only DNS that "knows" your DC), but rather attempting to resolve it via your ISP's DNS. When this fails, the clients then fall back to the Host name resolution steps as defined by MicroSoft TCP/IP Host Name Resolution. Here is a MS overview of XP name resolution: http://tinyurl.com/34fzx. As you can see, when there is no hosts entry, and DNS fails, the workstation falls back to NetBIOS name resolution. If it cannot find the DC in the NetBIOS name cache (which it will not if you are just logging on), it will have to broadcast and/or browse for the domain controller. THIS is why it takes so long!!! This also why when you first log on, you can access your file server without delay, but then later you cannot. The name cache no longer has the file server name cached, and so the PC must rebrowse.

You can test my theory by creating a hosts file on one PC. It should be located here: c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. Refer to this MS document create one if needed http://tinyurl.com/34fzx (Click Editing the hosts file in left nav bar). Add an entry for your DC as shown (and the file server if you want). Reboot the machine, and see if your logon times are faster. I'd bet they are.

If this test fixes the issue on the one workstation, then you need to adjust your name resolution for all the rest of them. You COULD copy the hosts file to all the other workstation, but thats probably not the best solution. Fixing the your DNS, and then pointing DHCP settings to your DNS (rather than the ISP DNS) would be the best way to do it. However, you will have to add your ISP's DNS as a forwarder. You will probably have to remove the "." record from your DNS forwarders to add this.

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by Aging In reply to XP Client Slow over the N ...

As has been said by others the problem does relate to the DNS. Your clients are trying to contact the ISP's DNS Server before falling back to the DNS on your domain controller.
If you have DHCP running on your DC you should be able to set your clients to obtain their IP and DNS server address automatically. This will be quite an onerous task with 50 clients but should effectively solve your problem.

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