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Slow Network Access To Some Files...


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#1 longtex

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 04:16 PM

This is a weird one...

We have a server offering peer-peer file-sharing to three workstations (it's also a workstation, but that doesn't seem to be an issue). All computers are XP Pro, all SP2. Of the three workstations, two exhibit the problem, and one does not. (Actually, it gets worse: of the two with the problem, one was okay, but the P/S went slowly south and screwed up the HDD; a new P/S and HDD were installed and Win XP Pro (re)installed, by local store - also it was upgraded to SP3 while they were at it... with the result that it now also exhibits the problem.)

And the problem is... in a fairly complex piece of accounting software (special, for County Treasurers) written in Cobol, in only one part of one module (payroll), when it opens and also when it exits the payroll data update/inquiry, it takes 60-90 seconds to do so. Once it's in, it's plenty fast, no problems. This, mind you, is on two of the workstations, but not the third. I've examined the RunCobol.exe installation on all three, and it appears that the files are identical and the registry entries are identical. All three have identical properties in their access icons - all three point W: at the server by IP address (i.e. net use w: \\192.168.127.41\apps1 persistent:yes) and all three run the app from their own C: drive while starting in w:\data).

As far as I can see, there isn't any extraneous disk thrashing going on, no wildly blinking lights on the LAN.

I've moved computers around physically, and I'm pretty certain there's no issue with router, switch, or cables.

I've tried it with and without Windows Firewall and with and without the A-V software running.

I checked the services and found two with different settings on the two "bad" computers than on the "good" one, but changing them had no effect (I can't tell you what they were right this instant - my journal is in my bag in the backseat of my car and rain is pouring down...

At this point, I'm pretty sure it isn't a hardware problem, and it shouldn't have anything to do with viruses; I don't think it's a setup problem in the app. I'm fairly well convinced it's some Windows setup issue, tcpip buffer sizes or whatever, but I'm out of ideas... other than seeing if there's some straightforward way to profile the (*&@#$ thing so I can get some handle on what the &*$#% is going on!

How about it... anyone?

Edit: Moved topic from XP to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 longtex

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 11:39 AM

This is a weird one...


Hardware checking: I disabled the onboard NIC and installed a 3COM 10/100 - no change at all...
:thumbsup:

#3 dbough

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 09:48 PM

Very hard to say what the problem is from your setup. Do all of the PCs try to access this software at the same time? Is it possible one PC is using resources and the others are waiting to connect in until those resources are available?

You can try to reset the tcp ip stack if you think there is a tcp ip issue:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299357

Since the app you are using is custom made, you may want to get with the developers to see what they think.

Good luck
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Well, Technically ...

#4 longtex

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 09:05 PM

Very hard to say what the problem is from your setup. Do all of the PCs try to access this software at the same time? Is it possible one PC is using resources and the others are waiting to connect in until those resources are available?

You can try to reset the tcp ip stack if you think there is a tcp ip issue:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299357

Since the app you are using is custom made, you may want to get with the developers to see what they think.

Good luck


Hwy - thanks for the response... First, let me answer your questions: respectively, no, and apparently not. It doesn't make any difference whether one or all three of the PCs are even turned on, much less accessing the files.

Second, the problem is - I'd like to say "solved", but I can't - the problem is obviated. I reinstalled Windows on the formerly fast machine, and it got fast again. Now for the really weird part: after that, I also moved the shared files to a newly-acquired server, and now the originally slow machine is also fast (as is the machine that was the server/workstation). All I can conclude is that it's something to do with Windows networking setups on both server and client, and it's an interaction between them.

I haven't had this much trouble since my original Point of Sale app started corrupting files on early NT networks (the users still on LanTastic and Novell had no problems). That turned out to be the infamous opportunistic file locking combined with memory caching instead of flushing to HDD, which was the only way NT could come close to matching speeds with Novell... hell, even LanTastic was better!

Thanks again for the response - I appreciate it!

Edited by longtex, 29 August 2008 - 09:08 PM.





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