SOS! communicating to the network

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Hardware
Help Desk
Networking
Tech support
I'm in a bad bind here. My VP of the company just got a new system, and for some strange reason when he is communicating to our file server, his communication just delays. For example, when attempting to browse into folders, it appears that he is getting a 2-5 second delay. When working off his local drive, he has no problems, therefor I believe it is network related, but cannot figure out what it can be. Please any info would be helpful. Thanks to all for your help and support.

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If the troubled system has access to the Internet you might be experiencing a spyware problem or worse.

The only product I recommend to examnine the system and lock it down in the future is Panda Platinum from Panda Soft. You’ll be surprised what you find after you scan your bosses system. You can to do a free 30-day test drive, so you won’t be out any money just the time it takes to install and run. I even recommend it to friends and family because it significantly reduces my free service calls. DK

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  • Rmartinez78
    What platform is his OS and what platform is the File Server? Is he connected to a switch or hub?
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  • Cptrelentless
    What are his machine's ping times like? It may be gateway related or a name resolution issue. Are you running WINS or just DNS (Assuming this is a Windows environment - please detail Workstation and server OS). Have you checked his NIC configuration is ok?
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  • Howard2nd
    Way too little information. What operating system, what network, what protocols, what type of connections - wired or wireless, what NIC? Presume Windows XP Pro with SP2 (You did say at work) then run Ping/Tracert from the command box and check latency. Is it a domain or workkgroup? If it is a domain and he logs in sucessfully, how is the drive on the server mapped? Try mapping the drive using ipaddress(dotted#s)share instead of NetBIOS-nameshare. If that speeds up access, the problem is name resolution. If it is a domain diable the computer browser service on his system. Hard code the 'Hosts' & 'LMhosts' files. DNS on a 2000/2003 domain should be transparent. WINS is not and now under attack. With the deprecation of NetBUI/NetBIOS the use of'Names' can be real problem. IF it is a workgroup - permissions, permissions, permissions.
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  • EricHarris
    Without more information it will be hard to help. What OSes on server and workstation? What kind of computer? Brand and model of NIC? General suggestions would include verifying that the physical connection is good. Could a cable be bad? Is ping time acceptable? Is the OS waiting for a timeout of some kind? In Windows, for instance, a mapped drive to a non-existent location will cause long delays in browsing or accessing the network. Does the problem exist with any server he tries to access? Has the NIC card been verified as good? Does it have the latest drivers? Is there firewall software installed on the workstation that could be interfering because some activity was disallowed by the user? These are only a few of the possibilities.
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  • Bobkberg
    Good set of answers! So I'll try a different tack. Have you "timed" other forms of access over the local network? In other words, how fast does Yahoo load on the VP's machine vs. some other machine? How long does it take his machine to send (and complete) a "hello world" email? Have you put a sniffer on the line and watched the traffic go by? It may seem too technical to start with, but once I started playing with sniffers many years ago, I learned about things whose existence I never even suspected. You can get a sniffer for free if you don't have one. Look for windump/tcpdump/ethereal for windows if you're not up on linux. If you're not sure where to go with that, send me a private message, and I'll talk you through it - today is a slow day, so I've got some free time. Bob
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  • Darkgudda
    Well with the little information given. First off make sure the new system (whatever it maybe) is up to date with the latest service packs. Drill down the network set up and see if the VP's old parameters are the same from the old system or need to be change. Sorry couldnt provide anymore information due to a lack of information in the question. Have fun. The other answers work as well.
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  • TedRizzi
    IM going to assume that your on windows 2000 or 2003 network. first check the protocals, make sure that nwlink or netbuie are not installed and or sit above tcp/ip on the stack. (check the protocal binding order) then check to make sure that his machine is not first trying to use ipsec to talk with your servers if it is and the servers are not configured for ipsec it could cause a delay. or the reverse could be true, the servers are looking for ipsec first and then falling back to clear text if none of the above are true. check and make sure his dns settings are correct. 2000 and higher will use dns first to resolve name to ip. then fall back to netbios. if dns cannot resolve the name then netbios will, but there will be a delay waiting for the dns try to time out.
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  • Sexton
    If your network server is windows NT (upgrade), and your new client is windows 2000 or XP, then I would look very hard at DNS. It bit me several years ago for a while until I was able to catch it in a packet capture. If that is not the case, then I would still look at name resolution (wins, dns, DHCP settings, blocking broadcast traffic), firewall on client blocking traffic (NetBIOS) that should be allowed on subnet (not internet). Your NetBIOS node type determines Name resolution order. I know it's a stupid saying, but it helped me learn it. "Cool Weather Brings Light Hearted Days" Cache
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  • Stevesz
    Some very good answers here, but you all may be overlooking the obviouos. After a virus/spyware scan, I'd run a NETSTAT to see what connections are being made. If there is nothing unusual there, check the NIC settings, making sure it is running optimally--for instance, if you have a 100 mbps network, the NIC is running at 100 mbps. Finally, plug him into a different network drop. If his speed improves, change his port on the hub and plug him back into his own drop. If the improvement continues--replace the hub/switch as you have a bad port. If the performance declines again, the problem is in the cabling run, and it should be replaced. If you can, especially since he is a boss, plug him back into the better performing drop until you can have his replaced.
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  • Bobkberg
    Stevesz makes a very good point! Reminds me of a problem we had years ago where someone inserted a short piece of Cat 3 cabling in an otherwise Cat 5 installation. It was enough Cat 5 for the cisco switch and the computer's ethernet card to decide that it was a 100 Mb connection. BUT - when it came to running actual traffic, performance SUCKED BIG TIME. Also check for things like auto-negotiation for speed and duplexing - those are notorious for being sub-optimal! However, unless I missed something - ESuazo has not provided us any additional information. Bob
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  • Umersaeed
    Hi. Could you also check how different is the hardware of your boss's new machine than that of the other machines already present on your network. Especially network thingy. The spyware check is very necessary. Any other software opening and closing unwanted ports and stuff. Some smart guys have given the netstat and portsniffers, very valuable tips. Good luck
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  • Melchizedek
    In my opinion, AAAAHHHHH...so simple! He's 'duh BOSS! Acquire and Install 'Solar Winds' Engineering network management software and demonstrate to him the network utilization bottle-necks, and there are! Use the software to simplify YOUR day-to-day stresses and give him your laptop because it works REALLY well, and then fix his. Otherwise, test performance directly off of the switch that bears the intended server. If performance increases dramatically then do all of the other suggestions because they are needed.
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  • Madwand
    Compare Binding and Protocol order with systems that are responding "normally" .. sometimes the wrong binding order can cause delays.
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  • ESuazo
    Thank you all for your help and patient. I have had an emergency in the family, and was unable to answer you all back. Let me be more specific and thorough. This PC is a Dell Windows XP Pro system, with a gigabit nic. The cable Cat5e, goes from the PC to the Cat5e network wall jack. Signal travels through a Cat5e cable to a cate panel. From there, I had a 1 feet Cat5e cable connecting to a Unmanaged Gigabit Dell Switch. For trouble shooting perposes I replaced the 1 foot cable with a 3 feet cable. To continue, From the Gigabit Switch, the signal travels to a 10/100/1000 Rj45/Fiber Optic converter box. (We have two building side by side). In building 1 (Server location) the fiber optic gets re-converted to Rj45 and back to a unmanaged Gigabit switch. From there, the signal goes from the switch to the server, Windows Server 2003(5' net cable). Now, I have and ran several times PestPatrol, Adware, and McAfee virus scan on the system. Now for some strange reason, when using Network neighborhood, and browsing to the Main server, the transmitions appears to be much faster than using Explorer. Nevertheless, somethin is not right, and out of 30 other PC's in that building, this is the only one having this issue, laggin seconds before opening and transfering files. Occasionally it will hang for 20 sec or so. Someone mentioned Binding Protocol, but I'm not familiar with that. Also, I ran a server to PC ping, and it wa flawless
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  • Smallfishllc
    I have seen this problem before. It has to do with a time-poit setting on the server.. I forget where it is, however.. Maybe someone can help me remember.. At any rate.. The issue I saw was when the user first connected to a mapped drive.. It would show up as being not available in 'My Computer'... Hope this helps a little
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  • OutsourcePC
    This is not related to topic but I just want to know if you have google invites. Thanks.
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  • Joelsplace
    I have had slow network problems with XP and have found various solutions. Here's what has worked for me. 1)XP seems to hate manually setting the NIC speed and duplex. Use Qcheck to verify network throughput. I had a 100MB switched network that when manually set would only hit around 1.5-4Mb. When set on auto it would run around 95Mb. Be sure to check speed both directions. I've seen some that were fast one direction and not the other. 2) Dump all your network protocols except IP. I've had serious slowdowns attempting to use Netbuei or IPX. 3) Be sure you aren't pointing to a WINS server if you don' t have one. 4) If your server provides DNS be sure you are pointing at it.
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