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  1. #1
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    Very slow network

    I have some excessively slow networking in Windows 7. I thought at first it was one application (a payroll program), but I have reproduced the problem in Excel and Word.

    The problem occurs when changing from one open file in the application to another. Firstly the File-Open dialog box takes around 45 seconds to appear. Then when I select a file to open the previous file takes another 45 seconds to close. When that has happened the new file opens at normal speed. As I have said, I have tried the same sequence of events in Excel and found it similarly sluggish.

    The machine where the files are stored is a fast Windows 7 machine, and the client machine is a somewhat slower, although still reasonably fast, Windows 7 laptop. Win 7 Ultimate in both cases.

    I have tried with the Homegroup enabled and disabled, with and without a mapped drive letter, and via Wifi or wired network with no appreciable difference between any of these scenarios. Opening files is always a perfectly acceptable speed if the file is opened from Explorer, or indeed once the file-Open dialog has finally opened.

    This slow experience has only happened since Windows 7 - back in the old days when both ends were XP pro the speed was never an issue.

    I have Googled many times for any hints and got nowhere. Hopefully I will have more luck here!

  2. #2
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    Do you have networked or external drives defined that are not available/turned off/disconnected when the problem occurs?

    Joe

  3. #3
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    No, the only networked drives are on the main machine and are available.

    J

  4. #4
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    What happens if you copy several of these files to the desktop of the client machine and then open in the same sequence?
    Chuck

  5. #5
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    The performance is completely normal if the files are copied locally

  6. #6
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    If you have disabled Homegroups, have you also disabled IPv6?

    Joe

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeperez View Post
    If you have disabled Homegroups, have you also disabled IPv6?

    Joe
    Good suggestion. I'm also wondering about the age of your router. If its a little older, I'd also suggest unplugging your router for 5 minutes and plugging it back in. Some older routers tend to get sluggish when they heat up, especially during or shortly after high rate data transfers.
    Chuck

  8. #8
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    Just tried that - good thought but still no difference :-(

  9. #9
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    I don't think the router is at fault in that way. For everything else the performance is normal.

  10. #10
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    OK, that's good to know. Process of elimination. Isn't this fun?

    Have you disable A/V?
    Chuck

  11. #11
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    No, I admit I haven't disabled A/V. But then I didn't go to bed with my front door open either :-)

    However, since this problem has been evident I have tried 3 different AV programs (not simultaneously I hasten to add) - AVG, Avira and MSE and all exactly the same.

  12. #12
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    No, I didn't mean that you might have a virus. Just the opposite. Turn off A/V to see if that's effecting performance. Most, if not all A/V actively scans files when they are accessed. It can be particularly slow over a network connection. I usually disable the active scanning because of this. So long as you run periodic scans of the drives, this is usually sufficient. Especially if you are the creator of the files.
    Chuck

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    Try opening the Network and Sharing Center. Click on Advanced Options. Scroll down to File Sharing Connections. Tic Enable File sharing for devices that use 40 or 50 bit encryption.

    Jerry

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    Very Slow Laptop/ Network

    I had a similar issue with a slow laptop (albeit a "very fast" recent model ThinkPad fully loked with memory) running 32 bit Windows 7 Ultimate connected to a wired Ethernet LAN with various devices and OSs on the LAN. On the laptop I had Windows Firewall OFF and was running ZoneAlarm Suite (which I've used happily for years), with no other security applications running.

    Because of slow performance I decided to uninstal ZoneAlarm Suite and use Windows Firewall and Microsoft Security Essential. Wow! Significant performance improvement.

    Be wary of running other security software at the same time - running to many security applicatiosn at the same time is a sure recipe for a slow computer.

  15. #15
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    Hi Woodworm. I think the clue is in the 45 seconds, it is a network access timeout, clearly to a resource you don't need. If I'm right, I'm not 100% at diagnosing the exact problem but I have fixed it in many cases.

    What is probably happening is that Windows (bless its little heart) is trying to be super helpful and find all your files for you even if they're not there any more!

    A prime candidate used to to be the Web Client service - that would try for 45 seconds to locate a missing folder on t'internet. Disabling the service cured the problem. In Win7 I see it is a manual startup by default so maybe won't be the problem unless you see it is started on your PC (click start and search for "services")

    A common trigger is receiving a WORD document from an external source that used a template held on a network drive accessed by a UNC path - Windows tries to find the template on the web, when it fails it doesn't worry you about it but the process takes 45 sec. Similarly once open it tries to access the template again on closing. I've had to tell people to copy the content to a new file in some cases.

    I've also, specifically in Win7, seen issues with Windows indexing large folders (typically network shares). Local folders stay indexed unless on removeable drives, network ones don't and they can be huge. If you get a green progress bar in the path box in My Computer when you open a folder that is the search indexer working away. The file/open box is basically a stripped down Explorer window and maybe it waits for the search to complete instead of letting you in straightaway. Searching of course may take any amount of time so I'm not pressing that idea.

    Finally, if you are on a complicated network there may be redundant paths, one of which is preferred but dead. I once found that on a corporate network and tried in vain to persuade their IT gurus that was the problem - they just thought it was a long way to that office so it would be slow wouldn't it! Eventually they agreed to bring in a network expert who spotted the problem in seconds. Again, probably not an issue with you

    Overall, there must be a way of finding paths Windows searches by default that are not present. I don't know how to do it, but if you can find one and kill the dead paths you should cure the problem.

    Ian

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