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  1. #1
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    Slow network printing

    Within the last couple of weeks, I have been experiencing network connectivity issues with my XP SP3 Pro computer in our small windows domain (about 25 PCs). One symptom is that it may take two to three minutes to print a document to our network printer/copier located about 60 ft away in another room. Normally this process completes within a few seconds.

    A couple of times, I have lost access to network drives. When I try to log in to them, I'm told that the domain controller can't be located to verify my password. If I log off my PC and log back in again, everything is OK.

    The connection light on my Gigabit NIC is flashing green as it should, and the Xyzel Gigabit switch on the wall appears to be functioning normally. We have filters through Open DNS and our network A/V to prohibit some streaming media like internet radio.

    If anybody has suggestions on where to start tracking this down, I would love to hear them.

    Bill B

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    If you have updated your NIC drivers in this time frame try rolling them back to the prior version.

    Can you try a different ethernet cable? Can you try a different NIC?

    Try a different position on your switch.

    Check your power settings on your PC to make sure the NIC can not be disabled.

    Joe

  3. #3
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    No changes to NIC drivers -- although it is rather old. The cable and NIC are relatively new, replaced about 9 months ago. It's not an obvious hardware problem, because sometimes when I have trouble with one network drive, others are still available. Internet access doesn't appear to be affected.

    I did un-check power-management box allowing the NIC to go to sleep. Good idea. And I can plug into a different port on the switch, but I have done that before without much change.

    What I'm afraid of, is that network traffic, perhaps some compromised computer that isn't showing up on our network A/V, is clogging up communication.

    Bill

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    If the network drives are USB drives they may be powering down. USB drives typically power down to save energy. Some drive OEMs supply a utility that allows you to configure this shut down time.

    Is your PC sleeping or hibernating?

    Joe

  5. #5
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    Joe,

    The drives are raid arrays on Windows servers and don't ever take naps, as far as I can tell.

    This happens during the day while I am working on my PC.

    Bill

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    There could be quite a few things still to investigate. Depending on your network topology you might have a number of different things happening.

    It may be a DNS, or routing table issue: If you are using DHCP rather than static, your machine may still have access to the gateway router but the server that runs the DNS may be offline or a router might be updating dynamic routing tables and trying to figure the best route to a network component, effectively preventing you from seeing the DC and mapped network drives.

    It could be a network switch going flaky rather than a router. Difficult to know without detailed info on your topology.

    The best thing to do is to run some diagnostics.....

    Refer to your network diagrams and consider which network components you can access and which ones you can't. Then think about what might cause that: For example - routers connect different networks, whereas switches do not, so if the network share and printer are on a different subnet to your PC, you might have a router problem. When it occurs, try a ping by IP address and host name. Also try a traceroute to the affected network printer or server to verify the route taken. Look in the local event viewer to see if anything is happening to the network address and refer the the log files in any network routers.

    Finally, if you think you have a rogue machine creating a DoS attack on your network, you could run packet sniffing tools the check it out. You could log activity overnight too to see if it genuinely is only occurring during working hours.

  7. #7
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    Slow Network Printing -- Answer

    While there are a number of equipment & network tweeks that will seemingly "solve" this problem, a large majority of these incidents are caused by one simple error.

    If you have some device on your network that is acting as the DHCP server and this device has a range of IP addresses that it assigns, make sure that your print server has not been MANUALLY assigned an IP address in that range.

    Either set the printer server to automatically receive an IP address or MANUALLY assign an IP address outside the DHCP servers assigned range.

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