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  1. #1
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    Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    I have a home network that has two PCs on it: A Toshiba laptop that is 4-5 years old and a Dell desktop that is a few months old. Each PC is cable-connected to a Linksys router that is connected to a cable modem. The laptop (my primary PC) is running WinXP Pro and the desktop (my wife's PC) is running WinXP Home. A couple of weeks ago, on the laptop, I did a clean re-install of the Configuration disc that came with it and I'm gradually going through the process of installing the other applications that I was using before the clean install. I've run into a problem: The connection speed from the Dell to the laptop is extremely slow. I've run Internet download speed tests on both PCs: the laptop registered 4430 kbps and the Dell was even faster. If I use the Dell to copy a 1886 KB file from the laptop to the Dell it happens so fast I cannot time it. When I use the laptop to copy the same file from the Dell to the laptop one test took 2 min, 53 sec, another test took 3 min, another test aborted after about 4 min. In that case an error message was displayed: "Cannot copy filename: The specified network name is no longer available." That has happened a number of times before. In all these test cases, the Copying... progress dialog box was displayed. It started with "60 seconds remaining" and the time and progress bar gradually showed progress in fairly large chunks and in the two successful cases it closed when the copying was finished.

    The laptop is running ZoneAlarm Security Suite and the Dell is running Norton AnitVirus 2007 and the Kerio firewall. Before the clean install this kind of copying worked quickly and smoothly.

    Any ideas on what is wrong or how to diagnose it?

    Thanks,
    Bill

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    Joe

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by BillWilson on 07-Feb-07 22:34. I forgot the include the attachment!)</P>Thanks for the suggestion Joe. I've performed most of the suggested tests but some of them seem to be aimed at the situation where the network connection does not work at all and mine does work but not correctly. Here are the results:

    Physical Connectivity:
    o The PCs do communicate with each other.

    Firewalls:
    o The router has a hardware firewall but I assume it is between the Internet connection and the local distribution, not between local connections.
    o I tried disabling the ZoneAlarm firewall and the Kerio firewall and then the laptop could not see the Dell at all! After I put the Dell back into its original condition and left ZoneAlarm disabled, the problem looked the same as reported in my original post.
    o The WinXP firewall is disabled in both PCs.

    IP addresses:
    o I pinged both PCs and the gateway from each PC and got exactly the same result in every case -- basically no packets lost and 0ms round trip. See the attached file for the details.

    User Accounts:
    o Both PCs are configured to not require a login at all during boot-up.
    o I did run the net user guest /active:yes command on the Dell PC.
    o I can try creating new accounts if someone thinks that would be useful.

    Other Diagnostics:
    o I ran Start > Run > Netsh diag gui and all tests passed. I have saved the results in a file if that would be useful.
    o I ran Net Use * /Delete
    o I did not run Net Use ... since I did not create a new account on the Dell
    o I ran Net View patsdell and got the correct list of shared folders & devices on the Dell
    o I ran Net View 1800wpw and got the correct list of shared folders & devices on the laptop
    o In My Computer > Manage > Shared Folders > Sessions there are no sessions listed -- This sounds like it might be a problem but I don't know what a session actually is
    o In My Computer > Manage > Shared Folders > Shares the one folder that is shared is listed along with 5 entries that appear to be supplied by WinXP.

    That is the extent of my testing. Hopefully someone can suggest a solution or more tests.

    Thanks,
    Bill
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    You may want to repeat the firewall part of the test. Usually when you disable a third party firewall the XP firewall is enabled automatically. So, after you disable Kerio & ZA you need to disable the XP firewall also.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    My first step would be to remove the offending NIC from Device Manager on the computer exhibiting the problem, and then reinstall it. I don't mean physically remove, but I have had occasions where the slot on the motherboard was a problem for reasons unknown. Take Joe's advice and check the Windows Firewall; generally it doesn't slow things down but instead stops them cold. However, no way to know until you try.

    You've also not told us if this is the first time you are seeing the problem on a previously good system, or the first time, period. Messing with NICs is not very worthwhile as you can replace them so cheaply, but if you can find a different card to try (provided the simple remove/reinstall doesn't work) it would tell you if the problem was in hardware or software.
    -Mark

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    Joe,

    For lack of a better way to be sure I had the firewalls out of the picture and the AntiVirus activity wasn't slowing things down in my tests I uninstalled the firewalls and the AntiVirus protection on both PCs. You were right, in both cases the Windows firewall was turned on automatically! After turning it off on both PCs the results were similar to the earlier tests. Here are the details:

    0 Use laptop to copy Dell file to laptop: first attempt counted down the 60 sec progress to 10 sec in real time and then failed. The second attempt looked more like the earlier failures and it also never completed. The third attempt completed in 1 min 21 sec!
    o Use editor on laptop to open file on Dell: completed in 52 seconds.
    o Use Dell to copy laptop file to Dell: too fast to time.
    o Use Dell to open laptop file on Dell: too fast to time.

    Note: When it fails to complete a copy it pops up a message that says "Cannot copy [filename]: The specified network name is no longer available."

    Thanks for the suggestion. Any new ideas will be greatly appreciated!

    Bill

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    Mark,

    Is it OK to go into the Device Manager and select the NIC and uninstall it? After that will it be automatically installed again when the laptop is rebooted? I don't think there is anything I can do on the laptop that would be similar to unplugging and plugging in the NIC. I can do that too on the Dell if it sounds like a good idea.

    This network with the laptop and an older desktop worked fine for several years, in this house and our previous house. A year ago I replaced the older desktop with a new Dell desktop and it continued to work fine until just before I did the clean install on the laptop. I did the clean install because the laptop had gotten progressively worse for a while. I do a backup of both PCs on the laptop about once a week. The backup program builds two backup files, one for each PC, on the laptop hard drive and then I use Easy CD Creator to write each file to a CD. It got to the point where it would create those files but then I couldn't open the folder they were written in, or opening that folder would take many minutes! And, Easy CD Creator sometimes wouldn't let me select the backup files for writing to the CD! The last straw was that it took way too long to build the backup file for the Dell -- that sounds like it may have been the same problem I'm having now. The laptop has had another problem for a couple of years: it would not shutdown. It would get to the point where "Windows is shutting down..." is displayed on the screen and it would hang there. I would have to manually force it off. After that it would bootup without any problem. The clean install fixed that problem and all the others except the slow or aborted retrieval of Dell files to the laptop.

    I'll mess with the NIC if I know I can recover OK from that without any difficulty! Any new ideas will be greately appreciated.

    Bill

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    Am I understanding correctly that it is the laptop that has the problem, and it began after a clean installation of Windows?

    The short answer is that yes, it's safe to remove things from Device Manager. Windows will (or should) detect the hardware again after a reboot; alternately you can right-click on the computer name at the top of the device tree and select Scan for hardware changes. Caveat emptor: be sure to visit the manufacturer's website and download the latest drivers for your hardware. Once the NIC is removed, your Internet access along with networking capability is gone until the drivers are reinstalled.

    Don't worry about moving hardware around in its physical locations. Probably unnecessary, and not possible in a laptop anyway. Let's take baby steps and try some basics first.
    -Mark

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    Mark,

    Yes, it the laptop has just had a clean install and it seems that the laptop has the problem. I say 'seems' because I can't be certain if the laptop is having trouble getting the file from the Dell or if the Dell is having trouble supplying the file to the laptop. I'm guessing that when one PC copies a file from another PC that the receiving PC asks for a block of data and the sending PC sends that block of data. If either one balks or is extremely slow then the transfer will be slow. If it does work that way then the fact that each retrieval has taken a different amount of time and many of them have failed completely makes me think that maybe many of the requests for data that the laptop sends to the Dell fail to return data and if enough consecutive requests fail then the process aborts. I don't know the significance of the error message, "Cannot copy 'filename': The specified network name is no longer available." but maybe that is logical if the requests to the Dell are not being honored. In each case, I can click on a Dell shared folder in Windows Explorer on the laptop and it immediately displays the contents of that Dell folder; there is no delay in that operation.

    I'll try messing with the NICs in each PC tomorrow.

    Thanks,
    Bill

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    What you're describing sounds like a loss of connectivity between the two. I should have asked before; is this a wired or wireless network connection? If it's wired, try a different ethernet cable just to rule out the possibility. If it's wireless, that's a whole different ball of wax. However, start with removing the NIC on the laptop and reinstalling using the most current drivers. Just take one step at a time, or you'll never know for sure what is causing or will fix the problem.

    Any other information you can provide would be helpful. I'm thinking this thread might be better served by moving it to the networking forum.
    -Mark

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    Mark,

    "What you're describing sounds like a loss of connectivity between the two. I should have asked before; is this a wired or wireless network connection?"

    Yes it does sound like a loss of connectivity until you consider the fact that both PCs have good, fast, access to the Internet through the same cables! As I said in my original description, each PC is wired/cabled to the router. I don't have any wireless capability in the house.

    "... start with removing the NIC on the laptop and reinstalling using the most current drivers."

    First, there are no later NIC drivers for either PC. I did an uninstall of the NIC on each PC and then rebooted and Windows re-installed the driver. Those steps did not change the characteristics of the problem.

    "I'm thinking this thread might be better served by moving it to the networking forum."

    Yes I really puzzled originally about whether to post in the WinXP forum or the Networking forum. Should it be moved there now or should I post something new there? Or, just leave well enough alone?

    I have unplugged and plugged-in again all the cable connections between each PC and the router. That didn't change anything. Then, I tried using a long extra cable and running it directly from the laptop to the router and plugging it into different connectors on the router. At first this seemed to make a significant difference. One of the copy attempts from the Dell to the laptop completed in only 30 seconds or so. But after that it went back to failing a lot of the time and taking several minutes the rest of the time. I went out for several hours this afternoon and now that I'm back it seems to be failing all the time! This is very discouraging! :-( Right now the Dell is not able to send an email message either so I'll have to look into that and see what I might have done without realizing it earlier today.

    Thanks for continuing to help.

    Bill

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    An update on my situation... The email problem seems to be related to only one destination address. However, all access of the Internet from the Dell is so slow it takes forever for a page to come up and quite often it says it cannot find the page. I suspect the latter may be time outs due to the slowness. I think that I'll get a new router and see if that helps any. I'll let you know.

    Bill

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    Whoa! Don't go buying a new router for no reason other than a hunch... if both computers are attached to the device and one works, it isn't the router that's the problem. Are you using Internet Explorer when you experience the slowness?
    -Mark

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    Well, it is not quite as drastic as it sounds! I plan to buy a new laptop in a few months and I'll want to have wireless capability then so I'll need to buy a wireless router at some point. I thought I would buy it now and see if there is any difference.

    My latest situation is this: I learned that an error message I was getting on every bootup was due to the Dell running the beta version of Windows Defender. This happened at the same time that I was troubleshooting the problem with the laptop retrieving files from the Dell, so when I unistalled the firewall and Norton AntiVirus from the Dell to see if that helped the file copying problem I also uninstalled Windows Defender. At that time I tried uninstalling the NIC in the Dell and reinstalling it too. At the same time I was doing all the same things to the laptop. None of these things helped the file copying problem so I installed Norton AntiVirus and the released version of Windows Defender on the Dell. I also tried various cable connections from the laptop to the router. After that, right now, the Dell almost cannot get access to the internet using Internet Explorer! It is so slow it takes several minutes for any web page to come up and many pages will not come up at all. So, now my wife (the Dell is her PC) is pretty effectively shut down and that isn't good!

    If you have any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this Dell problem, please let me know.

    Also, on the original problem, at this point every attempt to copy a Dell file to the laptop fails. I may need to add some more entries into the Trusted Zone in the ZoneAlarm firewall because it didn't come up with the same list of Trusted Zones when I re-installed it. I haven't gotten to that issue yet.

    Thanks,
    Bill

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    Re: Local Network slow in 1 Direction (WinXP SP2)

    OK, I think I can report that the Dell problem is solved! I unpluged the cable to the router at both ends and then plugged it back in and used a different connector on the router and now it seems to be working normally. The unplugging and plugging may have solved the problem or the different router connector may have solved it. I'll experiment with that some more and see if the previous connector also works OK.

    Bill

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