Performance of JPG horrible after recent security updates?

Discussion in 'Server Networking' started by John Alexander, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. Hello -

    I have a small network, 100MB switched, with 4 nodes. The server is
    Win2003EE, clients are XP Pro.

    A couple/three week's ago, when browsing a folder of JPG images, performance
    was zippy. Now, it takes 30 seconds or more for a single JPG image to come
    up (image size averages about 1.4MB). During this time, nothing unusual on
    the server in terms of memory, CPU, or disk. And, network utilization stays
    under 5%.

    The same files shared peer-to-peer between the two XP Pro boxes is extremely
    fast (same as before). The same files accessed directly on the Windows 2003
    console from it's own directory is extremely fast. It is only when the files
    are accessed from XP to 2003, and only recently that this started. I used
    Network Monitor to capture packets, and didn't see anything obvious (though I
    admittedly am not an expert at reading packet captures).

    Did a recent security patch change TCP Window Size parameters or anything
    similar to cause this performance degradation?

    I have seen other reported problems on the Internet reporting JPG
    performance is slow. I believe it has nothing to do with JPG's themselves.
    However, the way that XP caches thumbnails and things causes a lot of data
    transfer over the network (more than say, streaming same-size MP3 files). My
    belief is this is a networking issue, independent of file type. But I could
    be wrong.

    Thanks in advance,

    /John Alexander
    john at backbaytech dot com
    or via newsgroup. Thanks.
    John Alexander, Dec 22, 2005
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  2. In
    Is this happening on all XP machines?
    What was recently installed/altered on the server?
    Any Event ID errors on either the clients or server?
    Bad port or wire?

    See if these help:
    You experience slow file server performance and delays occur when you work
    with files that are located on a file server

    321098 - Slow network performance occurs if you copy files to a Windows 2000
    domain controller:;EN-US;321098

    321169 - Slow SMB performance when you copy files from Windows XP to a
    Windows 2000 domain controller:;EN-US;321169


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    Ace Fekay, MCSE 2003 & 2000, MCSA 2003 & 2000, MCSE+I, MCT, MVP
    Microsoft MVP - Windows Server Directory Services
    Microsoft Certified Trainer
    Assimilation Imminent. Resistance is Futile.
    Infinite Diversities in Infinite Combinations.
    Ace Fekay [MVP], Dec 23, 2005
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  3. Thanks for your reply. Replies inline:

    Yes - all 3 XP machines experiencing the same symptoms.
    Other than the standard security packs, not much. The only other thing is I
    did install an additional physical hard disk drive in the server. But, I
    don't believe that is related. I did check PIO mode on all devices, and all
    are Ultra DMA Mode 5 (except the newest drive which is Mode 6). Copying the
    files to a new share on the new drive and sharing it exhibited the same
    symptoms on the clients.
    Nothing unusual.
    I tried moving to a different hub, and had the same symptoms. This was
    working fine 3 weeks ago. I have not (yet) swapped out cables, but can try
    that. Would I see any particular errors in my network monitor trace?
    Saw that -- I don't run any of the software mentioned. No kernel mode
    Not running 2000 -- running 2003.
    Not running 2000 -- running 2003.

    I'm quite baffled. It doesn't help that with the holidays and all, I've got
    no time to troubleshoot :-S. Will try swapping cables and some more thorough
    checks of hub/port combinations if I can later.

    I also noticed that the NIC driver is a bit old on the server (10/1/2002,
    version 5.396.530.2001 from Microsoft). I wonder if the vendor-provided NIC
    driver was replaced with a generic, poor-performing, MS driver during a
    recent update? I'll try to update this driver and let you know. The NIC is
    a Realtek RTL8139 PCI Fast Ethernet adapter.

    Thanks again,
    John Alexander, Dec 26, 2005
  4. Inline...

    I don't think that would be a factor, unless you are getting any hardware
    issues. I assume the drive is defragged.
    Pings would show up with intermittent time-outs. Traces would show retries.
    The article applies to 2003 as well. Check it out.
    Same as above, applies to 2003 as well. Signed packets can slow it down
    enough to notice a difference, especially with 2003. Disable SMB signing and
    see if it helps.

    That can be a factor too. Try putting the original driver in. You can use
    No prob. Between either SMB signing and/or the NIC driver, I think we're
    getting closer. Don't rule out the wire either.

    Ace Fekay [MVP], Dec 27, 2005
  5. Don't rule out the wire either.

    Why a Cat5 cable would decide to go bad after several years of service is
    beyond me, but that was the ticket. I thought only things with moving parts
    were likely to degrade and break over time? I guess moving electrons count?

    Now that I've updated drivers, disabled SMB signing, and disabled
    opportunistic locks, I'm not sure if I should return these things back to the
    way they were or not. But, swapping out the cable seemed to do the trick.
    Odd, since I wasn't getting any retries or timeouts on ping or traceroute --
    so I would not have suspected a bad cable. Process of elimination, though,
    and that finally did it.

    Ace, thanks so much. I've been in this business for far too long. I'm
    reminded of a similar troubleshooting exercise about 10 year's ago. Long
    story short, the problem was a very basic one and I had completely overlooked
    it. When a good friend started leading my down a very methodical path of
    troubleshooting, at first I resisted thinking "I know what I'm doing...", but
    I humored him, and the problem was discovered and solved very quickly. This
    exercise was very similar. At first I ruled out your suggestion of the
    cable, thinking, "I know what I'm doing..." But, you were spot on, and your
    messages are very much appreciated.

    Thanks a million.
    John Alexander, Dec 27, 2005
  6. In
    Only trying to be humble, but I've seen this over and over again in the
    past. I remember one guy in the first training center I worked at as a
    trainer explain to me how NT4's DFS service had much to be desired because
    it doesn't work correctly. I had it running in an evironment before that so
    I couldn't figure out what he was talking about. After playing around with
    it for two weeks, I finally thought let me just change the stupid wire, and
    lo and behold the sucker started working perfectly!! That was 10 years ago,
    and I've never forgotten it.

    Glad I was helpful to figure it out. As for the settings, that is up to you
    at this point. The SMB signing only increases security and since it wasn't a
    problem prior to this, I would actually set it back, it;s only a policy

    Good luck John!!!

    Ace Fekay [MVP], Dec 28, 2005
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