We have a Windows 2003 fileserver (demoted from a DC a few months ago). Anyway after we rebooted following an update a couple weeks ago is where the problems first started. The IPsec service would not start and therefore would now allow any TCP/IP traffic. We don't need that service so we disabled it and all was fine, or so we thought.

A few days later we recognized very slow transfer rates between drives. For example, saving a 22mb file from one drive to the other takes about 4-5 minutes. Also, bringing up the mail client is brutally slow as well, especially if you have a ton of stuff in there.

We rebooted again the other day and got another warning about another service (again one that was not needed (appletalk?)) not starting. So we are not sure if it was the update that hammered something or something else with these seemingly random services failing to start.

We have checked the DNS and hardware etc... Server has 2 NIC cards and both exhibit the same behavior. Has anyone seen this happen or have any ideas of things we can check?

Gateway. We are seeing some checksum errors.

before you look for software errors, check that the hardware is OK:
firmware, drivers, updates, free space, hardware logs etc

The checksum errors are with the NBT protocol.

My mistake...looks like it was TCP.

If the speed problem is network-transfer related....depending on what updates have been installed, Win2k3 sp2 brought a bunch of new tcp-offload features that really mucked with some network cards...especially if they're broadcom nics or HP nics that oem'd broadcom chipsets. Try going into the nic drivers, and disable any feature that has to do with offloading. Then look up the windows registry settings that need to be flipped, to turn off all the tcp-offload features from sp2. If both hard drives that're slow are internal to the server, are file copies slow only from a remote workstation, or are they also slow from the server console itself. If slow from the console, run a thorough scandisk on both drives to check for physical media problems. If that turns up nothing, try a network transfer first to one of the drives, then to the other, rather than a local drive-to-drive copy. Maybe doing the network test will show only one of the drives is actually slow, not both? As a previous poster mentioned, check for newer chipset drivers, newer bios revisions, ect.

to disable the offload engine:
netsh int ip set chimney disabled

Thanks for the responses. I will give all of these a shot.

OK, I disabled the TOE and also disable the virusscan and neither of those helped the speed.

have you run a thorough scandisk yet, and updated the chipset drivers? Also might want to open up properties on the drives in device manager, and verify that Write Caching is still enabled.

Reinstalling the OS from scratch cleared up the speed problems.