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I have 5 computers running Windows XP Pro SP2 in a workgroup. All pc's are connected with Linksys 1 GB NIC's to a 16 port Linksys Gigabit switch. One of the computers is acting a "file server". On this machine is a shared directory where all the office MS Word documents are stored. This directory has 1700 subdirectories containing 25000 files, so it's fairly large.

Access to this directory is very slow whether browsing with Windows Explorer or using the Open dialog in MS Word 2000. The wait to see the file listing is taking around 40-45 seconds.

Any ideas on how to speed this up? Changing the directory structure would be a last-resort solution. Is this an Indexing Service problem (yes it's turned on)? Any ideas on where to start solving this would be greatly appreciated!

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Last Post by HansFromHolland
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I have 5 computers running Windows XP Pro SP2 in a workgroup. All pc's are connected with Linksys 1 GB NIC's to a 16 port Linksys Gigabit switch. One of the computers is acting a "file server". On this machine is a shared directory where all the office MS Word documents are stored. This directory has 1700 subdirectories containing 25000 files, so it's fairly large.

Access to this directory is very slow whether browsing with Windows Explorer or using the Open dialog in MS Word 2000. The wait to see the file listing is taking around 40-45 seconds.

Any ideas on how to speed this up? Changing the directory structure would be a last-resort solution. Is this an Indexing Service problem (yes it's turned on)? Any ideas on where to start solving this would be greatly appreciated!

I had a similar problem which I cured by disabling the WebClient service on all computers on the LAN. Hope this helps

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An other thing you can do is break that huge directory into smaller ones, even if just 250 per directory, it would help.

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I had a similar problem which I cured by disabling the WebClient service on all computers on the LAN. Hope this helps

I have a similar problem with a small network using XP pro as a server with a number of Win98 and XP clients. The server was Win98, but was upgraded to XP, after which the XP clients reported very slow directory listing times. The directory structure was very flast with 1000s of small word files. The fix in this case (after much head scratching) was to organise the files with a hierachial structure.

On another network, I discovered a similar issue (still looking at this one). XP workstations have just been introduced. The server is NT4 workstation. One old dos app has a folder with 9000 files in it. The directory takes nearly 60 seconds to list from an XP workstation, but on a few seconds from a Win98 station. Disabling AV etc. makes no difference, and the XP workstation hardware is far superior to the Win98 ones. I found that if I put the same data on a Win 2000 server its fine, but to a Win 2003 server, I get the same problem. I aslso tried XP to XP and got the slow listing problem. If I do a dos dir command, the files listing is jerky. I'm guessing its something that XP negotiates with some systems, and not others.
Almost forgot, I tried the same directory with a 2003 server and a 2000 workstation and it was fine (ie. fast). So, the common element appears to be XP workstation to everything except win 2000 server....

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OK got it!

Its related to the TCP ack timeout. It appears that for reasons unknown, an ack is not being sent to the server as expected. A 200ms timeout is used before the client before the ack, and off it goes again merrily for a while.

I installed the change in the link below, to the XP client only (ie. didn't try it on the server side).

Look at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328890

I am somewhat suspicious that the network cards, link speed and general machine performance impact on the issue. The basis being that a change in server nic on my 2003 test system resulted in even poorer timing (ie. 60 seconds to over 120 seconds). I'm guessing that a slower nic may benefit this problem (but hey, who wants to fix problems with slow hardware!).

Its also possible, that implementing this fix will result in slower network performance for the client on the basis that an ack is now sent for every packet.

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OK got it!
[...]
I am somewhat suspicious that the network cards, link speed and general machine performance impact on the issue. The basis being that a change in server nic on my 2003 test system resulted in even poorer timing (ie. 60 seconds to over 120 seconds). I'm guessing that a slower nic may benefit this problem (but hey, who wants to fix problems with slow hardware!).

Its also possible, that implementing this fix will result in slower network performance for the client on the basis that an ack is now sent for every packet.

Try to lock the NIC speed. Some cheaper OEM cards had a serious problem with speed and directional negotiating, and after every packet try to renegotiate the speed and the direction. i.e. lock it at 100Mbps and bi-directional.

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I have 5 computers running Windows XP Pro SP2 in a workgroup. All pc's are connected with Linksys 1 GB NIC's to a 16 port Linksys Gigabit switch. One of the computers is acting a "file server". On this machine is a shared directory where all the office MS Word documents are stored. This directory has 1700 subdirectories containing 25000 files, so it's fairly large.

Access to this directory is very slow whether browsing with Windows Explorer or using the Open dialog in MS Word 2000. The wait to see the file listing is taking around 40-45 seconds.

Any ideas on how to speed this up? Changing the directory structure would be a last-resort solution. Is this an Indexing Service problem (yes it's turned on)? Any ideas on where to start solving this would be greatly appreciated!

Try adding this registry entry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters

Create a new DWORD key: SizReqBuf .
Set the value (in decimal): 14596

Worked supperb in all cases I tried it om several systems including XP embedded, W2K and Win-XP.

Hope you have succes with it too.

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