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  • Slow Listing of Network Directories

    Any help on the following problem would be highly appreciated:

    I currently have one file server and two clients for testing. Unfortunately there are significant differences in the time it takes to list the entire directory content on the file server from the clients (no noticable difference in opening the initial explorer window or downloading files); the difference is approx factor 4 or more. On the fast client I can scroll through the directory without delay after the directory opened; on the slow client the client needs to load "further pages" of the directory, causing quite the delay, especially on folders with a few hundered files.

    The file server runs XP SP3, the fast client also XP SP3 and the slow client currently XP SP2 with the MS hotfixes for updates KB915377 and KB915377 installed. I did try SP 3 on the slow client, but that did not make a difference. Both clients run the same Anti-Virus Software.

    On the slow client I have also made the commonly recommended settings:
    - [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Explorer]
    "Max Cached Icons"="12000"
    - [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\lanmanserver\parameters]
    "SizReqBuf"=dword:00003904
    - [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
    "NoNetCrawling"=dword:00000001
    - There are no desktop.ini files on the file server

    I have noticed that the amount of packets received by the fast client to list the directory is about 4 times less than on the slow client. I have also noticed that the on the fast client only the very basic file information is provided in the explorer status bar whereas the slow client would provide e.g. on images the camera model, date taken etc.

    My current assumption is that if I were able to reduce the amount of extended file information loaded I could significantly improve performance. I am not sure about this so any help on this or other ideas would be highly welcomed, especially as I have already spent days on this.
    Last edited by hobbiest; 12th April 2009, 16:26.

  • #2
    Re: Slow Listing of Network Directories

    Originally posted by hobbiest View Post
    My current assumption is that if I were able to reduce the amount of extended file information loaded I could significantly improve performance.
    You can add or remove the columns that appear in a folder by right clicking the column header and checking and unchecking the options. There is also a "More..." option where you can select a wider array of column headers. Another option is to view the file share in something other than "Details" view just to see if that helps any. Have you considered the possibility of a bad network card? Use Performance Monitor to check. Select the "Network Interface" object, the proper network card instance and some counters to do with errors.
    Wesley David
    LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
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    Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
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    • #3
      Re: Slow Listing of Network Directories

      After further analysis I discovered that the very slow performance was due to an explorer extension allowing easy linking of folders. My assumption is that this extension scanned each file in the folder causing significant network traffic and the delay. Un-installation of the tool has fixed the problem.
      Last edited by hobbiest; 31st May 2009, 11:41.

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      • #4
        Re: Slow Listing of Network Directories

        Well done!
        For the benefit of future searchers, what was the extension?
        Tom Jones
        MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
        PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
        IT Trainer / Consultant
        Ossian Ltd
        Scotland

        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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        • #5
          Re: Slow Listing of Network Directories

          And for the benefit of my addled brain, how did you trace the problem back to that extension?
          Wesley David
          LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
          -------------------------------
          Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
          Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
          Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
          Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

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