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Terminal Server 2003 Performance Problems

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  • Terminal Server 2003 Performance Problems

    I am consulting for a company that is running the following:
    Windows 2003 R2, Office 2003, Terminal Server, Mdaemon, Quickbooks Enterprise 10

    I recently supplied them with an HP ML150 G6 Server with the following specs:
    Xeon 2GHZ Quad Core, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard drive

    I commissioned the server about three days ago, but am concerned about the performance of the server. There are about 9 WYSE thin client users. After the users have logged in, working on the actual server is slow and sometimes hangs, i.e. when accessing documents or Quickbooks or any other general tasks. Sometimes the actual thin clients hang, i.e. when accessing quickbooks or user documents

    The strange thing is.... the company used to run an old Asus desktop as their server, which had the following specs:
    Dual Core 2GHZ, 2GB RAM, 160GB Hard drive

    So looking at the difference in hardware, I can't understand why the HP is slow.

    Do I need to make any adjustments to improve performance?

    Also just to let you know that the owner of the company works directly on the server itself.

    Many thanks

  • #2
    Re: Terminal Server 2003 Performance Problems


    Please provide the following settings:

    1. Antivirus version + type.

    2. How do you setup Raid? Is it software or hardware raid?

    3. How the server was installed?

    4. How did you move the users profiles to the new server?
    Last edited by yuval14; 21st October 2010, 22:09.
    Best Regards,

    Yuval Sinay

    LinkedIn:, Blog:


    • #3
      Re: Terminal Server 2003 Performance Problems

      Hi there

      1. The customer is running AVG File Serve Edition (version 11)

      2. I have not setup RAID on the server, nor have I installed dynamic disks yet. There are two physical hard-drives. 1x 1TB and 1x250GB. I have partitioned the 1TB with two partitions (C:> 250GB, D:> 750GB). The other 250GB Drive is not in use at the moment.
      The OS is on the C: and the apps are installed on the D:

      3. Here is a brief overview of how the server was installed:
      a. Installed Windows Server 2003 and latest HP drivers.
      b. Installed latest Win updates.
      c. Installed Mdaemon, Quickbooks AVG etc
      c. Installed AD, DHCP, DNS, WINS
      d. Installed Terminal Services and Licensing. Setup licensing.

      This is the only server on site and there are about 9 WYSE thin clients

      4. In terms of the profiles I backed up all the users documents from their My Documents folder. I also backed up their Outlook Express Profiles and Address Books from the old server.

      On the new server:
      a. I created a user container in AD (with all the WYSE users), i.e. Thin Client Users
      b. From one of the thin clients I logged on with each user, so that their respective profiles would be created on the server, i.e. C:\Documents and Settings\Username...
      c. I then simply copied their documents across into their My Documents folder.
      d. I imported their Outlook Express Profiles and Address Book.

      I have not setup any folder redirection. I have also not made any changes to the desktop environment for each thin client user.

      Hope this helps and thanks again for the feedback


      • #4
        Re: Terminal Server 2003 Performance Problems

        1. Using DC as TS is a bad idea due perfomance/security side.

        e.g. Using DC disable using the disk cache or/and raid adpater cache on C drive etc..

        Is the old server was also a DC?!

        2. Try to disable/uninstall the AV and reboot.

        3. I dont recommanded to use Outlook Express on TS.

        4. Did you tried to use Process Explorer/Perfomance Monitor to find any known perfomance issue?!
        Best Regards,

        Yuval Sinay

        LinkedIn:, Blog:


        • #5
          Re: Terminal Server 2003 Performance Problems

          1. The old server was running TS and was a DC as well.

          2. I tried disabling the AV, but not much changed

          3. I haven't tried running perfmon yet, but will give it a try?

          I am still convinced though that hardware is not an issue, since the old server ran fine. I am sure that I have to tweak the system to get it right for TS?

          Thanks again for the feedback


          • #6
            Re: Terminal Server 2003 Performance Problems

            I've had similar problems in the past when upgrading DC's and I've found that when going for the larger single disc option 1tb in your case means the read/write speed will suffer dramatically. What is the current and what was the old disc speed? This would be one area to look at. I have the performance model of the G6 as my current DC and although with hyper threading enabled (showing 16 processors in task manager) if i install my 1Tb drive performance suffers so i have opted for 4 300Gb drives in a RAID1 to overcome the performance drop.


            • #7
              Re: Terminal Server 2003 Performance Problems

              Are you running a 32bit version of Windows 2003? (If you are running 64bit you can add RAM to help).

              My terminal runs about 50 users, but I've found certain programs gobble up the RAM and causes everyone to slow down. IE: Acrobat Reader is a Terminal Server HOG - You can adjust setting to stop it from sucking up the RAM on screen writes.

              A couple quick tests you can do:
              1) turn down the resolution on the Wyse terminal. Set it for 640x480 and see if things are still slow.
              2) Run Perfmon to check the hard drive usage (To measure the NUMBER of I/Os per second, watch Perfmon counter "Disk Reads / second" and "Disk Writes / Second")

              With one SATA drive you will max at around 100. If you find this hitting too high you don't have too many options, but to be honest if the Acer worked you should be fine with what you have.

              Obviously you are running a SATA 1TB, do you know what the other machine had? (just so we know as a baseline)

              According to Intuit you should have between 3GB and 4GB just for Quickbooks if you have 5-10 users LINK, which means @ 4GB you are running it pretty thin now.

              I would also turn on the other dirve (partition,etc) or remove it until the tests are complete. If that drive has a problem it will cause alot of random issues.



              • #8
                Re: Terminal Server 2003 Performance Problems

                I would not make a DC a TS either. I learned the hard way. I have several Server 2003 TS but I used Enterprise version with 8 or 12 GB of RAM. I find Quickbook 2010 a hog in a multi-user environment. We put it on it's own VM server. I am sure it is putting a demand on your TS too.
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