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Browser page loading VERY slow - IE or Firefox

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  • Browser page loading VERY slow - IE or Firefox

    I'm at a bit of a loss on this problem. Not even sure where to look next.

    Here's our setup and what's happening.

    Workstations all running:
    XP w/ SP3
    Symantec Antivirus in a managed environment

    Most of our users work is done through a browser interface using IE7(a few stations still use ie6). The web servers are hosted internally and are not exposed to the internet.

    My users were complaining that the browser interface was extremely slow going from page to page. When I looked into this further I noticed that it was all browser activity. Whether they were accessing a page on the internet, OWA, or the internal web servers; page loading was excrutiatingly slow. All other network activity was fine. They could access network shares without difficulty and loggining into the network seemed to work fine. There is almost no load on any of our switches so bandwidth was not an issue.

    Of our approximately 60 workstations 8 have this problem. The other stations function just fine. At first we only knew about 7 of these stations having the problem. These 7 were all in our teller area and connected through the same switch. We completely bypassed this switch and that did nothign to solve the problem. We have multiple cable runs between the tellers switch and our core switch so we used different cables and that did not work. I've checked the switch configs and that has shown nothing. The load on the switches is almost nonexistant. Our applications use next to no bandwidth.

    So here I am looking through error logs and not finding anything. I'm at an almost complete loss. I've tried IE with no-addons but that did not help either.

    Antivirus didn't find anything.

    Spybot found a couple things but did not fix the issue.

    What would cause IE and Firefox to load pages extremely slowly but not affect any other network traffic? This also only affects a few PCs and it started about 5pm CST Monday.

    Hopefully someone here can point me in a direction I haven't thought to look yet.
    I bet this is going to be some stupidly simple fix.

    If this were a larger network issue, problem with a switch, DNS, Active Directory, wouldn't it affect more than just a few workstations?
    CCA: XenApp 5.0

  • #2
    Re: Browser page loading VERY slow - IE or Firefox

    Does the problem follow the users in question if they try a machine that you said works? What if a user who doesn't have the problem tries one of the machines that does?

    Have you cleared temp / browser cache?
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.


    • #3
      Re: Browser page loading VERY slow - IE or Firefox

      Could be worth trying to run something like ccleaner on the pc's, also trying a repair of the network connection.
      I'd check if these pc's had anything in tools>internet options>lan settings, maybe there is an old proxy server there.
      Also in the tcp/ip properties, are all these settings up to date and pointing at the right places.
      Is it worth trying in safe mode with networking to see if the problem still exstists there?
      And also updating ie/firefox with latest versions/patches.
      Please remember to award reputation points if you have received good advice.
      I do tend to think 'outside the box' so others may not always share the same views.

      MCITP -W7,
      MCSA+Messaging, CCENT, ICND2 slowly getting around to.


      • #4
        Re: Browser page loading VERY slow - IE or Firefox

        Yeah, everywhere we checked all the settigns were correct.

        The settings stayed with particular workstation no matter who logged in.

        Taking the workstation to a different part of the network did not aleviate the issue.

        Here's what it turned out being.

        Over a year ago we were trying out some internet filtering software. One of the solutions we loooked at was Pearl Echo. Pearl requires client software on each machine. Remember this started late Monday, that's also about the same time that some records were purged out of DNS. One of those records was for the long gone Pearl Echo server we had running. Once that record was deleted (even though the server has not been running for over a year) the stations started having problems.

        We did not find this out until late last night when we were in the process of getting ready to rebuild our teller stations before the Friday rush. I had run Network Monitor on the stations to make sure they were not making connections to some hijacked server in the Ukraine. A friend of mine keyed me into also using WireShark to take a second look into the traffic. In WireShark I saw that all the Teller Stations were submitting a name query for Pearl-Echo-Test. Our old Pearl Echo server. The Pearl Client software was never uninstalled. It also hides itself very well. A quick google search for the uninstall procedure and some guessing as to what password we used when we installed Pearl and the problem was solved. When we tested Pearl Echo we only installed it on a few stations...thankfully.

        Here's to banging my head against my desk for two days.

        I knew this was going to be a simple fix.

        And the lessons are:

        Keep better documentation of workstation changes
        Network Monitor and WireShark are your friends
        Work the problem and don't get frustrated
        CCA: XenApp 5.0