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Network transfer stalling, agonizingly slow RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm trying to transfer from my Vista SP1 computer to my HP MediaSmart WHS.  My router is a Linksys WRT54G with DD-WRT.  Both are connected directly to the router using wired 100 base-T ethernet.

    I selected a bunch of folders on my Vista system filled with digital camera pictures totalling about 20 GB and copy and paste it into the shared photos folder.  The transfer always goes like this:
    1. At first, everything is proceeding fairly smoothly, if rather slow at about 2.5MB/s.
    2. Then, the file transfer display on my Vista computer will apparently hang.  It hangs like this for a long time, maybe 10 minutes.  During this time, the number of files to transfer, and the transfer rate do not update, and it sill claims it's getting around 2.5MB/s.
    3. After a long, indeterminate amount of time, the transfer will resume, at around an agonizingly slow 200K/s.  Sometimes it drops to less than 10K/s.  It's not lying about the transfer speed, I left it transfering overnight, and it only managed to transfer a fraction of the pictures.
    * If I attempt to cancel the transfer when it's frozen, generally it'll change the file transfer dialogue to say it's cancelling, but then it'll never actually succesfully cancel.  One time after a while, the file transfer dialogue finally went away.

    What the heck is going on here?  Is this a Vista problem?  I thought they fixed these crazy file transfer problems in SP1.  Is this a WHS problem?  Any ideas how to solve it?

    I already tried updating my WHS' network drivers, which didn't help.
    Friday, November 21, 2008 3:52 PM

All replies

  • This could be a Vista problem; not all the network transfer issues were fixed by SP1. However, it could also be a network hardware, NIC, NIC driver, or cabling problem. Troubleshooting it is probably going to require testing each component one at a time. For example, if your Vista machine and your home server both use DHCP to obtain their IP addresses, you could connect them directly with a network cable (they will both use APIPA to assign themselves IP addresses that are by definition in the same subnet) and try the same copy.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, November 21, 2008 5:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Try teracopy or fastcopy. See what results you get.

    Ben

    Ben Ogilvie
    Friday, November 21, 2008 9:18 PM
  • May I ask, what kind of network card you have in your client?
    I have a Broadcom onboard adapter, which is extraordinary slow with WHS since some weeks - one small file would need minutes.Since I have also a Realtek adapter onboard, and this works fine (besides it sometimes dies after sleep) I would assume that the NIC is somehow broken.
    Which speed is shown in the status information of both network cards (Server and Client)?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 1:08 AM
    Moderator
  • Preface - My comments are directed to your HP MediaSmart server and not your clients. I have had no issues with client side onboard NIC's
     
    I've had extensive problems with onboard NIC's. I as a matter of process, I now install a dedicated NIC from Intel. My preference for Intel Giga NICs is based on cost/performance/ease of configuration. I've built 5 WHS boxes now for clients and I try to standardize on parts for obvious reasons so my routine is pretty well defined now. But for the last year I've played with a multitude of MB's with on board NIC's and more times than not the onboard NIC causes all kinds of problems related to speed and connectivity. In each of those instances I disabled the onboard NIC and plugged in the Intel card and whoala - problem solved.

    For sanities sake, if you are using the onboard NIC, try this card to see if it resolves the issue:
    PCI-X (1x) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106006  note, this has to go into a PCI-X 1x slot, it will not work in a 4 or 16x slot.
    PCI http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106121 this is your standard PCI card equivalent to the card above, obviously theoretical speeds will be lower because of the wide band for the PCI-X card.

    From my experience download speeds doubled and upload speeds quadruple, CPU utilization goes down to 3-5% for the NIC, which is down from 15-17%. Although I'm not a network engineer, my insight as to the reason for the onboard NIC issue is that some of them (the ones I've gotten) are not on the Server 2003 list of approved cards while the Intel cards are.

    For $30, it's a cheap way to trouble shoot for a common WHS problem.

    I hope this offers some insight from my experience,

    MicroSSG
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 1:28 AM
  • I forgot to mention that my comments are directed to your HP MediaSmart server only. All my clients, less one have onboard RealTek adapters and they all worked great after the server's dedicated NIC adapter was installed. I don't have a MediaSmart server, but I would assume that HP did use an approved NIC against the WHS specifications...

    MicroSSG
    Go MI State - Beat Penn State!
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 1:39 AM
  • MicroSSG, you might like to know (before you advise the installation of a discrete NIC) that the HP MediaSmart Server has no way to install such a device...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 3:48 AM
    Moderator
  • That would be helpfull, thanks. I did grab the tech docs from the HP site to see what NIC they use, but they don't list any details. I've never looked at one (MediaSmart), but you would think that they would at least have some expansion capabilities as far as pci slots. It is a purpose built machine though; it never crossed my mind that that would be a possibility.

    Ken, are you aware if the NIC they use is an approved NIC for the WHS platform?

    Thanks again for the heads up,

    MicroSSG
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 7:19 AM
  • I'm sure it's approved, SiS has certified drivers for windows 2003!  not only that but it is gigabit speeds.  It's a SiS191 and apparently some people have had to remote to the server and perform a driver update for the device in the device manager to get faster speeds.  THe mediasmart nic when properly setup is actully pretty fast.
    athlon 3400, 2gb ram, 9 drives totaling about 3.5 tbs.
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 8:02 AM
  • Please be extremely careful if you are contemplating updating your NIC driver using a remote desktop connection (which is what you would have to do on the HP MediaSmart Server). If your update fails, there is an excellent chance that the only way you will be able to regain control of your server is by performing a server recovery.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by MaryAliceC Tuesday, March 31, 2009 5:18 AM
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 2:59 PM
    Moderator