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Windows 7: W7 Network actons lag PC, same problem multiple PCs

13 Feb 2010   #1
ChrisInVT

Windows 7
 
 
W7 Network actons lag PC, same problem multiple PCs

Let me start out saying I'm an IT specialist and have been working with PCs and networks for the past 16 years. I'm not your average joe that doesn't know the difference between his router and a RAID array.

So this problem is driving me crazy to the point where I'm going to reformat three PCs and put XP on them. I'm having this problem on two desktops and one laptop; where doing anything over the network causes the computer to seriously lag. I'm talking I can't move the mouse, press any buttons, cancel a file transfer; do ANYTHING type of lag. This happens when browsing network shares, transferring files, and browsing the internet if a bandwidth-hungry webpage is loading. All three computers are running Windows 7 Pro with all the latest updates. These three computers are joined to a 2003 Active Directory domain. On the network are multiple XP machines and these three 7 machines.

One machine is an HP dx2300 that I've upgraded with 2GB of RAM and an ATI x1300 PCIe card. The other is a Compaq SR1220NX that's been upgraded to 1GB of RAM & an nvidia GeForce 8400GS. The third is an HP 6515b laptop that I've upgraded with 2GB of RAM and a 160GB 7200RPM HDD.

The Compaq is twice as fast running W7 than when it had XP on there. The dx2300 is quicker, but startup/shutdown times have quadrupled. The 6515b has slowed to about 75% of it's usual speed, but with only a sempron 1.8 that's understandable. Other than this network issue, all PCs work great. Using XP on these machines I don't have these network problems, and testing on other networks the same problems occur; so let's not get on the "it's your network/domain/internet/house/country/car you drive/day of the week/temperature/mood" bandwagon, ok?

The PCs are averaging 600-800KB of DL bandwidth over a hardwired 100Mb connection. Over wireless it's about the same. Both desktops had PCI WiFi cards in them, thinking these were the culprit I pulled both cards and ran CAT5e to the computers. Still the same problem. I've verified this with the laptop also, max connection Ive ever seen on any of the three PCs either wired or wireless was 860KB. If I boot into XP on any of the machines (I setup 7 on one HDD and XP on another so I can do this testing), I get the speeds I should. Boot into 7, and I get 800k.

Here's a rundown of what I've done:
  • Updated BIOS to newest version
  • Updated NIC drivers to newest version (tried both MS & Hardware vendor)
  • Disabled Remote Differential Compression
After doing those three things, I'm able to get a 8,407KB speed between my DC and the PCs. But this is only for a few minutes right after the computer boots up. Shortly afterwords the speed drops down to the 7-800KB mark. I can browse network shares, transfer files, stream video across the network all fine. And then suddenly it drops to crap speeds. Mind you these are freshly installed copies of 7 with all the updates and updated drivers. I've tried both drivers from MS and drivers from the manufacturers. It seems the download speed is more effected than the upload speed, as the DL drops down to around 1,500-2,500KB from 6,500-7,500KB.

I've also noticed in task manager CPU 0 stays at 98-100% utilization and CPU 1 is about 3-8% during network activity. On the other systems without HT/dual core the processor goes to 98-100% and stays there for the duration of the transfer. Processor utilization seems to go down about 10% during uploads. Looking in the Resource Monitor, System Interrupts is what's causing the high processor utilization. During tests network utilization hovers around 7% for download and 20% for upload.




This is a typical speedtest result from when the PC first boots:
Code:
3:52 PM > =======================================
3:52 PM > Creating temporary file chunk of 15MB ...
3:52 PM > Writing 15MB to \\172.72.72.100\ADMIN$...
3:52 PM > SEND SPEED: 6,105KB/Sec in 2.516 seconds.

3:52 PM > Grabbing 15MB from \\172.72.72.100\ADMIN$...
3:52 PM > DOWNLOAD SPEED: 7,680KB/Sec in 2 seconds.
3:52 PM > =======================================
Here it is 2 minutes later:
Code:
3:54 PM > =======================================
3:54 PM > Creating temporary file chunk of 15MB ...
3:54 PM > Writing 15MB to \\172.72.72.100\ADMIN$...
3:54 PM > SEND SPEED: 894KB/Sec in 17.172 seconds.

3:54 PM > Grabbing 15MB from \\172.72.72.100\ADMIN$...
3:54 PM > DOWNLOAD SPEED: 2,560KB/Sec in 6 seconds.
3:54 PM > =======================================
Here we are, same PC in XP:
Code:
3:58 PM > =======================================
3:58 PM > Creating temporary file chunk of 15MB ...
3:58 PM > Writing 15MB to \\172.72.72.101\ADMIN$...
3:58 PM > SEND SPEED: 8,263KB/Sec in 1.859 seconds.

3:58 PM > Grabbing 15MB from \\172.72.72.101\ADMIN$...
3:59 PM > DOWNLOAD SPEED: 7,680KB/Sec in 2 seconds.
3:59 PM > =======================================


If someone can help me with this insanity, it would be greatly appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
14 Feb 2010   #2
ChrisInVT

Windows 7
 
 

No ideas anyone?

Even tried updating Audio drivers with no success. No "real" W7 drivers for this exist so I've tried manually installing Vista drivers. Installing the Vista drivers over Microsoft's W7 drivers seemed to help as now it takes a few minutes for the system interrupts to kill the PC.

Here's an update:
Code:
9:16 PM > =======================================
9:16 PM > Creating temporary file chunk of 20MB ...
9:16 PM > Writing 20MB to \\172.72.72.100\ADMIN$...
9:16 PM > SEND SPEED: 6,362KB/Sec in 3.219 seconds.

9:16 PM > Grabbing 20MB from \\172.72.72.100\ADMIN$...
9:16 PM > DOWNLOAD SPEED: 10,240KB/Sec in 2 seconds.
9:16 PM > =======================================



9:17 PM > =======================================
9:17 PM > Creating temporary file chunk of 20MB ...
9:17 PM > Writing 20MB to \\172.72.72.100\ADMIN$...
9:17 PM > SEND SPEED: 896KB/Sec in 22.859 seconds.

9:17 PM > Grabbing 20MB from \\172.72.72.100\ADMIN$...
9:17 PM > DOWNLOAD SPEED: 2,276KB/Sec in 9 seconds.
9:17 PM > =======================================
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #3
ChrisInVT

Windows 7
 
 

Nobody?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 Feb 2010   #4
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

So the slowness is either due to the network or the PCs themselves. I really can't thnk of a reason for the slow network, how is everything connected together? This might be PC setup issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #5
ChrisInVT

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ChrisInVT View Post
Using XP on these machines I don't have these network problems, and testing on other networks the same problems occur; so let's not get on the "it's your network/domain/internet/house/country/car you drive/day of the week/temperature/mood" bandwagon
...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #6
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

So are you saying it's W7 issue solely? If you are who you intro'd you are, can you explain why you think XP has no problems so W7 shouldn't? Just keen to hear what your opinnions are.

Those speed test don't mean anything to me. You are running the tests on your network, on your machines and with your hardware. The common word here is "your". I don't have issues with my downloads or speed on my network, with my hardware and with my machine, and my spec isn't any flashier than yours.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #7
ChrisInVT

Windows 7
 
 

Well, it seems to be only something to do with W7 and these three HP/Compaq machines. My W7 VM doesn't have this problem, along with my pieced-together machine with W7. All three HP/Compaq machines have this problem.

That's great that those speeds mean nothing to you, maybe you need to go back and re-read anything? I don't know any network that works 100% fine using XP, and has problems under W7. It's obviously not a network problem, like I stated before. My network, my machines, and my hardware have nothing wrong with them, it's a Windows 7 problem.

If you would have read everything, you would have seen that it's the system interrupts using almost all CPU resources. How exactly is that a hardware problem? Especially when all these PCs work 100% perfect when booted to XP, and especially when they have the same problem when on other networks and with add-in network cards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #8
Hydrology

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Hi Chris, do you have any shared drives on the Windows 7 machines? We have noticed that accessing a shared drive on a Win 7 machine through a drive map on an XP machine over a domain will cause the XP machines to slow down to snail speed (almost unuseable for file access). Once we removed the shared drives from the Win 7 machines the problem went away. If you need to have shares, put them on the XP machines or on the server, then the Win 7 and XP clients will behave.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #9
ChrisInVT

Windows 7
 
 

I don't have anything shared on the W7 machines, I also don't have anything shared on the XP machines either. All my shared folders reside on the server. When transferring files they're mostly "pulled" from the server, or pushed up to the server. With these W7 machines, I've had no reasons to push up to the network shares; almost all file transfers are puled down from the server.

Here's the catch, if I push anything to the server from the W7 machines, they do not lock up. If I pull something down from the server, they lock up with the system interrupts taking 100% of the CPU.

I've also sat at the server console and done a push from the server to the W7 machine, and a pull from the W7 machine to the server, to take the load off the W7 machine's explorer for the file transfer. Same problem. When pulling from the W7 machine to the server, the W7 machine doesn't lock up, when pushing a file from the server to the W7 machine, it locks up with 100% cpu do to the system interrupts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #10
Hydrology

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

What type of network cards are the computers using? I think that it maybe a driver problem. There are a lot of sloppy Win 7 drivers out there. The OS just hasnt been out there long enough to mature. I think that HP and Compaq's are similar. They are the same company. They used to be anyway. I have a mix of Win 7's and xp's on a 2003 SBS domain and I don't have any problems with accessing files on the server shares, and I commonly work with big files in the 600 800 Mb size. I have noticed that the XP machines slow down to a crawl if they try to access any share on the Win 7 machines. This makes the Win 7 machines useless for sharing files in a mixed environment. The Win 7 machines do share files between themselves ok. I guess its Microsoft's way of forcing us to update. We use Intel gigabit NIC's on all machines, with the latest drivers. Try a different NIC and see if it makes a difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 W7 Network actons lag PC, same problem multiple PCs




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