We have a network of 16 heavily used Windows 98 PCs connecting to a Server 2003 machine. These machines are experiences long delays when opening/running files on the network during times of peak usage (1:30-2:30pm daily), sometimes lasting a minute. The user will just get a black DOS screen as the executable is waiting to open, where usually it would pop up in well <1 second. This is particularly vexing because Server 2003 performance counters do not show a long period of high load - most stats never even reach above 5%.
When these 16 clients were connecting to a 6 year old DL380 running Linux, we had some slowness, but no delays. We recently transitioned to Active Directory, and upgraded the file server as well. The file server has dual quad core processors, 4X more memory, more disks, faster drives (15K vs. 10K), etc ... so it doesn't seem to make sense that it can no longer handle concurrent processing.
Since we're using Win98, is there some setting that we should change on 2003 to optimize disk read/writes? All file operations are to flat files, and all writes are done by a single user (multiple users cannot access the same database at a time). Any other thoughts on how to track this down ... we haven't had any luck over the past month.
Note: unfortunately we cannot upgrade beyond Win98 for another 2 years, we're waiting for legacy software to be rewritten and this critical software only runs on Win98 due to use of hardware interrupts.