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This is a repeat of my question on Superuser. It was recommended I ask it here.

In my office, we have countless Windows workstations communicating with a server. We don't have a domain. All worstations and the server are in the same workgroup. All network connections are wired. We log into the server with a username and password different to that of the workstation.

One Windows XP workstation, just one in the office, takes up to 60 seconds to open a document on the server. If I save the document to the desktop and open it from there, it comes up instantly. If I use a similar workstation in the same room, the document opens from the server instantly.

Using Net Use \Server\Share makes no difference. We had a lot of DNS issues recently which were fixed by reconfiguring the server. It could very well be related to that, but how could one workstation not receive the benefits gained from a server configuration? I've confirmed the workstation is using the correct DHCP and DNS server. The network card has its Speed & Duplex set to Auto and reports at 1.0 Gbps. I tried plugging into a different port with a different cable (known to work) and there was no difference. I disabled AVG and Microsoft Office Upload Center.

I am at a complete loss as to what the issue could be. Do you have any other ideas?

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Have you confirmed that the issue is in fact related to the network? Does another user have the same problem on this workstation and does this user have the problem on another workstation? –  Jannemans Oct 10 '11 at 5:05
    
I haven't confirmed it's a network issue and am not sure how to. Both the Admin and Limited users on the workstation have the same issue. Our profiles don't roam, so the user cannot log on elsewhere. Other users logging into the server with the same credentials have no problems. –  Hand-E-Food Oct 10 '11 at 5:12
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Have you tried reimaging the workstations? If anythign went bad during an install that is just a 10 minute work plus watching. –  TomTom Oct 10 '11 at 6:23
    
@TomTom, I agree. Unfortunately, our office's IT practices are entirely ad-hoc and our workstations are purchased one at a time, as needed. A reinstall will be at least a day's work. But it sounds like that's the best option. –  Hand-E-Food Oct 10 '11 at 22:33
    
Maybe sitting down and doing a more professional work would be adequate? Installing a WDS server takes an hour, installing an image another two. –  TomTom Oct 11 '11 at 3:59
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2 Answers

Some of the more common causes:

  • Bad cabling or patch lead. Replace the patch lead as an easy test, otherwise have you cabling tested with a proper cable qualifier instrument.
  • Bad NIC, as suggested by Lazy Badger. Try popping another one in and see if that helps.
  • Damaged network stack in the operating system. Sometimes an install that appeared to go fine really didn't. I think we've all experienced those. Best solution is to redo it, as attempting to fix it seldom works very well.
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A reimage probably would fix it. Unfortunately, our office's IT practices are entirely ad-hoc and our workstations are purchased one at a time, as needed. A reinstall will be at least a day's work. But it sounds like that's the best option. –  Hand-E-Food Oct 10 '11 at 22:34
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@Hand-E-Food, consider this a lesson learned and when you get new machines always take an image once the applications are installed and the machine is ready to use. A few minutes spent doing that can save many hours of work and frustration later on. –  John Gardeniers Oct 10 '11 at 23:50
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First of all: you didn't test all segments of the chain: you forgot about NIC. If NIC from this WS will work well on another host I'll see at traffic flow from|to problematic host - "hidden" parasite traffic may be reason for slowdown

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It better not be the NIC. That's on the motherboard. :-/ –  Hand-E-Food Oct 10 '11 at 22:37
    
Well, all can be disabled and added, if you have free slot. But you can start with B/W meter –  Lazy Badger Oct 11 '11 at 0:32
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