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I've been searching for similar questions, but couldn't find any useful, sorry if duplicate. (I read windows 2003 server slow access and Horrible Windows Server 2003 performance while copying files through Netbios)

We've got a ML 115 G5 server with Windows 2003 32bit. It acts as file server, LAMP server and Trend Micro Office Scan server. It also has an old MSDOS program.

It's less than 2 years old. In the 100mbps network there are only two clients. One of them uses more often the MSDOS problem, and the LAMP server, which run more or less OK. The problem is with the other client. She opens Office documents and this is where the server comes to a worrying slow speed.

We run an HD Tune test, and we found 28ms of latency and slow transfer ratio. We updated to the latest NVidia Raid software driver (RAID1, by the way), and it improved just a little. We went down to 23ms of latency and better transfer ratio, but still low.

It's not a matter of the switch, as it is slow even with a direct crossed cable connection. Tried with small files and a big iso file.

Tried also disabling antivirus client, as most of the hard disk IO was Trend Micro related, but still the same.

Windows is fully updated, as well as the network card drivers. Memory is less than 50% occupied, and none of the 4 CPU reach 20% of proccessing.

My main question is, what can I look at or where can I search to find the bottleneck?

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Can you run trace with wireshark to see if your server is dropping packets? It may give you a better idea of what is actually going on between the two. – Nic Young Feb 20 '12 at 16:45
Thanks for the advice. We tried, and saw nothing strange. But the fact is that it seems to work much better now, it seems another restart was needed, after upgrading drivers (although it was restarted). Users are not working at this time, tomorrow morning we'll ask them, but remote access with TeamViewer shows office documents opening at a normal speed in their 5-year-old computers. Guess that Wireshark would have shown problems if the driver was the cause, so if nothing happens tomorrow, will be glad to grant you the answer – Mike B Feb 21 '12 at 15:35
It turned to be the antivirus, not the client but the server. Anyway, the best answer to my real question (what can I look at?) was answered by Nic, so I would like you to post your comment as an anwser and award it. – Mike B Feb 23 '12 at 11:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I am glad to see you figured it out. As requested:

Can you run trace with wireshark to see if your server is dropping packets? It may give you a better idea of what is actually going on between the two.

Also, there can be invariably many factors involved that can affect performance when transferring data. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

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