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My problem is simple: network discovery is way too slow when using Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7. I have hunted around the Internet only to find guesses as to the real problem, with no definitive solution. So I thougth I'd post the question here.

I run a Windows Workgroup with 3 computers: Win 7, Server 2008 R2 and an XP box. When I use Explorer to browse network shares on the XP box, it shows other network items instantly as normal. But from the server or Win 7 machines, it takes a good 1-2 minutes to begin showing anything else on the network. This is with only 3 machines connected to a known-good router.

The rules of logic indicate that it's a configuration problem or a bug in the Windows 7/Server kernel. So, how do I fix it?

THANKS

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I will assume that you have applied all Windows updates, since there were issues that were previously fixed. Please confirm the testing results between the Win7 and Win 2008 R2 only. Do you have a home group configured? Do you still experience slowness by typing in the path to a share directly into the Run command? –  Bernie White Oct 22 '12 at 3:45
    
Yes all windows updates are current. Typing a path directly into explorer (I don't use the search box) does work but it is still sluggish compared to XP. And besides, I don't want to have to do that, which is the reason I browse the network rather than typing in a path. –  Stephen Falken Oct 22 '12 at 14:08
    
Suggest building a new XP box to test if it's the same as the current XP behaviour. Also ask the computer "would you like to play a game? How about a nice game of chess?" ;-D –  Lizz Jan 5 '13 at 6:45
    
Does your windows server handle DNS / WINS / DHCP, or do you have a small router on the edge of your network handing out DHCP requests instead? –  IceMage Jan 8 at 20:40
    
@IceMage our router handles DHCP. –  Petah Jan 12 at 21:21

3 Answers 3

Apparently these are due to changes made in Vista which have been inherited by later versions of Windows.

In an elevated cmd prompt:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled

I would recommend rebooting after running these. It made a pretty drastic improvement for my workgroup.

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You can expedite network discovery by ensuring that your Windows Server is the one handing out DHCP requests. You also want to make sure that all the appropriate services are available on your windows server, and that it is capable of handing out BOTH IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

Generally, the number one culprit is name resolution, even on fast networks, resolving IP addresses to names and vice versa can have long time outs, requiring you to wait for the timeouts to expire before the client machine goes to the next item on the list of names to resolve, or addresses to resolve to names.

Furthermore, it could be something simple such as you have your clients set up to receive DHCP addresses, with a failover static IP. The DHCP timeout on windows can be ridiculously bad, and waiting for the request to time out could be causing the problem.

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I would actually imagine this to be an IPv6 related issue tbh, since Windows XP does not have IPv6, and the common ground there is that server 2008 and windows 7 both do. –  IceMage Jan 8 at 21:31

found this ms thread and answer that is suggesing updating the networc card driver, but users still complains and suggesting that there is a bug in windows 7.

MS forum thread

From my experience I can tell You, that there is some king of problem in windows 7 and network discovery, it almost never worked goot for me, thus I never really paid big attention to this function and long time ago switched to

SoftPerfect network scanner, which enumerates shares, printers, users and many more usefull stuff

SoftPerfect network scanner

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SoftPerfect network scanner is a good tool –  Petah Jan 12 at 21:22

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