Vista/XP network - constant network spikes when browsing Vista drive from XP machine (lags machine.) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have 2 XP machines and a Vista laptop.  They can all see each other and I can open and transfer files between them.  The problem is that when I browse the Vista machine's drive from either of the XP machines, the folder/file view keeps "refreshing" over and over, which causes constant spikes on the network and takes considerable CPU resources.  In other words, I get an hour glass every 3 seconds or so, during which time Windows Explorer is rather unresponsive as the folder/file display refreshes.  This of course makes working effectively impossible.  If I bring up the Task Manager and look at the Networking activity graphs, I see a constant stream of spikes all the same height.  This is accompanied by spikes in the CPU activity (mainly caused by "explorer.exe"), and lasts as long as I keep Windows Explorer open.  As soon as I close Windows Explorer, the spikes stop.


    A really strange aspect of this is that the issue appears to be specifically related to the "how much" of the Vista drive is currently displayed.  In other words, the deeper I navigate into the Vista machine's drive and the more folders I expand in the folder tree, the bigger the spikes get, and the more of a hit I see to performance. For example, if I once again use the XP machine to browse the Vista drive, but I instead do this by double clicking "My Network Places" on the desktop and navigating to the same folder WITHOUT having the folder tree displayed, I get VERY tiny spikes and effectively no hit to performance.  If I display the folder tree, the network activity spikes suddenly get MUCH bigger, and they get bigger with each new folder I expand.  The more folders I expand, the bigger the spikes get.  The upshot of this is that in order to get relatively "normal" performance, I have to browse without the folder tree visible.


    It's important to note that this does NOT happen when I browse one XP machine from the other (in either direction), and it does not happen when I browse either XP machine from the Vista machine.  The issue ONLY happens when I browse the Vista machine from either XP machine.


    I originally networked the laptop via the wireless connection, but I also tried disabling this connection and connecting via the laptop's Ethernet port.  I got the exact same behavior.


    Does anyone have any idea what may be causing this?  I've read over these forums, but all the information I see seems related to having problems with actual access, which is different than what I'm seeing.  This doesn't appear to be any sort of "firewall" issue since I DO have access -- I just have this bizarre performance issue.  I get the impression that something is being polled over and over, causing the constant refreshes, but I can't figure out what it is.


    Thanks for any help with this,



    Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:44 AM