Network SHARES/Resources extremely slow on Server 2008 Standard... Help Please


  • Hi,
    I recently switched over from Server 2003 Standard to Server 2008 Standard.  I did a clean install.

    In my server i have 10 hard drives, all of which are mirrored.

    The 5 main drives (again, other 5 are mirrored) are all specific drives which i map to.  For example, one drive is the main OS drive on the server where i map to a home directory.  One drive is called "installs" where it's all of my software that's been collected over the years.  Another drive is called Hardware and it has all the drivers/setup disks for any hardware purchased over the years.  Another is OS and contains all my OS's collected over the years staring with DOS, Win 3.11, XP, 2000, Vista, NT 4 Workstation & Server, Server 2000, Server 2003 and now Server 2008, etc.  Another drive is called "Learn" and it contains all reference materials, Computer based training software, etc.  Everything i'd consider "educational".

    Each drive is mapped when I or my wife logs into our workstaiton.  I use a very basic notepad script such as "loginme.bat" and "logonher.bat".

    The install was fairly strait forward.  Once installed i ran DCPROMO and promoted this to an Active Directory Domain Controller.  It's my only server.

    I set up DHCP, DNS, User Accounts and access, etc.  I also set up both file level security and share permissions on the various drives so that based on whether you're a domain user vs a domain admin, you have access to the various shares. 

    The problem i'm having is... all my data is contained on the drives on the server.

    Outlook for example... the PST's for msyelf and my wife are located i our home directories.  That way we can move to any one of the 4 PC's i have at home and once logged into our accounts, Outlook opens right up.  We happen to have Outlook 2007 on our Vista Ultimate workstations.

    Well, when Outlook tries to open the PST's that are in our home directories, it takes upwards of 5 mintues before outlook opens up.  This happens for each of us.  Then it hangs and hangs and hange off an on again.

    Another example... on my "Learn" drive i have a folder called "General Applications".  Under that is one for "Microsoft Applications" and under that is "Microsoft Office Programs" and under that is Office XP, Office 2003 and Office 2007.  So you click on Office 2007 and now you're at the Setup.exe file and you install it on the local workstation.

    The problem here is... when you click on the first folder "General Applications"... from the workstation, it hangs.  You get the Vista "search" icon that the mouse turns into, the little blue circle.  Finally "General Applications" expands and now you go down to "Microsoft Applications" and once again... it hangs.  90 seconds later it expands and then you get down to "Microsoft Office Programs" and again... it hangs.  90 seconds later, it expands and you get down to the next level.

    Hopefully you get the idea. 

    It's almost acting as if Server 2008 is indexing each folder before it expands and lets you go down another level.

    On the server i did originally install the "search" service but then wound up uninstalling the service.

    I've checked all the logs, DHCP, DNS, FILE, etc and the only one that is erroring is in the FILE logs... and it was erroring on the SEARCH.  So that's when i uninstalled that "service".

    After a reboot, i'm having the same problems.

    EVERY network drive/share hangs. 

    To try and test everything... 3 workstations are Vista Ultimate 64 and one is XP Pro 32 bit.  (The Server is 32 bit as that's the OS i was provided).

    One workstation i actually wiped the drive and started over, got all the updates, joined the new domain and set everything up.  IT's having problems.  The other Vista Ultimate 64 workstation i simply joined the new domain and it has the same issues that i'm reporting above.  The XP workstation i also joined to the new domain and it also has the same hanging/bottleneck issues.

    I'm sure that there is more information you will need.  I will provide it as i get the opportunity.  I'm at work and dont have immediate access to collect info, but i will do my best.

    I'm looking for help as to what might be causing this extreme network slowness since moving to Server 2008.  It's affecting all HD's in the server when accessing from a workstation.

    When accessing these drives from the server itself... you'd never know there was an issue.

    Thanks much, sorry for the newbie question... but that's why MS is giving away this software... for us to learn and then help others. :)



    P.S.  I wanted to add this additonal info as i just thought of it.  My Server is a Quad Core 2.66 w/4 gigs of ram and a gigabit nic.  My network is gigabit.  My primary desktop is also a Quad Core 2.66 w/4 gigs of ram running Vista Ultimate 64 bit.  My Wife's laptop is  Dual Core 2 at 2.0 Ghz w/4 gig's ram running Vista Ultimate 64 bit.  My Laptop is a Dual Core 2 at 2.0 w/4 gigs ram runing Vista Ultimate 64 bit and the spare laptop is a Pentium 4 3.06 Ghz w/2 gig's ram with Windows XP Pro 32 bit.

    Also, i incorrectly stated that all drives are mirrored.  Until i got Server 2008 running smootholy,  i disconnected the 2 drives and put in a new drive and installed Server 2008 on that drive.  Since the installs, i did NOT mirror this drive yet.  It is also the drive that contains the HOME directory.  

    All the other drives were mirrored under Server 2003 and Server 2008 seems to have recognized that when i imported all the disks as the mirror status did not change.

    All Drives are SATA drives running at 3.0 gig @ 7200 rpm.

    For my small home network, this has been totaly ok for us under Server 2003.  Thanks.  Sorry for being long winded.  Just trying to be thorough. 
    • Edited by Terster Tuesday, October 28, 2008 6:03 PM
    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 5:01 PM

All replies

  • This is a quick update.

    One person i spoke to said i need to remove the "service" that allows me to set share permissions as well as file level permissions, but i dont know how to do this.  I did go back and i cleared all share and file level premissions and did them over.  That did not help my issue.

    I also went back and found that several of the "mirrrorings" were corrupted so i broke the disk mirrorings and re-established them.

    After rebooting, the issue was still not corrected.  I was able to get to network shares much quicker where i keep my software which i install on the workstations over the network and i was able to get to my educational materials much quicker but it's still not 100%.

    So i'm now lost.  I don't know what to do.  I'm thinking i'm going to have to go back to Server 2003.  What a waste!

    In a nutshell, i keep everything on hard drives installed in the server.  Outlook PST's for myself and my wife are stored in our respective home directories.  When we launch outlook then from any of our pc's... under 2003, Outlook 2007 would open nearly instantaneously.  Under 2008 though, takes nearly 5 minutes for Outlook to open and then it hangs and hangs and hangs. 

    In addition, i keep all softare and learning resources on different drives in the server.  With a basic login script, i map to each of those drives.  Then, when i want to install something on a workstation, i just go to that drive mapping, find what i want and install or read it.  But, getting to these items is very slow and again, it just hangs.

    This affects every hard drive/mapped drive.

    When logged into the server... and going to these drives, it's almost instant.  You'd never know there is an issue.

    I've checked the logs for DNS, DHCP and every other one i can find and i'm not getting any errors in any of them.

    I just don't know what else i can do!

    Server 2008 came with SP1 preinstalled and i've done all the other updates since.  That did not help either.

    Any advise would surely be appreciated.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008 5:29 PM
  • Hello Terster,


    For slow access from previous versions of Windows (before Windows Vista SP1) to Windows Server 2008, you can refer to the methods below to test the result:


    1. Please check if your Windows Server 2008 is the latest version (RTM).


    You can locate the


    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Version] registry key. There is a subkey which contains the Windows build information. 6.0.6001.18000 means RTM version. If not, please upgrade to RTM version.  


    2. Windows Server 2008 uses Server Message Block (SMB) 2.0 for file access, while previous versions of Windows (before Windows Vista SP1) uses SMB 1.0. It might lead to incompatible problem and cause slow access. You can refer to the following steps to force Windows Server 2008 to use SMB 1.0 for file access.


    Please note that this workaround will change the registry and, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. It's just for the test and you should back up your registry before taking any steps below. Additionally, this will turn off SMB 2.0 communications when sharing all files.


    1.    On the server that you shared your files, click Start, click Run then type Regedit and press Enter.


    2.    Locate and select the key:




    3.    On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name this value "SMB2" without the quotation marks.


    4.    Select the SMB2 value. If the value is not 0 (zero); on the Edit menu, click Modify. Change the Value data to 0 (zero) and click OK.


    5.    Reboot the computer.


    Hope this can be of help.


    Best regards,

    Chang Yin
    • Proposed as answer by crumpuppet Monday, August 15, 2011 8:54 AM
    Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:09 PM
  • Hi,

    Thank you for your help.

    Server 2008 came with SP1 installed and all other updates have been completed.

    My Vista Ultimate machines all have SP1 installed as well as all other updates.  In fact, my primary Vista workstation, before i wiped it out and started from scratch, i did get it to upgrade to SP2 Beta but the issue was present.  So that's why i tried a test to reinstall from scratch vs just rejoining the new domain as i did on the other machines.

    I will try your suggestions.

    I did put another post in this morning and it has even more detail, and it's a little more organized than in this posting.

    Thanks again for the reply.

    Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:42 PM
  • Hi Terster,


    Would you please also take a look at the following KB article and applying that hotfix to see if the problem remains?


    Copy process is very slow when you copy large files from one computer to another computer in a high-bandwidth network environment if both computers are running either Windows Vista or Windows Sever 2008:


    Additionally, are you running any anti-virus programs? Would you please try Clean Boot of both the Windows Server 2008 and the Windows Vista to see if it can make any difference? Some anti-virus applications may cause network performance problems.


    I would also suggest that you contact the device vendors to see if the devices and drivers (especially the NIC driver) are compatible with Windows Server 2008.


    Best regards,

    Chang Yin
    • Marked as answer by Chang Yin Monday, November 10, 2008 2:03 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Terster Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:33 AM
    Wednesday, November 05, 2008 10:14 AM
  • Terster,

    Wre you able to get any solution for your problem ?

    I am having a similar problem with slow sql server 2008 access on our windows 2008 server ( hp dual cpu quad core server with 32 gig ram).

    upon closer examination, this turns out to be exactly what you are facing.

    clean installs, windows updates, change of av software doesnt help a bit.

    Works pretty well in Windows 2003.

    Client is raising ____ to complete and handover the project.

    Please post if you come across any solution on this





    Tuesday, June 29, 2010 7:00 AM
  • Arun

    Unfortunately no, I did not get this issue resolved and finally wound up abandoning Server 2008 and went back to Server 2003. 

    A year later I bought an Intel 3200 Server board and then did a clean install to Server 2008 64 bit.

    I won't be darned if i did not have this issue again. 

    I then upgraded 2 workstations with a clean install of Windows 7 (32 and 64), joined the domain, same thing.  Same hanging issues.

    I checked out file encryption and tried various settings based on other reading... and in the end left it with the default settings... same issue.

    I then upgraded my Dlink 4100 Gaming router to a Dlink DIR614 Router... and yes... same thing.

    So once again, i abandoned Server 2008 and went back to my Server 2003.

    My final assessment... I did 2 clean installs of Server 2008, one 32bit and one 64.  One install was on the same board that runs my Server 2003 OS and one install on a brand spanking new Intel SERVER board, flashed with most recent bios, updated drivers, the works.  I tried 2 different routers to no avail.  I tried using Windows XP, Vista 32/64 and Win 7 32/64 all CLEAN installs.  I even disconnected all drives inside the server except for the primary drive and that too, did not work.  I'm on a gigabit network.

    Bottom line... i feel Server 2008 is a pretty lame product.  You should be able to install out of the box with minimal configuration and it should work, especially since it was touted as being so awesome and designed specifically for Vista and Windows 7.  Yet something inside of Server 2008 is causing this issue.

    Obviously i'm not alone when it comes to experiencing this issue.  Server 2003... i remember the day i installed that.  I was seeing it for the very first time and had no clue what i was doing, yet thanks to the various wizzards... it was a breeze.  And, when done, everything worked.  Took a few hrs and done.  Server 2008 on the other hand i have DAYS invested into this as well as a ton of new hardware and even OS. 

    You are configuring for a client which makes this even worse.  I'm just a home user trying to learn a new product and have some fun and also claim bragging rights that i'm up to date with the latest stuff... but that never panned out.

    One can only hope that the next version of Server is better and works more like 2003 where it will work right out of the box.

    Sorry i can't help you more.  I guess like the one person that tried to assist me.. i'll point my fingers at your board, your nic, your antivirus, etc and not point my finger at the obvious... Server 2008 STINKS!  Even with SP1 and EVEN THOUGH 99% of the people out there are not reporting this issue.

    Like i said, when you swap out the hardware, the workstation OS's, the router... there's not much left to swap out.  So... what's the cause?  You can ask Microsoft, but they will blame something/someone else.



    Tuesday, June 29, 2010 1:11 PM
  • Hi All, I am also having problem with Windows 2008 Server 64bit Standard Service Pack 2 running Terminal Service / Remote Desktop Service, a network share is being mapped when a user logged in. The problem is when the users browse the network drive contents, most of the time the files/folders is slowly being displayed, addtitionaly when saving a file to a mapped drive, the file icon is not being displayed until you refresh it (F5). We dont have problem like this to our Windows 2003 32bit Server (Terminal Service). What seems to be the cause and how do I address this issue? Please assist anyone. Thank you.

    Friday, July 23, 2010 8:56 AM
  • Just wondering if anyone has any new information on this issue.  We have very similar issues with a recent deployed 2008 server.
    Wednesday, October 20, 2010 9:29 PM
  • I know this is old issue, but I just had this happen to me:


    Windows 2008R2 server

    Windows 7 Enterrpise clients.

    Windows 2003 clients connecting to \\server2008r2\ was fast, but for Win 7 was slow.

    What worked for me is go to Netwokr Connections, then go to Advanced Setttings and make our public network card on top of the list (we got 2 cards, one for public and one for SAN iscsi) also go to provider list and made Microsoft Windows Network priority.

    And worked perfectly, going from any source to \\server2008r2\ works fast!

    Saturday, November 06, 2010 6:24 PM
  • HI.  I printed this off in case i decide to go back to Server 2008.


    I actually wound up reverting back to Server 2003.  I have not had any issues since.


    I'm now very much on the fence on whether i want to dedicate 2 days to going back to server 2008, them migrating the clients and all that goes into this.  It's not a small task for me.


    But, this is a great idea to check out and again, will keep it in mind.


    I'm actually considering making the move to Windows Home Server 2011... but i need to read more/learn more as i'm going to be giving up some functionality.


    I know server is far more than i need for my home, but i really like the network printers, i like the login scripts, i like the shares/permissions as well as the file level security.


    So, what to do, what to do!

    Thanks for the suggestion though.


    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:35 AM
  • Terster, I ran into the same issue last January when we migrated all 20 of our servers over to 2008R2 64Bit. The solution I found was a script that I downloaded from Intel.  The script, run at a command prompt, is: netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled

    I found great success with this as we are 100% Intel based across the board and all of my network browsing is now as it should be. Watching that green bar up in the address line trudge slowly over while connecting to a network share is now a thing of the past. Although the information on this script can be found through multiple Google hits, here is one that you may find useful,


    Hope this helps!


    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 2:01 PM
  • I've tried so many things to fix this problem, but it still hasn't completely gone away.  In fact, it seems a bit erratic now and it lets up from time to time.  We have a 2003 + XP environment and I set up an 2008R2 server and I just couldn't browse directories faster than a snail on one of our 2003 servers.  It would take 15 minutes to load a directory with 3000 folders.  It can take 15 seconds to start copying a file, but then the file copies at 50MB+/sec.  It makes no sense.  I tried all of the suggestions above:  the netsh script, prioritizing network cards (only one of the NICs is hooked up currently), prioritizing the windows network service, and I even turned on network discovery.  I may try the SMB2 disable registry hack but it's just not that easy to experiment on the live servers.  Anybody come up with any more suggestions on why the slow browsing happens?  It also affects multiple-file copies.  It can take me 10 minutes to copy 10 small files.  Right now I am staring at a screen that says 6 hours to copy 200 small files, but I know I can copy them to/from my workstation at light speed.  I can also push them out to the 2008 server quickly.  It's only when I'm browsing through the explorer and ordering the file copies from the 2008 server that I run into slowdown issues.
    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:50 AM
  • Unfortunately i was unable to resolve the issue trying everything here and more.

    I wound up going back to Server 2003.

    It's been so long since my original post, i was thinking of giving Server 2008 R2 a try again... but seeing your post makes me think that i should probably give up on it all together.

    It's unfortunate that after all this time... there is still no resolution.

    All machines were upgraded to Win 7 pro and i have a new cisco switch too... no help. 

    If anyone has any other ideas... please... please... share away!


    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 3:17 AM
  • It actually sounds as if you are having a different problem than I am.  For me, it's just the accessing of files on a 2003 server from a 2008 R2 server.  I'm actually able to browse & pull files off XP workstations quickly, which is odd because 2003 and XP are quite similar.  In fact, I can pull files off a different 2003 server from the 2008 server and that flies along too. It's just one 2003 server I have, I simply cannot deal with it from the 2008 server.  (Nothing faster than 100kB/sec usually.)

    I have a home network with mixed Windows 7 versions & XP, and the file sharing there works perfectly.  One of the Win 7 ultimate machines functions as my file server.  Now I will consider installing Win2008R2 on that box just to see how it goes.  All the while reading this thread yesterday, I thought your problems had somethign to do with mixing 2003 & 2008 servers, but you aren't really doing that.  You're completely replacing the 2003 server with 2008.

    Why 9-year old technology works better than something newer is beyond me.  But I keep finding reasons not to upgrade the office to 2008 servers.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:37 PM
  • After re-wording my search, I may have found something I can try.  It has to do with DFSR.  However, I don't know if it would help you in a single server environment. -> Description of the problem I'm having -> Solution that solved his problem

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:43 PM
  • Thanks, i will check that out. 

    You are correct, we are in a slightly different environment.

    I have now tried many different things.  You can see what i tried above by migrating... a new OS drive and then taking all the data drives and moving them to the new server, redoing permissions, etc.  That failed and i went back to server 2003.

    I then started over a few times, fresh, clean, everything... to try and rule out my hardware.

    For example, did a clean install of 08 on my original Intel board D975xbx2, lots of ram, and a server 08 nic.  The board was not really designed for 08, but then again, it was not designed for 2003 either and 2003 it rocks and rolls!  Processor was a Quad 6600.  I then put in a brand new HD for the OS and a brand new HD for the data and partitioned it out, copied data then off of the original 2003 drives.  I then took a PC and put in 3 brand new HD's, one with XP, one with Vista and one with Win 7 Pro and joined each to the domain.  So fresh, fresh, fresh everything.

    I had the same problems under each OS.  It would take 10 minutes to copy down (or up) a 10 MEG file.  It was incredible.  But, the problem would come and go.  One moment the connection to the server would crawl and then all of a sudden.... zoom it would go and then back to a near halt.  Problem is it halted more than it zoomed.  It was aweful.  I then joined 2 of my other machines to the new domain and had the same problems.  2 different brand of laptops and my home made workstation with 3 drives (i simply switched the SATA cable between drives for i'm not a fan of dual/triple booting).

    Anyhow, that faile. 

    So i then bought an actual Server board, an Intel S3200 board which is compatible with Server 08.  I then did the same thing.  I wiped the HD's and started over... clean install of the OS, clean copy of the data, clean installs of the workstation drives and clean "joining" to the new domain, and when the same issue occurred, joined the domain with the other 2 laptops. 

    I then tried a Windows 7 Only, environment, again, clean installs across the board.  I loved the romain profile thing but it took SOOOOOOO long to log in and log off.  Copying files was just unreal with how long it took.

    I tried every piece of advise in this forum and i also searched and searched and searched for other things to try and to date... the issue went/remains unresolved.

    So once again... back to Server 2003 which is where i remain now.

    I was just recently thinking about giving Server 08 another try thinking that maybe in the past 2 years there have been new updates by microsoft which would address this issue...  and then i read your post.  :)

    I know now that again, your primary issue is server to server... different than my issue.

    I have SOOOO many hours invested in this, i just don't know if i want to put another day or three... into finding out.  At this point, i'm considering just waiting until i can figure out how to afford Server 2011.

    I've even considered scrapping all of this, and going with Windows Home Server 2011.

    I don't know.  I know i'm frustrated with Microsoft though.  :)

    I even thought that maybe Server 08 didn't like my switch, so i installed a small business Cisco Gigabit switch... and that didn't help either.  So... that's where i'm at.

    Sorry i could not help you out on this.  I'll look into the links though you gave.  Thanks for that!

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:03 PM
  • I Had a similar issues and tried all of the above & more but nothing worked until I turned off
    the windows 2008 Firewall, now the share is really nippy :)

    NB: Our network firewall protects the win2008 system
    • Edited by padd Friday, March 23, 2012 11:44 AM typo
    • Proposed as answer by padd Friday, March 23, 2012 11:45 AM
    Friday, March 23, 2012 11:43 AM
  • Hi, I had the same problems of access speed to a share server since I changed from Windows Server 2003 STD to Windows Server 2008 STD. All workstations use Windows XP. I tried all the suggestions to disable SMB2 without favorable results. Definitely the performance dropped a lot compared to what it was using Windows Server 2003 STD (same hardware, same network infrastructure). After many hours of testing I realized that disk access was almost permanent in my server configuration (motherboard Intel DP55WG with RAID 1). I checked the with Intel Matrix Storage Console and saw that the data cache hard drive was disabled. After enabling this option, users found that the system respond quickly again. My suggestion is to check the RAID configuration, because in my setup was a noticeable change.

    I hope this helps.

    Wednesday, May 08, 2013 2:15 PM