Slow Network?

Do you have a computer that responds slow on the network or hesitates?  Follow these steps and you will see a significant difference. (Because we have not shown how to disable advanced settings in your network card, simply go to your device manager and double click on your network card – disable TCP offload and any advanced settings such as proxy and other settings that may make the card hesitate)

  1. Remove any add-ins on your Browsers that you don’t need
  2. Remove Toolbars
  3. Adjust your MTU Settings
  4. Adjust your Network Speed
  5. Disable LLMNR
  6. Disable all advanced settings on your card
Advanced settings example

Want to control who gets on your network?

Want to control who gets on your network?  Callout DLL can still be downloaded from Microsoft and now with Windows Server 2008 you can control with an Allow/Deny.

With portable computing (netbooks, laptops, droids, blackberries, iPads, iPods, iPhones and other portable devices) many users will discover how to get on your network.  Callout DLL for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 allows your IT department to control who gets on your network.

Slow File Copying in Windows 7 or Windows Vista

If your computer is on a network and you noticed slow file copying on a network; you can disable Remote Differential Compression.

  • Open the Control Panel and click on Programs and Features.
  • Click on Turn Windows features on and off.
  • Uncheck the Remote Differential Compression box.

What is RDC? Client-server synchronization that allows the contents of two files to be synchronized by communicating only the differences between them.   By checking the files as they are copied, this can slow down the network copy process.

Invisible Folders on Server

I would use the word ‘hidden’ but the folder isn’t.  Recently we upgraded a staff members folder to Windows 7.  We then mapped the user to their shared folder on Windows 2003 Server.   The user could now use their folder with no problems.  However on the server, the folder disappeared!   You can go to start, run or anywhere in explorer and type ‘f:\theuser’ and see the folder.  The folder is not hidden through attributes and nothing on the server has changed.

You can access the folder through an UNC path such as \\server\user.

Dawn and I have researched this and the closest (thanks to Dawn) forum information is found here.

No clear explanation yet.

Windows Server 2003 Tutorials

Here is a tutorial on Windows Server 2003.  This online visual tutorial shows step by step on how to use this server. Although Windows Server 2008 R2 is out, Server 2003 is still prominently used in workplaces.  Link

Windows 2003 Server is slow on your LAN – Tweak

If your Windows 2003 Server is slow on your LAN, you can make the following changes to your registry.  When you make these changes, you MUST be sure that your data is backed up.

On the your server, you can edit the TcpDelAckTicks registry value to adjust the TCP delayed ACK timer.   By lowering this value, the TCP delayed ACK now will send an ACK packet quicker.    This lowered TCP delay ACK can cause some network strain.  You should test any value you change thoroughly.

  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Find the following key in the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\Adapter GUID

You may see several of these GUIDs.  Add to all of these.  You may have multiple if you have had several network cards. (Add this value to these GUIDs

  1. Right click and Add Value in the right windows, now add the following registry value creating a DWORD:

Value name: TcpDelAckTicks
Data type: REG_DWORD
Value data: You can enter 0 to 6. The default setting is 2 (200 milliseconds).

  1. Quit Registry Editor.
  2. Restart Windows

About the value -

This registry value specifies the number of 100-millisecond intervals to use for the delayed ACK timer on a per-interface basis. By default, your ACK timer value is 200 milliseconds. If you set the TcpDelAckTicks value to 0, this will disabled delayed acknowledgments. A 0 immediately sends an ACK packet for every packet it receives.

Note Adapter-specific values are listed under subkeys for each adapter. Make sure that you add the TcpDelAckTicks value to the following registry key:

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\Adapter GUID

Do not add this value to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters

By using QCheck you can check your network cards speed between servers or workstations.


File Scavenger Fixes Broken Raid Array

Recently Pat and I began to recover a broken array on a Dell Server.  I’ve been in Information Technology for 20+ years and I had basically given up.   He gets full credit for finding File Scavenger and having a separate recent backup. Being a true professional, he wanted to make sure no files were missed with his backup.

Using two USB external SATA connectors along with a USB HUB and an external USB 320GB external drive to recover files; we used his laptop for the recovery process.  Amazingly our octopus of wires and hard drives came to life as we began to run File Scavenger.   Even more amazing is the fact that  File Scavenger put the RAID array (disks) back together logically and began to recover files.   Because we selected a full scan, over 140,000+ files were found after 43 hours of run time.

To my students – Pat is the lead Detective at our local police department and is A+ certified.  His hands-on skills and analytical thinking are characteristics everyone in IT needs to develop.  Also the perseverance of his not giving up is admirable.    Bottom line, think-research-don’t give up! 

This credit isn’t just about Pat, File Scavenger worked flawlessly.  Although some files couldn’t be read or were damaged, the program ran as advertised.  definitely deserves 5 Stars.

Product   File Scavenger® – Data Recovery Program.
  Platforms   Windows® Vista, XP, 2008, 2003, 2000 and NT 4.0.
  Media   Hard disks, floppy disks, ZIP disks, memory sticks, flash cards, RAIDs, and more.
  Types of files   All types.
  Causes of data loss   Accidental deletion, removal from the Recycle Bin.
  Corrupt disk, reformatted or deleted volume or partition.
  Partially damaged disk with bad spots.
  Broken RAID or spanned volume.
  Recovered information   Original filename, contents, folder path and dates.
  File systems   NTFS, FAT 32/16/12.
  Languages   English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish.
  Other features   Both dynamic and basic disks, Unicode filenames.
  Compressed NTFS volumes,  NTFS alternate data streams.
  User Manual   PDF, HTML.
  Related Program   Read and clone bad hard drives with Disk Recoup

File Scavenger

Tools for Server 2003

Microsoft usual puts out resource tools for Servers and operating systems.  Here is their link for Server 2003 Tools

Here is just one of the tools-

Robocopy.exe: Robust File Copy Utility
A versatile utility for maintaining an identical copy of a folder and its sub-folders in more than one location for backups.

Please Wait While Domain List is Created

It has been a while since I have seen the “please wait while domain list is created” of course it did it in class day and I was puzzled.  Later, after class of course I remembered that I had DHCP on the server we were playing with.   I went back and configured my gateway in the DHCP (It is a lab server and some of the configurations had changed), Put the domain’s IP into the DNS along with other DNS numbers and put the Domain’s name in Option 15.  I also statically added the server’s IP address in its DNS section on the network card ( I personally don’t put the loopback).

I went back to the computers that were slow at finding the domain and bam! they found it right away….

Logistical Nightmare – Upgrading a Server and Using a Workaround

Around 3 a.m. Saturday, I ran into a logistical nightmare when upgrading space on our document server. Our document server contains over 600,000 scanned images of student documents, financial aid…etc. The server runs SQL and is scanned by one of our staff members. The server is a dual core (three years old) server with 2 GB of RAM and approximately 1/2 terabytes of space (not counting the 80 gig OS) drive.  The database drive had 1mb (yes one megabyte left).

When I started the upgrade, I made sure that all of the data was backed up. On Friday, I received two 750 GB drives to replace the drives in the server.

Problem

  • The problem was the two data drives (one for scanned images and one for 1st line backup) were IDE drives and there was no SATA ports on the motherboard!
  • Our budget is restricted due to cut backs (no new motherboard or servers) If you have ever worked education, you know what I am talking about.
  • The motherboard had an NVidia chipset – all computers in our organization have VIA chipsets and loading windows (reloading) and repairing any SQL and software, copying the database and files would be a logistical nightmare
  • SQL was loaded pointing to the “D” drive (database path) – ya can’t copy open files!

Solution

  • Install a PCI eSATA expansion card with two connections at 3 a.m.  – load the driver and reboot
  • Install the new drives in Windows giving them a F: and G: drive – partition and format
  • Stop all SQL services (sqlserver.exe, service manager, etc.) – go through the processes running with a fine tooth comb
  • Use FastCopy Backup and copy the D: drive contents to the F: drive (database and documents)
  • Use FastCopy Backup and copy the E: drive to the G: drive  (1st line backup of database and documents)
  • Change the D: drive to the H: drive in Drive Management Snap in
  • Change the E: drive to the I: drive in Drive Management Snap in
  • Shutdown the computer
  • Remove the two IDE drives
  • Reboot – All services start – the F: drive becomes the D: drive automatically – the G: drive becomes the E: drive
  • Test the database with the Enterprise manager (Windows automatically reassigns these drive letters to the now open letters of D: and E: – When SQL starts, it looks for the database connection on D: drive which now exsist.
  • Save old IDE drives and lock away – Monitor system for burn in period – Test, Test, Test

Moral of the Story

- Too many times new IT personnel yell – “I need a new server!” .  With a dual core server, and the amount of memory in the machine, the server has two or even three years of life left based on its use.  In today’s economic times, it is OK to upgrade using a $25 SATA controller.  The drives (Seagate) have a five year warranty and were $180 for the two.  The total upgrade was $205.00.  A new server with this amount of space could cost as much as $2000 for a tower or $2500 for a rack mount…..  10% of cost  not bad.

While there are a million solutions for replacing or maintaining servers or workstations, every solution is different.  Some users will have a better way. Someone will yell Norton’s Ghost before they see what I said about the hardware above or someone will have magical pixy dust that could have done it better.  Well that’s how an old guy did the upgrade…..

FastCopy Backup

Virtualization – Get With It

If you are not virtualizing, you should be.  Try VirtualBox when you are a beginner.  Your bios may require you to enable it (ask Matt or Bob – inside joke, outside readers).  Some one in class asked what other virtualization programs are available.  Here is Virtualization’s reader’s choice awards for virtualization software.  (by the way, Rick noticed the same thing I did, all of the IT publication magazines are publishing a ton of virtualization articles)

Information technology is going through a phase that is changing more than ever.  Computers are more powerful than ever.  With Multiple processors, memory cheaper than ever, hard drives larger than ever, multiple operating systems can be loaded effortlessly.   I have worked with computers for twenty plus years, it’s going to always change. 

 I hear the same thing all of the time.  

“All you guys do is fix computers, right?”    (by the way, if you are not a geek, you won’t understatnd that!)

By the way, you are not a network administrator if you installed a router in your house. Your candid thoughts when answering them.