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Computer performance really slow


Somewhat eXPerienced
Hey guys,

Unfortunately I'm getting another one of these problems where computers seem to work fine, however they then perform extremely slowly. Sadly there appear to be no processes or applications that are taking up the resources the computer has available. The computers are Dell GX270's, and they appear to begin acting slowly when they are joined to the domain here at my client. The machines do only have 256mb of memory, however from my past experience, they are acting much more slowly than they should be, even with the small amount of memory.

I thought to have rectified this issue, by updating the Intel NIC Driver on the machine. However walking in this morning, it was reported to me that one of the Sergeant's experienced extreme slowness issues last night. Another thing I would like to report is that there is another machine in that office, and the computer used to never be really slow, however when I was working on the primary one over the holiday, the secondary was being used and now is being slow also. As much as I would like to relate this to profiles, roaming profiles are disabled so I don't believe this to be the case.

I also want to add that just the other day, I reformatted this machine completely, started brand new, and reinstalled everything. When I joined it to the domain, is when I noticed the extreme slowdown issues.

Any ideas on where I can start to troubleshoot this?


Somewhat eXPerienced
Yes, and I have a feeling where you're going, but I have to disagree it's the memory. We've had computers running with this setup perfectally fine for quite sometime, and these slowdown issues are new in nature... but I whole heartedly agree, memory upgrades would be nice... but not really an option that's mass in nature.
I have found some interesting bits from a 4 year old article, trying to verify this information now, but here it is:


Todd Logan said:
XP Networking Gotchas
Windows XP Professional works well in a Windows-to-Windows network environment. However, I’ve found a couple of gotchas.
XP does, in some circumstances, exhibit slow file transfer performance running on an Ethernet network with the Microsoft Client over TCP/IP. If Nico Mak Computing Inc.’s WinZip is installed with the shell extensions on an XP computer, it can cause terrific slowdowns and lockups in Explorer when performing a copy via drag-and-drop within Windows Explorer. Uninstalling the WinZip shell extensions returns file transfer speeds to their normal rate.
Also, XP can be slow when trying to access a computer using Windows 98 Second Edition. Accessing an XP machine from a Windows 98SE machine is almost instantaneous. In contrast XP takes as long as 30 seconds just to find and show a drive’s contents in Explorer over the network. This can be attributed to the fact that when browsing network resources, XP (and Win2K) will always try to find shared printers and shared scheduled tasks on the computer/server you connect to. To improve performance, disable this setting in the registry:
Delete the printers and scheduled tasks keys under this key.


Somewhat eXPerienced
Domain controller is what? NT ? 2000, 2003 ?

Two domain controllers, both being Server 2003 Standard.

And in regards to the article (I appreciate the help btw!!!), this is a constant slowness, especially noticible when you are trying to double click a folder on the desktop........wait...... click on a file.......wait..... file becomes highlighted.......wait...... then double click on the file...... wait..... wait....wait....

Not just file transfers. Initially I thought it was the NIC Card Driver, because the computer would be slow while navigating to other directories on the network. And, what's even more strange is when I login as an administrator account, I don't notice the issues much!


Somewhat eXPerienced
Is NetBIOS over TCP/IP enabled on the stations?

Here are some more links that will help us identify and kill the issue - if ALL the workstations are slow, I'd tend to think we should take a look at the domain, at the network and the DNS.

MS Best practices (DNS)
The netbios settings are set to default on all of the machines... and it isn't all of the machines that are slow, just a select few. Mine, for example, works fine... maybe a handful of machines that act this way. Looking at the NetBios option, it says that if you're using Static Addresses, Which we are, then we should enable that option... is that the case? Should I enable that?

I will also read the articles you posted.
Try it, but now you are along different lines - only a select few -

Are all the slow ones attached to the same router or hub, or bixed in same network closet? May need to test out the router - think about upgrading the firmware....

We should also see if anybody else can weigh in with something - guys where r ya?


Somewhat eXPerienced
Try it, but now you are along different lines - only a select few -

Are all the slow ones attached to the same router or hub, or bixed in same network closet? May need to test out the router - think about upgrading the firmware....

We should also see if anybody else can weigh in with something - guys where r ya?
There is a good chance they are connected to them... however some things are still unexplained.

1) Would the whole computer itself be slow, not just performing network operations? I mean everything is slow, just going to a local folder on the local desktop is slow.

2) Why would this only occur when joining computer to the domain, when I'm still accessing internet and everything outside of the domain and just authenticating?

Thanks again!


█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
I would point to Network Settings, probably DNS, but I'm not sure where that would come into play when trying to access files/folders off the desktop itself - unless there is some type of roaming profile or folder re-direction, which you indicated there wasn't.

Check in the Event Viewer, if something is hanging there may be a warning/error in there.

You could also disjoin a PC from the domain, see if the slowness goes away. Where there any network or more importantly GPO changes made recently?

Do the machines that experience the slowness have the same Policies applied as the ones that don't?


OSNN One Post Wonder
I have a user who has suddenly experienced a baffling deterioration in performance of his PC. He has a P4 2.8 with 512MB RAM and claims that the poor performance started a week ago when we experienced a power outage

The PC has been de-spywared, de-virussed and de-fragged. Benchmarking the PC shows it’s running better than new, but opening IE, Outlook or network drives (for the first time) is extraordinarily slow. Another baffling symptom – when looking at the Driver properties for the network card the PC hangs for 20 seconds (same time to open IE).

This is all using the onboard Broadcom Gigabit network connection – but disabling that and installing an IBM PCI network card results in exactly the same delay / hanging / lock up.

SO – I removed all networking, and added just TCP/IP. Performance was fine – IE opened instantly, Driver details displayed instantly.

BUT – When I added MS Client, the delay came back!

Could you try disabling all but TCP/IP on one of your slow PCs? If that gives back the performance you should have, then at least we know we're likely to be looking at the same issue :)

Hi to everybody BTW. Wound up in this thread from a Google search trying to resolve this problem, but hope I can stick around and contribute...


█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
Bah, you can get rid of the MS Client for Windows Networks - especially if you don't need the Net Logon service ;)

Are you 100% up to date with Windows patches? I would also recommend putting in your XP CD and running a SFC.

This can be done by going to Start, Run type "sfc /scannow" no quotes


OSNN One Post Wonder
Thanks for the ideas, but...
Have to have MS Client for network shares.
Windows updates all nicely updated
And SFC hasn't changed things at all

I'm still very interested to know if Punkrulz and I have the same problem...


Somewhat eXPerienced
Peter, I just checked one of the clients that sometimes gave me the problems. Unfortunately it seems that this client is no longer performing as slow as it used to be. I am going to have to keep a close eye on this issue and let you know what's going on. I'm sorry I can't be of any more help to see if the problems are related or not.


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