Thawing the Win2K Freeze
Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By R.B. Woods
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Posted: 28 Jan 2003
In our environment (NetWare 4.2 then 5.1 and now 6.0) we have had slowness on Windows 2000 using either Windows Explorer or any of the Microsoft apps. The problem wasn't there with NT, just with Win2k. For example, when the mouse runs over the printer icon in Word the Windows 2000 machine just seems to freeze for awhile (up to 30 seconds). We tried all of the previously mentioned fixes in Cool Solutions and got it down to between 5 and 10 seconds but never stopped the freeze altogether.
Just last weekend we moved to NetWare 6.0 and were excited by the prospects of Native File Access and iFolder to name a couple. We enabled both immediately. Almost immediately on our first work day we began seeing 'Intruder Lockout on Account xyz' and noticed this was happening to the users of those few machines we had in our building with the Client for Microsoft Networks installed. We did a bit of research and found TIDs stating that it was due to Windows 2000 preferring the Microsoft protocol to connect to the NetWare server. But since we hadn't set the simple password it couldn't connect. Eventually it tries the connection via the NetWare Client and the user gets in, however their account is locked due to the number of tries attempted.
This gave us an idea: Provider order. We had thought we had lost the ability to set it in Win2k but were told later it was just hidden. We had never found it before when we researched, but now we had good reason to look again and harder. We found the solution, changed it on all those machines and we now have 10+ grinning ear-to-ear users. The slowness has gone away completely.
To change it you must be an Administrator level user.
- Go to Start / Control Panel / Network and Dial up connections. (DON'T right-click Properties like I did the first 10 times I read the solution!)
- Look at the top of the window and go to Advanced / Advanced Settings
- Click on the Provider Order tab at the top and move the Novell stuff above anything else Microsoft for both Network Providers and Print Providers.
- Exit and reboot. (I recommend a reboot though it doesn't say you have to. We had one instance when only a reboot seemed to make the difference early on, so I did it from that point forward.)
I noted that on two machines we couldn't select OK to close the window (click, click, click, nothing - the window won't close!). A bit of investigation turned up that these workstations hadn't had Win2k sp2 installed. Once it was installed we could change the provider order and select OK. (Now, was that a real bug or was it just Microsoft up to its same dirty tricks of slowing down other vendors' software for awhile while everyone waits for the magic service pack a year later that fixes it? I know that I have MY opinion!)
If you are using a server NIC based on the Broadcom chipset (uses the B57 driver) you may think about replacing it. I just replaced my 3com Gigabit NIC (uses the Broadcom chipset) with an Intel PRO/1000T card over the weekend and the last 2-5 second delay when printing went completely away. On the Novell forums it has been discussed that this chipset/driver has a problem with UDP packets that is aggravated by nw6sp2. I pursued the replacement of the NIC in relation to the NFS problems I was having (timeouts, lockups, abends and other bizarre behavior) and it appears to have fixed more than just my NFS issues. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on it fixing the lockups and abends though I think they will because the abends seemed to coincide (within days) with my work on NFS.
If you have any questions you may contact R.B. at firstname.lastname@example.org
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