Why Can’t I Access My Files and Why Is My New Computer and New Server Slower Than My Old One?

November 8th, 2011


We operate under a very simple “best practice” premise for anti-virus.

  • Workstations should have anti-virus that scans only the workstation and related memory sticks, etc.
  • Servers should have anti-virus that scans only the server itself.

Sometimes the anti-virus on the desktop side is configured to also scan the drives and folders that are really on the file server.   This can sometimes cause horrible performance issues for users.   Examples would include users complaining that Microsoft Office says that their files are “read only” or other files that the user has access too randomly say they could not be saved.   This can happen regardless of whether you have Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 and regardless of whether you are using a server running Windows or Novell.   The solution is to tell the desktop anti-virus to stop scanning the server drives and folders.  The relief is immediate.

Workstation and Server Performance

Today’s servers and workstations are dramatically faster than their counterparts even a few years ago.  One of the comments we have seen from some sites getting new computers and new servers has been, “If I bought new computers and a new server, why is it slower than my old equipment?”  In examining these claims in some cases we have found this to be true.    The reason appears to be something called Opportunistic Locking.   This “feature” is turned on by default in every Windows server and workstation operating system and with every Novell server.   This feature is trying to improve performance, but from our experience it does just the opposite.    Most accounting and database vendors agree with CSI that this feature should be turned off when running their software.   Turning this off on your servers and workstations is quite simple regardless of operating system.  However, a reboot will be required for any server for the changes to take effect so that needs to be carefully planned.   If Opportunistic locking is the villain, the improvement in performance will be immediate.  If not, the settings change should not do any harm and we’d have to look for another explanation.   We have seen an uptick in this performance issue relating to Windows 7 workstations connecting to Novell and Windows servers and Windows XP workstations connecting to Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems.

To find out more about how CSI can help your business, contact us.


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