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When I try to access files on a shared drive, they open very slow (10 - 20 seconds) both of the systems are running Microsoft XP Pro, no anti virus and I shut down the firewall

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  • mgrogis May 03, 2010

    1. Only 2 computers

    2. "data" folder shared on 2nd system hard drive

    3. user on both systems have admin rights

    4. no fire wall

    5. no anti virus

  • mgrogis May 03, 2010

    as I stated previously... the drive is in the second pc..

  • mgrogis May 03, 2010

    Install NetBEUI Protocol on each system, works great...



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I assume that the drive is shared on the network, and it is not attached to this computer.

If the drive is attached to this computer, check the USB connection cable and test a different one. Ensure it is not connected to an USB 1 port (Old USB slower). Test the disk on a different computer.

If the disk is on the network, the latency depends on the number of users accessing the disk, on the distance, on the routers or network devices constituing the network, on the software installed on the computer, on network conflicts.

If the hard drive is connected remotely, a latency time of 10-20 seconds may be normal.
If normally there is no slowness, that may depend on a conflict on the network. Sometimes the problem can be fixed restarting servers and routers on the network.

If this latency happens only on one station, then disable any firewall or security software on the computer.

Slow access can also be caused by too many users accessing the disk at the same time.

To find out more it may be useful knowing the following:

How the computer connects to the shared resource, and how the disk is shared on the network?
Is this latency normal or it is a recent problem?
How many computers are connected to the network?
Have you full control on network administration (is this your local home or office network)?

Posted on May 03, 2010

  • 4 more comments 
  • Ginko
    Ginko May 03, 2010


    Is the disk a USB disk connected to one of the computer? A network unit linked directly to the router? is it an internal disk shared with the second computer?

  • Ginko
    Ginko May 03, 2010

    If it is the internal drive, than the latency access may be normal. The computer has to reach the other's computer IP, authenticate on workgroup (I assume the net is peer to peer), then locat the file in FAT and finally opening the file on the second PC by sending a string of IP packets. This is made even slower by the latency time required by system access on the host in case the shared disk is also the disk where system is installed

  • Ginko
    Ginko May 03, 2010

    There is also a bulletin from Microsoft.

    In case the slowness is caused by reasons stated before, this will not help.

    If you want to give it a try, remember to export a copy of the registry before modifying registry with regedit.exe.

    Here the steps:

  • Ginko
    Ginko May 03, 2010

    Please disregard my last comment.

    The bulletin

    is for Windows 2000.

    If there is no virus, no firewall or security software, and the network is working , then the latency is caused by network access time.

  • Ginko
    Ginko May 03, 2010

    As said the slowness is caused by the way XP manages a peer to peer network.

    There are tons of forums on the net and no solution.

    The only thing you can do is deleting all possible stuff from My Network Places folder.

    As said , if there is no security software and no virus, there is not much you can do, apart installing a different OS, or placing a domain server. A wired network will also be a bit faster than a Wi-Fi one, but that difference is not much.

  • Ginko
    Ginko May 03, 2010


    Yes, NetBEUI works farter because is a much simpler protocol, and does not require all networking steps of TCP/IP. We use NetBEUI on games for the same reason. I did not think about that.

    Well, glad it is working.

    Take care.



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