[Samba] POSSIBLE RESOLUTION: Extremely slow during browsing some directories (MS KB Articles)

Jonathan Johnson jon at sutinen.com
Fri Apr 1 20:11:12 GMT 2005

A colleague ran across this Microsoft (lack of) Knowledge Base article:

"Long delay in the display of file names from the "Open" dialog box in 
Office XP"

which lists a hotfix available from Microsoft. Also, on some Microsoft 
discussion lists, there's been some experience that the presence of an 
invalid/disconnected mapped drive can impact the issue, or the presence 
of a large number of files/folders in the folder being browsed..

In addition, there's another article:
"The File Open dialog box does not automatically select the first 
available document in an Office 2003 program"

which contains this tidbit of wisdom (and references article 818792):
"If the AutoSelect feature is enabled in the *Open* dialog box, and you 
view a folder on a network share that contains many files and folders, 
you may experience a delay of two to five minutes before the *Open* 
dialog box is populated and the first available Office 2003 document is 

In reading these two articles, I get the sense that in Office XP (Office 
2002) "it's a feature not a bug" and that in Office 2003, "it was a 
buggy feature so we disabled it by default." Even though it's supposed 
to be disabled in 2003, you might want to double-check the registry hack 
mentioned in 818792, maybe setting DisableAutoSelect to 1 just to be sure.

--Jonathan Johnson
Sutinen Consulting, Inc.
jon at sutinen.com

Jonathan Johnson wrote:

> David Rankin wrote:
> >>
> I am seeing the exact same problem and I can confirm that a reboot of 
> Win XP helps the problem temporarily. (this is my laptop so it is 
> restarted regularly) It seems something is getting cached or stuck 
> somewhere after XP is up and running for a while that is causing the 
> 30 second delay descending down the directory tree when using the 
> "file-open" dialog from MS office applications.
> <<
> David,
> For what it's worth, I've experienced very similar behavior with a 
> Novell server in the back end. Unfortunately, I don't know enough 
> about Novell, and there isn't a Samba server on this particular 
> network that I can use for troubleshooting. I mainly wanted to let you 
> know that it's not just a Samba problem, but perhaps some 
> "optimization" that Microsoft has used to make sure that their server 
> OS works better. We can always suspect that, can't we?
> In my situation, browsing works fine with explorer but not in the file 
> open dialog in MS Office apps. Just like you experienced.
> In regards to Linwei Cheng's original problem, I have to ask, is there 
> a machine account in the /etc/passwd file? For one of my customers who 
> has a Samba box that authenticates against a true Windows Active 
> Directory server, I found that I needed to add local machine accounts 
> to the Linux user database (/etc/passwd) in order to get reasonable 
> performance. The Samba logs were full of messages whining about user 
> MACHINE$ not existing. Now, I might have solved this by adding winbind 
> to the hosts entry in /etc/nsswitch.conf, but I didn't think of that. 
> It works now, so why fix it?
> --Jonathan Johnson
> Sutinen Consulting, Inc.
> www.sutinen.com

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