[Samba] Performance issues

Jonathan Johnson jon at sutinen.com
Fri Oct 7 22:24:25 GMT 2005

I have seen performance issues where a Windows client (Explorer) takes a 
while to display a file listing on a remote computer, but then it 
accesses it just fine. Generally speaking, this is the opposite of what 
you describe, but it could be related.

In investigating this, the problem (not the symptom, the actual problem) 
turned out to be invalid shortcuts to network shares. These invalid 
shortcuts are left behind from when a server or share once existed on 
the network but has since been removed.

When initially browsing the network, Windows attempts to access all the 
remote shares it knows about BEFORE displaying any listings, rather than 
accessing the remote share only if the user requests it. This seems to 
be especially problematic with Microsoft Word and Excel when opening 

There are several places to look for these stale or invalid shares:

1. "My Network Places" -- Open this up, and delete any shortcuts that 
point to remote servers or shares that no longer exist. It's actually 
safe to delete ALL of the network shortcuts (named like "Someshare on 
someserver (servername)"). Usually these are created automatically.

2. "My Computer" -- Disconnect (remove) any network drive mappings that 
point to nonexistent shares or servers.

3. "Desktop" -- same thing as My Network Places; remove any invalid 
shortcuts to network shares. I don't think that these cause a problem as 
described above, but it can't hurt to remove them.

4. Registry -- 
(MountPoints2 in XP or later) -- there may be subkeys in the form of 
##server#share. Delete any keys that point to nonexistent servers or shares.

Lastly, if you are using Windows XP or later, disable "Automatically 
search for network folders and printers." To do so, open My Computer, 
click Tools - Folder Options, View tab, and it's in there. When enabled, 
Windows will fill up your "My Network Places" with shortcuts to any 
network shares it finds, and will fill up your Printers folder with 
"Auto...." printers.

Note that each of these things are on a PER PROFILE basis. You will need 
to check each Windows user login for these issues.

I can't guarantee that this will solve your problem, but since you 
mention that you've replaced a server, there's a good chance that there 
are some stale & invalid shortcuts lying around. It could be that 
Windows periodically is going out there looking for these nonexistent 
shares, and in the process interrupts your connection. Hey, it's worth a 

--Jonathan Johnson

Ryan Wright wrote:

>I apologize for the "newbie" nature of this post; I am sure there is
>an easy answer somewhere, but I've tried all the search terms I can
>think up and can't find it.
>I have some video archived on a White Box 4 machine. I watch it on a
>Windows XP box in the other room by mapping a drive to a Samba share.
>Seemingly at random, my video stream will halt due to an inability to
>receive data from the server. If I pause for a few seconds and resume,
>everything is usually fine. This generally happens only once or twice
>per hour, but it's annoying.
>The video is not huge. We're talking ~350MB xvid files, 45 minutes
>each (compressed network TV shows). The Samba server used to be a
>Windows 2000 Server and the same video files worked perfectly from
>there. Network is gigabit on the server side, 100mbit on the client
>side - though even wireless should be able to stream these files.
>Virtually no traffic on the network (just my computers and they mostly
>sit idle unless I'm using them).
>I saw this problem again last night when copying ~10GB worth of files
>from another XP box to the Samba share. The copy stopped a couple of
>times, telling me the network path no longer existed, but after
>clicking OK I could still browse the share just fine. It's like an
>intermittant, very temporary glitch.
>White Box Linux 4 (kernel 2.6.9-5)
>Samba 3.0.10-1.4E
>Relevant smb.conf:
>        workgroup = WRIGHT
>        netbios name = SATURN
>        server string = Saturn
>        security = domain
>        idmap uid = 15000-20000
>        idmap gid = 15000-20000
>        winbind use default domain = Yes
>        encrypt passwords = yes
>        password server = jupiter
>"jupiter" is a Win2k server & PDC.
>Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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