Friday, February 27, 2009

Slow Opening of Office 2007 Documents From a Network Drive

In one of my recent SBS 2008 migrations a user complained that Word and Excel documents could take up to several minutes for the documents to open from a network drive mapped to a DFS share. His laptop was the only Windows Vista machine on the local network at the time.

My initial thought was that IPv6 lookups were stalling the opening of the documents, so I got the user to disable IPv6 according to MSKB 929852. This didn't work.

I remoted in to his laptop and had a look. I got varying load times, from 15 seconds to several minutes irrespective of file size.

I reverted to my old debugging method - opening the file in Notepad. Instant. Every time.

OK, must be a dodgy hotfix. None installed since the problem exhibited itself. OK, someone out in the Intarweb must have experienced this. My Google-fu isn't too bad, but I couldn't find anyone with the exact same problem. This TechArea post on slow DFS access was the reverse to what I was seeing, so I changed the NetBIOS reference (e.g. \\DOMAIN\DFS\Share) to a FQDN reference (\\\DFS\Share).

Bingo - load times were back to normal!

I've now got a note to migrate all my DFS references from using the NetBIOS name to using the FQDN name prior to any Windows Server 2008 migrations.


Anonymous said...

This has been driving me upp the wall.

Anonymous said...

Usefull information for windows 7 users. In a quick glance with that workaround in my domain it fix's the slow "Download" when opening a document over the network.
Will confirm later it works well or if I find another way.
Thanks for the information.


Mike said...

A reboot of the server cured this problem, but then it came back. Can't keep rebooting, so followed this suggestion and it does seem to make a marked improvement. I added servername.domain.local to the client's host file, updated the shortcuts and it seems to be better than it was.