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Samba HowTo Guide
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Browsing of Shares and Directories is Very Slow

There are only two machines on a test network. One is a Samba server, the other a Windows XP machine. Authentication and logons work perfectly, but when I try to explore shares on the Samba server, the Windows XP client becomes unresponsive. Sometimes it does not respond for some minutes. Eventually, Windows Explorer will respond and displays files and directories without problem.

But, the share is immediately available from a command shell ( cmd , followed by exploration with DOS command. Is this a Samba problem, or is it a Windows problem? How can I solve this?

Here are a few possibilities:

Bad Networking Hardware

Most common defective hardware problems center around low cost or defective hubs, routers, network interface controllers (NICs), and bad wiring. If one piece of hardware is defective, the whole network may suffer. Bad networking hardware can cause data corruption. Most bad networking hardware problems are accompanied by an increase in apparent network traffic, but not all.

The Windows XP WebClient

A number of sites have reported similar slow network browsing problems and found that when the WebClient service is turned off, the problem disappears. This is certainly something that should be explored because it is a simple solution if it works.

Inconsistent WINS Configuration

This type of problem is common when one client is configured to use a WINS server (that is a TCP/IP configuration setting) and there is no WINS server on the network. Alternatively, this will happen if there is a WINS server and Samba is not configured to use it. The use of WINS is highly recommended if the network is using NetBIOS over TCP/IP protocols. If use of NetBIOS over TCP/IP is disabled on all clients, Samba should not be configured as a WINS server, nor should it be configured to use one.

Incorrect DNS Configuration

If use of NetBIOS over TCP/IP is disabled, Active Directory is in use and the DNS server has been incorrectly configured. For further information refer to DNS and Active Directory.

Samba HowTo Guide
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