Windows Vista is laughing at me...
April 17, 2008 9:37 PM   Subscribe

Server/network/IT-Filter? Windows Vista keeps, or more specifically explorer.exe drops my network transfers, how can I fix this or what is the best Explorer replacement? Also, how can I make Windows Server 2008 more useful on the small scale (more inside of course) ...

I previously asked about a storage array for my personal network and ended getting another computer and converting the old one into a RAID-5 Windows Server box.

Here's what's on the network:

Computer 1: Windows Server 2008, RAID-5 Disk Array (2.3TB usable).
Computer 2: Windows Vista Ultimate (used as a media center/personal computer)
Computer 3: MacBook Pro

All of this is linked up through 802.11n/gigabit ethernet.

Question 1: Windows Vista randomly drops network transfers to the server (explorer.exe). This usually happens when I'm moving 5GB or more of data which is often. Essentially it stops transferring and when I press 'cancel', it locks up and I can't kill explorer.exe from the task manager. The only way to recover is restart.

This is, however, not a problem with Windows Networking. I've tried a different file manager called "Directory Opus" which is great and solves my issue. Network transfers never fail. The issue is the program costs $85 US and I'm not going to steal it :-\. So, does anyone have ideas on how to solve explorer.exe or is there a more affordable file manager/Explorer replacement? Also, I've tried this with and without SP1.

Question 2: I'm using Windows Server 2008 as a storage and print server. I've toyed a bit with the virtualization features but I'm looking to see if there are features that might be useful outside a true-server environment for my setup.

(all software licenses are legitimate, piracy is bad, m'kay)
posted by cgomez to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
robocopy is your friend for #1. It also has script / resume functions. Built into vista, not sure if it's in windows server 2008, but it should be. It's command line, but very robust. Some random guy's blog enumerates the options.
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:41 PM on April 17, 2008

There's a GUI available for Robocopy as well, but it's crap - all it does is give you a checkbox to turn on each of the command line options. You're better off just wrapping the options you like up in a script and double-clicking that.
posted by flabdablet at 12:06 AM on April 18, 2008

Is this a 5GB file or one or more files that aggregate to 5GB?
posted by geoff. at 6:26 AM on April 18, 2008

Robocopy is a great option. I would still tend to believe this is a network issue. I would make sure all the NIC drivers are the latest and greatest, make sure the cards and switched are locked for duplex and speed (if possible). And, if you are using anything with a Broadcom chipset, disable the TCP Offload Engine (or TCP Chimney). The latest Windows SP's have enabled this and it is causing issues. In fact, if you call MS with a networking issue, it is the first thing they do.
posted by internal at 8:07 AM on April 18, 2008

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