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File sharing issue across wireless network! WTF? Help!

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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September 18, 2006 8:18:02 PM

Pardon the length but I want to be sure I give as much info as possible. I have also searched the forums the best I could for related topics.

I just finished building this workstation which is primarily used for video/photo editing, DVD authoring, gaming, and general productivity. Workstation specs area dual opty 250, Supmicro H8DCE, 4GB RAM, 2-80GB WD’s in RAID0 for the OS, and 3-320GB WD’s in RAID5 on a 3Ware controller that contains all my media files (movies, mp3’s, photos etc), I am also using the nVidia gigabit ethernet ports, NAM, and firewall. I have an SMC 2804WBR 2.4GHz 54Mbps a/b/g wireless router. The workstation is hard wired to the router as they sit next to each other on the desktop. At the other end of the house, I have an HTPC with a P4 2.4GHz, Abit IC7, 1GB RAM, with a D-Link DWL-AG530 wireless NIC in WPA. The HTPC is set up primarily for DVD’s, MAME, web surfing, and anything multimedia.

The issue is anytime I attempt to stream media or file share (watch videos, listen to mp3’s, view photos, copy files, etc…) from the workstation to the HTPC or from the HTPC to the workstation, the connection lags and then gets dropped. The wireless signal strength on the HTPC always reads a minimum of 80% but the network utilization drops to zero after a minute or so and then the connection drops completely. Watching the Networking tab in Task Manager while trying to copy files between the two computers shows very erratic connectivity, swinging from .01% to 35% network utilization; as opposed to dl’ing large files (70MB and up) from an outside FTP site where the Networking tab shows consistent connectivity and steady network utilization on average of 7%. So to sum it up, I have no connectivity issues when using the workstation or HTPC to surf the web and I only experience lag and dropped connectivity when streaming media, file sharing, and copying files between the two computers.

I have verified all network/workgroup settings, reset the router, reinstalled/updated drivers on the DWL-AG530, and reinstalled/updated the nVidia drivers on the workstation. There are no other 2.4GHz devices in the house to interfere with the wireless signal. Due to the distance between the two computers, running an ethernet cable from the router to the HTPC is not an option.

Any and all ideas, advice, or considerations are welcome. Thanks!

EDIT - I have only been experiencing connectivity issues since building this dual opty workstation. The previous workstation was an AthlonMP machine with a Tyan S2466N-4M (AMD chipset) mobo. The HTPC and all other hardware is the same, only the workstation changed.
September 18, 2006 11:08:44 PM

What is the distance and how many walls does the signal needs to go through?
September 19, 2006 12:47:56 AM

to make a bee line it is about 60ft, 2 walls and down 1 floor...
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September 19, 2006 1:58:21 AM

Ouch,

To start with repace the 2dbi antenna with some 7dbi high gains. Then load the linux firmware (dd-wrt). It give you more options. Now if its a new v5 take it back, or make sure you have the latest firmware. The GL is a better unit.
September 19, 2006 4:04:10 AM

To answer your question about LAN vs FTP, the FTP server is sending information a lot slower than the LAN is trying to send it. Basically, the connection is getting overwhelmed and lagging out and eventually dropping.

As much as I hate to say it, you're probably not going to be happy short of running a cable. Wireless is fine for surfing the net, but for heavy multimedia usage on an HTPC, wired is definitely the way to go. I had the exact same problem with mine.
September 19, 2006 1:34:34 PM

Quote:
To answer your question about LAN vs FTP, the FTP server is sending information a lot slower than the LAN is trying to send it. Basically, the connection is getting overwhelmed and lagging out and eventually dropping.


So is this to say that the connection between my two machines is too fast and that is the cause of the erratic connectivity? If that really is the cause, is there an app or utility I can use to throttle the connection?

I should also add that I did not experience this issue with my previous workstation...the previous workstation was an AthlonMP on a Tyan S2466N-4M (AMD chipset)...I have only had connectivity issues with this dual opty workstation based on an nVidia chipset mobo...
September 19, 2006 1:38:02 PM

Quote:
Ouch,

To start with repace the 2dbi antenna with some 7dbi high gains. Then load the linux firmware (dd-wrt). It give you more options. Now if its a new v5 take it back, or make sure you have the latest firmware. The GL is a better unit.


Hmmm, I should have mentioned that, I did replace the antenna with 9dbi high gains as one of the first possible solution...it did increase the overall signal strength but did not solve the poor connectivity...

Where can I fing the linux firmware? On the SMC sight or 3rd party? Not sure what you mean by "new v5" and it does have the latest firmware from the SMC support page.
September 19, 2006 1:49:16 PM

I'm sorry I thought you had a linksys router. Are both the Dlink and SMC using Hi gain?

There are some patters to build a Parabolic reflector to put over your antenna, I have used them in the past and they do work.

But since it worked with your old setup, I'm more incline to thing something is wrong with your new pc. Proably a driver issue.
September 19, 2006 6:47:18 PM

Quote:
So is this to say that the connection between my two machines is too fast and that is the cause of the erratic connectivity? If that really is the cause, is there an app or utility I can use to throttle the connection?


I have no idea, I've never tried looking for one. But, if you throttle it down too much, it won't matter if it works because you won't have enough bandwidth to stream your content.

There are lots of ways you can spend lots of money on directional antennas and high power radios, but unless it's completely out of the question, running a cable is the easy and 100% definite fix. The trouble with wireless is there's no real way to know what's interfering with it and causing poor performance without spending thousands of dollars on diagnostic equipment.
September 19, 2006 6:59:32 PM

Appartent it sounds like he is using UDP and not TCP. TCP will not send till all the data get through.

UDP doesn't care. Full speed ahead, what errors.
September 19, 2006 9:53:13 PM

I don't think so... unless he's actually "streaming", but I think he meant he is using Windows filesharing to access the content. Windows filesharing is definitely TCP. The only time you'd want to use UDP is when you have limited bandwidth and delay sensitive content. Realistically, you should never need to use UDP on a LAN.
September 19, 2006 10:14:36 PM

Quote:
I don't think so... unless he's actually "streaming", but I think he meant he is using Windows filesharing to access the content. Windows filesharing is definitely TCP. The only time you'd want to use UDP is when you have limited bandwidth and delay sensitive content. Realistically, you should never need to use UDP on a LAN.


Yes, I am using windows file sharing...However, I do have the "Use Simple File Sharing" in the folder options unchecked and am mapping to the the drive across the network to access the files...don't know if this makes any difference and I just never had any luck with the simple file sharing windows crap, always found it easier just to map to the drive...
September 19, 2006 10:28:07 PM

Quote:
I have only been experiencing connectivity issues since building this dual opty workstation. The previous workstation was an AthlonMP machine with a Tyan S2466N-4M (AMD chipset) mobo. The HTPC and all other hardware is the same, only the workstation changed.


This indicates the problem is with the Dual Opty. Something in this maching is shutting down to save power. If it has the power stepping energy saving stuff, turn it all off and see if it helps.
September 20, 2006 12:05:34 AM

It was mentioned in the original post that there was some sort of firewall being used. Have you tried turning that off? Do you have another system besides the HTPC that you could try transferring a file with?
September 26, 2006 11:41:57 AM

Thanks to you both, Fred and Blue...our back and forth helped me continue my trouble shooting efforts...to bring this thread to a conclusion, I finally detetmined that my SMC2804WBR wireless router took a dump...which really effed me up because I can connect to it using wireless without any issues but the moment I plug an ethernet cable from one of the ports to any machine, I get the effing connect/disconnect problem...so, with that said, I will be getting a Linksys WRT54GL as Blue suggested...again, thanks!
December 3, 2009 10:57:44 AM

I think you are facing such a problem because the file size is big enough and so u lost the connection to resolve the problem download the shazzle this is available for p2p and large files sharing...can download form http://www.shazzledata.com/installer/ShazzleBeta.exe.
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