I am trying to find out whether a friend's work computer problem is caused by a Program or the Network, and I could do with any ideas that I might have missed.
At the moment I have just stuck with the one workstation that seems to be having the problems.
* 4 Windows XP Pro workstations connected as a Workgroup.
* Each can access a company Business program held on one of the computers ('the Server')
* The Business program is invoked from an MSDOS shortcut from the desktop. This causes the program to open up in an MS DOS window on the workstation.
* Initially a faulty hard drive together with corruption was thought to be the culprit.
* A complete clean reinstall from scratch was done. Afterwards it is faster than before the reinstall and I would say this is now normal/typical performance such as Internet speeds, wordprocessing.
* I used Sandra to analyse the computer afterwards - and all looks good.
* However, when running the business program (across the network) it is intermittently slow at times to the point of freezing the program.
* A quick call (and importantly free help!) to the makers of the Business program got a reply that they thought the network was the cause of the problem. (Without jumping to conclusions as to the cause, it uses NetG**r devices plugged into the mains). These devices then connect by ethernet cable to the computers.
Questions and Thoughts
How can I rule out the cause?
The fact that it is occuring at one workstation (the most used apart from the server) makes me think it is not the Business program - since I would have expected all workstations to exhibit the same behaviour.
If the Internet is working ok, then I guess the network link is persistent.
Maybe I need to install some free software to measure what happens between the two computers over an 8 hour period?
I have tried swapping the NetG**r adapter and the problem remains.
My only other thought is to bring in 'an ordinary hub' and wire the suspect computer, server separately and see what happens...