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Network performance issues when client PCs run different operating systems

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Summary

The addition of non-XP PCs to your XP client network may cause issues when processing in Sage 50 Accounts. The issues manifest themselves as an increase in the number of times the software hangs or locks whilst the non-XP PC is in use.

Description

All instructions in this article are written for the Windows 7 operating system. For help navigating in the Windows 8 or Windows 10 operating systems - Read more >


If more than five people use Sage 50 Accounts at the same time or your business is expanding, Sage 200 may be a better solution. Read more >>

If your customer has a large dataset or needs to have more than five concurrent users, Sage 200 may be a better solution for their business. Read more >>

Resolution

We've identified the possible cause for this as a feature called Server Message Block (SMB).

What is Server Message Block?

Server Message Block is the file sharing protocol used by default on Windows-based computers and other network devices such as:

  • Network printers
  • NAS drives
  • Network switches on routers

NOTE: There may be other devices that use SMB. For help identifying which devices use SMB, please refer to your local IT or business partner support.

VersionUsed byCompatible with
SMB 1.0Windows XP and belowOther SMB 1.0 devices
SMB 2.0Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008Other SMB 2.0 devices and SMB 3.0 devices
SMB 3.0Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012Other SMB 3.0 devices and SMB 2.0 devices

Why does this affect Sage Accounts?

NOTE: Windows Server 2008, Vista and 7 support both SMB 1.0 and SMB 2.0 in order to preserve backward compatibility. Windows 8 and Windows 10 support SMB 1.0, SMB 2.0 and SMB 3.0.

If there are a mix of computers or other devices on the network that use different versions of SMB this may cause performance issues. If all devices support the same version of SMB, then it's used, but if devices support different versions of SMB then the lowest version is used. Higher versions of SMB are more efficient.


SMB 2.0 and SMB 3.0 aren't compatible with SMB 1.0. If there are a mix of computers on a network then messages sent from an XP computer (SMB 1.0) to a Windows 7 computer (SMB 2.0) can't be read initially so the Windows 7 computer must revert to SMB 1.0 to read the message and then check if SMB 2.0 can be used for the reply. This switching between SMB 1.0 and SMB 2.0 causes delays whenever information is transmitted across the network. If SMB 2.0 is disabled then everything is transmitted as SMB 1.0 and the checking and switching is removed.

How to resolve the issue

The quickest way to determine that SMB is the source of any performance issues is to eliminate the mix of computers or other devices on the network. It's possible to use only XP computers or only Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows Server 2008 computers as Sage 50 Accounts clients on the network. To do this:

  1. Turn off every computer or network device.

  2. Only turn on computers or network devices that use either Windows XP or Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows Server 2008.

NOTE: When testing this, an increase in performance may be a result of using fewer devices on the network.

TIP: If this approach isn't practical and a mix of computers and devices are required on the network then an alternative solution may be to make sure all computers and devices are using the same version of SMB.


How to disable SMB 2.x or SMB 3.x

CAUTION: Disabling SMB 2.x or SMB 3.x may have an adverse effect on other applications that rely on this setting. We can't guarantee that this won't occur, therefore you follow this advice at your own risk. Sage Technical Support can't help you make these changes to your network or assist in locating individual devices running SMB 2.x or SMB 3.x and Sage holds no responsibility for any adverse effects the changes may have. If you don't feel comfortable making Windows system changes, please refer the issue to your local IT support.


This process is only applicable to Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 operating systems.

  1. Use this table to help you identify what version of SMB to use. For example, if you're using Windows 10 on the client and Windows Vista on the server, you should revert to using SMB 2.x on both.

    OSServer
    Windows 10
    Windows 8 
    Windows Server 2016 - when released
    Windows Server 2012


    Windows 7 
    Windows Vista 
    Windows Server 2008
    Windows XP and below
    ClientWindows 10
    Windows 8
    Windows Server 2016 - when released
    Windows Server 2012

    SMB 3.x

    SMB 2.x

    SMB 1.x

    Windows 7 
    Windows Vista 
    Windows Server 2008

    SMB 2.x

    SMB 2.x

    SMB 1.x

    Windows XP and below

    SMB 1.x

    SMB 1.x

    SMB 1.x



  2. Once you've identified which version of SMB to use, disable any higher versions. For example, if you need to use SMB 2.x on all computers, disable SMB 3.x on any computers running Windows 8 or above.




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