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Copying large files over wireless network

Discussion in 'Wireless' started by darrenecm, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. darrenecm

    darrenecm Bit Poster

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    I'm having odd problems when it comes to copying a file that is a shade over 3Gb from my laptop to my desktop over my wireless network. The copying progress bar gets around half way and then copying fails. I've had one timeout error and the latest error was different and more baffling, saying complaining about the path being "too deep", even though the destination path was simply c:\Public. Also, after the error my once working connection to my laptop stops and I can no longer reconnect to any of its shared folders. I then have to disconnection from the network and reconnect to get back to normal.

    I'm relatively new to networking though I did manage to get my Linksys WRT54GS happily connecting my desktop, laptop and even my O2 XDAIIs pocketpc phone without too many headaches and hair-pulling :)

    I'm even having no problems sharing the Internet connection on my desktop with my other two devices. I also have no problems with copying less large files in general but it seems 3Gb is problematic.
    Is this a common problem with wireless networking? I'm about to visit the hardware store and make up an ethernet cable and connect my laptop by wire to see if that solves the problem but I'd rather not have any more wires about the place.

    Anyone have any suggestions as to why this is happening?

    Thanks
     
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  2. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Hi Darren,

    I regularly copy video files of 5GB+ over my Wi-Fi connection without trauma, so it's definitely possible.

    How is the signal strength of your connection? Have you checked for interference from other nearby Wi-Fi connections? It might only be noticable with large files because of the length of time involved. I use a free program called NetStumbler for this, it tells you what channel any other networks in range are using.

    Do you have a firewall set up? It might be worth looking at the settings for that.

    Other than that, I would say make sure all your settings are the same on the router and client IE. Ack settings, QoS, and whatever else you can configure on your router.

    Unfortunately, wireless networking is still a bit of a black art and there are plenty of things that can go wrong.
     
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  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Another thing to look at - what OS and what filesystems are in use here?

    Don't forget that FAT32 cannot properly handle files over 2GB

    Harry.
     
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  4. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi,

    Are you using a wireless networking card in the PCMCIA slot or is it a Centrino based machine?
     
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  5. darrenecm

    darrenecm Bit Poster

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    Both machines are using Windows XP Pro. Signal strength remains very stable at maximium strength as the machines are in the same room.

    The only protocols I have installed are TCP/IP...no QoS. I have two firewall systems in operation. On the desktop machine I have NVIDIAs Network Access Manager and on the laptop I have McAfee Firewall. McAfee is configured to completely trust the local LAN but NVIDIAs firewall is a little more esoteric. I have created a rule to trust the IP address of my laptop and as I mentioned, I do have connectivity and can copy most files across (I just did a 110Mb file while writing this without error). I'll try disabling both firewalls and copying again when I get home.

    However, I'm wondering how NVIDIAs firewall is handling the Linksys router, which is acting as a DHCP server and issuing my desktop and other devices with dynamic IPs. I just realised I should have checked the NVIDIA firewall logs and notice that the local IP address of the router is being blocked. Should I set this to trusted as well? Only it too is acting as an SPI Firewall.

    As for network card specifics, my portable computer is an Alienware Area-51 M7700 which uses a mini-PCI IPN2220 wireless network adapter in addition to a Realtek Gigabit Ethernet (which isn't in use at the moment). I also ditched the IPN2220 utility in favour of having Windows XP handle the wireless network detection and connection with its own built-in interface. The IPN2220 utility was too basic and woudln't even auto-connect to the network when detected.

    Thanks for pointing out NetStumbler Baba, that will help me out with troubleshooting. Hopefully all these networking details will become clearer once I get stuck into my Network+ course [​IMG]

    Much appreciated all.
     
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  6. darrenecm

    darrenecm Bit Poster

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    Well I've tried disabling my firewalls to see if this clears the problem and still no joy. I just copied 110Mb of files in a folder with no hitch. However, I then tried to copy 3 folders across which totalled 360Mb and the copy process seemed to start off fine, saying 5 minutes remaining and getting to around a quarter way through. Then the process seems to grind to a halt with the progress bar stuck suddenly saying 100 minutes remaining. I left it for an hour and a half with barely any progress before I got fed up and cancelled.

    Surely 360Mb should not take an hour to zap across a Wireless G network connection?

    Singal strength remains maximum according to the signal strength display and there's no other devices to interfere either. Have I just bought a duff model router? It's the Linksys WRT54GS version 1.1 apparently. Firmware was recently updated and is 4.70.6. At this point I'm tempted to throw the router in the bin and go and try a Netgear product or simply ditch wireless connectivity and go wired for my file transfer needs :rolleyes:

    Should I be using any specific protocols when I need Windows File Sharing features? Maybe installing IPX/SPX or even NetBUI instead of just having TCP/IP installed?
     
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  7. darrenecm

    darrenecm Bit Poster

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    Tried again and got a different error this time saying "The specified network is no longer available" (after 50 minutes slowly trying to copy the files). Windows XP Ethernet status utility still shows I'm connected showing the network SSID correctly with a speed of 54.0 Mbps and signal strength maxed. I've ensured Windows XP doesn't power down the device for power management purposes. Now after this error though, when I try to access a shared folder I get errors about folder is not accessible and to contact the administrator to ensure I have permissions to access this resource. All a bit odd seeing as it happily started copying the files in the first place and now the error occured the connection has suddenly vanished into thin air.

    To fix things I simply use the Repair button on the connection status tool, which disconnects from networkm reconnects and then renews the IP address :rolleyes:

    At this stage the air is now blue in the room and I'm bringing up Netgear product info in my browser as I write :)
     
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  8. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hm - I wonder if you have an interference problem here. Have you tried changing channels? The change would have to be fairly extreme.

    Also, you didn't say in response to my earlier question what file-systems you were using on the two machines.

    Regards,

    Harry.
     
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  9. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    I had an identical problem recently whilst trying to copy wirelessly - I was trying to move an image file taken from a PC to my server and experienced this. Unfortunately, time was of the essesnce, so I simply reconfigured to a wired connection from the source to the destination and all was well, even though I never got to the root of the problem. File size was also in excess of 3Gb.

    i'd be really interested in the outcome of this discussion, as it would be naturally useful to know the cause, and avoid it in the future.
     
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  10. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    I'd agree with Harry that *something* seems to be causing interference. It makes sense at the transfer seems to be starting off happy-as-Larry. Darren, have you tried copying these files through a cable just to completely eliminate any doubt it's the Wi-Fi connection?

    Also, I'm too lazy to look at the models of equipment you're using but they're not MIMO are they? I see you mentioned they were in the same room and MIMO products get better throughput at a distacnce.
     
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  11. darrenecm

    darrenecm Bit Poster

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    Sorry I thought my mention of Windows XP Pro being on both machines would have confirmed the file system question - its NTFS. I don't think Windows XP would allow you to format to FAT32 would it? I may be wrong...I often am in fact :)

    I have two SATA 400GB Seagate drives on my system. I've set up a dual-boot system with Windows XP Pro on one drive of my desktop system and Windows XP Pro 64 bit on the other drive. I use Windows XP 64 bit when I'm working in Softimage XSI and to play any games that support 64 bit.
     
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  12. darrenecm

    darrenecm Bit Poster

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    I'll be visiting my local Maplins to make up an ethernet cable soon as an alternative in case this issue can't be resolved.

    Bear in mind that I've yet to start my Network+ course so stop scaring me with cryptic references such as MIMO :D

    I had to look it up on the Internet but I see no reference in my router specifications of it being a multiple input multiple output device.
     
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  13. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    XP home or Pro will allow you to install on FAT or NTFS. NTFS being the better choice. XP has the NT kernel and it has much more to offer....
     
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  14. darrenecm

    darrenecm Bit Poster

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    Just got a speedy response from Linksys tech support and they too suggested I use another channel - they really are on the ball in responding to queries. This is my fourth email to them this month, so top marks to Linksys there. While changing the channels I may as well reset everything back to factory defaults and see how things go from there.

    I've had my wireless security set to WPA pre-shared key using TKIP algorithm. My device also supports WPA2 and AES algorithms but my O2 XDAIIs PDA doesn't seem to like that.

    So what I'll do is gradually introduce security such as WEP then WPA, as well as try with firewalls disabled then active. Hopefully this will reveal where things are screwing up. I'll also place my notebook downstairs in another room to test file transfers in case something odd is causing interference.

    I'll let you all not how things turn out :)
     
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  15. mojorisin

    mojorisin Kilobyte Poster

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    I have had this error also when copying large files wirelessly and would be interested in the outcome if any :blink

    Tried various things and then gave up and used the wired connection instead
     
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  16. darrenecm

    darrenecm Bit Poster

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    Well after some time experimenting I haven't achieved any solutions to my wireless file transfer problems so I'm going to stick with using cabled connections when I wish to transfer large files from one machine to another...bah [​IMG]

    If interference is the issue I can only assume that my local housing area may be built on some classified nuclear waste site and that I'll be sprouting additional limbs and having the darndest time having children in the near future.:blink
     
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  17. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Did you have any luck finding any other nearby wireless networks?
     
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  18. darrenecm

    darrenecm Bit Poster

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    No networks in my local area. My wireless setup is at home. And let's just say the kind of neighbours on my street still likely gasp in amazement at the electric lights when they switch them on. "Amazin' stuff that electrickery" they say [​IMG]
     
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  19. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Ha ROFLMAO :D
     
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  20. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    LMAO, My yokel neighbours accused me of practicing black magic when I explained to them I was playing music on a PC even though the files were on a PC downstairs and there were no cables running between them!
     
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