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Norton Anti-Virus 2004/05 causes RDP to slow down

Any anti-virus software that is installed on a workstation that is set to scan Network drives will cause RDP, and any other network based software, to run slow. For example, the display of available rooms during new reservations normally takes 1 second to complete.  With Norton Anti-Virus 2005 scanning network drives, this same screen takes 40 times as long! 

Norton Anti-Virus version 2005 is shipped by default to scan all network drives. Even if you configure Norton 2005 to "exclude" the RDP Network drive, it will STILL SCAN network drives.     It is critical to determine if your anti-virus software is scanning network drives and if it is, deactivate it. 

Solution - Disable Symantec Network Drivers Service

The following solution was provided by Symantec support, and is specific to Norton Anti-Virus 2005 running on a Windows XP workstation.  This solution prevents Norton Anti-Virus 2005 from scanning any network drive, and may not work for other versions of Norton.  Symantec support can be contacted to determine how to turn off network scanning for your version.

Normally Norton Anti-Virus should only scan the drives in the local workstation.  The anti-virus software installed on the server scans for viruses on that serve.  See "Install Virus Software on All Servers" below.

To disable the ability for Norton Anti-virus 2005 to scan any network drives from a workstation, follow the steps below:

  1. From the first workstation that has Norton Ant-virus 2005 installed, close all programs that are open.
  2. Select "Start" and "Run" and enter "MSCONFIG" and click OK.  This will start the Microsoft System Configuration Utility.  Note:  MSConfig was not shipped by Microsoft with Windows 2000.   The "Msconfig" solution therefore only works with Windows XP workstations and Norton Anti-Virus 2005.  
  3. Click the "Services" tab.  Disable the "Symantec Network Drivers Service" by removing the check from the checkbox.   
  4. Click OK.
  5. Re-boot the computer when prompted for the new setting to take effect.
  6. Test RDP to make sure it runs quickly.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for all workstations on the network.
  8. Verify that anti-virus software is installed on all servers, including the RDP data server.  See "Install Virus Software on All Servers" below.

Critical: Install Virus Software on All Servers

Virus protection is only one component of an overall security plan for your property.  RDP suggest contacting a security expert to verify your site is as secure as possible. Some guidelines are below.

  1. All workstations should have anti-virus software installed and configured to auto protect the local computer, but to not scan the network drives.  The data server will scan and protect this data. 
  2. Each server, such as the RDP data server, should also have anti-virus installed and configured to auto protect the local computer.  This allows the RDP data to be scanned only by the server, not constantly by each workstation.
  3. RDP also suggests a firewall be installed to protect the entire site.
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