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Why does my notebook perform better when plugged in to a 10Mbit switch as opposed to a 100Mbit switc

My notebook is running WindowsXP Pro and connected to a network. The system performance is quite slow when I plug into a 100 Mbit switch, but is much better when I plug into a 10 Mbit switch. Why?

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The problem you reporting must fit into the 'twilight zone' category. I honestly never have heard of a Windows XP machine coming up with such problems when plugged into a 100Mbit switch!

For starters, I would highly advise you to switch device drivers for your network card. In most cases, Windows XP will detect and load its own drivers which usually work with problems, but could also decrease your performance. When problems start arising, the first thing I recommend, is to download and install the latest drivers available from your maker's product.

After having that done, check to see if you are still having the problem – if so, launch the Event Viewer application and look for any errors relating to your network card. If you do happen to find any, the next step would be to visit Microsoft's support page.

If you do not find any errors, then I'd look towards the switch. If it's a smart Layer 3 switch, there could be a possibility it has been configured incorrectly or there are some other problems with it. Lastly, to be on the safe side, change your UTP cable as well.

This was first published in October 2004

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