MLS performance slow

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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rbeede
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MLS performance slow

Postby rbeede » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:26 am

We have a ward computer where MLS has become much slower over the last few months. It seems to correspond with converting from dial-up to broadband.

Starting MLS takes 5 minutes before the login screen appears (an outline usually appears quickly then fills in fully after 5 minutes). After login it works okay until you drill down into say an individual record to edit an address (for example). The GUI draws the borders of the dialog, but the complete dialog takes 5 minutes to render and respond.

It is a slightly older computer. I watched both swap and physical memory usage and saw no issues there (no swapping and still had free memory).

The anti-virus wasn't updating nor Windows updates at the time. Network was idle.

The only thing I can think is that the hard drive is too slow or the Java version has some GUI performance issue/bug. I did run a defrag and rebooted, but the performance is the same.

The machine specs:
Optiplex 740
80GB HDD (ST380815AS)
1GB RAM
AMD Athlon Dual Core 4850e 2.5GHz
PAE enabled

Java (public) = 1.6.0_26
Java (MLS, c:\program files\jre) = 1.6.0_11


I guess a full sector scan on the hard drive might help. I could check the SMART data, but now a days that isn't very useful since it seems to miss or leave out information such as bad sectors on a drive.


Anyone else have performance information for the same model so I could do a baseline comparison?

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:14 pm

A Dell Optiplex 740 is not that old of a system. We have the same machine on a broadband connection but do not have any issues with performance. I am showing a difference in JREs.
JRE, system, is 1.6.0_31-b05.
JRE, MLS, is 1.6.0_15-b03.

I would recommend downloading the full installer from the MLS download site and doing a complete install on top of the current installation. This seems to correct many MLS problems. It is easy enough to do and eliminates MLS installation or corrupt program files or libraries as the cause.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

vandemerwewj
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Postby vandemerwewj » Thu May 03, 2012 9:50 am

I don't think it's an MLS issue. Open Windows task manager and sort by CPU usage and see if there is a process using the CPU.

lehrschallbrian
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Postby lehrschallbrian » Thu May 03, 2012 10:33 am

I have noticed the same problem with our MLS. It seems it takes FOREVER when doing even the simplest of tasks. I have done a defrag. What else should I try?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu May 03, 2012 10:49 am

lehrschallbrian wrote:What else should I try?


Post #2 suggested downloading the full MLS install and installing on top of the existing MLS. Sometimes patch updates doesn't update the underlying Java engine that MLS uses. (And it's not the same one you see in the normal place.)
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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rbeede
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Postby rbeede » Thu May 03, 2012 11:48 am

vandemerwewj wrote:I don't think it's an MLS issue. Open Windows task manager and sort by CPU usage and see if there is a process using the CPU.


CPU was near idle.

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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Thu May 03, 2012 11:49 am

We had a similar situation. Our MLS computer would be extremely sluggish until about 20 minutes after boot-up, when it would seem to finally run normally. I suspected that Sophos was doing something and when I checked the Sophos firewall log I saw that it kept blocking a particular program from accessing the Internet (and that program kept trying over and over while Sophos kept blocking it over and over). So I recognized that the blocked program (mdnsresponder.exe) was associated with Bonjour. (A long time ago, someone put iTunes on this machine, supposedly to receive church-produced podcasts, but then nobody uses iTunes on the machine after all.)

So I ran msconfig.exe (from the "Run" command found in the "Start" pop-up menu). I looked at the tabs for "Services" and "Startup" and I unchecked everything that had to do with Bounjour, iTunes and Apple Mobile Devices. Then I restarted the computer and it made an amazing difference! Without Sophos spending all that effort to block those programs from accessing the Internet this machine is much better behaved. Now it runs as smoothly at start-up as it does 20 minutes after start-up.

I should note that Sophos wasn't set up on this particular computer until about 3 months ago. (We were using a different anti-virus service.) I'm not sure if Sophos automatically appeared after a send/receive or if someone from the Stake visited our office, noticed it was missing and installed it. But I can report that the sluggish behavior started as soon as Sophos appeared. (I could not find a way to adjust the Sophos firewall to allow the blocked program to do what it wanted to do, so the next best thing was to shut down the blocked program.)

EDIT:

Our initial installation of Sophos was bad, by the way. About that time, others reported a problem with Sophos on their systems. At the time, our installation of Sophos was unable to get updates and that seemed to be the cause of sluggish behavior. I was able to re-install Sophos and correct that problem but, as I explained, the sluggish behavior continued until I did that stuff with msconfig.exe.

So my suggestion is that you make sure Sophos is happily receiving the updates it wants and then see if its firewall is busy blocking other programs.

Teletubby
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Postby Teletubby » Thu May 03, 2012 12:13 pm

Any ideas why the "backup to a file" feature is so slow?

It doesn't seem to matter whether the backup is locally or to a memory stick, both are very slow. At least 1 minute or more (as you slowly watch the progress bar completely stall for 20 seconds or more or inch along) - this is particularly frustrating when it is the last step you are doing before leaving the clerk's office to make a deposit.

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rbeede
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Postby rbeede » Thu May 03, 2012 12:20 pm

Could be the size growing (see other threads) or even the issue mentioned in this thread: https://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?8162-extremely-slow-backup-due-to-programming-bug&highlight=mls+backup+buffer

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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Sun May 20, 2012 10:37 am

I must "take back" some of the comments I made a few weeks ago. Sophos is still making the system run very slowly when we start Windows on Sunday mornings. It appears that Sophos decides to start "updating" immediately and takes a long time to complete the process (longer than any "update" process with any other anti-virus software I've used. Is it scanning too at that time?). I have to admit that it's extremely frustrating that I can't stop or postpoone the "update." In fact, the user can't seem to adjust Sophos at all. I'm stuck with permanent "default" settings that cause a lot of headaches. I wish I could set the default "update time" to happen during Sacrament Meeting instead.

[blunt commentary]
I often wonder why the computer that is used by the most trusted people in the ward is controlled by an anti-virus software and filters that seem to be more suspicious of the users than anything else I've used.
[/blunt commentary]


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