Platform is a Dell E6520 Latitude
NIC is the Intel 82579LM GigE
Windows 7 Enterprise x64, fully patched and up to date
Drivers are the latest available from the Intel site.
After updating to the latest version of the Intel Network Connections (INC) v20.7, 201.0 and 21.1 there is a problem when
the Configure button in the NIC properties is selected. Among other things this launches the ncs2prov.exe with this command line.
"C:\Program Files\Intel\NCS2\WMIProv\NCS2Prov.exe" -Embedding
This program spends the next several minutes issuing millions of I/O calls to enumerate items in the registry and then scan what appears to be most of the C: drive looking for every *.INF it can find among other things...
Tracing this with ProcMon from the MS System Internals tools counts >3.5 million events just from launching the program. If the machine did not have an SSD, this process would have likely taken a VERY long time in the range of tens of minutes at least I would think. As it is, it takes a minute or two where the machine appears to be not responding to the Configure request at first launch.
I have tried all three of the latest versions as describe, but they all have the same issue. Once the program is loaded finally, selecting a different tab starts the same behavior over again and a single tab can take minutes to display and update. A tab change generates about 2.1 million events each time...
Does anyone know how to stop this behavior? Why is it scanning the entire C: drive looking for *.INF files? It is not actually reading their contents most of the time that I can see, it just rescans the C: looking for them.... I know what the .INF and .CAT files are for and generally understand at least the basics of installing drivers and their support files.
It does not appear that it actually has anything to do with the hardware platform, but is a problem with the INC software running on Windows 7 x64.
Any thoughts as to how to stop this would be appreciated. We can switch back to even older versions, if we knew where the problems were introduced. Apparently this has existed for a year or maybe more based on the version we have tested thus far. The drivers overall work well and are much better that the official Dell drivers which do not allow most of the hardware features of the NIC driver to be exposed. (RSS, R/W buffers, TCP checksum off-loads, disable EEE, etc...) They are performing at ~60% of the network wire speed instead of about 35% with the OEM drivers.
Thank you for the reply. I did try to roll it back and had no real success. Another ProSet version was released since that time and v188.8.131.52 is being reported. While the NIC driver is now 184.108.40.206, the combination is a little better. Each tab now takes <1 minute to update. Dell did offer some drivers, but none of them allowed the Advanced NIC settings to be adjusted (buffer sizes, Jumbo Frames, manage TCP offload, etc.... ) I also needed to support promiscuous mode which I was not able to do most of the time with the Dell drivers. That and the version disagreements with MS drivers, Dell Drivers and Intel ProSet drivers is not always productive. The machine also has ProSet for wireless which needs more frequent updates than the wired adapters do, but seems to conflict occasionally when the ProSet versions are too far apart...
It would appear that some progress has been made, but not much...
Thank you again, WB.
Please feel free to update me if further assistance needed. We have newer driver posted, please check if the driver could be of help.