xplorer² knows which folder browsing modes are most demanding and optionally will take things easy. The option Faster network access (on by default) located in Advanced property page (see pic) is an all-or-nothing optimization switch. Tick it to have as fast as it goes remote browsing, or clear it to have all mod cons, i.e. treat network folders just like any other local filesystem folder — if your network is fast or if you don't mind waiting a while longer. The Fast network switch controls the following:
Network folder availability
Many times workgroup folders will be totally unavailable. Never mind about fast access, you cannot have any access! The connection may even drop without notice after an initial successful reading. As a result windows get stuck for long periods trying to (re)connect. xplorer² cannot bend the laws of physics here either, but it does allow you to abort or interrupt a doomed network read attempt, pressing <ESC> key. As we've seen before xplorer² continuously monitors the connection via pinging (the behaviour is adjustable through nPingTimeoutMS advanced option).
Here's another common scenario. You've last used xplorer² at work hooked on a number of LAN/WAN folders, then took the laptop home and xplorer² takes a day or two to start, trying in vain to reconnect to the unavailable network folders. The solution is to use the /N command line switch that tells xplorer² not to reconnect any network drives from the last session.
Network file transfer
Copying files from or to remote computers is not immune to problems peculiar to networks, and xplorer² has some tricks up its sleeve. If you copy very large files (in the GB range) over a network, there are reports of your whole computer choking and freezing because all your RAM is used to cache the huge file — talking about false optimization! xplorer² offers the advanced registry option nUnbufferedCopyMB as a remedy. By default files larger than 2GB will be copied without caching — it is unlikely that you'd want to copy the same movie multiple times, no?
Another trick you can apply is to intentionally slow down a network file transfer using the nCopyThrottleMS registry tweak.
Yet another one: you wake up in the morning to discover your overnight remote file copy of a few gazillions of terabytes has gone foobar somewhere in the middle of the night after a network outage. You can salvage the ruins using xplorer² robust copy function to resume where it faulted (simply using the overwrite if newer else skip copy option). Nice and easy.
NEW Network copy watchdog. When copying from (or to) a network folder using the robust copy engine (<F5> key), xplorer² monitors the transfer speed, and if there's no progress for a while, it alerts you with the message: This file is too slow to copy; Do you want to skip it?. At this point you can either skip, wait or cancel the copy altogether, according to your answer. The default watchdog timeout is 20 seconds. If your network takes more than that to respond as a matter of course, you can increase the ping timeout advanced option to something that's appropriate to your network speed. Another option is to tick Silent operation, where such messages won't be shown at all, and faulting files will be skipped automatically.
ps. If you need a quick refresher about network access including mapping network drives and UNC \\server\paths here's a 10 year old network path article
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