Is Your Softdent Slow after Upgrading Your PCs?
Many people who have recently upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 are experiencing a slowdown, especially when using Softdent or some versions of Dentrix. Windows 7 brought with it many alterations to the way your network works, and some of these changes actually hinder the performance of some network configurations. Thankfully, there are some hotfixes from Microsoft as well as some configuration settings that you can make in order to help speed up your Dentrix or Softdent database.
These Fixes Only Apply to a Domain Environment, Running Windows 7 with Server 2008 R2
The disclaimer here, is that I highly suggest having an IT professional install these Microsoft updates. There are a few versions of these updates, and the correct ones must be chosen for each of your PCs and Server. Additionally, these fixes only help in a Server 2008 Domain Environment with Windows 7 workstations. Finally, make sure you have a good backup! If this is done incorrectly or the process is disrupted, you can harm your equipment.
Also, four updates need to be installed in the correct order for them to work.
This Might Break Some Non-Standard Network Configurations
While most Domain networks are set up in a standard configuration, there are some configurations which may rely on your current configuration. Please, make sure that your network will not be disrupted by installing these updates! While we have not seen any problems with them, we have only deployed them in networks that we have installed and configured. As such, on your specific network, these should be considered use-at-your-own-risk. Consider having an IT professional evaluate your network before installing these updates, to make sure there is nothing non-standard about your network setup.
What do these updates do?
The best explanation for what these updates do are from the Microsoft update site, linked below.
In short, the update makes improvements to many of data processing across your Server 2008 R2 domain environment. However, since the hotfix is old, it requires three additional hotfixes to be run after. These updates are documented on the below-linked Microsoft update site, and it is imperative that you download all of the updates before you begin to install the first one.
We’ve Seen this Hotfix Improve Softdent Slowness
These fixes are by no means a “magic bullet”. Some versions of Softdent and other Practice Management Software use a kind of database which is inherently slow when opening large patient charts. These fixes from Microsoft won’t fix those types of database slowdowns, but they will fix some of those random lags that happen when navigating the software, or opening smaller patient histories. We have seen these updates increase speeds at some dental offices.
It is important to ensure that your systems are fully up to date before installing these hotfixes, and that the person installing the updates has a firm understanding of how a server-workstation network functions.
KB2775511 is the first update to install. Make sure you download the three additional updates that are included in the “notice” section of the page, but do not install them all at the same time. Again, please consider having a IT professional install these updates for you – there is the possibility of error. After you install the first hotfix and reboot, then you must install the three additional hotfixes immediately after the systems come back up. You will not notice any speed increase until all of your PCs and Server are updated.
There are Additional Tweaks to Make
Once these updates are installed correctly, there are a few other changes to make to each Windows 7 workstation. They involve uninstalling Remote Differential Compression, Disabling IPv6, Flushing the DNS, Disabling SMB 2, and Disabling Offline File Caching. These changes should be made by an IT professional.
If you Need IT Support, Contact Us!
We have installed these fixes to several locations which have reported an improvement. These fixes don’t solve all of the reasons that can make databases such as those used in Softdent slow, but it does fix some of the network problems using that software. If you are looking for an IT company to put these updates in place, give us a call.