We have ~35 machines running Windows XP on an RM CC4 network, with Cubase Studio 5 (now v5.5.3 thanks to these forums!) for use by students in Music Tech lessons.
Cubase runs mostly flawlessly (so long as the students have enough disk space!), but when they close Cubase at the end of the lesson, or change the Audio Device settings, Cubase hangs for ~2 minutes with low cpu/io usage. This is a cause of frustration at the end of the lesson, since they must shut down Cubase, wait until it closes, and then finally log out before they can leave.
Its not just student users either - my domain admin and local admin accounts hit the same problems.
After some investigation, I ran Cubase inside a process monitor, and noticed that when it ‘hanged’, it was writing to the preferences files inside the users home directories. What struck me, was that it opened the file, wrote a very small amount of data (it looks like it writes property by property), and then closed the file a huge number of times, eventually writing the last few bytes, then finishing and starting responding again. Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge problem - Windows would cache the writes into one or two larger physical writes to disk, but since our home directories are actually network drives, it appears that it doesn’t cache the writes. The small (~0.3ms) latency on our network, multiplied by the ~500000 writes, works out to ~2mins! The same happens when the Audio Device preferences window is closed.
Is there any way of moving the preferences files to another (local) folder, or even making Windows cache writes to a network file?