Overcoming slow CompanyWeb startup

REVISED Feb. 27, 2005 [Thanks to a tip from Steve Foster!]

It’s a well known fact that the first person each day that attempts to access the CompanyWeb Sharepoint Site on an SBS2003 server will encounter a delay. Ray Fong previously offered a modification to the IIS Application Pool as a possible workaround – see http://msmvps.com/kwsupport/archive/2004/03/14/3911.aspx – but that does not completely solve the problem of the first person getting hit with a long delay before the companyweb’s home page appears.

With an assist from Steve Foster, you can create a scheduled task on your server to start up IE every morning prior to employees arriving, and they will not have to endure the long wait!

1. Click on Control Panel > Scheduled Task > Add Scheduled Task; then click Next
2. Scroll down to find and highlight Internet Explorer from the list of available programs, then click Next
3. Type in a name for your task (like “Start CompanyWeb“), click ono the Daily option, then click Next
4. Set the time that you want this to run (maybe 6:30am) and click Next
5. Enter your administrator password (twice), then click Next
6. Click on the ‘Open advanced properties’ box, then click Finish
7. In the Run: box, append -nohome http://companyweb to the end of IEXPLORE.EXE
(note make sure there’s a space between ieplore.exe and -nohome …)
8. Click on the Settings tab and change the ‘Stop Task’ option to 0 hours 1 minute, then click OK

If you want to test to make sure it’s working correctly, go back to Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks, right click on the task you just created and click Run. IE should open up, and one minute later it should close. That’s it.

[PREVIOUS VERSION] Prior to Steve’s suggestion (above), I had written a 3 line batch file to do the same thing. But it also required downloading two free utilities. I like Steve’s solution much better, but here’s how I used to do it. I created a small batch file that will startup IE, display the companyweb home page, and then closes IE. It utilizes two free utility files (sleep.exe and process.exe). SLEEP.EXE is included in the free Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. Download and install the kit on an XP workstation, and you will have your ‘sleep.exe’ file. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9d467a69-57ff-4ae7-96ee-b18c4790cffd&displaylang=en and PROCESS.EXE is a free utility from BeyondLogic. It comes with several command line options. I use the -q option to gracefully close IE after it has been opened. You can download the utility from here: http://www.beyondlogic.org/solutions/processutil/processutil.htm

Here’s my script:

REM Script C:\companyweb_startup.cmd
START “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE”
sleep 30
c:\process.exe -q iexplore.exe

Save the file with a .cmd suffix, and then schedule it to run every morning, maybe at 6:30am!I hope this helps someone. And let me know if this script can be improved!

6 thoughts on “Overcoming slow CompanyWeb startup

  1. Sweet! I am going to try it out. I have the application pool workaround but I’m willing to give this a go.

    I know that slow performance from companyweb is something that will bug customers. It is very visible.

  2. Steve Foster posted his response in the SBS 2003 newsgroup. He writes:

    You could simply create a Scheduled Task with the command:

    "iexplore.exe -nohome http://companyweb"

    and then set the task to stop itself after 1 minute. There’s no need for the additional tools or the script.

  3. Note that after a few minutes, the IIS cache will expire and the next person will have that long wait again.

    Unless you want to create a long list of scheduled tasks running all day (and maybe night) keeping the IIS cache fresh, you may want to do this with the ISA scheduled cache download instead… <if> you’re Web Publishing the site.

    I do this before people likely will hit the site in the morning and set the cache TTL for 23 hours.


  4. How does switching to linux solve the problem of a slow companyweb? This is a Sharepoint system written solely for the purpose of collaborating in Windows.

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