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Server causes slowdown during file transfer

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I have 3 computers: Laptop (Vista Home Premium), Desktop (Vista Business), Server (technically just a normal old desktop, but it's running Windows Server 2008. Woohoo for my software engineering class which gives me access to MSDNAA)

To best describe my problem, we'll use a triangle of file transferring over the network. There are three possible pairings of two machines each between which the transfer will take place. Just imagine a case where I'm moving a large (couple gig) file via ethernet, using standard shared (or Public) folders.
Desktop <-> Server : Desktop slows to a crawl, CPU usage spikes (however, no process shows more than 10% CPU time in the Task Manager's Process tab), no matter which system initiate the transfer, or in which direction. Server behaves perfectly normally.
Laptop <-> Server : Same as above, just with Laptop instead of Desktop.
Desktop <-> Laptop : Perfectly normal in all respects.

Obviously, the problem has something to do with the Server. I even have another clue: it only began after replacing the 80GB excuse for a server hd with a new 320 GB hd which had the 80 GB hd's partition copied to it via GParted. There's nothing wrong with the hard drive itself; I tested it out before attempting said copy. I've run SFC and Scandisk, neither of which helped.

Does anyone have any ideas of how to tackle this before I give up on it and just reformat? I'm pretty sure formatting would fix it, but then I have to call Microsoft because Windows Server 2008 will refuse to activate simply because it's been activated once before, and that's just a hassle.

EDIT: Also might I add that while any other applications running on the computer that's being slowed become unresponsive during the file transfer, the speed of the transfer is normal

Edited by Anomaly, 20 March 2009 - 07:13 PM.

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