Article ID: 320751
When a Windows 2000 Server-based computer (and to a lesser extent, a Windows 2000 Professional-based computer) receives connection requests on port 445, it allocates memory and a small degree of increased CPU usage to serve these connections. When the connection is closed, the server releases these resources after a short time.
There is an inherent trade-off between the number of work items and responsiveness. It is important for administrators to determine the appropriate MaxWorkItems setting to improve system responsiveness. If you use an incorrect value, the server's responsiveness may be affected or one user may be able to monopolize system resources.
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows 2000. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/260910/EN-US/ )How to Obtain the Latest Windows 2000 Service Pack
WORKAROUNDImportant This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ )How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
To work around this problem, create and then set the MaxWorkItems value in the registry to a value that the computer can support:
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows 2000 Service Pack 3.
Computers that have a single CPU are more susceptible to this problem in which the CPU usage remains at 100 percent for a short time when it receives a very large number of connection requests. After the large number of connection requests stops, CPU usage remains at 100 percent for a few minutes, after which time it returns to standard levels. When the same situation occurs on a computer that has multiple CPUs, CPU usage returns to standard levels after about 30 seconds.
Acknowledgment: Peter Grundl of KPMG (http://www.kpmg.com/) contributed to this Microsoft Knowledge Base article.