Sporadic error occurring for connectivity to Windows based file server from MAC X workstations


  We have a bit of an unusual connectivity issue.  We have currently 45 or so MAC 10 workstations that authenticate against a Window NT domain.  That authentication is passed to certain shares/volumes on a Windows based file server.  Some users experience the error below when letting the automated script connect to this File Server.  This doesn't occur all the time but sporadically.   All MAC servers, workstations and printers are on the same VLAN.  This error started occurring when we went upgraded the wiring closet on the floor where all the MAC users are to newer Cisco switches and a VLAN scheme.  The users don't have any issues authenticating to the NT.Dom domain.  

  ISSUE:  When logging onto a PC in the morning, the user has to manually connect to the necessary file server to connect as sometimes the automatic connection gets the following message and never completes.  
  ERROR MESSAGE:  Looking up "<File Server Name>".  Nothing happens and it just sits there.  If you click ok and then manually map the drive, a user can connect immediately to the share.  

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What it sounds to me is delay/lag in getting DHCP/DNS information. The error says it 'looking up'.

I know that many of the Cisco auto-sensing ports take some time to detect on a mac, especially if you have spanning-tree turned on. You want to check that on those macs that are getting the erorrs, that at that stage they have an IP address, and proper DNS information. YOu also want to check when this script runs, if it's a StartupItem - make sure it's dependent on as many scripts as possible to ensure it runs last.

I'd say - if it's only 45 workstations, hard wire the hostname for the servers into a /etc/hosts file, it's lame, but it'll be a quick win. Also, you want to talk to your cisco guys to speeding up the macs network type connection. Possibly go into all the macs, and manually set their ethernet type (to say 100TX/Half Duplex) it might speed up the time it takes to detect the port.

Finally, check on the cisco's that they aren't blocking anything, or there is any form of whack cisco rate limiting going on. I'm not a cisco guy, but it's worth asking?


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moha0018Author Commented:
Hi Ryan,

  Thanks for the feedback.  I am goint to work with our Cisco folks and see what happens.  

moha0018Author Commented:
Solution worked.  Hardwired the hostname.  It was also a permission issue on the particular volumes.  Cisco wasn't an issue but thanks for mentioning.

Point awarded fully.
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