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Mac OS X & Windows 2000 Server file naming problems

Posted on 2006-11-02
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We use Windows 2000 as file server and we us Macs running OSx as clients to the server. We constantly have a problem with the Macintosh not being able to read long file names and truncating the file name inserting a tilda. The file name truncation is not so much a problem, its trying to extract files with long file names from .sit and .sitx stuffits.

Can someone explain what the issue is and if possible how to resolve it either at the client side or the server side?
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Question by:Harry_Ardiff
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by:strung
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by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 17865375
The above article related to OS9 primarily ..

Just to clarify the problem ... You have SIT / SITX files sitting on your Windows 2000 file server.  When you open them from the OSX mac using Stuffit Expander the resulting files (if they have filenames longer than 32 characters) have a ~ character in them and are truncated.


1. If you copy the SIT / SITX file to the OSX computer before un-stuffing do you get the same problem?
2. Are ALL files with long names truncated or is it only filenames containing unusual characters like % # etc. ?
3. I assume the 2000 File server is FAT32 filesystem .. is it using AppleShare or TCP/IP networking?
4. Do the filenames appear truncated when you are browsing the 2000 file server volume from the OSX machines?


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by:Harry_Ardiff
ID: 17865464
Hi eoin,
yes that article is related to OS9

thank you for your questions....answers
1. Works no problem unstuffs and creates the directories etc.
2. All files with long names are truncated.
3. Yes its FAT32 - using AppleTalk
4. Yes long filenames are truncated when viewed from OSX.

I unstuffed the .SIT file on the desktop no problem and then attempted to copy and the server responded that the filename was too long or contained an unacceptable character. The filename contains the usual alpha characters.

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by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 17865476
After a little research it would appear that the problem lies possibly with Stuffit Expander on the MAC.

This OSXHints article refers to a 31 character limit in Stuffit.
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20020406144701213

Have you tried creating a ZIP file on the Windows Server (with long filename files) and opening the ZIP file in OSX with Stuffit and then the Terminal command unzip or some other UNZIP utility?  This should confirm whether it is a Stuffit or an OS problem.

By many reports I read it appears that ZIP and GZ are more flexible and cross-platform friendly than SIT which may be a consideration for the future.
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by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 17865523
Have you tried accessing the Windows Server via SMB .. windows sharing as opposed to Appletalk?  The Appletalk implementation on 2000 may be compatible/formatted for OS9 and therefore 31 character filenames (just guessing).

In OSX try connecting to the Windows Server as a windows shared volume
In the Finder .. Go menu .. Connect to Server
smb://ServerName_or_IP/ShareFolderName

See does that work ... I use SMB these days to work between Windows and Mac computers

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by:Eoin OSullivan
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Also .. are you running the latest flavour of Stuffit on OSX and Windows 9.0?
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by:Harry_Ardiff
ID: 17865600
Eoin,
I will investigate SMB and get back to you.
Thanks
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by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 17865646
Harry, If you're on MSN, Yahoo or Skype I can chat faster .. email OSXpertise@eoinosullivan.com for my contact details
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by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 17905115
Well ... did SMB work out for you?
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by:Harry_Ardiff
ID: 17907014
Eoin,
I have been tied up since I raised the query... but I will be checking out your suggestion and will get back to you.

Harry
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walkerke earned 250 total points
ID: 17958158
Files Services for Macintosh on Windows 2000 Server does not support long file names. Microsoft has discontinued development for Apple File Protocol, so this will not change. Windows 2003 Server does not support AFP at all.

Using SMB is one solution. However, SMB doesn't support special characters in the file name such as asterisks and slashes so you run into a similar problem with decompressing stuffit archives to the server. Before we replaced our server with an OS X Server, it was necessary to unstuff all Stuffit files to the local desktop, then copy the file to the server. Finder would truncate the long file names automatically which made it simple, but then document links would require updating to the truncated names.

Another problem using SMB is that SMB doesn't provide document type information for files that were copied to the server via AFP. Since Macintosh users rarely include extensions in their file names, it was impossible to determine what application to open the files in. If you change to SMB, it will be necessary to mount the server both ways and copy all the files already stored there from AFP to SMB in order to preserve document type info.
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by:Harry_Ardiff
ID: 17966133
Hi walkerke,
thank you for the information - it probably saved me some precious time. Your experience with the same issues reflects where I am at. Eoins idea sounded like a runner - but I have been up to me elbows with work. I had planned to research SMB before attempting to implement - you saved me the trouble.  Why did you go for an OSX server rather than a standard Linux server?
thanks.
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by:walkerke
ID: 17966557
I tried Red Hat when we had mostly Mac OS9 workstations and had significant problems with AFP and print serving. Since then, I've upgraded all the essential Mac workstations to OSX. I still have a few OS9 workstations running proprietary software that only get used occasionally. These OS9 workstations have the same problem with OSX Server that we had with Red Hat Linux. It's entirely possible that Red Had would have worked as well as OSX Server with the newer OSX workstations, but we didn't want to travel that road again. We had to do something, though. We're a prepress service bureau so the majority of our files come from outside sources who couldn't care less that we had a file name length issue and we were spending too much time relinking files with truncated names.

Our problem with OS9 and Linux/AFP is that some lengthy folder directories are unstable. The list is continually refreshing itself with files/folders disappearing and reappearing. Trying to double-click a file is difficult when it's moving up and down faster than you can click. I believe the issue is related to permissions but have been unable to resolve. I've posted a message on Apple's OSX Server user forum but the only responses I've gotten were from people with the same problem. If we have to handle a file from one of the OS9 wokstations, we'll be sure to place it in a simple folder before we leave our OSX workstation.
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by:Harry_Ardiff
ID: 17966666
We are in a similar service to you  - as we work in localisation and again we get files with all kinds of naming conventions for both OS9 OSX and Windows PC. I remember some years ago having a similar problem with the directories autoscrolling - we have used Novell Netware servers and Windows 2000/3 servers. All with naming problems.
Thanks again
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by:walkerke
ID: 17966804
You're welcome and Good Luck!

walkerke
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