Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Samba Mount problem: Volume already mounted but not visible

Posted on 2009-04-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I have a classroom of 24 MacBooks running Tiger. The students are training to use Finder -> Go -> Connect to Server to mount their samba file server account shares and a communal share for shared files. However, in every class session, for about 3 or 4 students, the Username-Password dialog box reappears after the student mounts the share, but the share does not show on the desktop or the Finder. If the student reinputs the information correctly, an error message appears that reads that the user is already connected to the server. However, there is no icon on the desktop or in the Finder, and applications browsing to save files to or open files from the network share cannot get there.

If I do Alt-Cmd-Esc and force relaunch of the Finder, the icons appear on the desktop but not in the Finder window.

If a student mounts a samba share and then logs out but does not reboot, the next user of the computer to log into the generic Student user still that student's Network Server connection, and what is more, if s/he tries to unmount the disk, the OS won't let him/her.

I have looked this problem up on MacOSXHints and other forums like MacRumors, but the threads ended with "This has been fixed in Leopard." (1) I have not budgeted to upgrade the OS on these machines. (2) Leopard has download problems on my network, so I cannot upgrade, and (3) Apple should not expect users to upgrade the OS in order to fix such a basic security issue.

Issues like this justify converting Macintosh labs to Windows labs in the next budget year.

I wonder if anyone knows a fix for this problem that would be usable in a classroom where students' user level is very low. No terminal tricks. The students must be able to use the computers for class in a predictable way.
Question by:shinmaikeru
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    Does the share appear in their sidebar list?

    Author Comment

    No, it doesn't appear inside the Finder window at all, not even after relaunching Finder.
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    What are your settings for your finder preferences?

    Author Comment

    Default, but it can't be that. The other MacBooks are fine, and the problem MacBooks are fine most of the time. Besides, all of these workstations are clones of the same image, and this only happens sometimes. A reboot fixes the problem, but of course it costs class time.

    Author Comment

    I reinstalled a few of them but still got the same problem. Then I reinstalled one to get a fresh copy, and my teaching partner and I adjusted some things in the installation. One suspicious thing that we changed was the parental control on modifying the dock.

    In the past, I have not restricted the dock for students, but on this batch of MacBooks I did. You see, I had been using Bombich's script for restoring the student user from a backup copy, but in the end, this script doesn't work with Tiger and above. Weird problems start arising, so I had to turn off that script. In order to keep the desktop at least somewhat sane, I decided to put parental controls on the dock.

    And I think that might have been causing this network drive mounting problem... or at least it is the only difference between this batch of clones and the last one, which did not have this problem (or at least not to my knowledge).

    So I made the new image and removed the parental controls and am now cloning the clients. I will update this question thread when classes resume.

    Author Closing Comment

    The suggestion led me to find the problem, though it was not the solution itself. The problem is not fully solved, because I have seen the same problem occur since then, but I have to close this question, and the problem seems to be less frequent. Thank you.

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