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iMac won't Connect As to Shared volume

Posted on 2009-05-11
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a network of 22 iMacs that all need to connect to two different Windows servers.  The servers show up in the Finder under Shared as they should.  When a user selects one of the servers the Finder automatically tries to log them in using the name that has been given to the account they are using.  In our case, however, the Macs are all named the same thing so the user needs to connect using a different name and password.  The default login should come back saying Connection Failed and you could then click on the Connect As button to login using different credentials.  Most of the time this works, but at random times the default connection will not fail (even after several hours) and the Connect As button does not launch the Connect As window.  The only way we have been able to force the connection to fail is to shut down the computer entirely.  Once we are able to connect using the correct credentials, we also select the checkbox thats tells the Finder to remember these credentials in your keychain.  This should fix the problem but without fail it always happens again even though the keychain credentials are still listed correctly in the keychain.  I have tried deleting the keychain credentials and entering them again and relaunching the Finder but neither work.  I have also tried connecting to the server via the afp address directly.  In this case it will allow you to enter the correct credentials, but once it has connected it will not display any of the folders that are on the server.  All I get is two folders that say MS UAM for AppleShare 3.6 7 3.8, a MS UAM Installer file and a Read Me file.  Does anyone know how to force the original connection to fail so that the Connect As button will work correctly?
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Question by:americanmobile
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renazonse earned 500 total points
ID: 24358201
You're saying that all of the iMacs have the same computer name on the network? If that's the case you'll need to give the machines unique names to prevent them from renaming themselves with odd names in parenthesis.

The syntax for connecting to basic Windows shares from a mac is smb://servername/sharename  are you getting the same type of connection issues when you try that.

Assuming you have Server 2003...For shares to show up when connecting with AFP://servername/sharename you have to create apple shares from the server in addition to the windows shares. When you create your share (within computer management) you'll be given 2 options after you choose the directory to be shared, the bottom checkbox allows you to create a share for Apple Macintosh. Once the apple share is created you need to right click on the share itself and go to properties. Within properties  you need to uncheck the read only box so it can be written to. The next step is to right click the "Shared Folders" object in the list on the left hand side of computer management and select "configure file server for macintosh". Under the security section check the box to allow users to save their password and in the drop down list choose "Apple Clear Text or Microsoft." Now, from the machine use afp://servername/sharename from the connect to server menu. Type in the password and save it. Once the volume is mounted on the desktop (to show it on the desktop go to finder preferences and show connected servers) you can drag the volume into the users startup items within the system preferences and the volume will mount using the saved username and password on login.
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by:americanmobile
ID: 24358634
All the computers have a different name+number (i.e. HeyClinic01) assigned to them but the default user names are all the same because each computer's admin account has the same name assigned to it.  For example, the home folder is displayed as the name+number, but the administrator account on the computer is always John Doe.  So by default the computer tries to login to the shared volume using the admin name.  Every user however, does have their own user name and password to the servers and thus need to be able to connect with that user name and password.  I know it seems ridiculous but we recently got the iMacs and the owner wanted all the computers to be coded this way and to have him listed as the admin and his account be the only one on the computers.

I disconnected myself and used the smb sytax to login and that displayed the correct folders.  Unfortunately I do not have a computer that is stuck trying to login with the wrong credentials right now to see whether using the smb syntax to connect will override the connection that is "stuck".

As for the apple shares...I don't know anything about them at all and would prefer not to dabble where I am unfamiliar if we can force the connection through smb.  Thanks for filling me in though.  Thus far the only thing that I had found about the Connect As button not working told me to use the server name with the afp syntax.  I never realized what afp stood for and thought it was just the way the address had to be written to connect, so thanks!

I will post again once I have a computer that is stuck.  Thanks for the help : )
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by:renazonse
ID: 24359008
I should have said the same thing will work when you connect to the share using the smb syntax...once you connect you can save the credentials and drag the volume into the startup items to automount it when you login.

The browser has always been quite flaky in Leopard so I always use the connect to menu and automount the shares for users if it's allowed. Otherwise, save a shortcut in the connect to menu and allow them to connect and login with their username and pass. Keep me posted.
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by:americanmobile
ID: 24377464
Thanks for the helpful hints.  I haven't had a user with a problem since my last post but I will update you when I do and see how it works.
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by:americanmobile
ID: 24495798
Well, I finally got a user with a problem connecting to our server again.  I tried using Finder>Go>Connect to Server and entered the name of the server using the smb syntax but no luck.  This way hung in the "connecting" state just as it does when you try to access the server through the Shared list in the Finder window.  Please note that the same syntax entered on another computer worked correctly and opened the server.  Any other ideas on why it is hanging and won't respond to clicking the "Connect As" button?
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by:renazonse
renazonse earned 500 total points
ID: 24496055
Weird question but do you have a funky password? With strange characters in it? I've heard of SMB connections hanging on % signs in the password and it may be an issue with some other characters.

I guess this could possibly be an issue with SMB signing as well. For the domain controller security policy and on file servers you'd need to set:

Microsoft network client: Digitally sign communications (always) set to disabled
Microsoft network server: Digitally sign communications (always) set to disabled
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by:americanmobile
ID: 24496369
There is an exclamation point in the password, however over half of our users have exclamation points in their network passwords.  Because the problem isn't occurring that often I would tend to think that the character isn't the problem or it should be happening more often.  Thoughts?
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by:renazonse
ID: 24496526
Theoretically, it shouldn't happen at all but leopard has been really buggy since the release of 10.5.4. Have you tried the SMB signing suggestion? Also, it can't hurt to try removing the special character from the password just in case.

1 thing I should note...10.5.4 has been the most stable and least buggy update for Leopard due to various networking issues in several different firms. 10.5.5 wasn't terrible but there was a couple hitches that made me do some archive installs and 10.5.6 blew up several drawings at an architecture firm.
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by:americanmobile
ID: 24497527
The smb sign in didn't work.  i will try changing the password and see if that makes a difference.
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by:americanmobile
ID: 24700946
Changing the password has not worked either.  We have decided to migrate data off of the the PC server to an Apple server which seems to have solved the issue thus far.
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Author Closing Comment

by:americanmobile
ID: 31580279
The solutions helped but did not solve the problem.  The problem eventually ended up being null because we got rid of the server that we were having trouble connecting with.
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