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Problem downloading large files in OS X 10.5

Posted on 2009-05-15
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I have a network in a school with about 200 PCs and 120 Macs. There is no problem with the PCs, sometimes things get a bit slow because all the students share an 24Mbit ADSL connection (actual bandwidth 19Mbps down, 2.1Mbps up) but there is no problem downloading files. However on the macs downloads frequently freezes, sometimes after 200-400 MB but sometimes after just a few MBs.

The macs where using a wireless connection. So I tried a PC on the wireless without a problem and then 3 different macs with cable and they got the same problem. I called apple support and got the tip to move a systemPreferences folder from the Library folder to the desktop, restart the computer so that  OS X recreated it, however downloads still froze. I have tried safari, the new safari beta and Firefox but it's the same problem in all of them.

To get on the internet the computers have to go through a managed netgear switch then a computer running server 2003 and ISA 2004, a zywall 5 firewall and then the modem.
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Question by:ishtari
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Expert Comment

by:schmedroe
ID: 24395019
I suggest the first place to check is the error logs in applications\utilities\console.  There is a lot here but sometimes can lead you in a direction as to why the macs drop the connection.  Is there any anitvirus /firewall software on the macs?  Do the software updates download and install properly? What operating system are you running? You could also try manually specifying DNS in the network control panel.
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 24400190
Is there any chance anyone installed Speed Download on the Macs? That is well known for screwing things up.

Check to see if you  have a file:  ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/SpeedDownload Browser Plugin.plugin
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Author Comment

by:ishtari
ID: 24405791
I know that I haven't done it on my mac, will see tomorrow if there is anything like it on the others. I'll try som ftp and torrents as well and se if it's the same.
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by:ishtari
ID: 24409646
Got this from the logg

2009-05-18 11.04.54 loginwindow[21] USER_PROCESS: 21 console
2009-05-18 11.04.54 com.apple.launchd[1] (com.apple.UserEventAgent-LoginWindow[72]) Exited: Terminated
2009-05-18 11.04.54 com.apple.launchd[64] (com.apple.AirPortBaseStationAgent) Unknown key for boolean: EnableTransactions
2009-05-18 11.04.54 /System/Library/CoreServices/coreservicesd[41] SFLSharePointsEntry::CreateDSRecord: dsCreateRecordAndOpen(Tore Olberts delade mapp) returned -14135
2009-05-18 11.04.56 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified Computer Name; using default MacBook-00224120670F instead
2009-05-18 11.04.56 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified local hostname; using default MacBook-00224120670F.local instead
2009-05-18 11.05.19 com.apple.launchctl.System[2] BootCacheControl: could not fetch history: Cannot allocate memory
2009-05-18 11.05.19 com.apple.launchctl.System[2] BootCacheControl: could not stop cache/fetch history: Cannot allocate memory
2009-05-18 11.07.06 kernel AppleYukon2 - en0 link active, 1000-Mbit, full duplex, symmetric flow control enabled port 0
2009-05-18 11.07.07 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified Computer Name; using default MacBook-00224120670F instead
2009-05-18 11.07.07 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified local hostname; using default MacBook-00224120670F.local instead
2009-05-18 11.07.09 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified Computer Name; using default MacBook-00224120670F instead
2009-05-18 11.07.09 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified local hostname; using default MacBook-00224120670F.local instead
2009-05-18 11.07.10 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified Computer Name; using default MacBook-00224120670F instead
2009-05-18 11.07.10 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified local hostname; using default MacBook-00224120670F.local instead
2009-05-18 11.13.26 hdiejectd[151] running
 
2009-05-18 11.13.35 com.apple.launchd[64] (0x10a5b0.Locum[161]) Exited: Terminated
2009-05-18 11.21.30 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified Computer Name; using default MacBook-00224120670F instead
2009-05-18 11.21.30 mDNSResponder[20] Couldn't read user-specified local hostname; using default MacBook-00224120670F.local instead
2009-05-18 11.25.47 SCHelper[215] no command
2009-05-18 11.25.47 com.apple.launchd[64] ([0x0-0x19019].com.apple.systempreferences[195]) Stray process with PGID equal to this dead job: PID 225 PPID 1 nmblookup

I changed the computername under "wins" to something unique bcasue of the logg but that didn't help, I also manually entered the dns but no help there either.

There is no firewall or antivirus on the computer,  unless there is some built-in in OSX (I am rather new to mac) I am running OSX 10.5.6.

The software downloads work as well as other downloads, hangs sometimes, work at other times with boot cable and wireless
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 24411442
It may be that  something in the computer name you've specified isn't compatible with the standards for domain names (eg: you've used an illegal character in your computer name, such as # or @ or . Change your computer name by going into Apple Menu --> System Preferences --> Sharing. Change "Computer Name" to something simple with no punctuation characters.
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Author Comment

by:ishtari
ID: 24411782
I tried the mac with the same settings as above on an other network and then I was able to download a 4 GB Fedora image without a problem, something that has never worked on the macs on the network with the problem.

Also it works on the problematic network when i run XP in bootcamp with a mac that has problem in OSX. Latest updates and all.
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 24412483
Long shot, but try changing the MTU from 1500 to 1492.
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Accepted Solution

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schmedroe earned 2000 total points
ID: 24412509
Try installing the 10.5.7 update.
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Author Comment

by:ishtari
ID: 24412511
Workday so over in sweden, will try that tomorrow! :)
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Author Comment

by:ishtari
ID: 24422053
The 10.5.7 update did the trick! It seems like the problem was the flow control in the managed netgear switch, which was addressed in the update.
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