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Mac's not seeing Windows SMB network reliably.

Posted on 2010-09-15
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Mac's not seeing Windows network reliably.

We have a bunch of Mac’s running Leopard and newer that have a very hard time seeing the Windows network reliably. Often it is not visible at all. When it is visible and they try to connect, it usually takes a very long time to connect. Once connected, things are ok for that session, but if they go back to the same server in a few minutes again they either can’t find the domain or when they do connecting to the server is very slow.

It’s a Windows 2003 AD. DNS appears to be working fine. All the machines are on the same physical / logical LAN.

Any ideas?
Question by:willp2
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Expert Comment

ID: 33687889

Author Comment

ID: 33688336
Thanks. I had seen that thread and many others about this issue. Amazingly it's starting to sound like there just is no real fix for this issue.
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

woolnoir earned 500 total points
ID: 33692559
When you have MAC's accessing SMB shares its always trouble - they use SAMBA for the backend and those who've used linux will testify its always an 'interesting' experience. I can vouch for AdmitMac from thursby for interoperability with SMB. It includes a slightly tuned SMB interconnect and allows compatibility with Distributed file system - it also helps a bit with the 'speed' and 'blank share' issues.

Thinking more long term you could consider software which shares a windows server using AFP - maybe something like ( http://www.grouplogic.com/products/ExtremeZ-IP/ ) this means mac's will be using AFP and i promise that is a MUCH better experience.
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Author Comment

ID: 33693706
Ugly any way you look at it. Amazing anyone is getting any work done like this. I'll look again into AFP options, but I

Any idea if something like Centrify would help this issue at all?

Author Comment

ID: 33693717
Wish there was a way to edit comments (I do understand why there isn't). I was saying but I was hoping not to spend more cash on software and to add another layer on the computer / networking if avoidable.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 33695240
Well the issue Mac or PC its a interoperability problem. Macs use AFP, they are good, stable and efficient with AFP. WIndows use SMB the same is true. The problems occur when using a system which needs to access the others storage.

You have a few options.. a MAC with Admitmac to improve access to SMB, a windows server with extremez-ip to provide a AFP layer. Or you can look at hosting everything on a mac server, enabling AFP and SMB sharing and both sets of machines can access that way.

There isnt a perfect way of doing it - thats why people who specialise in cross platform integration (something i enjoy) make a decent living.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33780764
Ended up going with ExtremeZ-IP (goofy name by the way) and so far its working great. Thanks!

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