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Mac's not seeing Windows SMB network reliably.

Posted on 2010-09-15
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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?
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Question by:willp2
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by:strung
ID: 33687889
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by:willp2
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.
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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

by:willp2
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?
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Author Comment

by:willp2
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.
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
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.
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Author Closing Comment

by:willp2
ID: 33780764
Ended up going with ExtremeZ-IP (goofy name by the way) and so far its working great. Thanks!
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