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Problems searching Windows 2003 server from Mac OS X (Leopard & Snow Leopard)

Posted on 2010-11-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have several macintosh users, some on Leopard, some on snow leopard reporting issues with searching a Windows 2003 file server.  The search results are consistently inconsistent.  Initial search from spotlight may or may not find files.  However if the user browses to that file, and searches again - spotlight finds it instantly.  Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:TravelSmith
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by:roylong
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spotlight does not work on file servers unless you have a mac OS X server with spotlight searching enabled.  However, if you browse to the files from a macintosh, or create files from a macintosh, the client mac seems to add the file to a local index.

One way I have found to get round this is to use smart folders on the client and set the default finder location to be the mounted windows server share - this is in finde preferences.

Or buy yourself a mac server :/
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by:TravelSmith
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I did mention spolight in my post, but what I meant was the basic apple search that you see when you have a folder open. (Upper right corner of window).  I will try the smart folders suggestion to see if that makes a difference.  
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by:TravelSmith
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Creating a smart folder didn't solve my problem.  The root issue is that from a PC I can search the server with no problems, but form a Mac the search results are inconsistent as I mentioned before.
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by:roylong
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how are you connecting to the server?  SMB?

have you thought about putting some third party AFP server on there - like ExtremeZ-IP?

Another option may be to look at connecting via NFS and then searching on your mounted NFS file system...

If the shares are separate - i.e. each user has their own file share which they want  to search, you could look at putting their home folder on the Windows file server and have this set to synchronise locally - then search on the local file system...
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by:Herb Vasquez
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Yes we have several server that have mac clients connecting to for art work most of the servers connect via AFP but the newer ones connect SMB. We have not found a work around for this issue other then what @raylong mentioned..

Try these third party "Finder Replacements"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Path_Finder
http://www.cocoatech.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xfile
http://rixstep.com/4/0/xfile/

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by:TravelSmith
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Thanks I will look into some of the 3rd party solutions and update this post next week. Btw some clients connect via afp and others via smb.
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by:roylong
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If some of your clients are connecting via AFP, which third party software is managing that?
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by:Herb Vasquez
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we are opted to buy Cumulus software by Canto to handle our DAM (digital Asset Management) system this solved our problem but is quiet expensive, since we were looking at something to manage our artwork better we went with this
 
The other third party software I mentioned are much cheaper.
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by:roylong
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Canto cumulus is an excellent asset management system for windows and macintosh, but it is not a classic file sharing solution.  I agree that it works very well, especially as it indexes content and enables much more complex searching.  It does however require some user training and a change in work procedures - and as mentioned it comes with a price tag.
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by:Herb Vasquez
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Yes it was very pricey about $53k for 30 users and requires a dedicated server
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by:TravelSmith
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Thanks, I think A DAM is our long term solution, I was hoping there was a easier way to make it work in Windows 2003 natively.  Thanks for your suggestions.
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by:roylong
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did this question get resolved satisfactorily or do you still need more suggestions?
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TravelSmith earned 0 total points
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It didn't get resolved at all.  A 3rd party solution to do what the Apple OS should be doing natively is not a solution it's a workaround.  Having said that thanks for your suggestions.
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by:TravelSmith
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No "working" answer was provided for this issue.  Suggestions required paid solutions as a workaround - not a way to get the Apple OS Search to work.
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