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jfgingrasFlag for Canada

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OS X Server 10.5 shared folder closing intermitently on OS X 10.6.8 client

I have a Mac Pro running OS X Server 10.5. It acts as a DNS, DHCP and File server. The file server only uses the AFP sharing protocol.

The network is composed of 8 Mac Pro workstations running various versions of OS X 10.5 and 10.6. They used to all run 10.5 but two recently upgraded to 10.6. Since then, some issues arose browsing shared folders.

First, a folder would duplicate itself infinitely in Finder until the share is disconnected and reconnected. Other users on the network wouldn't see the duplicated folders nor would it actually be on the server. This one is annoying but not a real problem.

Now the most troublesome and also most puzzling problem is that often, while browsing a shared folder, particularly in "panel" mode, Finder would close the current folder and browse back up 2 or 3 levels. Browsing back to the folder would show the content for a quick second before going back up 2 or 3 levels again. The same behavior is also reproducible from inside an application (ie: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop...). It also get worst and worst until the shared folder is disconnected and reconnected or the machine rebooted. The problem will eventually reappear after 15-20 minutes. While it happens more often in "panel" mode, it also happens in all other view modes.

When the problem happens while opening a file, the file becomes unavailable the to application, as if the shared folder was disconnected. But in Finder, the drive is still mapped. There's absolutely nothing showing up in the Console on either the Server or Workstation. I've also enabled access and error logging in Server Admin/AFP but nothing out of the ordinary is logged.

The only thing "special" is that they use custom folder icons throughout the hierarchy. We tried removing it for every folder inside a given path but the problem still happens.

Again, this is only happening to Snow Leopard workstations. Everybody on Leopard is fine. It's also worst for the one on 10.6.8 vs the one on 10.6.6.

Maybe I'm not doing my query properly but I couldn't find even a single google result related to my issue.

Any insight at all would be greatly appreciated.

Avatar of strung
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I wonder if you are not have a problem with one of your network switches? As an experiment, when no one is in the office, disconnect your network switch from the server and connect a work station directly to the server and see if you still have the problem.
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We only have a single switch in the office. I'll try another port for the workstations causing problems.
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Ok I did a fresh reinstall of OS X 10.6 on one of the affected workstation and although the problem is less frequent, it still happens regularly.

As per your suggestion roylong, we plan on upgrading the server to 10.6.

I'll report back when it's done.
Ok so it took a while but we finally managed to upgrade the server to Snow Leopard and guess what, the problem is still happening!

Anybody else want to chip in?
try disabling AFP and turn on SMB and attempt to connect the same workstations via SMB to see if you get similar issues.

Have you checked that AFP is correctly enabled on all switches between the workstations and the server?  Some switches may need additional configuration to play nicely with AFP... (just a thought)

connecting via SMB:: Go menu; Connect to Server; SMB://
there's a single switch and its unmanaged, that might be the issue but its been there for a while, way before the problem occurred for the first time.

I will first try to connect a single workstation only through SMB see if the problem is still there. If it is, I'll try completely disabling AFP.

thanks for your help roylong!
Maybe the switch is failing. Perhaps you could try bypassing it with one computer and see what happens.
Upgrading the server and all workstations to 10.6 fixed the problem.