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MacWindows News Archives

News from July 2004 through December 2004


 

 

 

Most recent news first.

December 2004

Dec. 30

Virex fingered as cause of Excel file saving problems. December 30, 2004 -- We've had more reports of the problem of saving Office files on Windows 2003 Server from Mac OS X, specifically Excel files. Michael Burdett, a reader who reported the problem earlier this month, said that Virex was the culprit:

Well it looks like we may have found the problem. We opened Virex 7.5 preferences and unchecked active virus detection.

This seems to have corrected the problems. Not the answer I was looking for bit it does seem to work.

If you've tried this

Chris Hollidge sees the problem with a Unix SMB server:

We are presently experiencing the same problem on a UNIX Server System called Netmanager. Netmanager uses SMB to connect to it's client's which all have static IP addresses assigned so I know the problem is not to do with DHCP leases. As everyone has stated the original user can edit/save the created file but other users cannot and Microsoft have accepted this Article ID 833613.

However, to see if it was our Netmanager Server I used a Windows 2000 Professional PC and ran the file from there instead. The problem is exactly the same and thinking it was something to do with Office v.X on the Mac we tried upgrading to Office 2004 which has made no difference. The stupid thing is, our client is a design studio which uses large illustrator files from Netmanager with no problems.

Bruce Elliott refers to a potential fix from Microsoft, Knowledge Base article 833613 described on our Windows 2003 Server page:

We are having exactly the same problem as delineated by Claudio Tolli except that we are connecting via SMB to a Windows 2003 Server. I've been looking at the *attrib* DOS command, applying it to the Excel file at the server... but to no avail.

What troubles me is that Google turns up so few others affected with this problem. Surely others are using Microsoft Office v.X on their OS X machines.

Since our network share on the Windows server is not SFM, I'm reluctant to apply the Microsoft hotfix referred to in KB 833613. And yet the problem would seem to be at the server. Has anyone else tried the hotfix? If so, what happens?

More workarounds for broken SMB aliases in Panther. December 30, 2004 -- Mike Pryer describes how he deals with the problem of broken aliases to SMB shares.

I have the broken alias issue come up while running 10.3.5 connecting to a Windows 2003 server. Like other's reports, this problem is random.

My kludgy workaround has been to go back to the "Connect to Server" menu and "clear" the recent connections button. This puts the recent connections in the Trash. I then drag the "connections" I want to keep out onto the desktop. Maybe these are actually scripts created by the OS that I'm just salvaging.

Jack Stoller offers another workaround:

I'm not sure why one would need to create a script. What I do for my users is type the following into TextEdit (or anyplace else where you can select and drag text):

smb://myacct:mypswd@server/share

I select the text and drag it to the desktop. It becomes an Internet location file, which will mount the volume (and prompt for the password if you leave the :mypswd off) when double clicked. The file name should be changed, as it will have the above as the name by default. BTW, this also works for AFP mounts.

Caution: You can mount the same share twice if you double-click the file twice. The Finder will not be able to dismount the second one.

Another caveat is that if someone else has physical access to your machine, and drags the file back into TextEdit, your password will be revealed. You can leave out the password, and then you'll be prompted. An AppleScript that was a run-only app would avoid this security issue if it's a concern.

We've also had more reports. Salvador Manzo had some interesting observations:

I've run into this problem as well with 10.3.6. The odd thing is, when I get the error, the remote volume IS mounted and is accessible via Terminal.app, but Finder can't do a thing with it.

As an addendum, I've run into this problem both with an alias and (once only) when connecting directly via Command-K.

Ed Stanisz faults the error message for being misleading:

The error The alias 'xxx' could not be opened, because the original item cannot be found." Is because the OS thinks the drive is already mounted or because it still is just not on desktop.

I can replicate the error all the time if I try to mount a drive I already have mounted. It is a poorly written error message that may or may not mean multiple things.

Tip: Reclaiming disk space in the VPC 7 virtual disk image. December 30, 2004 -- Steve Maser forwarded a procedure to shrink the size of the Virtual PC 7 disk image file in order to reclaim the space on his hard drive:

I was looking for a way to erase the "free space" on a VPC 7 hard disk so that you can use VPC's "reclaim lost space" option to reduce the size of hard disk file. I found this using Google. It worked for me:

Regarding VPC image size. The VPC image does not decrease in size even after you delete files or uninstall programs. The VPC image only grows in size it does not dynamically get smaller.

You will need to manually reduce the size of the VPC image with this procedure:

This procedure is for Windows 95, 98, NT 4, and 2000 guest operating systems.

Be sure to backup any important data before beginning procedure, as this directly changes the guest image contents.

1. Defragment the guest OS hard drive.

2. Backup any critical data in the guest OS.

3. Download Eraser, (http://www.tolvanen.com/eraser/) and install it in the guest OS.

4. Run Eraser in the guest OS.

5. Select Edit->Preferences->Erasing

6. Select "Unused Disk Space"

7. Select "New"

8. Enter the description "Blank"

9. Select Add

10. Create a 3-byte pattern of zeros. On the "Custom Method Editor" window, near the bottom you'll see "Pattern" and underneath that, will be "Byte 1" (with 8 zeros), then "Byte 2" with a checkbox by it, and a grayed out "Byte 3". When you check the "Byte 2" box, the "Byte 3" will no longer be grayed out and you can then check it, thus creating a 3 byte pattern of zeros.

11. Hit Save

12. Select "Blank" under "Unused disk space"

13. Hit OK

14. Select File->New Task

15. Select "Unused space on drive"

16. Select Local Hard Drives

17. Hit OK

18. Select Task->run on the previously created task

19. When finished, close the report

20. Exit Eraser and shutdown the guest PC. Make sure the guest is not in a saved state.

21. Use Virtual Disk Assistant on the Mac to reclaim lost space. Pressing "command+d" will start Virtual Disk Assistant.

22. Select Examine or modify existing disk image, and click the right arrow to continue.

23. Click Select Disk and browse to the location of the disk image to compact. Generally, this will be the Virtual PC 4 folder.

24. Double-click the disk image and click the right arrow to continue.

25. Select Reclaim zeroed drive space and click the right arrow to continue.

26. Click Reclaim Space.

 

Dec. 27

TIP: OS X on Win networks, .local DNS vs normal DNS. December 27, 2004 -- Dave Provine found some information on DNS issues with Mac OS X 10.3 on Windows networks:

I found a great article on Microsoft's blog site about connecting Panther to Small Business Server 2003. The important part is the instructions on how to overcome a .local addressing scheme, which Panther treats as multicast DNS (Rendezvous) instead of regular DNS. There's a link to download a Word doc with the instructions.

While Apple has Knowledge Base article 107800 on this, it's not nearly as complete.

Suggestions for Miscellaneous SMB problems. December 27, 2004 -- Martijn Stegink of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, passed along suggestions for the SMB problems reported last week by a reader:

We've had all of this too. We did use a Windows 2000 server with OS X 10.3.x clients. Since 10.3.4 or something there are some problems but some of yours are caused by other things.

1. Photoshop Thumbnails and the preview images in InDesign are not updating correctly.

M: This is because of the SMB protocol. If you would activate SFM (Services for Macintosh) on the server and connect to AFP it would be solved but possibly only for new files saved on the server. SMB does not allow for resource forks that OS X uses.

2. In the process of saving a file to the server it will occasionally give an error that the connection is broken. Choosing ignore on the error will allow the save to continue.

M: try the Microsoft Knowledgebase article linked to at this MacWindows report on the Mac disconnection problem.

3. We also had problems with files getting corrupted on the Win 2003 Server although we haven't been able to recreate that today. Try using SFM and AFP. Be aware of the 64.000 files per volume limit though. You could try ExtremeZ-IP as a replacement for SFM. We do and it works fine.

Only be aware of the MacWindows article "Group Logic on slow icon drawing with Windows AFP servers."

4. There is also a problem of files saying that they are in use and can't be saved or deleted when they are not open or in use. Same thing.

We finally decided to move to a complete Mac solution: Xserve raid and managed Mac environment.

However, a reader called Matthew offered an explanation of the forth problem:

Problem: Files on an SMB share cannot be saved. Error indicates they are open, or in use, when no application has them open.

Reason: The Finder in Mac OS X creates "._xxx" files that correspond to real files on non-forked file systems as a way of associating thumbnails and other information. Whenever the Finder traverses a directory, it rapidly opens and closes these ._ files several times. It does this so rapidly that the kernel cannot keep up with the calls; the kernel inevitably drops a close call, thus leaving a file open, so far as the SMB server is concerned.

You can prove this by running simultaneous fs_usage and tcpdump captures while traversing a directory on an SMB share. You will see a rapid sequence of open/close calls to the "._" files. All the file system calls go to the kernel, as seen in the fs_usage capture, but they do not all make it out the door as NetBIOS calls, as seen in the tcpdump.

The fix for this problem will require changes to the Finder or the kernel.

Please do not publish my email address.

Advice for upgrading from VPC 5 to VPC 7. December 27, 2004 -- Paul Reitz describes how he overcame a problem using the Virtual PC 7 Upgrade (7.0.1) on Virtual PC 5.0.4 (Windows XP Home):

The problem was that after inserting the VPC CD and waiting for the display window, double-clicking the "Install Virtual PC" icon did nothing, no matter how often I tried. I removed and reinserted the CD, logged out and back in, verified I was Administrator, restarted; still, no response from the installer. There were no error messages or errors recorded in any logs contained in Console to provide any clues...

After checking the Microsoft support site and finding nothing useful, I figured there was nothing to lose by trying a few things. I managed to install it and it's now running decently. What worked, although not likely the optimum solution, was this:

1) Control-click on the "Install Virtual PC" icon from the CD Finder window, and select Show Package Contents.

2) Open Contents -> Resources, and control-click on "Install Virtual PC.mpkg", selecting Show Package Contents.

3) Double-click on "VirtualPCAppBundle.pkg", which ran an installer without error.

At this point, there was a new (Virtual PC 7) application in the Applications folder.

4) Ran the new VPC 7, (which found the installation incomplete, and presented a series of installer actions, which I followed). IIRC, at the conclusion of this step, there was an "optimization". After this, the installer required restarting the computer.

5) After restart, re-ran VPC 7, which picked up at Section 2, "Create a Virtual Machine".

From there it was relatively straightforward.

Even so, the Help instructions for upgrading from VPC 5.x are misleading at best. It says to import a virtual machine, but apparently only want the user to select a valid hard disk image. VPC 5.x didn't use Virtual Machine terminology, and has only "configuration files" (that the instructions say VPC 7 would not use) and which the procedure did not recognize as acceptable files. It did import a VPC 5.x disk image, with the expected warning that it would then be unusable in VPC 5. Running the virtual machine was initially painfully slow until the new Virtual PC Additions was installed.

The machine it was being installed on is a PowerBook G4 Titanium 800/512 MB/60 GB running 10.3.6 with the latest security update, repaired privileges and no Disk Utility errors.

Dec. 23

More on broken aliases on SMB shares. December 23, 2004 -- Nancy Jaquith Kneiss reports success with Todd Miller's December 7 AppleScript workaround for the problem of broken aliases to SMB shares.

My OS X connections to our Win server here would work fine one day, then not at all on other days. Completely unpredictable, and it only happened with some of the servers and not others. Same thing with the aliases on the desktop.

I ran the AppleScript as suggested for the workaround and it went off without a hitch. I've never written an AppleScript before in my life but it was a piece of cake with ScriptEditor (built into Panther). Not the most convenient solution every time, but at least it works!

A reader who did not want to be identified also had success with the AppleScript, and sent some additional information:

The AppleScript solution you posted works fine for me (as it should, since it's just a wrapper around the Command-K method in the Finder).

As an additional note, using this AppleScript, or Command-K in the Finder, you don't have to store the password in cleartext in the address. Keychain will store it for you, at least if the username is part of the address. And for those who aren't aware of it, you can access hidden shares (shares that will not show up in browsing mode, 'even' when browsing from a Windows machine) by adding a '$' behind the sharename.

However, the fix didn't work for Kris Nybakken, but something else did:

The workaround didn't seem to work for me. But what DID work is turning AppleTalk on on the Windows 2000 machines. SMB shouldn't require it, and it did not require it before, but it seems to work. If I have to make a choice, I choose to know it works rather than know why!

Dan Nigrin also had no success with the AppleScript:

The AppleScript workaround posted by Todd Miller is also not working for me. I keep getting error type -36 when trying that approach. This is also the error I get when trying to connect via previously created aliases.

When I browse the network, I can "see" all the machines I used to be able to connect to, but when I double-click them, I get "Alias couldn't be opened, because the original item couldn't be found" errors.

The Windows servers in question are Win 2003 Servers, and I'm on OS X 10.3.7.

Problems with the icon file problem with Win clients. December 23, 2004 -- Patrick Sibenale reports this problem with Windows PCs accessing a Mac OS X desktop:

When enabling Mac OS X's Windows sharing (in fact the Samba server) and copying folders from the Win machine off the Mac, the copy process will give an error when encountering the custom ICON files created by Mac OS X. They pop up with a special non-ASCII character in front of the name (xICON) and cannot be copied because of that.

I found quite a couple of people that encountered this problem, none of them having the proper solution for it.

If you've seen this problem

Miscellaneous SMB problems: Photoshop thumbs, broken connections. December 23, 2004 -- Jay Holden reports several problems with Mac OS X 10.3 and Windows 2003 SMB file servers:

My department has two Mac OS X machines on a Windows 2003 network of 150+ PC's and lots of servers. We are wanting these two Mac OS X clients to work off a dedicated Win 2003 server only using SMB, saving all the files solely to it. We are encountering some issues:

1. Photoshop Thumbnails and the preview images in InDesign are not updating correctly. (Doesn't happen on OS X local drives)

2. In the process of saving a file to the server it will occasionally give an error that the connection is broken. Choosing ignore on the error will allow the save to continue.

3. We also had problems with files getting corrupted on the Win 2003 Server although we haven't been able to recreate that today.

4. There is also a problem of files saying that they are in use and can't be saved or deleted when they are not open or in use.

If you've seen any of these symptoms

Update for Mac Explorer, Windows-style file browser. December 23, 2004 -- On Tuesday Rage Software shipped Macintosh Explorer 4.2.1 ($16), a free bug-fix update to the hierarchical file browser modeled after Windows Explorer. Macintosh Explorer also contains filter-based file browsing as well as tabbed browsing.


Dec. 21

Mac OS X 10.3.7 client, server claim network, AD improvement. December 21, 2004 -- On December 15,Apple released Mac OS X Update 10.3.7, Mac OS X Combined Update 10.3.7, and Mac OS X Server Update 10.3.7 and Mac OS X Server Combined Update 10.3.7.

The client update promises "improved AFP support for saving documents with long file names." The Server update offered several cross-platform improvements, including:

MacInTouch, however, reports problems with networking.

Mac OS X 10.3.7 Server doesn't help Win clients. December 21, 2004 -- Steve Maser reports he still sees the problem Windows clients authentication problems with Mac OS X Server even with the 10.3.7 update.

I run an OS X Server (10.3.7) to host files for my Mac and Windows clients. There are no "home directories" on the server. It's strictly a file repository.

Recently (like in the past month), some -- but nowhere near a significant minority -- of my Windows clients have been able to *authenticate* to my server (the standard login/password prompt), they see the share points, but when they go to open a share point that the login allows, they are getting an "Access Is Denied" message and can't open the share point.

I'm not seeing any commonality on the Windows computers that can not do this. It seems like it affects Win 2000 machines more than XP machines, but I have some XP machines showing this.

The oddity is -- on one affected Win 2000 machine I have to play with here, if I create a new account on the machine that is an "administrator" account -- I can not access the share point. If I change it to a "standard user" account (same account name/password on the 2000 machine, but different than the login/password on the server), then I can open the share point! Which makes no sense at all.

Our Mac OS X Server page includes several reader suggestions for this problem.

A VPC Serial/USB connector that works. December 21, 2004 -- Matthew Pinto reports that there is at least one USB/Serial adapter that works with Virtual PC 7:

I read this report of problems with USB/Serial adapters and VPC7. I don't have a fix but I can report that I have not had problems with the Prolific Adapter with VPC 7, Windows XP SP2 on a Power Mac G5.

I have both the Mac OS X driver and XP driver installed for the Prolific so that both sides see it. I enable USB in VPC and put the check mark in the Prolific adapter and it communicates perfectly with my "CarChip" program and adapter.

Several readers have previously reported that VPC 7 won't communicate with Serial/USB adapters.

Can't save files on Windows Server 2003 with Mac OS X. December 21, 2004 -- Michael Burdett is another reader reporting problems saving files on Windows Server 2003. He also has problems with Excel files:

I am having the same issues with Windows 2003 server, Mac OS X, and Excel.

We are using CIFS shares and occasionally the file save will work in Excel. Other times, the file save will stall for a bit, then show a dialog saying that the save failed. The original file gets renamed with a random character file name (I believe it is part of the temp file name). Normally to get around it, I will open the saved filed, save it to my desktop, then copy that version to the proper location on the share.

We initially thought the problem had to do with longer file names, or long folder names but the problem occurs with short folder and file names also.

 


Dec. 15

Another source of old VPC updaters. December 15, 2004 -- Steve Adams has posted updates to old versions of Virtual PC, from version 3 to version 5. The complete list:

(Adams is not providing any kind of support.)

Another way to get VPC 7 to connect via a DSL link. December 15, 2004 -- Eric Westby sent in another solution for getting Virtual PC to connect to the Internet over a DSL connection. He has an alternative:

I actually ran across an even easier fix, one that enables me to continue to use shared networking: just change the MTU within the virtual machine to 1492. This is easily accomplished within a program such as Dr. TCP, available at http://www.dslreports.com/front/DRTCP021.zip

Suggestions for VPC and Serial/USB converter. December 15, 2004 -- Several readers commented on last month's report that VPC 7 doesn't work with a USB adapter that worked with previous versions. John Lockwood of the U.K. off this suggestion:

I recently upgraded my boss from VPC 6.1.1 to VPC 7.0. He is also using a Keyspan USB to Serial adapter (USA-19H) with version 1.8 of the Keyspan driver. Initially trying a setting of Not a modem and no custom flow control it failed part way through a transfer each time.

Ticking the DTR option allowed it to work but he had to quit the Windows application using the serial port between file transfers.

This was not the case under previous VPC. However other changes had been made at the same time, including moving from a PowerBook G4 to a PowerMac G5, and changing from Windows 2000 Pro to Windows XP Pro.

The important thing is we managed to get it to work.

We had Virtual PC configured to map the Keyspan to COM1, rather than trying to get Windows to directly access the Keyspan as a USB device. I personally have never been able to successfully get VPC to allow Windows to use USB devices.

How to Palm sync with VPC 7. December 15, 2004 -- Matt Wildbore reports having the previouly reported problem with USB and PalmOne devices:

I also cannot sync my T5 with VPC 7. When the HotSync initiates the USB activity initiates ( at the bottom of the VPC window) and the Windows arrow briefly changes to a small hourglass and then it does not connect.

Bruce Miller offers a method of successful syncing:

I have been enjoying both USB Active Sync and USB Hot Sync 100 percent reliable results inside all versions of Windows (98 SE, 2000, XP Home) running from VPC 5, 6 and now 7.

I have been helping others achieve the same results following extremely simple, but very specific sequences of tips and procedure I have archived here

The tips refer specifically to USB Active syncing, but as noted within, all the tips and sequences of USB cable plugging are identical for Palm Hot Sync for successful results. Not following all the tips will eventually cause syncing to fail or never work properly.

Also, its essential to install both Palm Desktop and Active Sync software in Windows EXACTLY as instructed and to NOT plug in the USB cradle until prompted to do so for proper and trouble-free driver installation. Its so critical, that I suggest reinstalling Windows entirely if that wasn't originally followed.

 


Dec. 10

More on fixes for Windows XP SP2 printer sharing. December 10, 2004 -- We have a few more notes on fixes for Mac OS X 10.3.6 problems accessing Win XP Service Pack 2 printers.

Rob Mason sent us a new fix:

The solution I found was to use the "advanced add printers" option on Mac OS X (hold down Option key when you click add printer) and then choose the SMB printer sharing option and enter the printer URL and model.

That solved the problem for me in a mixed XP/OS X environment with Windows XP serving the printer.

Jason Fortune verified one of the previously reported suggestions:

I too have had the same problems as everyone else getting my Macs to print to my XP printer. Rahul Mangaldas's solution worked great for me.

Explanation of OS X 10.3.6 "breaking" Citrix web client. December 10, 2004 -- David Merzel offers an explanation of the problem with Mac OS X 10.3.6 upgrade "breaking" the Citrix web client for Mac:

A sympathetic IT staffer figured out the problem as it affected both Mac and Linux. As noted in his memo below, Verisign changed their SSL certificates affecting Mac and Linux. Whether the blame is with Versign for not writing code for the Mac/Linux users or with programmers for Apple and Linux not "keeping up" is anybody's guess.
This problem was due to an SSL certificate that we have purchased from Verisign. We recently had been reissued the certificate from Verisign, and from that time on, no Mac or Linux clients have been able to access the portal site. Verisign has changed the way that certificates are formatted and Macs and Linux do not agree with the new format. We are currently testing a fix that involves us issuing our own certificates so that we no longer have to rely on Verisign.

I tested it from home last night from my Linux client, and I was able to connect with the portal. We still have a little testing to do before we can role it out...The good news is that Mac and Linux are pretty close.

Fixes for Citrix/Word 2004 bug; problem also affects Excel. December 10, 2004 -- A number of readers responded to our report earlier this week about the Citrix client crashing with Microsoft Word 2004 is open, often when copying text. Some readers sent in fixes, others report that the problem also occurs with Excel.

Jamie Marshall sent us a link to a workaround he posted at on the Citrix forums.

Steve Maser describes his fix:

The problem exists as a conflict with Word 2004 and Citrix 6.3 *and* 7.0. Citrix has given us (shh) a bug fix release for 7.0 that fixes this crash. However, we still have other issues that prohibit us from rolling this out.

Fortunately, there are two workarounds:

1) Revert back to "Word v.X" -- that doesn't generate the crash.

2) Disable the ability to copy/paste between Mac OS X apps and Citrix in the Citrix prefs. Which isn't really a viable workaround if you need this.

We also have issues with the app not (sometimes) being able to read files from the TEMP folder that are more than 32 characters in name. Sometimes. Citrix apparently can't reproduce *that* bug, but we can here.

Several people report that the problem also occurs with Excel. Beat Rubischon of Zurich:

We have here a similar problem as described at MacWindows. When copying some data in Excel 2004 to Clipboard, the ICA Client 6.30.

An anonymous reader gives some more specifics about the Excel problem:

I can verify that this problem exists, and is not limited to MS Word. Any macro operation (cut/paste/save/print/[formula]/merge) in any Office 2004 application (e.g. Excel) on a Mac (10.3.6 here, but had the problem all the way back to 10.3.1) can abruptly quit any open Citrix (up to and including version 7) clients. There is no workaround that I'm aware of, other than to not open MS documents when you have an open Citrix client connection.

Orion Smith says the problem occurs with all Offices applications, and offers an explanation:

What seems to be happening is when you copy something from Word, and move over to Citrix, the clipboard has trouble making the switch and Citrix crashes. Apparently Word 2004 puts some extra info in the clipboard (related to Unicode?) that Citrix can't parse (even if you don't paste) and Citrix crashes. Apparently this happens with all Office 2004 apps.

I'm very frustrated that Citrix has not dealt with this yet. It's not easy to use TextEdit as my copy/paste board, as even if I copy something in Word with Citrix in the background, it still crashes.

We have more reports of the problem on our Citrix Reports page.

Thank you to everyone else who reported having this problem.

VPC 7 problem with USB/Serial adapters verified. December 10, 2004 -- Steve Unruh has seen the perviously reported problem where VPC 7 won't talk to Serial/USB converters:

I have both a Keyspan and Iconcepts USB-to-serial adapters. I am using VPC 7.0.1 and cannot get either to work. I have tried it with "Enable USB" both on and off. With it on and the adapter selected, I get a message that the com port is unavailable. When it is off, the adapter still shows up in the selection popup of the com port, and you get no error message when you select it, but it still does not work. Both of these adapters work with VPC 6.

I am using a 12" PowerBook with 10.3.6.

We haven't heard of a fix yet, but if you have one,

Entourage Email Archive X 1.9.2 maintenance update. December 10, 2004 -- Softhing has released Email Archive X 1.9.2, and update to the utility for archiving email and attachments received or sent using Microsoft Entourage X. The update includes some performance gains, fixes minor bugs, and has been tested for use with the Microsoft Office X 10.1.6 and Office 2004 11.1.0 updates.


Dec. 7

Solution for VPC/DSL connection. December 7, 2004 -- We've discovered a method of getting a Virtual PC to connect to the Internet over a DSL connection. The secret is to use Virtual PC's Virtual Switch setting instead of Shared Networking. Then set up Windows to connect directly to the DSL ISP using PPPoE. Windows calls DSL a "broadband modem." Here's how with Virtual PC 7 and Windows XP:

  1. Make sure the virtual machine is not running.
  2. Set Virtual PC to Virtual Switch networking. (Virtual PC's PC menu->PC Settings->Networking)
  3. In Windows, go to the Start menu and choose Control Panel.
  4. Click Network Connections.
  5. Under Network Tasks, click Create a New Connection. Click Next.
  6. Select Connect to the Internet. Click Next.
  7. Select "Set up my connection manually." Click Next.
  8. Select "Connect using a broadband connection that requires a user name and password. Click Next.
  9. In the next few screens, type in the information for your Mac's DSL (PPPoE) account provided by your ISP.

Citrix ICA client problem with MS Word. December 7, 2004 -- David Morgenstern reports that Word is causing problems with the Citrix client for Mac:

I haven't experienced any serious problem connecting with the Citrix ICA Version 7.00.400, both before or after installing the 10.3.6 update. However, I do notice that the client will crash when I have MS Word 2004 open (this was true before the system update). Or when I try to use Word, the Citrix client dies.

Thankfully, TextEdit can open Word files with OS X 10.3 and later.

If you've seen this problem,

Workaround to SMB alias to NT Server not working. December 7, 2004 -- Todd Miller suggested a workaround for the problem of broken aliases to SMB shares we reported last week. He created a simple AppleScript:

I have seen the problem mentioned in the Nov 29th edition of MacWindows with broken aliases to SMB shares. The server we have problems connecting to is also NT 4.

I do not have a fix for this problem, but do have a workaround. You can make an AppleScript to mount the share.

tell application "Finder"

mount volume "smb://username:password@machinename.local/sharename"

end tell

The "username:password@" is optional. If omitted, the user will be prompted. This works great every time.

Several other readers reported the problem;

Kris Nybakken notes that the problem is not limited to Windows NT:

ALL of my smb shares, including browsing from the "network" tab, produce that alias error. I can't log into ANY of my Windows 2000 servers. Yikes!

Erasmus Schneider:

I also have the problem that when I do a network browse: I can see the alias to the Win machine, but when I try to connect I get the same error message of ""The alias 'xxx' could not be opened, because the original item cannot be found." I can mount the PC just fine if I know either its name or IP address and connect directly.

I am using 10.3.6, but can't tell when exactly the problem first appeared.

Jordi Parera of Barcelona, Spain, doesn't have the problem with SMB:

I tried to connect to our Windows Server via SMB instead of AFP. It's really much faster. But then aliases created with my previous AFP connection don't work with the SMB connection. On the other hand, 'new' aliases that I can create with the SMB connection seem work OK.

HELIOS offers new server bundle. December 7, 2004 -- Helios is offering the Helios Server Bundle (US $4990) a new bundle of EtherShare, PCShare, and WebShare, file server software supporting Mac and Windows clients. The server software is available for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and several commercial Unix platforms. EtherShare is an AFP file server; PCShare is an SMB/CIFS file server; WebShare enables remote users to access files via HTTP and HTTPS.


Dec. 1

Citrix Client for Mac Version 7 is available. December 1, 2004 --Citrix has released version 7.0 of their its Mac client. Chris Erickson describes it:

This is a long awaited upgrade. While the new feature list is not very long, the amount of bug fixes are numerous. And once again, no announcement from Citrix that there even exists a new Mac client, but you will find it on their download page.

Citrix/ OS X 10.3.6 problem linked to web-based client. December 1, 2004 -- A number of readers responded to Monday's report of the Mac OS X 10.3.6 upgrade "breaking" the Citrix client for Mac. From the number of reports, it appears that the problem appears to occur only with the browser-based client. There was also a suggestion that the problem occurs with Safari, but not Internet Explorer.

Jon Posin describes the problem:

I too lost my Citrix functionality after the update. I can log into my Citrix server through Safari, get to my applications page, click on the application, then once the Citrix tool is downloaded and launches Citrix on my Mac, I get an error message that the link was broken.

Michael Wilmar agrees with the web/Safari theory, and offers a workaround:

Citrix works fine for me either via my firm's VPN or via browser with OS 10.3.6 and the latest Citrix client (which by the way, has some cool improvements). And the browser may be the issue. If David is using a browser, I assume he has been using some kind of certificate and not a VPN, which doesn't need a browser. If he is using a browser, Safari won't work, only Firefox or Internet Explorer. Further, I had to have my IT people email me a certificate; it wouldn't work automatically. Then I had to manually put the certificate in the cacerts folder in the Citrix keystore folder. I also had to change the suffix from whatever it was (.cer) to .crt. After that, it worked fine.

John Schumacher also offered suggestions:

My Citrix Client loses its configuration settings frequently, but re-entering them via the client editor fixes this. Moments ago I established contact with a Win2K server as a test of 10.3.6. After re-entering the connect information, Citrix started up without a hitch under Mac OS X 10.3.6.

Part of my problem is site specific; the Citrix servers that I access (infrequently) are replicated on 4 different 2K servers. The client connects to an "application" on a user specified server. If the particular server is down/offline, the user must open the client editor to configure the client to connect to one of the other 2K servers -- I have had to do this on several occasions.

Robin Jackson was one of many users who said that the 10.3.6 upgraded did not affect the non-browser client:

I have never used the new browser based Citrix client but I can report that the old Citrix ICA Client does still work fine under 10.3.6.

Several readers report that the newest version of the Citrix client is not affected by the 10.3.6 update:

Mark Matuschak:

Saw the report about 10.3.6 breaking Citrix. Using the old Citrix client, 6.20.139, this was true - the Citrix application just quit shortly after the splash screen.

However, the new Citrix client, 7.00.400, works great for me. In fact, it finally has full-screen and resizable screen capability and is finally native OS X. What a big improvement!

I am using 10.3.6 on a PowerBook G4 (15").

Stefan Kirchanski:

I experienced a "broken connection" with Citrix after I updated to 10.3.6. Problem disappeared when I downloaded the latest ICA client. Don't recall how old my former client was. Things work fine with new client so problem must be the precise Citrix set up in question. The default runs with our Citrix server. Probably more difficult if the server is configured differently.

However, other readers reported having no problems with the 6.3.x client, presumably the non-browser versions.

Thanks to the many other readers who wrote in about this problem. Your reports helped us zero in on this apparent cause of the problem.

Windows XP SP2 printing fix verified.December 1, 2004 -- Godehard Oepen reported success with the workaround provided by Asger Jensen for the problem of Mac OS X 10.3.6 unable to access Win XP Service Pack 2 printers. The same was true for Ethan Allen, who said "workgroup;username@machine/printer works great!"

Equinux releases VPN Tracker maintenance update. December 1, 2004 -- Equinux has releasedVPN Tracker 3.0.4, a free update to the virtual private network client for Mac OS X. The company said that the update "prevents a potential privilege escalation exploit in conjunction with the VPN Tracker actions directory." Equinux recommends the update for all users.


November 2004

Nov. 29

Suggestions for Win XP SP2 printer sharing. November 29, 2004 -- Several readers have sent in procedures they used to get around the problem of Mac OS X 10.3.6 unable to access Win XP Service Pack 2 printers.

Asger Jensen:

I've managed to get printer sharing on Win XP SP2 to work. It's not a very elegant solutions but it works! This is what you do on the Mac OS X 10.3.6.

In "Print and Fax"->"Set up printers" you click "add" while holding the "option" key. This will give you the "advanced" option in the drop down menu. Here you choose "windows printing via Samba" Name the printer and fill out the empty space after SMB:// with either:

username:password@workgroup/machine/printer

or

workgroup;username@machine/printer

Rahul Mangaldas:

I ran into this problem, and I believe I have the solution. Here are the things to check:

1. The Mac and the Windows PC have to be in the same workgroup (usually, it's WORKGROUP; you can change the workgroup on the Mac in the Directory Services app; on Windows, you change it under Control Panel >System > Computer Name)

2. An exception should be made in the Windows firewall for File and Printer Sharing; if you're running Zone Alarm, make sure your LAN is in the Trusted Zone and your Trusted Zone firewall setting is medium or low.

3. Windows XP does not use NetBIOS over TCP/IP (ports 137, 139) by default, instead, it uses direct SMB over TCP/IP (port 445), so enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP in the Windows TCP/IP advanced settings.

4. Enable "Simple File and Printer Sharing" in Windows Explorer >Tools > Folder Options > View (only for Windows XP Pro)

5. If you still can't get it to work, try this (this is the part that I discovered): on the Mac, hold down the Option key when clicking the Add button in Printing Center. Now, in the Add Printer dialog, you'll have an Advanced option at the end of the connection dropdown box. Select that, then select the SMB Printer option, and then, in the URI field, enter the path to the printer as follows: SMB://user:password@win_ip/printer, where user and password are the username and password, separated by a colon, of the Windows user, IP is the IP address of the Windows PC, and printer is the share name of the printer.

Paul Walmsley:

I've had the same printer sharing problems myself OS X (10.3.5/6). I had SP2 installed on Win XP before I acquired a Mac, so I don't know whether the following is attributable to OS X 10.3.x or SP2.

There are two problems here. One is the inability to browse the available Windows printers, and the second is the NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED message you get if you try to print to a printer that you already had set up. The following solution worked for me -- it involves shell-prompt hackery:

1. Start a terminal window and become root with:

*> sudo bash --login*

2. Change to the directory with the CUPS config files:

*> cd /etc/cups*

3. The file *printers.conf* contains the configuration information for the printers on your system. The '*DeviceURI*' line is the important one here. It looks like the Printer Setup Utility gets the format of this wrong. I previously had the following line in mine:

*DeviceURI SMB://WHAMSNET/WHAMS/HP970*

Whereas what is really required is the username and password (haven't tried this with the guest account):

*DeviceURI SMB://WHAMSNET/username:passwd@WHAMS/HP970

*So you need to fix this in your own file (if the file is empty then copy my one, shown below)

4. You now have to restart the CUPS daemon:

*> ps -x | grep cupsd *
> 338 ?? Ss 0:04.0 /usr/sbin/cupsd
*> kill -HUP 338*

5. Now open the printer setup utility and you should see the printer there -- DON'T CHANGE THE CONNECTION SETTINGS

6. Try printing from an application. This now worked for me.

I enclose below the contents of my printers.conf in case you have to create one from scratch:

# Printer configuration file for CUPS v1.1.20rc1
# Written by cupsd on Wed Nov 24 19:26:08 2004
<DefaultPrinter HP970>
Info HP970
Location WHAMSNET
DeviceURI SMB://WHAMSNET/user:password@WHAMS/HP970
State Idle
JobSheets none none
QuotaPeriod 0
PageLimit 0
KLimit 0
</Printer>

Several readers wrote to say that the problem is on the Mac OS X update, not the Win XP update. Mike Everatt:

I'm not sure if the problem is Windows SP2. I have an iBook that accessed the shared HP printer on my Windows XP SP2 box, right up until I upgraded the iBook from 10.3.5 to 10.3.6. I noticed the printing problem right away, and made sure that I didn't install the 10.3.6 update on my eMac -- and the eMac can still see the shared Windows printer! So the problem is definitely a 10.3.6 update problem.

So in summary -- on my eMac with 10.3.5, I can still see shared printers on my Windows XP SP2 box. On my iBook, with 10.3.6, I cannot.

Bryce Steiner:

I tried using browsing for printers from OS X 10.3.6 and I too had the problem. It wouldn't let me type in the SMB://computer/printer name. I tried then having it browse my Linux/SMB computer for it's shared printers and it couldn't find the printers on Linux either.

I then tried using Windows XP SP2 to view the printers on Linux and it worked just fine. I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not Win XP SP2 at all, but maybe the new 10.3.6.

Mac OS X 10.3.6 breaks Citrix client. November 29, 2004 -- David Merzel reports that installing the Mac OS X 10.3.6 update "broke" the Citrix client. Reinstalling the latest client didn't change things:

Since upgrading to OS X 10.3.6, Citrix access stopped working after a year of no problems. Now I get the following: "SSL Error 0: The remote SSL peer sent a bad MAC alert. Error number: 183".  I deleted the Citrix client and downloaded their latest client for Macintosh but no change. Network guys at work and Mac users all stumped. I even tried using IE, Firefox, Camino, and Netscape from my G5 and PowerBook G4 but always the same message as above. The problem seems to be with Panther and not the browser. Can't work out of office, productivity down. Any help appreciated.

If you've seen this problem,

Can't create aliases to SMB Win Server. November 29, 2004 -- A reader reports a problem with aliases to folders on a Windows SMB file server:

For the past few months, after one of the Mac OS X 10.3.x upgrades, I am no longer able to create a functioning alias to a Windows NT server mounted via the SMB protocol. It doesn't matter whether I mount the share via Command-K or by browsing. The mounting itself works flawlessly.

But every alias created by either command-L or by dragging the window title of the share opened in the Finder gives me the message when trying to open it: "The alias 'xxx' could not be opened, because the original item cannot be found."

Interestingly, I still have two older aliases to shares on the same server which still work (they are not real Finder aliases since they were created by dragging a mounted share into a Drop Drawers drawer). When using them, the share mounts in /Volumes as it does when using Command-K.

However, with Command-K the share name appears in small letters, using my old 'alias', the name appears in capital letters.

And, creating an alias from a share on a different server mounted via AFP still works.

If you've seen this problem,

Fix for Entourage synchronizing when set up not to. November 29, 2004 -- Several readers responded to our report of the issue of Entourage synchronizing when set up not to do so. Kelly Johnson, who first reported the problem, found a solution:

We figured how to get around it. Simply create a new schedule to check for new mail at any interval and the update happens within Entourage's status bar rather than having the Progress bar pop-up. Amazing that simple things like that can actually work!

Craig Edmond offers a suggestion:

I have noticed similar issues with an older version of Office, Entourage version 10.1.6. There are another set of synch options for each account under the "Tools > Schedules" menu. Double click on the schedule for the account. Next to each account listed there should be a button for "Click here for account options". You can select the folders you wish to synch and how you want to synch them, Headers Only, New Messages or All Messages. I have mine set to "Headers only" and I don't see much of a slow down.

I'm not entirely sure if this will fix the problem mentioned here but it's worth a look.

Gracion updates DigiTunnel VPN client for Mac OS X. November 29, 2004 -- Gracion Software released DigiTunnel 1.4, a free upgrade to the virtual private network (PPTP) client for Mac OS X. The new version adds support for supports Mac OS X (Panther) Fast User Switching, allowing you to switch users while connected. There's a more reliable installer/uninstaller are faster, and bug fixes.

DigiTunnel includes features not found in the built-in Mac OS X's VPN client, including a split-routing feature for direct connection to all Internet sites while on the VPN.


Nov. 23

Group Logic on slow icon drawing with Windows AFP servers. November 23, 2004 -- Michael Curtis asked Group Logic, makers of ExtremeZ-IP, about the problem of slow AFP access to Windows Servers due to "icon caching" on a server running Group Logic's ExtremeZ-IP. Reid Lewis of Group Logic replied with a discussion of the cause:

MC: I have tested ExtremeZ-IP and it is wonderful. Why when using 10.3.x sharing to a Windows 2000 or 2003 server is it so slow the first time you go to a folder that contains lots of files/folders? It's even worse when those files are making thumb nails. Is their anything that can be done? What is happening?

RL (Group Logic): Yes, we are aware of this behavior and we think that we understand it. We think that its the result of a slow process of icon and preview generation. The problem affects all file servers but appears to be worse with AFP v2.2 than with AFP v3.1 [used in EZ-IP].

There are two cases, the Finder and other applications, such as Quark. In the case of the Finder, when you are browsing in column view, the Finder can _optionally_ show an icon and a preview. Generating the icon and the preview are the slow activity. If you go to the View menu, and choose View Options CMD-J, and disable Show Icon and Show Preview, the slowness will disappear along with the icon and the preview.

Under an application, such as Quark, you may not be able to disable the icon and preview and are therefore stuck with the performance.

In either case, having the latest version of ExtremeZ-IP supporting the latest AppleShare protocol, AFP v3.1, will likely give you the experience closest to Xserve, which also uses AFP v3.1. The Windows File Services for Macintosh, SFM, uses the older AFP v2.2

Suggestion for Mac disconnection problem. November 23, 2004 -- Joseph Senak has a suggestion for the problem of Windows Server 2003/OS X disconnections, which is similar to disconnection of Windows clients:

The timeout problem sounds very much like Knowledge Base article Q297684. I applied that fix for Macs and a Windows 2000 Server share which seemed to work just fine.

Has this worked for you?

Fix for Entourage continually asking for password. November 23, 2004 -- Several readers responded to yesterday's report of Entourage constantly asking for a password. Michael White offered a fix:

This is because the Mac OS X Keychain is in the user keychain setting and not the login. The fix is to copy the password in the user keychain to the login keychain. 3 failed logins will disable the account with exchange

If you've tried this fix,

Meanwhile, other readers report having the problem.Doug Brown said "Yes, I also get this message. It doesn't happen every day, more like every 4-6 weeks."

Michael Vander Sande reports "I've been experiencing similar symptoms for several weeks now. Mac OS X 10.3.5, Entourage Version 11.0.0 (040405).

A theory on Panther problem deleting or moving folders on SMB servers. November 23, 2004 -- Jamie Kettlewell believes that it is double-logons that cause the problem of "._" files on SMB locking up the real files, in which users can't delete or move folders.

I can confirm that I get occasional issues with any one of my three Mac OS X clients being unable to delete or move folders on the Windows 2003 server.

From what I can ascertain, the problem occurs when one of the OS X clients gets a double login or login session. This generally means that one of the sessions gets read locks on the '._' files and then subsequently these files cannot be moved or deleted until I close the open file lock.

This does seem to ONLY happen with MAC logins that get 2 login sessions. As I write this, I am looking at the server and again, one of the MAC users has a double login; this will no doubt cause a phone call sometime this afternoon due to one of them being not able to move or delete a file or folder.

Either there is an intermittent bug in OS X which stops the double login or the double login IS the bug. Either way, the off shoot of this is that '._' files are left locked and subsequently stops folders being moved or deleted.

Reader problem: Mac OS X 10.3.6 "broke" file sharing. November 23, 2004 -- Esther Carney of Australia reports this problem:

I just upgraded my computers to Mac OS X 10.3.6 from an earlier 10.3 and now they won't talk to each other. I wanted to delete those little folders that appeared in the network folder as per Greg Noneman's Feb 4 suggestion. However they won't delete, and when I checked permissions even if I undo the padlock they are owned by the system and I have read only privileges.

If you can help,

More on Win XP SP2 printer sharing woes. November 22, 2004 -- More readers are reporting problems accessing Windows XP Service Pack 2 printers.

Bryce Steiner asks a question about the problem:

I saw the problems with printer sharing and WinXP SP2. I just wanted asked if anybody can access it by typing in the address or cannot access it at all. I am able to print to an SMB shared printer on a Win XP SP2 printer from Linux just fine.

Jay Tsao

I've had the same experience as others on your page such as Mickey Hancharenko about being unable to print to a printer connected to a PC running XP SP2. The printer was working after I had originally upgraded from SP1 to SP2. The printer was installed to my PowerBook running Mac OSX 10.3.6 while the XP machine was running SP1.

After upgrading to SP2, it was still working. However, I recently had to remove the printer from the Mac OSX printer setup. When I went back to add the printer back, it does not find it on the network. It does find all the computers on my network but it doesn't see the printer.

Other XP machines on the network are able to see the printer. Windows SMB filesharing works fine.

JR Powers-Luhn

Not too much to add here, but I, too, can't access my printer. It's an HP Deskjet 5740 connected to my Windows XP SP2 machine. Windows claims that it's shared, but my Printer Setup Utility on my G4 12" PowerBook can't see it.

Richard Lotsch

I have read the many comments and suggested fixes for problems with the Mac not able to see Printers installed on a Networked Windows XP Home PC after running Service Pack 2. I have tried all the fixes without success.

My network consists of 3 PCs running XP Home SP2 and a Powerbook 1.33 with 1Gig of RAM running OS X ver 10.3.6 all connected via a Wireless G Router. There are 2 printers installed on local USB ports of 2 different PCs. All the PCs can access each of these printers. Windows firewall is turned off. 

I can access the shared files on all the computers without problems but cannot find any of the PC printers when I try to install a new printer on the Mac. I can see the Workgroup and each of the computers, but there are no printers visible. Even turning on Printer Services for UNIX in XP did not fix the problem.........perhaps because I don't know how to find the correct Printer Address or Queue Name or because my printer (Canon ImageClass D780) is not listed in the dropdown list of Printers.

I even spoke with the "Geniuses" at the Apple Store........they were stumped.

It seems your website may be getting close to an answer. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

If you have a suggestion


Nov. 22

VPC problem with DSL Internet connection. November 22, 2004 -- Joe Simon can't get Virtual PC 7 to connect to the web over his DSL line:

No matter what I do, I can't connect to the Internet from Virtual PC 7 using my DSL connection (PPPoE) connected to my Mac's Ethernet port (Mac OS X Panther). My Mac is the only computer.

Internet Explorer says that it found the web page, but then the web page never loads and times out.

I've done everything that VPC help suggests, and have Shared Networking. (I tried Virtual Switch, but it was even worse -- Internet Explorer could not find the page at all.) I have tried the suggestions at Microsoft's VPC Internet Troubleshooting page. I've tried different network settings in Windows XP, including automatic IP and typing in the Mac's DNS server address. I've tried it with the Mac OS X firewall on and off, and with the Windows XP Firewall off. Nothing works.

If you've seen this problem,

Reader has VPC 7 problem with modem. November 22, 2004 -- Daryl Elliff can't get Virtual PC 7 to dial the Internet:

I live in the boonies and my only option is "dial-up"(not willing to pay the "upfront" costs for satellite). I'm not very knowledgeable of Windows.

My new iMac G5 with Mac OS X and VPC 7 both seem to work fine with one exception. I want to use a Windows database accounting/reporting application that requires a dial up connection into the "state of ID" EDS computer. It does work fine on the Pentium II that I would dearly love to get rid of.

I cannot get the internal iMac modem to "initialize" in VPC7. I have tried all of the "modem" settings, with the "Network Sharing" options both on and off.

If you've seen this problem,

Mediafour offers free Windows XPlay Photo Browser for iPod. November 22, 2004 --Last week, Mediafour released XPlay Photo Browser, free software for Windows XP SP1 or Win 2000 SP4 that enables users to browse and save photos and view slideshows on iPod Photo. XPlay Photo Browser works with iPods formatted for PC and iPods for Macs. When used with iPods for Mac, XPlay Photo Browser requires Mediafour's XPlay or MacDrive running in Windows.

Entourage synchronizing when set up not to. November 22, 2004 -- Kelly Johnson reports that Entourage is synchronizing even though it is set not to:

I'm in OS X 10.3.6 and running Entourage 2004. In my Account Settings,under Advanced I have "Do not synchronize items to server" checked and have tried various combinations of other settings but to no avail.

Periodically throughout the day I get those annoying "Progress" windows that popup and say Updating the Inbox, or junk mail, or saved folders.

The problem is that sometimes it slows down my machine and I have to either click off the box (not "Cancel" which is grayed, the box) or wait a few seconds. Being in design/publishing where time is precious it all adds up to very annoying.

Our IT guys are 'looking into it,' but I fear as usual the well-trained computer people have no idea about anything other than Windows.

We are running an Exchange server but that's all I know at this point. Every one of the five people who are using Entourage 2004 get these little popups no matter the settings in the Account Settings tab.

We are not using POP/POP3. We are IMAP.

If you've seen this problem,

Entourage logon problems. November 22, 2004 -- Chris Myers reports that Entourage 2004 repeatedly asks for logon:

At random times throughout the day, Entourage 2004 keeps asking me to re-enter my password for my Exchange account, sometimes doing it three or four times in a row.

I get this error message:

Mail could not be received at this time.

The server for account "Exchange Server" returned the error "Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password." Your username/password or security settings may be incorrect. Would you like to try re-entering your password?

If you've seen this problem,

Nov. 18

Thursby releases Dave 5.1 update. November 18, 2004 -- Yesterday, Thursby Software Systems released of DAVE 5.1 (free upgrade for 5.x users), the cross-platform file and print sharing software for Macintosh computers. Enhancements include:

Workaround for Win XP SP2 Printer Sharing problem. November 18, 2004 -- Mickey Hancharenko offered a workaround to Monday's report about a problem with Macs accessing print sharing on Win XP Service Pack 2 clients. (Other readers reported problems with file sharing.) Hancharenko reports:

I ran into the same problem Mr. Holmes has. My setup is a Windows XP Home system /w SP2, sharing an Epson Stylus C80. It was connecting just fine while the Windows box was still running SP1. After the SP2 upgrade, I no longer can see the printer when trying to reconnect the printer through the Apple Printer Setup Utility.

It was working just fine with SP2 as long as I did not remove the printer from the Setup Utility when upgrading from SP1 to SP2. Windows Firewall is off; it doesn't seem to make a difference.

I've discovered that turning on Print Services for UNIX allows LPR printing from the Mac. I guess this can serve as a temporary fix for those that really need to get printing operational. Access to SMB shared printers Windows boxes running SP2 still doesn't seem to be working.

Dennis Palmer also has the printing problem:

I have this problem. I have a new Mac dual G5 on a local network with one other XP SP2 machine. I can no longer see the printer that is connected to the XP machine. Blah.

Christos Efstathiou has the problem with file sharing:

I have 3 PCs (2 running Win 2000, one Win XP SP2) and a PowerBook running 10.3.6 and I get an "alias not found" error when I go to connect in the XP shares.

With 10.3.6 I have no problems connecting to older Samba versions (2.2.8a) in my lab. I found a related article at apple.com that suggests opening some ports but I haven't tried opening them yet. In the past, I could easily connect to XP shares but it seems to have become worse lately.

Dave Leary refutes the previous suggestion of this being a firewall problem:

I can not connect at all. I have tried turning off the Windows Firewall completely , but OS X 10.3.6 times out before it will connect. I can ping the Windows machine, so I know the network is OK.

PocketMac Lite syncs Macs and Pocket PCs. November 18, 2004 -- Information Appliance Associates released PocketMac Lite (US $15), a new, smaller version of the software for syncing Macs with Pocket PCs with Mac OS X's iSync, Address Book, and iCal calendars and to-do's. (PocketMac Pro is the full version.) PocketMac Lite works over Bluetooth and AirPort (802.11b) connections, as well as USB. PocketMac Lite can laso mount the Pocket PC's memory and/or any of the Pocket PC's storage cards on the Mac desktop.


Nov. 15

Fix for disconnection of Mac clients from Win servers. November 15, 2004 -- Julian Poyntz offered a fix for the issue of Mac OS X disconnecting from Windows Server 2003. It involves a change to the Windows server:

I gleaned this off of another Mac site. It seems to have worked here.
  1. Go to the Start Menu
  2. Select Programs
  3. Select Administrative Tools
  4. Select Local Security Policy
  5. Choose Local Policies
  6. Select Security Options
  7. Change Amount of idle time required before disconnecting session to 0

If you've tried this fix

Mac problems accessing Win XP SP2 related to firewall. November 15, 2004 -- Several readers wrote wrote to say that firewalls may be the problem with Macs that can't access Win XP Service Pack 2 clients.

Kalani Patterson:

I ran into the same thing. Turning off the firewall fixed the issue. Ideal? No. Does it work? Yup. I would only do this on machines behind a hardware firewall, however (such as a router). Make sure it is back on if you connect from anywhere else, or anywhere public.

Steve Maser agrees, but refines the solution so that you can keep the firewall on:

If he set the default settings for SP2 -- this turns on the Windows Firewall by default.

You have to make the "File and Print Sharing" Service an exception in the firewall to get into the PC from something else after that.

However, a Mr. Holmes said it didn't work with print sharing:

I've been having problems with printer sharing on SP2. My Mac can't connect at all anymore. I've even disabled the Windows' firewall. It doesn't work.

If you've seen this problem

PocketMac iCalPrinter, Entourage-style list printing from iCal. November 15, 2004 -- Information Appliance Associates has released a new product, PocketMac iCalPrinter (US $10), the first tool that enables Mac OS X's iCal to print calendars in the Entourage-style list format (without grids).

Mediafour releases XPlay 2.0.11 update to Win iPod utility. November 15, 2004 -- Mediafour has released XPlay 2 (US $30), an update to the Windows software for connecting to Mac and PC iPods. In addition to working with Windows the only retail product that makes iPods compatible with Windows XP and 2000, XPlay is the only software to work with Windows 98SE and Me.

The update plus supports updating and restoring all iPods with the latest iPod software releases, works with the new iTunes 4.7, and adds compatibliey with Windows Media Player 10. XPlay works with MP3, AAC and Audible files, and provides automatic WMA-to-MP3 conversion. Unlike iTunes, XPlay allows users to move music from iPod to a PC, as well as moving music into an iPod.

A Ziff-Davis Media review gives XPlay 2 a score of 5 out of 5.


Nov. 10

Mac OS X Update 10.3.6 fixes some cross-platform problems. November 10, 2004 -- Last Friday, Apple released Mac OS X Update 10.3.6, also available via Software Update. Apple said that the update provides "improved file sharing for Mac (AFP), UNIX (NFS) and PC (SMB/CIFS) networks" as well as "more reliable network automounts and launch of network applications."

Henrik Ahlberg of Sweden reports that 10.3.6 fixed the problem of Mac users not being able to empty the Trash while connected to Active Directory.

If you can verify that 10.3.6 fixes the trash/AD problem, or that it fixes other cross-platform problems

MS releases Virtual PC 7.0.1, more VPC bundles, and Microsoft AutoUpdate 1.1.2. November 10, 2004 -- Yesterday, Microsoft issued a trio of releases for Virtual PC.

One of these was Virtual PC for Mac Version 7.0.1, an update designed to fix a bug that prevented VPC 7 from running on Macs with more than 2 GB of memory. Microsoft also said that the update "improves the overall stability of Virtual PC." The update is available in five languages.

Reader Joseph McBride told us that he experienced the memory problem, saying "If you have a G5 with more than 2 GB of memory, VPC 7 will not install or boot up." (McBride also had a workaround, which we've posted on the MacWindows Virtual PC 7 Reports page.) If you can verify or disprove the efficacy of the 7.0.1 update in fixing this memory problem

Microsoft also announced that four bundles Virtual PC 7 will be available in December. The first three have been released to manufacturing; the four will be released to manufacturing later this month. The new bundles:

Currently, Virtual PC 7 with Windows XP Professional ($249) is the only bundle shipping.

The third Microsoft announcement was the release of Microsoft AutoUpdate 1.1.2 for Office 2004. The company described the update to us:

"The update will correct errors in French, Swedish and Spanish versions of Microsoft Auto Update. All customers, however, should download the update in order to be completely current.

VPC 7 won't talk to Serial/USB converter. November 10, 2004 -- Spero Leon reports that VPC 7 doesn't work with a USB adapter that worked with previous versions:

Since the upgraded to VPC 7 from VPC 6.1 I cannot use Keyspan Serial-to-USB Adapter. It seems that the port gets hung up or is busy.

If you've seen this problem

VPN Tracker 3.0.3 supports NETASQ. November 10, 2004 -- Equinux has release VPN Tracker 3.0.3, and update to the IPsec VPN client for Mac OS X. The new version adds support for NETASQ VPN devices. Equinux offers a how-to manual regarding NETASQ VPN devices at its supported VPN gateways page.

PC-Mac-Net FileShare v4.0 simplifies setup, supports multiple languages. November 10, 2004 -- Lava Software is now shipping PC-Mac-Net FileShare v4.0, peer-to-peer file sharing software for Windows and Macs for local networks and the Internet.

The 4.0 version includes several new features:

PC-Mac-Net FileShare v4.0 is available in two paid versions and free Lite Edition, which is limited to 10 MB file size and up to 3 users. The Standard Edition (US $25) and Professional Edition (US $40, $300 site license) have no file size limits and support large workgroups. The Professional Edition can also encrypt file data during file transfer. Lava Software is now offering a free license for each license ordered. (See also the press release.)

Suggestion for Address Book crash in AD binding in OS X 10.3.5. November 10, 2004 -- John Sanders offered a suggestion for Monday's report Address Book problems with Active Directory:

I haven't seen this problem in 10.3.5, but I suspect I know why Steve Dockery is having trouble. In Directory Access, when you bind to Active Directory, you also have to explicitly add AD to the Authorization list and you can also add them to the Contacts list (you absolutely don't have to for the authorization part to work fine). This is basically a list of the places the Mac will search for contact information, or where the Address Book will look when someone is using it. It may be that this part doesn't work so well, or doesn't work in his environment. I would recommend NOT using the Contact part of the equation, particularly if you aren't really using it.

Use column view for slow "icon caching" problem with file servers. November 10, 2004 -- A number of readers on both sides of the Atlantic have verified the problem of slow access to Windows Servers due to "icon caching."

John Gettlers has a workaround for Panther: use column view and turn off icons:

In response to Michael Curtis's email. I have found what may be the solution or work around, tested on OS X 10.3.2. When browsing folders in OS X stored locally, but especially on servers, the speed it fills in the list has been slower than on OS 9. The speed of actually copying / opening / saving files is not the problem. It has been the Finder file browsing that has been slow. The more items in a folder, the longer it will take to display.

Workaround:

You must be in column view, not list or icon view, and turn off Show icons. (View menu, select Show View Options.) This will dramatically speed up the display when in column view. This appears to a user-wide setting. There appears to be no way to turn off the icons in list view.

There appears to be no big speed lag caused by the 'Show preview column' being left on, so you might as well leave it on.

So if you mainly browse in column view, you can wiz through folders full of files very fast. Of course, the bad part is that you wont see the icons which can sometimes be helpful. In general you can turn this option on and off on the fly, when needed either way.

Unfortunately, this setting does not affect the column view of the Open and Save dialog boxes, which are still slow due to the drawing of the icons. If anyone knows of a hack to set this flag, for the list view in the Finder, and also for the open and save dialog boxes, that would be great.

If you know of such a hack

Michael Curtis, who first reported the problem,

I've also seen the problem on both ExtremeZ-IP and Mac OS X Server, BUT, it won't stop you working. You can see the dim folders, but at least you can scroll. You can't scroll the view while it is "caching." It does it when connecting to Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 servers.

The Finder only seems to "cache' the files that are in the view, so it seems you have to scroll the window to get the other folders cached.

 

Jaap van den Dries of the Netherlands thinks the problem may have to do with an old version of the Apple File Protocol (AFP):

It's terribly slow, especially with 10.3; 10.2 was somewhat better. On several places on the Internet there are threads about this problem, but until now there's no clear solution. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Microsoft doesn't supports AFP 3.x but sticks to 2.x (without support for long filenames, another very annoying problem).

Darrin Pertschi agrees with van den Dries on the cause:

Yes, I can absolutely second Michael Curtis experience. Folders on a MS 2000/2003 server, with more than a couple dozen files and folders within, take a lot longer to scroll through, in list view, than on OS 9 booted machines. The folders appear properly immediately as expected, but the Finder produces a 'ghost image' of file icons briefly and then it snaps into the full color of the proper creator app. icon.

And yes, once you scroll fully through the folder and it's drawn properly; you can go in and out of the folder and experience hesitation free scrolling. Once you disconnect from the server and reconnect, your back to slow icon redraw the first time in any given folder. I see this on multiple machines running 10.3.4.

I suspect it's the AFP version mismatch; desktop-v3.1, server-v2.2.

Jordi Parera of Barcelona, Spain, describes more symptoms:

We have exactly the same slow access to our W2000 Server that Michael Curtis reports when we try to access the first time to a directory. I feel it's due to the 'intelligent redrawing' the Mac OS X is making of the different icons; for example, when the files are locked for the user, the icon appears with a specific icon, and it seems W2000 it's serving this information quite slow.

In Excel (Mac OS X), when you try to open a file from your W2000 server, it takes a longtime to show the files in a directory (as long as 5-6 seconds in our case). When you page-scroll in the open dialog box, you have to wait also at each 'page-down'. If you quit Excel, reopen it and try to open a file in the same W2000 directory, speed improves a lot (without being impressive anyhow).

Jonathan Tillick describes the versions of Mac OS X that exhibit the problem:

We're definitely having this problem and it's a real pain. It takes a second or two or longer for large lists of files, and is noticeable even on short lists. We're Running 10.3.5 and 10.3.6 clients connecting through AFP to a straightforward Windows 2000 fileserver. It seems to have happened since upgrading to 10.3.x from 10.2. Still a problem in 10.3.6

If you're in column view you notice that it's slow and even seems to only load the files that are visible - you can leave it a few seconds to "catch up", but even then when you scroll down it's still slow. It doesn't seem smart enough to preload the rest of the folders files until you scroll down.

Fabienne Tierce of France:

We're seeing very low speed between a shared folder on Windows Server 2003 and Mac OX 10.3.6 (G4) computers. To open the window of the folder "IMAGES" (on server NAS) and copy the pictures in EPS on the desktop of the G4, it takes an abnormal amount of time.


Nov. 8

How to use Open Source Network Administration Tools. November 8, 2004 -- Mark Duling has posted a page describing his top open source picks for network administration with links to his pages describing how to use them. Duling told us about his site:

Here is a set of Mac OS X how-to's I did for some really useful open source software for network administrators. A Jaguar version of the RANCID how-to was listed on your site some time ago, but the rest are original. I think they make a nice open source suite of apps for Panther.

MS Technet describes Macs and AD, SMB, SFM. November 8, 2004 -- A Microsoft's new Technet Magazine includes an article called Secure Your Mac On A Windows Network. The story covers Services for Macintosh,SMB, Active Directory and the Apple OS X Active Directory Client. (Thanks to Tony Euser for this tip.)

Problems with Active Directory passwords and OS X Address Book. November 8, 2004 -- Steve Dockery is running into problems with Active Directory with Mac passwords and with Mac OS X Address Book:

I've bound our Mac OS X 10.3.5 Macs to our Active Directory server, so you can log into a machine and it will create a new user for you on the spot. I've been creating mobile users, so they will persist. In some cases, the user was already on the machine before binding. Here's what I've found:

1. If the user is already on the machine, Active Directory does not override the local user's password, even though the exact same (short) user name exists in AD. Perhaps it is because it doesn't match in all particulars. The only was I can get the AD server to do the authentication for a user is if the user was created by logging in as an AD user that did not already have a local user. I believe this behavior is the same in Windows.

2. If a user was created by logging in and set up as a mobile account, they can't alter their OS X Address Book. Any attempt to edit or add an address causes the Address Book to lock up with a spinning beach ball. Local users can edit their Address Books at will. Fixing permissions doesn't solve the problem, neither does giving them local admin privileges.

If I can't solve the Address Book issue, I can't use AD for user authentication, I need people to be able to add contacts to their Address Books.

If you've seen this problem

Reader report: Slow access to Windows Server. November 8, 2004 -- Michael Curtis reports a performance problem with the first Mac OS X access to a Windows server, which he thinks seems to be some sort of caching behavior:

Mac sharing to a Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 server is so slow the first time you go to a folder that contains lots of files/folders and is even worse when those files are making thumb nails.

It does not happen to Mac OS X Server or with ExtremeZ-IP. It seems that Mac OS X is doing caching of Windows Server items. Is there any way to turn this off? You can tell when it is doing it, as all the icons are lighter while they are "cached."

When you return to that folder, access will be quick. But once you log out the "cache" seems to be lost.

If you've seen this problem

Mac can't access Win XP Service Pack 2. November 8, 2004 -- Stephen Power reports that his Mac can no longer access his Windows XP machine after he updated it with Service Pack 2:

I, too, have recently upgraded my Windows XP laptop to Service Pack 2. My Mac "sees" the computer, but I cannot connect. I can, however, log onto the Mac from my PC, but have lost the ability to network print via the Mac.

We've had several reports of the opposite problem with SP2: Windows XP SP 2 machines can't access Mac OS X Server.

If you've seen this problem

Mac Word 2004 and SMB problems. November 8, 2004 -- Michael Pearson sees the problem saving files to Windows 2003 Server, specifically with Word files:

At our University we are having the same problem saving Word files on a Win 2003 server. Our magazine labs is using G5s running 10.3.5. Many times Word files on the server can not be saved under the same name, it gives the error that the file is in use or the network share has been closed, neither of which is true. I gave everyone full control for the temporary items folder but we are still having the problem.


Nov. 4

Suggestions for syncing Palm devices with VPC 6 and 7. November 4, 2004 -- Responding to reports of problems synching PalmOne devices with Virtual PC, several readers said that they are able to sync with VPC versions 6 and 7.

A reader identified as Unseelie thought a problem if Palm Desktop for Mac was open:

I sync Palm devices with VPC 7.0 daily with my Tungsten T to a Windows XP (now updated to SP2) VM under 10.3.5 and it works just fine. I did, initially, see some problems if the Mac Palm Desktop was enabled. It appeared as if the Mac Palm Desktop would grab the device before Palm Desktop within the VM could do so. Since then, I have always disabled the Mac Palm Desktop before syncing within Windows and it works like a charm.

John Holmes describes how he gets it to work:

I am able to do the hot synch just fine. If I am in the VPC window and click on it, then when I push the hot synch button on my Palm, it does the hot synch in the Windows Palm Desktop, if I don't then it will hot synch in the Mac Palm Desktop.

The best method I could find is from within VPC Windows, with the mouse changed to a white arrow. On the Palm device, tap the Hot Synch application in the applications (not the Hot Synch button on the cradle).

Jim Breashears describes how he syncs with Virtual PC 6

I've never (knock on wood) had a problem syncing VPC 6 with Palm Devices using USB. I don't know it this is relevant to the discussion, but my set up is: PowerBook 1.25 w/ 1.25 GB Ram & PowerBook 667 w/ 1 GB Ram, both machines set to allot 512 MB to VPC 6. Both machines have VPC 6 and Win 2000 Pro.

VPC Menu Bar > Edit > Settings > USB > Enable > select "USB Device from Apple Computer"

My Palm device is a Kyocera 7135 Smartphone. I used to use the Keyspan serial- to-USB because I thought that was the only way to get it to work. One day I got a wild hair and tried plugging in straight to USB and it worked. I think I got the idea off of MacFixIt, but can't remember for sure.

More on Windows Server 2003/OS X disconnections. November 4, 2004 -- Reid Lewis of Group Logic commented that the problem of Mac OS X disconnecting from Windows Server 2003 would not occur with his company's product, ExtremeZ-IP. He says the reason is AFP 3.1:

If the problem is the Mac OS X client, then ExtremeZ-IP should be mask the problem with the automatic reconnect feature of AFP 3.1. ExtremeZ-IP supports automatic reconnect and AFP 3.1. Services for Mac (SFM) does not because SFM relies on the older AFP 2.2 protocol that does not auto-reconnect.

Derek Smith sent in a clarification to his previous report on Mac OS X disconnecting from Windows Server 2003:

I mentioned ADmitMac only because it is the method we use to automount volumes at user login. The unexpected dismount is very rare, (three reports - I've only seen it once with my own eyes,) and I have no evidence ADmitMac is responsible. Once the volume is mounted, I believe the OS is responsible for maintaining the connection on the client end, not ADmitMac. The disconnects could very likely come from the server, or perhaps they are even network related. The jury is still out on this one.


Nov. 1

Tracking down random Mac disconnects from Win 2003. November 1, 2004 -- Several readers responded to a previous report of Macs randomly disconnecting from Windows 2003 Server. Donald Harkin has also seen the problem:

It happens with us, too. We are using a grading program which resides on a Windows 2003 box. All of our iBooks run Panther. Disconnects happen randomly at any given time.

Ronald McCafferty offers some advice on tracking down and fixing the problem:

I have seen this many times, and in many cases have needed to look further into network hardware settings, such as DHCP lease options, router/firewall rules, as in trusted addresses, which contain the hardware (MAC) addresses of each NIC (Ethernet card). Try using the Microsoft User Authentication Module for the OS X machines as well. However, my guess is that something is not configured properly on one of your routers or firewalls.

To prove this, try using an unassigned static IP address in the same subnet as your DHCP scope. See if that machine stays connected. If so, then look at your DHCP settings for the problem. Delete all active leases, set the default lease for a shorter time, then refresh each computer to test.

There is nothing wrong with Windows 2003 Services for Mac, other than it is not the total answer to file services for the Mac.

Derek Smith reports seeing the problem with AdmitMac on the network:

I've seen it sporadically here as well. We use ADmitMac to authenticate and automount two volumes at user login. In our case one of the volumes will dismount with the 'puff-of-smoke' animated icon. The volume cannot be remounted during the same session, and on one occasion could not be remounted until after 3 reboots. On one occurrence, both mounted volumes dismounted. ADmitMac automounts using SMB (CIFS). In general, the volume on which the users' files resides is the volume which is dismounted. For our PC users, this volume holds home folders specified in the users' profiles. On our OS X machines, I have ADmitMac use a local user folder.

If you've seen this problem or used this solution

Note that our Windows 2003 Server Reports page has a number of suggestions under the title of Getting any Mac to work with Win 2003 File Server.

More on Win XP Pro SP2 logon to Mac OS X Server. November 1, 2004 -- Artur Kruus has the same problem we reported Friday with Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Mac OS X Server 10.2.8:

We're also having trouble logging into existing accounts on Mac OS X Server 10.2.8 with Win XP SP2. I've a customer that had two Dell boxes working beautifully with XP Pro SP1 that now cannot get to the server (no changes there) after the update.

Disabling the Firewall completely doesn't seem to restore functionality. They both get either network path doesn't exist or authentication failed errors.

If you've seen this problem

More reports of VPC 7 problems with Palm HotSync. November 1, 2004 -- We have more reports of an incompatibility with Virtual PC 7 and USB PalmOne devices:

Peter Walker:

I have the same problem. I've installed Palm Desktop, but can't hotsync with Windows using VPC 7.

Loren Olson:

If you are using Virtual PC 6 or 7 under OS X syncing Palm devices is next to useless. The only fix I have seen is running Virtual PC under OS 9, which of course you can not do with Virtual PC 7.

If you've seen this problem


October 2004

Oct. 29

Fixes: Files added to a Win shared folder don't appear on Mac. October 29, 2004 -- Victoria Walker reported a problem she's seen with files added to a Windows shared folder not appearing in the Finder. The reason is that the Finder doesn't update frequently enough. Walker pointed to an Apple article that explained it and offered a workaround.

She also provide a few other fixes:

This Version Tracker page includes a script to make a Finder "refresh" key. It also says that this is a BSD issue that may be fixed in Tiger.

A MacOS X Hints page reports that a Nudge contextual menu item is a simple workaround that requires just two clicks to refresh the Finder contents.

Reader report: Good performance with VPC 7 with XP Pro. October 29, 2004 -- Roy Houston found Virtual PC 7 significantly faster than previous versions:

We upgraded to the a Power Mac G5 2 MP with 4 GB of RAM last week.

Previously, we had used VPC 6.1. With Virtual PC 7, we can edit and render Flash seamlessly, even while other programs are open in Virtual PC, and while other Mac software was running. In fact, we found Windows running faster then on our Toshiba P4 1.8, and that is no exaggeration.

We mentioned this to the Apple guy at our local CompUSA and he was amazed because he's seen the frustrations we've had with VPC 4.0, 5.0 and finally, 6.0, which was light years better then the older versions, but we still had to depend on a Windows based machine for our work. Now it appears we can soon put the Toshiba to rest. We can say with confidence (using both OS regularly) that this is the best version made.

We remind readers that according to Microsoft, Virtual PC 7 can only use the bandwidth of one processor in a dual-processor Mac.

VPC 7 problem with USB and PalmOne devices. October 29, 2004 -- A reader named Kevin reports a problem with syncing PalmOne devices in Virtual PC:

The problems started cropping up with USB and PalmOne devices as early as VPC 6.1.1. In VPC 6.1.1 it would take forever for the installer to complete its process of installing, and then when you tired to Sync, it look like Hotsync would initiate, but it would never take off, just time out. Well, in VPC 7 the installation process has been greatly improved, but once again, you can't sync to PalmOne devices such as the T3, and T5.

If you've seen this problem

Limitation with RDC/time zone workaround. October 29, 2004 -- Daniel Foshee points out a limitation to a previously reported workaround to the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client problem with time zones:

Brian's workaround to change the time zone each time they log in would presuppose that the users would have that ability; any such control panels are locked out for our users.

"Failed to stat homedir" Active Directory problem. October 29, 2004 -- Andrew Cunningham is another reader with a problem using the -localhome disable and -mountstyle SMB arguments to dsconfigad:

You asked that if anyone else had seen errors regarding "failure to stat homedir" that they should contact you. I have made an effort to document my woes with this issue here.

And while we have managed to reduce the occurrence of this, we do still see it on a daily basis. I have managed to create a few scripts that allow me to recover from it, but it certainly is a nuisance!

If you've seen this problem

Windows Server 2003/OS X disconnections. October 29, 2004 -- Paul Kneipp has a problem with Windows 2003 Server disconnection Macs running Panther:

Since upgrading to Windows 2003 Server at our school, OS X clients (10.3) are being disconnected randomly, sometimes even whilst being used. I contacted Microsoft; they couldn't even say if there was a time out setting for the Win 2000 clients, let alone Macs. Under Win 2000 Server, it seemed to be OK.

The problem is, teachers are leaving FileMaker open and then teaching for 5 or 10 minutes; the time it waits before disconnecting seems random. We are going nuts about this.

Most clients are connecting via IP address and they are all authorized users. This problem doesn't seem to happen on the PC clients.

If you've seen this problem

Win XP SP2 can't connect to Mac Server 10.2.8. October 29, 2004 -- Paul Vail has a problem with Windows XP Service Pack 2 connecting to Mac OS X Server:

Wondering what you have discovered about Windows XP Pro SP2 clients having trouble logging into existing accounts on Mac OS X Server 10.2.8? I've a customer that had two Dell boxes working beautifully with XP Pro SP1 that now cannot get to the server (no changes there) after the update.

Disabling the Firewall completely doesn't seem to restore functionality. They both get either network path doesn't exist or authentication failed errors.

If you've seen this problem


Oct. 27

MacWindows Virtual PC 7 page is now up. October 27, 2004 -- We've collected our coverage of Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 and put it on a new Virtual PC 7 Notes and Reports page.

Do you find Virtual PC 7 to be faster than VPC 6? Does is solve your performance problems? Is Windows XP now usable? We want to

VPC 7 and Norton Antivirus conflict same as w/VPC 6. October 27, 2004 -- A pair of readers confirmed that Norton Antivirus causes Virtual PC 7 slowdowns. We have previously reported many instances of performance slowdowns with Virtual PC 6 and NAV. As with VPC 6, the fix is to turn off the Auto-protect preference setting in Mac Norton Antivirus. The fix with either version is to turn off the Auto-protect preference setting in Mac Norton Antivirus.

Mr. Richardson updated his previous report:

The Save PC State slowdown I had in VPC 7 was solved by turning off the Auto-protect preference setting in Mac Norton Antivirus....

John Warren has seen the problem with Norton AntiVirus:

I can confirm what Mr. Richardson has seen with fast save when Norton AV is running.

I currently have cases in with both Microsoft and Symantec on this issue. In both cases the issue is already past the Level 2 techs.

I also have both Microsoft and Symantec talking to each other. I will be posting more information about this later once I get more information back from MS and Symantec.

OS X 10.3.5 "forgetting" AD binding affects the Antarctic. October 27, 2004 -- Some problems with Mac clients and Windows servers are universal in nature, but there is at least one issue this is truly global. Holly Troy of McMurdo Station, Antarctica, reports seeing this problem of Mac OS X 10.3.4, 10.3.5 "forgetting" its binding to Microsoft Active Directory:

I have seen this issue down here at McMurdo Station Antarctica and its got me really ticked off because it was stable at 10.3.3, no issues. I am thinking they broke it with either a security update or .4 or .5 release.

Also if you just do a reboot it fixes the problem 90 percent of the time and waiting for the AD services to register upon boot up.

Next, we discovered that this issue does not happen on our G5s but is pretty common on our G4s. Is that weird or what.

Apparently, the Apple is aware of the issue and is working on a fix for possibly 10.3.6.

If you're curious about what goes on in McMurdo Station, you'll find a short video here.

This is actually the second report we've received from Antarctica. The first was in 1999, from Dean Klein, who was an IT manager at Palmer Station.

OS X 10.3.4 effect on AD integration and case sensitivity. October 27, 2004 -- Nicolas Reichelt reports that a previously reported problem with Active Directory may be related to case sensitivity:

I had a similar problem with a customer and found that the patches of the Home directories are case sensitive. I.E. if USERONE has an entry //SERVER1/LOCALHOME/USERONE as the sharepoint in AD, and USERTWO has //server1/localhome/USERTWO as the entry, they cannot share the Homes on the same client Mac. The local mountpath is not deleted after logout of the first user, so the second gets problems.

Solution: all entries in AD should be uppercase (or all lowercase, at least the same case).

PDF2Office 2.0 PDF-to-Office file converter adds Office X integration. October 27, 2004 -- Recosoft announced that in December 2004, it will ship PDF2Office v2.0 Professional Edition (US $129, upgrade $59), a new version of the the PDF document converter for Mac OS X. PDF2Office converts PDF files to Microsoft Word, RTF and Appleworks formats. A new feature allows you to open PDF documents directly from within Microsoft Word X and Word 2004. Amoung some of the other new features:

(See also this press release.)

Reader doesn't see Quark/RDC problem running under 10.3.2. October 27, 2004 -- John Gettler doesn't have a problem with Quark and MS RDC we mentioned a little while back:

I do not have the Quark/RDC problem running under my 10.3.2 system. I duplicated Brian Willett's description carefully, and see no problem mouse clicking in the RDC environment or the OSX environment, when I had text copied into the clipboard from the RDC environment. I had QuarkXPress running at the time.

Oct. 25

MS on problem saving files on Win Server 2003. October 25, 2004 -- Mark Kreitz found some Microsoft information regarding the problem of saving files on Windows 2003 Server from Mac OS X:

We've seen this problem using Mac OS X clients (10.3.5) and Windows 2003 Server and, after researching the issue, have found some information that may help others:

1. This Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 833613 describes a situation:

... the original file is not removed quickly enough from the network share folder when Excel tries to replace the original file with your changed file. Therefore, you cannot save the replacement file by using the original file name.

The offending application in this KB article is MS Excel 2000 (Windows), but the problem appears very similar to the current Mac OS X problem.

MS mentions SFM as a contributing factor but, as we've seen, the problem also occurs on volumes that are not SFM-activated.

The article goes on to say that users should contact MS for a hot-fix for the above KB issue. We have not tried this yet.

Also, if the only problem was "slow file removal" then all users should be affected equally. This is not the case. The creator seems to be able to edit/save their server-based files without incident.

2. Regardless of the Windows server security privileges that are set for the file Mac OS X acts as if only the creator can make changes and save a file that is server-based. Others that are allowed access to the file (by Windows 2003 Server), can only read the file. Mac OS X appears to obeying UNIX permissions that the Windows server is not overriding.

Kreitz then described different symptoms with Word and Excel:

I've set up one folder on our Windows 2003 server to be shared by two Mac OS X (10.3.5) users. Each user has "Full Control" enabled under this shared folder's Security setting via the Windows server. However, only the originator of the Excel file can save changes to the file. If a subsequent user tries to save a change to the file then a error message is generated: "Save not completed. File rename failed." Then it renames the file with apparently random characters.

In Word the error is different. It reads, "There has been a network or file permission error. The network connection may be lost." After clicking "OK" Word then prompts the user with the "Save as:" dialog box. If "Cancel" is selected Word repeats the same error message and then allows you to successfully cancel the save upon clicking "OK".

This is an extremely frustrating problem and a fundamental roadblock to simple file-sharing, one that I hope Apple, Microsoft or both work to resolve quickly.

GroupCal 2.0, access Exchange from iCal with 2-way sync. October 25, 2004 -- Snerdware has released GroupCal 2.0 (US $65, upgrade $5), software for Mac OS X 10.2.8 and later that enables iCal to access the calendaring features of Exchange Server. Version 2.0 adds two-way synchronization, letting you view the calendars of Outlook for Windows users, but now allowing other Outlook/Exchange users to view and sync calendars with your calendars. You can also send and receive meeting invites.

Reader Patrick Gilmore gives the new version thumbs up:

I used Version 1 and it was okay, but GroupCal 2.0 is amazing. I will not say it is perfect, but it is an absolute must have for anyone with a Mac who is forced to use Outlook / Exchange calendaring with other people.

And although the product is not quite perfect, it is close, and Snerdware's support is perfect. I have never dealt with a more responsive support organization--including my own company's! I can't say enough about their support, and their product is absolutely top notch. Highest recommendation.

Snerdware also offers AddressX (US $25) which allows access to the Exchange Global Address List from the OS X Address Book. Addresses in the GAL appear in Address Book.

Integrating Mac OS X 10.3 and Novell eDirectory. October 25, 2004 -- MacEnterprise.org (formerly know as MacOSXLabs) has posted an article called Integrating Mac OS X 10.3 and Novell eDirectory. The site describes the article:

This document describes how information stored in Novell's eDirectory can be used to authenticate and manage Mac OS 10.3 users and provide these users with network based home directories and file services from a Netware 6 and 6.5 servers using the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP).


Oct. 20

Thursby releases ADmitMac 2.0.2. October 20, 2004 -- Thursby Software Systems released ADmitMac 2.0.2, a free maintenance update to the Mac software for joining Windows Active Directory networks. In addition to fixes for minor issues, version 2.0.2 adds some new features:

Group Logic announces Mac OS X print accounting solution. October 20, 2004 -- Group logic announced that later this year it will ship a new product called ExtremeZ-IP Print Accounting Add-on, an add-on to ExtremeZ-IP Print Server for managing enterprise-wide printing. (See also this white paper.) The new software will allow an organization to track, audit and allocate costs associated with printing, according to the company. ExtremeZ-IP Print Accounting Add-on will appear to users in the Mac OS X print dialog to ask for project or cost codes, which will be validated against a centralized list before printing occurs. The software supports TCP/IP and AppleTalk printing, including printers on Windows servers.

Netatalk 2.0 supports AFP 3.1, Kerberos. October 20, 2004 -- The Netatalk development team has released Netatalk 2.0, an Apple File Protocol (AFP) file/print server for Linux, BSD Unix, and SunOS/Solaris. The software is free under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

(More technically, "Netatalk is a daemon which provides POSIX-compliant *NIX/*BSD systems with the ability to share files and printers with Apple Macintosh computers.)

In addition to numerous bug fixes, Netatalk 2.0 provides new features including the following:

Workaround for RDC time zone problem. October 20, 2004 -- Several readers wrote regarding the previously reported problem with Microsoft's free Remote Desktop Client and time zones.

Daniel Foshee, who first reported the problem, says that the recently released RDC 1.0.3 has no effect:

Version 1.03 does not address the time zone redirection issue. To be fair, it does not purport to, but rather deals with basic stability and Office 2004 compatibility.

I've spoken further with Microsoft Premier Support reps who have called to say that they've passed on my comments to the appropriate Product Managers.

Brian Willett suggested a partial workaround:

It is possible to re-select the time zone for the session which corrects the message time-stamps and Calendar times.

Unfortunately, the time-zone change does not persist between sessions, so users have to do this each time they log in to the terminal server. Fortunately, however, the adjustment is very easy to do. Once you log in, you simply double-click the clock in the Windows Task Bar, re-select the time zone from the pop-up menu in the dialog that appears and then click Okay. Not very elegant, but far better than trying to compensate for the time zone offset in your head.

By the way, I have verified that this limitation, which I first encountered while using RDC 1.0.1, is NOT addressed in the new RDC 1.0.3 client that was just released earlier this week, either.

If you've seen this problem

Conflict between RDC 1.0.3 and QuarkXPress 6.1. October 20, 2004 -- Brian Willett also reported a conflict between RDC, versions 1.0.3 and earlier, and QuarkXPress 6.1:

OS X users at my company who use Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client for access to Outlook email have encountered a conflict between RDC/Outlook for Windows and QuarkXPress 6.1. When QuarkXPress 6.1 is running in the Mac OS X (10.3.5) environment along with RDC, and the user copies some text to the clipboard from Outlook running within the RDC session, the user will subsequently experience long pauses when mouse-clicking in Outlook/RDC.

This pausing behavior persists for as long as the text copied from the Windows environment is resident in the clipboard buffer. If the user quits QuarkXPress or copies over the clipboard buffer with data copied from the Mac environment, the pauses cease and normal functioning resumes.

I have posted a full description of this problem on the Quark user forums, but as yet no one has replied to confirmed this behavior. I have had several different users here report this problem to me and I have been able to duplicate it myself.

If you've seen this problem

Cause of "Can't save files on Win 2003" problem. October 20, 2004 -- Michael Ecker (of Zürich) suggested a cause for the problem of not being able to save files to a Windows Server 2003, though he hasn't found a fix:

We have probably found one reason for this weird behavior and are able to reproduce the error. At least the symptoms appear to be the same as described in your article. Although the reason doesn't necessarily have to be the same.

Client: MacOS X 10.3.5 Server: W2003 Share connected via SMB/CIFS

The user on the client opens a file on the share and leaves it open. On the Server we start a Backup Job (Backup Exec 9.1) and let it run. After the Backup Job is done, the Client cannot simply save the file anymore, it gets renamed as described in your article. We believe it has something to do with how the Backup Software handles open files. We haven't found a way to get around this issue, but at least we can reproduce the error.

Ian Schorr sent a comment about another reader's report of October 13:

Well, CIFS and SMB are essentially one and the same, so I'm not quite sure what they're saying in the first sentence. (CIFS technically is just a 1997 marketing re-branding of "SMB" to include the words "Internet" and "File System", though the CIFS/SMB protocol suite has grown to include more protocols than when the suite was described as "SMB" by Microsoft, so many people believe they're different). Mac OS X and some other stacks/OS use the URIs interchangeably.


Oct. 18

CherryOS Mac emulator for Win is announced, then pulled; Developer blames "Mac purists" for hacking web site. October 18, 2004 -- On Friday, the CherryOS web site announced that the Mac emulator for Windows was shipping and available for US $50. Over the weekend, however, the developer removed the web site without an explanation. The company is called Maui X-Stream.

A story in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that the developer took the web site down because of large volume, and accused Mac users of hacking the site:

"The hackers smashed it all to hell. We had a bunch of servers up for this, and they just destroyed them," he said. "The purists out there get their backs up about anything affecting Macs."

The story also says that CherryOS may contain code from the Open Source PearPC Mac emulator. If this is true, Maui X-Stream would be in violation of GPL license, which forbids the selling of open source software without freely distributing the modifications to the original source code. The story says that Maui X-Stream create a new web site.

Reader reports on Virtual PC 7. October 18, 2004 -- We've received server reader reports on Microsoft Virtual PC 7.0:

Loren Olson reports good performance with VPC 7, but found no speed improvement using a RAM disk, as suggested by a reader last week:

I found no real advantage to using Virtual PC 7 with Ramdisk Creator. However, running Virtual PC 7 under OS X 10.3.5 on a Dual 867 with a Radeon 9000 video card I found the speed improvements are very real. Instead of getting a CPU that rates at about 557 MHz I now get one that rates at almost 700. I am disappointed that Virtual PC still apparently lacks USB 2 and FireWire but, I guess that was too much to expect. Though it will support USB 1 devices.

Mr. Richardson reports of performance problem with newly the revamped Fast Save feature (we have not seen this problem):

My experience with VPC 7 on a QS 2002 G4 is good; slightly faster than VPC 6.1.1 with Win2K on the same computer. The one negative I've experienced with VPC 7 is the Fast Save option. On VPC 6, the Save PC State process took 15-20 seconds (restoring from saved state took about 20-25 seconds).

However, with VPC 7, the save process takes about 3 minutes, and this is true regardless of ram amount allocated to XP. I typically allocate 448 MB to XP on a Panther system maxed out to 1.5 GB.

I'd like to find out what the fix is for the very slow fast save/restore option. Otherwise, XP Pro works well, especially configured in System/Advanced settings for best performance for the Windows Classic appearance.

Steve Sande reports of a problem with VPC 7.0 Win XP Pro and NAV 2005:

I'm using Virtual PC 7.0 with Windows XP Pro on a 1.8 GHz iMac G5 17" and it works pretty well; so well, in fact, that I'm selling my old Dell PC! Of course, knowing how the Wintel world is overrun with viruses, trojans, etc. I immediately went out and bought Norton Antivirus 2005 to install on my virtual XP machine. Well, it doesn't install - apparently Symantec doesn't support NAV running on virtual PCs. You can get the installer splash screen to show up, but when you click on the "Install Norton Antivirus 2005" link it shows the hourglass for a few seconds and then just sits there. I pulled up the task manager and you can actually see NAVSETUP.EXE trying to run before shutting down. I did some searching and found that this was quite common with NAV 2004 and 2005 with VPC 6, and that nobody had found a fix.

My solution was simple - I returned NAV to Amazon.com and downloaded Avast! antivirus. It loaded in seconds, it's free for home use, and it works with the XP Pro SP2 "Security Manager".


Oct. 13

TIP: Using Virtual PC 7 with RAM disk. October 13, 2004 -- A reader named Ed describes how he got performance gains in Virtual PC installing it on a RAM disk, a virtual drive volume located in RAM, rather than on the hard drive. He used a utility called RAM Disk Creator (US $15) to create the RAM disk in Mac OS X.

I have gained Virtual PC performance by using the RAM Disk Creator utility. It seems to work only with Virtual PC 7. Create a RAM disk just big enough to contain the Virtual PC application, then copy VPC to the RAM disk. When you launch Virtual PC from the RAM disk (instead of the hard disk), there's noticeable performance gain.

All of your changes are saved on the Virtual PC disk image located on your hard disk, so your date is safe. If the Virtual PC application gets accidentally deleted from of RAM disk, just copy it back to the RAM disk.

You can REALLY get a huge performance gain if your Virtual PC disk image is small enough to also copy to the RAM disk. If you are running Windows 95 or NT, then the Virtual PC disk size is around 200 MB. This is real performance boost. Just remember to copy back the PC disk to your hard drive before ejecting the RAM disk. Otherwise, your data will be deleted

A third strategy is to copy the Virtual PC app and Virtual PC disk image (if small enough) to the RAM, as just describe. This time, create another PC drive image located on your hard drive for the specific purpose of saving your data. This way you don't have to copy back the main Virtual PC disk image to your hard drive.

If you've tried this

Web site claims to have a Mac emulator for Windows. October 13, 2004 -- A web site called CherryOS.com claims to have a Mac emulator for Windows XP. As of yesterday, the information at the web site consisted entirely of a video demonstration of the emulator; there is no text information at all, no indication of when the emulator will ship,what the cost will be, or what the system requirements will be. We have attempted to contact the developer through an email address at CherryOS.com, and will report an information we learn.

Reader reports MS Remote Desktop Connection bug with time zones. October 13, 2004 -- Daniel Foshee reports a problem with the Mac version of Microsoft's free Remote Desktop Connection.

A known issue with the Mac client version 1.02 when connecting to a Terminal Server is that (unlike the PC client) the Mac Remote Desktop Connection client does not give the time zone information to the Terminal Server. This means that any file creation or modification date is five hours ahead. If you are forced to use Outlook 2003 on the Terminal Server (because Entourage doesn't meet your needs in a corporate environment), this also means that all of your e-mails, meeting requests or responses are five hours ahead.

From the Premier Support web page:

We do not support this functionality in the MAC RDC 1.0 as it only supports the 5.1 protocol and TZR is a functionality of 5.2.

Basically this is a known issue with no workaround and will be targeted for the next release, whenever that happens.

Another reader can't save files on Win Server 2003 with Mac OS X. October 13, 2004 -- Charlie Butters reports having a problem reported on September 27 of not being able to save files to a Windows Server 2003:

We see the same problem here on our network, although we are using CIFS shares rather than AFP or SMB shares. Occasionally the file save will work. Other times, the file save will stall for a bit, then show a dialog saying that the save failed. The original file gets renamed with a random character file name. Normally to get around it, I will open the saved filed, save it to my desktop, then copy that version to the proper location on the share.

We initially thought the problem had to do with longer file names, but the problem occurs with short file names also.

If you've seen this problem

Advice for Outlook 2001 with Exchange 2003 and OS X 10.3. October 13, 2004 -- John Hunter of the UK describes how he uses Outlook 2001 in the Classic environment in Mac OS X to connect to Exchange Server 2003:

I have no trouble connecting to an Exchange 2003 server using Outlook 2001 with Mac OS X 10.3.5 in Classic mode. I always use a hosts file in the System Folder/Preferences. The format is:
NetBiosName CNAME DomainName

DomainName A IP_Address

Which would look something like this:

SBSEXCHANGE CNAME company.local

company.local A 192.168.1.100

I also put the WINS server address into Applications/Utilities/Directory Access/, and click Services -> SMB -> Configure

Finally, add the IP address and name of the Mail Server.

Mac OS X 10.3.5 and SMB Home Directories. October 13, 2004 -- David Arvay

I currently have about 20 OS X Macs, authenticating through Windows 2003 AD, connecting to a home directory located on a Windows 2000 server in the domain. The home directories work great from the Macs, however, when I try to relocate them onto a Windows 2003 server I am unable to, it tells me the Home directory lies on an AFP/SMB Server and cannot be located. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this. The same Macs can connect to SMB shares on the 2003 using Kerberos without any problems.

If you've seen this problem

Microsoft offering Office 2004 Service Pack 1. October 13, 2004 -- Microsoft has released Office 2004 Service Pack 1, a free update to the suite containing Entourage, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The service pack fixes some bugs and potential security issues. An eWeek article offers further information.


Oct. 11

Microsoft ships Virtual PC 7.0: faster, G5 compatible. October 11, 2004 -- Last week Microsoft began shipping Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 with Windows XP Professional (US $249) and Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition (US $499, upgrade $329), which includes Virtual PC with Office.

Microsoft said that in a few months it will also offer Virtual PC 7 with Windows XP Home and with Windows 2000 Professional, as well as a Standalone (DOS-only) version, and an Upgrade version.

VPC7 is Microsoft's first major rewrite of the emulator since it acquired it from Connectix. Virtual PC is now compatible with Macs powered by the 64-bit G5 processor, and is 10-to-30 percent faster than version 6, according to Microsoft. There are also new features in Version 7, including the following, along with our observations:

There are also beefier system requirements for the new version. Virtual PC 7 requires a Mac with a 700 MHz processor, 512 MB or RAM, and Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. You can still install your own version of Windows; Microsoft says it will ship a less expensive version without Windows within a few months.

Currently, only the English version is available. Microsoft has promised versions for French, German, Japanese and Swedish, but has not said when they will be available.

MacWindows initial VPC 7 look. October 11, 2004 -- We've taken a first look at Virtual PC 7, and have several things to report:

Speed improvements. Although we haven't run benchmark tests, we found VPC 7 to be faster and more responsive to VPC 6 under all conditions. We found speed improvements even without a Quartz Extreme-compatible card, and in Jaguar (10.2.8) as well as in Panther. Windows XP, which we found to be clunky (and many readers found unusable) under VPC 6, seemed to run smoothly.

Replacement processors. VPC7 worked on a Power Mac with an upgraded processor, even though Microsoft says that upgrade cards are not supported.

Fast Save. This feature works as advertised. Click the close button in the upper left of the window in which Windows is running, and it instantly closes. Virtual PC then takes a few seconds to save the state, after the window closes.

Configuration options. In addition to specifying which icons will appear in the VPC toolbar, VPC Preferences lets you set the CPU usage for a virtual machine running in the background. This is a slider bar between "low" and "high," not a numerical value of processor utilization. You can also add a script menu.

Installation. The new installation assistant did not appear to affect the ease of installation. We found installation of VPC to be fairly easy, and the same is true for VPC 7.

We want to hear about your experiences.

ExtremeZ-IP 4.0 to add Kerberos, Tiger support. October 11, 2004 -- Group Logic told MacWindows that it will release ExtremeZ-IP 4.0 later this year. The new version of the AFP file server for Windows is designed to support Mac clients over IP networks. The company said ExtremeZ-IP 4.0 will introduces over 30 new features improved compatibility with Mac OS X, including support for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), which Apple will ship next year. Group Logic will provide a free upgrade to 4.0 after Tiger ships.

Other new features will include:

Group Logic also announced ExtremeZ-IP Print Server 4.0, a new version of the stand-alone product formerly known as IP Print Support that allows Mac OS and Windows to print to TCP/IP printers managed by Windows servers. The server allows users who operate Mac OS X and Windows print servers to completely remove AppleTalk from their networks. New features will include:

VPN Tracker 3.0.2 and VPN Tracker Server 1.0.4 released. October 11, 2004 -- Equinux has issued free maintenance releases of its virtual private network software for Macs. VPN Tracker 3.0.2 includes the following improvements:

Equinux also released VPN Tracker Server 1.0.4, which will better integrate with VPN Tracker 3.

August Software cuts price of ODBC Router. October 11, 2004 -- August Software has cut its prices for ODBC Router from $399 to $149 for a single user license and from $999 to $499 for an unlimited user license. ODBC Router provides Macintosh and Linux users access to database system running on Windows, mainframe, and UNIX platforms. Additional discounts are available for education and health services organizations.

September 2004

Sept. 29

AirPort 40-bit WEP encryption can be upgraded to 128-bit. September 29, 2004 -- Yesterday a reader reported that he could get his Mac talking to a Dell wireless 802.11 Internet gateway only by switching the gateway's WEP encryption from 128-bit down to 40-bit.

Today, we can report that there is a firmware upgrade for the original AirPort cards circa AirPort software allows them to do 128-bit WEP encryption. The firmware upgrade was version 2.0.2.

Bottom line: if your Mac with an older AirPort card can't make the wireless connection with a PC, check your version number and run this update if needed.

ODBC Networking System Updated. September 29, 2004 -- Yesterday, August Software delivered an update to ODBC Router, its Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) networking system. The new version adds support for FileMaker Pro 7, improves support for Mac Office.X and enables automatic translation of extended European characters between Macintosh, Windows and Linux.

ODBC Router enables a Macintosh and Linux users with access to mainframe, UNIX and Windows database systems. Pricing for ODBC Router starts at US$399 with discounts for education and health services.

PC-Mac-Net FileShare 4.0 adds autodetection. September 29, 2004 -- Yesterday, Lavasoft released PC-Mac-Net FileShare 4.0 (US $25), a new version of the cross-platform file sharing software for Windows and Mac OS X. Some of the new features:

OS X, AD and CDs. September 29, 2004 -- Herlind Wurth reports that binding to Active Directory prevents him from playing CDs:

Our setup: OSX clients (mostly 10.3.5, some still 10.3.4) bound to AD. Localhome is disabled - the networked homedirectory is on a Windows 2000 Server (same directory is also used as windows homedir.).

Since the change to network-based home directories, the Macs do not recognize an audio-CD. I only get the following error message: "You have inserted a disk containing no volumes that Mac OS X can read. To continue with the disk inserted, click Ignore."

There is the choice of "Ignore" and "Eject". Clicking "Ignore" keeps the CD in the drive, but it is not mounted on the desktop.

When I am logged in with a local account (no matter if admin or normal user) the CD is recognized and I can play it in iTunes. But when I am logged in as a user who has his homedir on the network, the CD is no longer recognized.

If you've seen this problem

Sept. 28

Suggestions for OS X problem with MS UAM. September 28, 2004 -- A pair of readers sent us suggestions regarding yesterday's report of a reader's problem with the Microsoft User Authentication Module (UAM) for Mac OS X. (The MS UAM is an option for logging on to the Services for Macintosh AFP file server on a Windows server.)

Colin Longhurst suggests "The Microsoft UAM version that ships with XP out of date. Download latest from MS site."

Steve Herman suggests a corrupt file could be the culprit:

I've never seen the "not enough memory" problem that's described. However, there is a prefs file used by the Microsoft UAM that's stored in a user's home folder and updated each time the UAM is used. A corrupt prefs file could explain why the UAM is failing for one user but not another.

Try deleting just the pref file instead of the whole user account and see if it helps. The file is located here:

~/Library/Preferences/MSUAM Preferences

Connecting a Mac Airport to a Dell TrueMobile 1184. September 28, 2004 -- T.J. Firpo describes how he solved a problem with Mac with an older AirPort card connecting to a Dell wireless access point:

I have a Dell TrueMobile 1184 wireless router. I wanted to connect to this wirelessly with my Mac running OS 9 and with a classic AirPort wireless card. The Mac seemed to be able to see the network, but couldn't connect to the Internet through it.

It turns out the old AirPort card in the Mac could only do 40-bit encryption, and we had 128-bit running on the router. We got it working with 40-bit.

We note that the current AirPort Extreme supports 128-bit WEP encryption.

More trouble reports for Win XP SP2 on VPC. September 28, 2004 -- Although most readers are telling us that Windows XP Service Pack 2 works with Virtual PC, some readers are still reporting issues. Ronald Atkinson writes:

I did some tests with installing SP2 on Windows XP in Virtual PC (Mac OS X 10.3.5) and found that the Microsoft Management Console no longer works. This removes a lot of administration functions and some simple utilities (such as defrag). I also took a blank XP image, installed SP2, then tried installing Symantec Anti-Virus 9 (Corporate Edition) and found that it won't install. I had some other various issues with not being able to install certain types of software with SP2. This was then duplicated again with slight variances in installations just to make sure it was really SP2 causing a problem. I then created a new XP image with all the latest patches "except SP2" and was able to install all software successfully, and the MMC works correctly too. After SP2 is installed again things start breaking.

The same procedures were done on XP on a regular PC without using VPC and SP2 installed just fine and all software, including Symantec Anti-Virus 9, installed and worked correctly.

It appears that on stand-alone computers XP SP2 works fine (a few quirks, but overall it works pretty good), but it does not work correctly on Virtual PC.

Bruce Miller talks about XP SP2 with both VPC 6 and VPC 7:

I reported recently about successfully installing SP2 on XP Home running from VPC 6.0.1. All seemed functional and fine except that any application using mmc.exe would fail with error message. Those included System Information and Disk Defrag. Also affected was WordPad with similar error. The MS Google Mac VPC forums had numerous other reports with the exact same issues.

Since trying out VPC 7 (beta) and converting the same XP drive image (VPC 7 requires a conversion process that renders the drive image only usable with VPC 7 afterwards), all those errors when starting up the same system applications ceased and functioned fully again. So SP2 seems best run with VPC 7 if those system apps are desired to work.

Our previous problem reports with SP2 are on our Virtual PC 6 page.

Suggestions for Entourage's failure to connect over VPN. September 28, 2004 -- Two readers sent suggestions for getting Entourage to connect over a virtual private network connection:

Dedrick Allen:

What protocol are you using to attempt to connect to the Exchange 5.5 Server in question? Microsoft added Exchange support to Entourage X and in Office/Entourage 2004. However, its only supported for Exchange 2000 and 2003 servers because it uses WebDAV which Exchange 5.5 does not support.

There are other ways to connect Entourage to Exchange 5.5 servers such as plain old POP3/SMTP and IMAP. However, you should find out from your Exchange administrator to make sure these services are enabled on the Exchange server because each service can be enabled/disabled individually.

Dave Leary:

I have the same Apani/Nortel setup and I have never been able to get any MicroSoft product to work over VPN since I upgraded to OS X, years ago.

For me the solution was to use Apple Mail, which works well, except for the issue that it sometimes drops signatures. For some reason, the signatures come through fine on the copies to myself, but others on Windows machines don't have them show up. Since I don't generally read email on other people's accounts I haven't tried to troubleshoot this.

For some perverse reason LDAP for Mail is set up through the Address Book application.

AD users' Mac home directories on the 10.3 server. September 28, 2004 -- Pete Shaw responded to a question on our Active Directory tutorial page:

In response to Nathan Muellers question :

I just wanted to note that I have managed with a OD master (with KDC running) OS X server with Active Directory plugin bound to Active Directory that I have managed to get network user home folders working on the OS X Server. (Josh's answer seemed to imply you could not do this with AD plug-in enabled)

I had to manually alter the edu.mit.kerberos file to reflect two domains (as the autoconfig did not seem to work (I believe the OD master can overwrite also unless autocreation lines are removed).

I should also note to save other people from spending too much time on this - if they make the same mistake I did. You should enter the fully qualified domain name of the server in the directory path to home folder.

As I was copying some Windows entries I made the mistake of only putting the server host name in (even though this would resolve - and I had tested this). Once I resolved this everything worked a treat.

Obviously this required the command line options of dsconfigad as mentioned by Josh of dsconfigad -localhome disable' & 'dsconfigad -mountstyle afp'.


Sept. 27

Workaround for USB Garmin GPS with Virtual PC. September 27, 2004 -- Paul Ronney found a fix for the problem of running USB Garmin GPS devices with Virtual PC: boot from Mac OS 9 to install the software in VPC:

The trick is to restart your computer under OS 9. Even VPC 6 installed for OS X runs in Mac OS 9, so there is no problem, but trying to launch the Classic application as a window under OS X doesn't work; you just get a message that you have to restart your computer under OS 9.

Once you start MapSource in VPC running in OS 9, you may have to unplug and re-plug in your USB cable once or twice, but then it gets recognized and works with no problems whatsoever.

Using this method, the Garmin Vista C with the built-in USB will work with any version of VPC that I've tried (4, 5 or 6 including 6.1), and Windows 98 SE and 2000 Professional, the only versions I've tried so far. Bottom line: the problem is OS X, not the version of VPC or Windows.

Note that only Macs built before early 2003 and three can boot into Mac OS 9. More recent Macs can only boot into Mac OS X.

XP Pro and SP2; VPC 6.0.1 faster than 6.1.1. September 27, 2004 -- Tony Grivell describes two problems with Virtual PC 6. The first is a problem with XP Service Pack, in which he had a similar problem we reported last week. (Most readers report not having the problem.) Grivell managed to fix the problem, which he describes:

I have had a similar experience to Martin Jacobs on Sept 22. That is, the SP2 install (from a local copy that has been successfully used by others here) went apparently well, but the system hung during the reboot. I did a simple restart, which seemed to work (if suggestively slower) except that the Palm HotSync manager failed to initialize (2 reboots). Then my attempt to reinstall the entire Palm Desktop software (to reinstall the HotSync manager) failed as it was initializing. At that stage I returned to an XP restore point immediately before the XP attempt, and all is now fine again).

In retrospect, maybe I should have tried one more thing before rolling back - a reinstall of the VPC Additions.

Grivell also notes that Virtual PC 6.0.1 is faster than version 6.1.1.

I am using XP Pro with VPC 6.01 under OS X 10.3.5 on a 867 MHz PowerBook with 640 MB RAM. Soon after upgrading to VPC 6.1.1 my VPC became so slow as to be of no use at all - after many weeks of frustrated attempts to locate the problem, I reinstalled 6.01 (the last non-Microsoft version) and Win XP - and so far have been reasonable satisfied wit the result.

Softhing updates Entourage Email Archive X to v1.9.1. September 27, 2004 --Softhing has shipped Entourage Email Archive X 1.9.1, a new version of the Mac OS X utility for archiving received or sent Entourage messages and attachments. The upgrade is compatible with Entourage X 2004 and Mac OS X 10.3.5, and has some minor improvements.

Deleted message with Entourage and Outlook 2002. September 27, 2004 -- Matt Fellers reports some odd behavior with Entourage and Outlook 2002 for Windows with Exchange Server:

I have Outlook 2002 on my ThinkPad, and Entourage 2004 on my G5. I notice that if I open Outlook and look in the Deleted Items folder, the missing items are there, and I can move them out to a safe folder. Incidentally, messages are never deleted from Entourage.

I also have some emails going into the inbox under 'Folders on My Computer tab, and other emails going into the inbox in the <Network Name> tab. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what email goes to which inbox.

If you've seen this problem

Microsoft UAM problems. September 27, 2004 -- Denis Popkov describes a problem with the Microsoft user authentication module (UAM) for Mac OS X:

I'm an engineer in a large company, and I have a dozen Macs in my department and a Windows server.

I use the Microsoft UAM for Mac OS X version 1.02 downloaded from Microsoft web page. Sometimes the Microsoft UAM encounters an error and won't login into server.

It says not enough memory and quits, but it works for other user on the same machine. It can be cured only by deleting user account and creating a new one. Reinstalling the UAM won't help. Maybe somebody knows how to do this without new user creation?

I'm running Mac OS X 10.3.5 with latest patches. I noticed this bug even in 10.3.1. Even when I completely remove user/library and login to this user it doesn't work. So I suppose this is a Mac OS X problem, maybe somewhere in /library, but I can't understand what it could be.

If you have a suggestion

Reader can't save files on Win 2003 Server with Mac OS X. September 27, 2004 -- Claudio Tolli describes a problem accessing Windows 2003 Server using the SMB file sharing protocol:

We have a Windows 2003 Server. We have activated File Service for Macintosh, so Macs running Mac OS X can connect with AFP as well as SMB. However, we have a problem with SMB.

When I create an Excel file on a Mac and drag and drop it to the Win Server 2003, I can open the file with another Mac, I can't save the file. The Excel file on the server then gets a new file name made of random characters.

The problem does not occur when the first Mac saves the Excel file directly to the server, rather than drag-and-dropping. I've never seen this problem with older versions of the server and Mac OS.

If you've seen this problem

Reader says Win XP SP2 has a 1394b problem. September 27, 2004 -- An anonymous reader said that Service Pack 2 for Windows XP has a problem with 800 Mbits-per-second FireWire (1394b):

Microsoft has decided to limit any S800 host to S100 speed in Windows XP SP2. The rumor mill and some stuff mentioned on the Internet is that they did this to support CAT5 which can only run at S100 and that they may have done this for compatibility with older 1394a devices [400 Mbits-per-second FireWire] that only run at S100 like Digital Camcorders. The Windows XP SP2 issue is HOST related.

If you attach a FireWire 800 device to a FireWire 400 host, it will run at S400 speed. If you attach a FireWire 800 or FireWire 400 device to a FireWire 800 host, both will run at S100 speed.

Both Oxford and Initio are working firmware patches for their 1394b chips used in 1394b enclosures to overcome this problem. The initio firmware update is available for the 2430 chip, the Oxford firmware update for the 922 and 912 chips is still in final testing and should be released shortly. The firmware updates will basically force S800 when the host only wants to run at S100.

We did some Googling and found a reference to this at Tom's Hardware Guide:

Microsoft maintains its Windows XP Service Pack 2 includes drivers for IEEE 1394b. But according to our tests using the Release Candidate 2 prior to the Service Pack 2's launch earlier this month, a 1394b device's speed dips to a measly 100 Mbit/s.


Sept. 24

Entourage/Exchange email deletion problems. September 24, 2004 -- Jon Gardner sent a report of email disappearing from Exchange Server with Entourage:

There have been reports of disappearing email when using Entourage X or 2004 with Exchange Server 2003. This sounds similar to the disappearing calendar problem reported at MacWindows.

We have experienced this problem as well. I've tossed it at our Microsoft Premier Support team to see if they can give me any constructive assistance; in the meantime, my recommendation is to stay away from Entourage altogether and use Mail.app in conjunction with Snerdware's excellent integration tools for Exchange Server calendars and address books. Using ADmitMac helps too, but is not strictly necessary.

We've previously covered announcements of Snerdware's Address X and Groupcal. If you've had experience with using Snerdware's tools with Exchange Server, or have seen email disappearing

Most readers can use VPC and Windows XP SP2. September 24, 2004 -- Several readers responded to our Wednesday report of a reader who was unable to install Service Pack 2 on Windows XP in Virtual PC. For them, the upgrade was successful in various versions of VPC. However, we haven't received a suggestion for the reader.

New York Times columnist David Pogue runs SP2 with VPC 7.0:

I can confirm that Windows XP SP2 runs just fine on the new Virtual PC 7. In fact, the version of Windows XP that comes with it already has SP2 installed.

Bill Teawells successfully updated Win XP to SP2 running in VPC 5.0.4.

Roland Young and Tom Schmidt successful install SP3 on VPC 6.1.1. (Schmidt downloaded the network install from Microsoft TechNet without problems.)

Eytan Berne and Gavin Kearns successfully installed SP2 on VPC 6.1. Kearns discovered that Norton Antivirus stopped working:

I installed SP2 on to XP Home in Virtual PC 6.1. I did have a problem with Symantec Norton antivirus after the installation of SP2. It did run before hand, but now it doesn't. Everything else seems fine.

Matthew Culmore found the SP2 update to be a slow process that slowed VPC performance.

No problems with the install, though a long two and one-quarter hours. I feel it could be a little slower than SP1, as Microsoft states. I am running a 1 GHz iBook w/ 10.3.5, 640 RAM, 60 GB. I also updated my wife's new 1.5 Centrino w/ XP Pro machine the same day, and while its size was about 97 MB versus and the VPC version was about 72 MB as I recall, it took about the same 2:15 to complete the upgrade and defrag the rather mildly fragmented drives and be up and running until the next update.

The difference between performance in the new Centrino machine and my iBook is so huge that I doubt that since we now have a real PC in the house if we will ever see the light of day of VPC 7.

Using Garmin GPS with Virtual PC. September 24, 2004 -- Paul Ronney is having problems with using his Garmin GPS device with Virtual PC.

I have a new Garmin eTrex Vista C (the color version) with the USB (not serial) connection. (No USB-to-serial adapter is needed). I could not get it to communicate with Virtual PC 6 / Mac OS X / Windows 2000 after many, many, many attempts. HOWEVER, I did get it to communicate with Virtual PC 4 / Mac OS 9.2 / Windows 1998 SE.

Even with exactly the same Windows 98 drive image, it wouldn't work under Virtual PC 5 or 6 running under Mac OS X. So we are talking about an OLD version of Virtual PC, and OLD version of the Mac OS. Now this is real progress!

I don't know if Windows 2000 will communicate with the eTrex under Virtual PC 4 / Mac OS 9.2 setup, I haven't tried that yet...

I had VPC 6 / Windows 2000 running for a long time on my old Garmin serial GPS with the Keyspan serial to USB converter and it worked fine except on very long file transfers (many megabytes of map data). But USB GPS devices seem to be a lot harder to interface.

If you can help


Sept. 22

MacDrive 6 partitions Mac disks and optical media. September 22, 2004 -- Yesterday, Mediafour released MacDrive 6 (US $50), a new version of the software that can enables Windows to read and format Macintosh disk media. New features include:

MacDrive 6 runs on Windows XP, 2000, 2003 Server, Me, and 98SE.

StuffIt Deluxe 9.0 enhances Zip, adds backup, file transfer. September 22, 2004 -- Allume Systems (formerly Aladdin Systems), is now shipping StuffIt Deluxe 9.0 (US $80, upgrade US $30), and new version of the cross-platform file compression/encoding package for Mac OS X 10.3. The new version expands beyond compression, however, expanding into file transfer. Among the new features:

Reader says Windows XP SP2 on VPC is no dice. September 22, 2004 -- Martin Jacobs could not install Service Pack 2 on Windows XP running in Virtual PC. Here are excepts from his report:

After a couple of hours downloading and an hour on the telephone, my attempt to install SP2 ended in failure...I had to undo my installation of SP2. The [Microsoft]technician I spoke to thought there was a problem with data corruption in the download, which may have been caused by a firewall. I have since asked for SP2 to be posted by CD to get round this issue.

Although we have several 'native' Windows machines in the office, I was running Microsoft Virtual PC 6.1 with Windows XP Professional on my Mac...My problem was that after the installation of SP2, the Virtual PC would hang during its 'boot up'. The rest of the OS X apps on my machine would continue to work perfectly.

...I ran the SP2 installation from the Windows automatic update program, so I assumed it would have been smart enough to deal with getting the right data and doing the correct installation. I have had no problem doing the same kind of thing with Mac OS X in exactly the same environment with the same firewalls etc...

The final outcome is that I have undone the SP2 installation in VPC on my Mac. I have since learned that at least one of the programs in our office may have issues with SP2, so I will be reluctant to 'upgrade' any of our Windows systems to SP2 in the near future.

If you've had experience with Win XP SP2 on Virtual PC

Microsoft gives XP customers until next April to upgraded to SP2. September 22, 2004 -- eWeek reports that on April 12, 2005, Microsoft will have all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 update automatically via Windows Update and Automatic Update.

Microsoft Fixes VPN bug in Windows XP SP2. September 22, 2004 -- eWeek reports that Microsoft has issued a fix for Windows XP Service Pack 2 that causes errors with certain types of virtual private network (VPN) connections.


MacOS X Labs Webcast on ADmitMac. September 21, 2004 -- Today, Mac OS X Labs is presenting a webcast on ADmitMac. From the session description:

This webcast will discuss how ADmitMac 2.0 allows you to handle workgroup management tasks without deploying Open Directory. Single sign-on for AFP and SMB services, distributed file system support, and deploying user home folders on SMB shares will be discussed.

Presenters:

Michael Perbix has contributed to MacWindows on a variety of subjects, including Active Directory integration.

The webcast will be at 10:00 am - 11:30 am PDT (1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT, 18:00 - 19:30 GMT), today, Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Sept. 20

DataViz ships MacLinkPlus Deluxe v.15. September 20, 2004 -- DataViz is now shipping MacLinkPlus Deluxe v.15 (US $80, $40 upgrade), a new version of the cross-platform file translation package for Mac OS X 10.2 and higher. MacLinkPlus Deluxe converts between Mac and Windows versions for word processing and spreadsheet documents, graphics, and other formats. New features in version 15 include:

Info on AD and ExtremeZ-IP addresses various AD issues. September 20, 2004 -- Geordie Korper, a systems engineer at Group Logic, provided some information about Macs and Active Directory that could apply to a several situation. Korper responded to a reader's problem report at MacWindows last week about trouble with using "localhome disable" and "mountstyle SMB."

Korper points to an Apple Knowledge Base article, describes how ExtremeZ-IP could be used, and mentions that his paper at Group Logic's web site could help readers troubleshoot Active Directory problems:

According to the Apple Knowledge Base Article 107943, "-mountstyle smb" is not supported with "-localhome disable". For more information see

That article states,"In Mac OS X 10.3.3 or later, the Active Directory plug-in supports network homes mounted from an AFP server. SMB homes are not supported." I believe this means that it may sometimes work, but is not reliable.

By the way, you will also need an AFP 3.1 server (such as ExtremeZ-IP) or some of the files will not be able to be saved to the server. For example com.apple.systempreferences.000a95891224.plist is quite a bit longer than the 31 character limit imposed by earlier versions of the Apple File Protocol.

I wrote a guide to Creating Active Directory Integrated Home Directories with our ExtremeZ-IP file server, which is available in the Group Logic knowledge base.

I have a brief section that talks about troubleshooting that may be useful to Mr. Davidson and other people who are trying to make network home folders work.

Geordie Korper
Senior System Engineer
Group Logic, Inc.  

Note that the Group Logic page contains a brief description, with a link to a longer article in a PDF file.

You can view MacWindows' previous reports on AD on our Active Directory Reports page.

More suggestions for problem of Macs losing binding to AD. September 20, 2004 -- We continue to receive reports of how readers cope with the problem of Mac OS X Panther "forgetting" that it is bound to Active Directory. Joann Williamson writes:

We are experiencing this problem, too. We are using Windows 2003 servers as our Domain Controllers with Active Directory. We found that if a Mac "forgets" that it is bound to AD, we can just unbind it and bind it back again. We have not been deleting the folders like you mentioned.

Ted Kim describes the relationship of this issue to DNS:

I have found this problem really only on my Xserve server. Running MacOS X Server 10.3.5, I have seen this problem. I setup Directory Access to bind to Active Directory, and successfully setup my Open Directory Server and Workgroup Manager. I then come back to it, as quickly as ten minutes, and my server has lost all connection to Active Directory. I cannot unbind or access users from my existing Active Directory. I go in delete the Directory Access-centric .plists, reboot, and rebind.

I have found that if you do not use DNS or have a strange DNS setup, this problem abounds. I ended up having to enable DNS on my XServe and make it a slave to my primary AD-Integrated DNS server, and this seems to have solved the issue. My server does not seem to be losing connection to my existing AD setup.

I have not had a problem with any client machines I have setup since my primary DNS server is also my AD-Integrated DNS Server.

Another thought: Open Directory is even more finicky about DNS than Active Directory. AD requires a "AD-integrated" DNS server that supports not only forward-looking zones, but also reverse-looking zones. But AD only requires one DNS server that meets the above requirements. OpenDirectory requires a DNS Server on each Open Directory server. I have not had an opportunity to test whether that is only a Master or not. The DNS Server on the Open Directory thankfully can be a slave that replicates from a central authoritative DNS server, but still requires it. That may be the crux of many of the problems that users are experiencing with AD-Open Directory integration.

James Hanback found that spanning tree settings were related to the problem:

I encountered this issue from time to time even on computers bound to AD Panther versions earlier than 10.3.5. It appears that the Spanning Tree Protocol settings on my network switches were at least partially to blame for this issue.

The STP on my switches produces a 30-second activity delay from the time a link is established between node and switch. This is normal behavior for those switches (Cisco Catalyst 2970 10/100/1000), but it also means connectivity to the network isn't established until *after* Panther boots to the Login Window and the user has attempted to log in.

On my Windows machines, this was never a problem because the NICs are connected even when the computer is not on. The Macs shut down NICs and all.

Unless a Panther user cache happened to exist, the lack of connectivity resulted in the Login Window shake-off. If a user cache *did* exist, the user could log in but single-pass authentication didn't work because the Kerberos ticket wasn't renewed.

Enabling the PortFast option on the switch ports to which my Macs are connected (which establishes connectivity immediately upon link) resolved this issue.

If can comment on these or previous suggestions,

Entourage 2004 - Exchange Setup over VPN. September 20, 2004 -- A pair of readers add reports of problems with using Entourage over a VPN connection.

Clint Milligan reports having a similar problem over the same VPN device (Nortel Netlock) as previously report, only over a wireless connection:

I have a G4 Aluminum PowerBook. I am able to connect to my company's Exchange Server while connected via LAN in our office.

When I work remotely, I use the Nortel connectivity VPN device using Apani's Netlock v3.0 client. I have no problem connecting and downloading my email.

However, I cannot connect to the corporate server when I'm wireless. I use the same proxy settings for each connections type. I only change the connection type from "Built-in Ethernet" to "Airport."

Sue Frary describes another problem:

I have had a similar problem with VPN connectivity as posted in the last couple of weeks. I have Entourage 2004 working fine as an IMAP client over VPN to my company's Exchange server. No problems. However when I attempt to set up an Exchange account from scratch over VPN, Entourage appears to be connected and tells me it is synchronizing in the background, but it only pulls a junk mail folder and nothing else.

Waiting hours pulls no more folders. I am connected over a cable modem, so it's not the speed of the connection.

It is not the settings, as doing the same thing from behind my company's firewall results in a perfect Exchange account setup. I use IP addresses for my mail server and LDAP server, and can ping both. Oddly, the Exchange account configured within the company system will then function perfectly over VPN. VPN client is Cisco 3000. Running 10.3.5.

Previously, one reader suggested making sure that one use the full DNS address of the Exchange server. If you can shed further light

Will Microsoft sue OpenOffice users? September 20, 2004 -- A Microsoft Watch column speculates on the possibility that Microsoft may sue users of the open-source OpenOffice for patent infringements. The article reports that while the recent non-litigation agreement between Microsoft and Sun covers StarOffice, it doesn't cover OpenOffice.


Sept 15

New emulation product could run Mac on PCs, Win on Mac. September 15, 2004 -- ExtremeTech reports that earlier this week a company called Transitive Corp. announced a "hardware virtualization" technology called QuickTransit that allows software written for one processor to run on another platform. Transitive will sell the technology to OEM's to ship with PCs later this year and next year, but it won't be available to individual users.

According to ExtremeTech, QuickTransit will offer versions for four processors: Pentium 4 X86 architecture, PowerPC (including Macintosh), Itanium, and Opteron. The X86 and Opteron versions will run PowerPC software, including Mac OS X. Similarly, a Mac could run Windows and other OS's.

Updates for Virtual PC 4 available on FTP site. September 15, 2004 -- Users of Virtual PC 4 can download the VPC 4.0.2 Updater and 0006 Additions update at this website. We've previously reported on a pair of web sites that offer the VPC 5.0.4 update and several updates for VPC 2.1.

(Thanks to Bjoern Scherenberger for this tip.)

Win server security update affected ability use Macs with AD. September 15, 2004 -- Ben Parker reported that the MS04-011 Security Update for Microsoft Windows installed on a Windows server interfered with Mac access to Active directory:

We are currently doing our directory registration using the Windows 2000 Active Directory function of Directory Access. When the update at KB article 835732 was installed on our domain controllers, it created some kind of problem with LDAP so we continually received Invalid User Name or Password error. After removing this patch, the problem was fixed.

If you've seen this problem

Suggestions for Mac OS X 10.3.5 "forgets" binding to AD. September 15, 2004 -- Several readers responded to our reports of problem of Mac OS X "forgetting" that it is bound to Active Directory. Several offered suggestion for dealing with the problem.

Dag Tore Antonsen seems to have the most successful suggestion:

At my office, we have about 600 Macs and have seen the same problem where some machines randomly forget that they are bound to Active Directory. It seems that all of these problems are related to restarting the computer and often related to installing software through Apple's Software Update.

My solution to the problem seems to help if you have a local user (we have a NetInfo "administrator" on each machine") and log in as the administrator. Log out, and then log into your active directory account. Another restart also solves the problem in 99 percent of the cases.

The problem might also occur if you try to log on to the machine just as the machine has booted. Wait a couple of minutes, and it should be fine.

We leave our lab-machines turned on 24-7, and it usually works great.

Brad Anderson offers a less than optimal work around,but it may shed some light on the cause of the the problem:

I too have seen this happen in the studio I support. To be honest, it just happened to my 15" PowerBook last night! The only way to fix this is to delete the Directory Services prefs, then bind to Active Directory again. I am using 10.3.5 across all my Macs (about 10 of them).

Gilles Cordier has a theory:

We are facing to the same problems. After a while some machine couldn't connect to AD anymore.

Are the readers with this problem in a mixed environment (NT/2K)? We are in this situation and we ask us if sometimes the validation failed when it occurs on NT backup controller. Maybe could we go ahead in this way?

If you can verify or dispute any of these suggestions

AD and Mac OS X 10.3.5: Failed to stat homedir

September 15, 2004
Kevin Davidson reports another problem with Mac OS X 10.3.5 and Active Directory.

I have bound the single iMac here to the AD domain. And can log in as any user and create a mobile (local) account. I have tried using the -localhome disable and -mountstyle SMB args to dsconfigad but they seem to have no effect (though dsconfigad -show says it worked) as you are still allowed to choose to create a mobile account and logging in with the network home does not work properly.

The system logs show this repeated error:

Sep 10 11:09:47 Adventi-iMac loginwindow[1005]: Failed to stat homedir: sleeping 1 second: chdir returns -1 for /Network/Servers/SERVER/users/USER/: Attempt 8

Sep 10 11:09:48 Adventi-iMac loginwindow[1005]: Failed to stat homedir: sleeping 1 second: chdir returns -1 for /Network/Servers/SERVER/users/USER/: Attempt 9Sep 10 11:09:49 Adventi-iMac loginwindow[1005]: Failed to stat homedir: sleeping 1 second: chdir returns -1 for /Network/Servers/SERVER/users/USER/: Attempt 10

And eventually it gives up and claims it cannot find the user's home, so they end up with / as their home directory. I'm guessing that the way the user home is specified in AD is not laid out quite the way that the Mac wants as I cannot browse to

/Network/Servers/SERVER - it only shows up in /Network/WORKGROUP/SERVER

where WORKGROUP is the left hand part of the AD FQDN. Or that it is trying to mount an AFP home as only the iMac itself shows up in /Network/Servers with its Rendezvous .local name.

(Actual names replaced by WORKGROUP SERVER and USER.)

If you've seen this

First external serial ATA adapter for the Mac. September 15, 2004 -- Yesterday FirmTek announced that its SeriTek/1SE2 Serial ATA PCI host adapter (US $100) for Mac will ship in the fourth quarter of this year. The SeriTek/1SE2 provides an two external ports that will enable Power Macs to use two external Serial ATA drives. The interface provides hot-swappable access for the external drives at 150 Mbytes/sec (1.5 Gbits/sec) per port.


Sept. 10

What "Improved NTFS" in 10.3.5 means. September 10, 2004 -- In the list of improvements for the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update, Apple lists "improved NTFS support," a somewhat cryptic note that is not clarified anywhere at Apple.com. Mac OS X has had the ability to read NTFS drives for sometime now. Could "improved NTFS support" mean write support?

This is not the case with the Mac OS X Server version of the 10.3.5 update, which asserts read-only status to NTFS formatted drives:

NTFS: Addresses issues which may prevent copying of large files (i.e. 4 GB) from an NTFS volume to another volume. Note: NTFS volumes are mounted as Read Only.

In the client version of Mac OS X 10.3.5, it turns out that a command-line utility called mount_ntfs now has some limited write capabilities for NTFS volumes. If you type "man mount_ntfs" in Terminal, you'll bring up the Unix manual page which describes the new capability:

WRITING

There is limited writing ability. Limitations: file must be nonresident and must not contain any spaces (uninitialized areas); compressed files are also not supported.

Cryptic mystery solved.

Mac OS X Security update patches kerberos and other Panther Flaws. September 10, 2004 -- An eWeek story called Apple Patches 15 Mac OS X Flaws describes the recent Mac OS X security update, which fixes the Kerberos security hole we recently reported on, as well as problems with IPsec (virtual private networks), Apache web services, and Safari.

Updaters for Virtual PC 2.x. September 10, 2004 -- Still using Virtual PC 2.x? You can download the old upgrades to versions 2.1.1, 2.1.2, and 2.1.3 at http://archive.bioss.net. We've previously reported on a pair of web sites that offer the VPC 5.0.4 update. (Thanks to Mark Freeman for this tip.)

Mac OS X 10.3.5 "forgets" binding to AD. September 10, 2004 -- Nicholas Wojtowicz reports having the problem of we reported on August 2 of Mac OS X "forgetting" that it is bound to Active Directory. Our previous report was with 10.3.4, and we've report other binding problem with older versions. Wojtowicz has 10.3.5. He reports:

We are having a very similar issue on my campus. This is what happens.

I have 2 Mac labs with 34 machines, and an odd number of Macs for faculty/staff throughout campus. I bind the computers to out Active Directory and then use our Xserve for policies and privileges. This procedure works fine. At random, a computer seems to forget that it is bound to our active directory and thus it will not allow a user to login because it does not authenticate against the active directory.

To fix this, I have to delete the Directory Services folders' contents, restart the computer and then rejoin it to the domain.

If you've seen this problem


Sept. 7

PocketMac syncs Macs with Blackberry handhelds. September 7, 2004 -- Information Appliance Associates is offering PocketMac Blackberry Edition (US $30), Mac OS X software that synchronizes a Blackberry handheld with Entourage contacts, calendar, takes, and notes, and iCal and Address book calendars and contacts. Blackberry does not have it's own Mac syncing software.

At this point, the PocketMac solution is the first and only way to use Blackberry handheld with Macs. James Whitney reports that Blackberry's native Windows software does not run in Virtual PC for Mac:

VPC is not compatible with the Blackberry desktop software. The VPC software recognizes the RIM handheld as being attached, but the desktop software does not. Thus, no synchronization can be performed.

Kerberos security hole affects the Mac OS X version. September 7, 2004 -- An MIT Security Advisory issued on August 31, describes security weaknesses in the current Kerberos 5 authentication system and offered patches to plug the holes. An eWeek story about the MIT announcement says there are several issues reported by MIT, which created Kerberos. Another story by eWeek provides an analysis the vulnerabilities. Kerberos is used by the Mac OS X client as well as Windows servers.

Bill Thursby of Thursby Systems told us that ADmitMac v2.0.1 is not effected by the security holes because "ADmitMac v2.0.1 already incorporates MITKRB5-SA-2004-002 and MITKRB5-SA-2004-003 security advisory patches," which MIT recommends to plug the holes.

MacOSXLabs.org webcasts on ADmitMac, Active Directory. September 7, 2004 -- On September 21 MacOSXLabs.org's latest training webcast will feature ADmitMac from Thursby Software Systems. The session will feature Paul Nelson, V.P. Engineering for Thursby Software Systems, and will be moderated by Fred Reynolds of Apple Computer.

Previous webcasts from MacOSXLabs.org are also available, including a session from last March on Mac OS X 10.3 Active Directory Integration, and a July session on Apple Remote Desktop 2.

AFP prevents "._" file locking problems. September 7, 2004 -- We've previous reported that the problem with "._" files are locking up the real files can be avoided by using Thursby's DAVE SMB file sharing client on the Mac. We should also mention that the problem is avoided by using the AFP file sharing protocol instead of SMB. Reid Lewis of Group Logic points out:

Can I suggest that your readers consider ExtremeZ-IP as an alternative to the Mac OS X SMB client? Because it uses the latest Apple technology, AFP v3.1, ExtremeZ-IP does not have the "._" Dot Underscore problem or any of the other know limitations of the OS X SMB client.

ExtremeZ-IP is an AFP file and print server that runs on Windows servers.

Tip, Part 2: GAL for Entourage 2004 without WebDAV in Exchange Server. September 7, 2004 -- Michael Lincoln sent a lengthy follow-up report to his July report on how to get Entourage 2004 to support global address lists without WebDAV on Exchange Server.

In Part 2 of Lincoln's report, he goes describes how the solution he proposed in Part 1 in limited by the sparse display of global address list (GAL) data inside the Entourage GUI. He describes a workaround to that enables the full GAL to be displayed in Entourage. He also describes syncing to iCal using an AppleScript

You can read Lincoln's new report on our Entourage Reports page.

As always, on these suggestions is appreciated.

Suggestion for Exchange connection over VPN. September 7, 2004 -- Bill Payne offered some advice for the reader would couldn't connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server over a Nortel VPN link

Make sure that Mike uses the full DNS address of the Exchange server (server.school.edu). My problems with Exchange connectivity through our VPN centered around the fact that my host machine couldn't find the server using the shortcut names allowed within the enterprise.

Reader problem with Win clients and OS X Server. September 7, 2004 -- Jon Brain has a problem with Windows clients and Mac OS X Server:

I am having problems with an OS X 10.3 Server. It is setup as PDC and Windows XP clients can logon on fine. However some clients when they try and change there password get the following error:

The system cannot change your password now because the domain CODENETWORK is not available. The weird thing is sometimes the password has been changed but it still comes up with the error.

If you have an idea of an approach to solve this problem

Workaround for OS 9 PDF print problem with Win servers. September 7, 2004 -- A Microsoft Knowledge Base new article describes a Mac OS 9 problem printing PDF files to Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 or Windows Server 2003 print servers. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 873389 reports that the problem is with Print Services for Macintosh, and has Event ID: 4001. Microsoft's fix is to replace 5 fonts on the print server.

Sept. 1

Microsoft to ship Virtual PC 7 next month. September 1, 2004 -- Microsoft announced ship dates for Virtual PC 7 for Mac OS X, Microsoft's first major upgrade to the PC emulator since the company acquired it from Connectix. Virtual PC 7 with Windows XP Professional (US $249) is available now from web-based resellers, and will be available in stores in October. Microsoft said that a few months afterwards, it will make available Virtual PC 7 with Windows 2000 ($249) and with Windows XP Home ($219), as well as the standalone edition (US $129) and upgrade (US $99). Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition, which will include VPC 7, will be available in stores in October.

Improvements to Virtual PC include the following:

For further information on availability, see Microsoft's web site.

Of course, if you've tried VPC 7 what you think of the new version.

Apple releases new iMac design in Paris. September 1, 2004 -- Yesterday, Apple released a brand new iMac G5 at Apple Expo in Paris. The new model looks like a computer built into a 2-inch-thick flat panel display, reminiscent of the old limited edition 20th Anniversary Mac. The base iMac G5 starts at $500 less than the previous iMac, and is notable in that the user can open the unit to access the hard drive and motherboard.

The new model was introduced at Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, acting for Steve Jobs, who is still recovering from surgery. It is also interesting to note the importance of the European Apple Expo since Apple withdrew from Macworld Expo on the east coast of the US. For the first time, show attendees at Apple's booth got chance to get closeup view of Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) as well as the new iMac G5.

More on dealing with "._" files locking up the real files. September 1, 2004 -- We have a few more reports on the problem of "._" files on SMB servers locking up real files. Jason Scott, who was the first to report the problem, agrees with some other readers that Thursby's SMB clients don't have the problem:

I started this discussion so I thought I'd chime in with my progress. I've also found DAVE or ADmitMac to be a solution to the ._ file problem. So it seems we have a solution, even though it means spending more money.

Tony Mitchell gave up on his Windows server:

I inevitably had this problem on our Windows 2000 server. Originally, I set up the server with AFP to our Mac clients but Windows does not support long file names over 31 characters (since it was not AFP3.1) so we switched to SMB. This triggered the proliferation of "._" files.

I eventually found that by closing the shares on the server for the Mac users, I could successfully delete these resource files. The shares seemed to be maintained even though the clients were logged off the system and shutdown -- very strange. Other users have reported that they can delete the files after rebooting the server. I suspect this is because it closes the shares to Mac clients that have locked up the files.

I was finding up to 700 of these hidden files were created on our small network a week which was making administration a very frustrating nightmare doing find and deletes. I eventually gave up and switched to a Mac OS X 10.3 server figuring that Apple was not going to do anything about this appalling legacy issue in the near future. I am relieved to find that 10.3 is much more stable than it's predecessors.

We now have another set of compatibility issues with Windows machines logging into the Mac server but at least the Mac users are not winging now.

August 2004

August 30

Mediafour releases Beta 2 of MacDrive 6. August 30, 2004 -- Mediafour has released MacDrive 6 Beta 2, a preview of the Windows software that enables PC users to read, write, and format to Mac disks. Mediafour expects to release the final version in September. New features include:

MacDrive 6 Beta 2 is available for download at the Mediafour web site.

Microsoft to cut Longhorn features. August 30, 2004 -- In a story called Microsoft to Gut Longhorn to Make 2006 Delivery Date, eWeek reports that Microsoft will trim the feature set of its next-generation version of Windows in order to ship a beta next year and to release the complete version in 2006. Microsoft has acknowledged the cuts, which include removal of Windows File System (WinFS). In a letter to Microsoft Employees, Microsoft's Jim Allchin said that Windows Longhorn Server will ship in 2007.

eWeek has a series of reports on these Longhorn developments.

Reader report: SP2 on Win XP is no VPC 6 panacea. August 30, 2004 -- Bruce Miller reports that installing Service Pack 2 for Windows XP does not increase its performance in Virtual PC. He said:

...any speed benefits seem minimal, if at all. I use little Heart Beat task timing application in Windows, and it showed virtually the same exact scores pre and post SP2.

Miller also describes the process of updating to SP2 in VPC, on our Virtual PC 6 Reports page.

If you've like to share your SP2 experiences on VPC

"._" files locking up the real files on Linux server. August 30, 2004 -- Olivier Nguyen Van Tan adds to our discussion of "._" files on SMB locking up real files on SMB servers:

I have the exact same problem using a SNAP server. Files are locked and even a reboot is of no use. Seems like the SMB thing is OX X 10.3.5 is bugged.

Erased Entourage/Exchange calendar on BlackBerry. August 30, 2004 -- Robert Liebsch sees the problem of Entourage/Exchange calendar getting erased with BlackBerry Enterprise Server:

I am getting this problem too. Not always with Macintosh. It may or may not be related to BlackBerry Enterprise Server by RIM. But periodically the entire calendar for a user gets wiped. Usually I have a brick level backup. But today I am not so fortunate. So I have to tell a users their Calendar data is recoverable but missing the last 3 weeks.

Anyway, no rhyme or reason. The data is also wiped from the users BlackBerry handheld as well.

Licensing and Mac AD binding. August 30, 2004 -- Bill Davidson suspects that problems with Mac binding to Active Directory may be a licensing issue:

I suspect that AD binding problems may have something to do with licensing on a Windows 2003 domain controller in 2003 environments. This _may_ apply for Windows 2000 as well.

Lots of Mac/AD integrated shops are experiencing binding problems these days and we are curious if anyone has noticed that because bound Macs show up as servers. Windows licensing requires you to handle it using the licensing administrative tool, and Macs can't connect and supply licensing info themselves.

No sure if this is the issue - but we're feeling hopeful. We're trying it and seeing if any more Macs unbind in the next week or so.

Reader problem: Entourage fails to connect over VPN. August 30, 2004 -- Mike Armstrong is having a problem with a Nortel VPN link:

I am able to establish a session with our Nortel connectivity VPN device using Apani's Netlock v3.0 client. However, when I try to access our Exchange 5.5 server, I receive an error ( Error-3170, mail cannot be received).

When I am on campus I can attach without problem.

If you have a suggestion for Armstrong


August 25

Panther 10.3.5 slows VPC 5.0.4--reader offers fix. August 25, 2004 -- Dylan Barwick

I've been experiencing incredible slowdown with my copy of VPC 5.0.4 after upgrading to Panther. None the suggestions I could find helped.

However, I think I've found a solution. I haven't tested it properly but it seems to work for me.

When I run CPU Speed Accelerator 2.2 from Alpha Omega software, I'm back to a usable speed. As it says on their website:

"It uses the UNIX layer of Mac OS X and tells the Process Manager to always assign the maximum priority to the foreground application."

If you've tried this

Using VPC to access Windows-only Real Music Store. August 25, 2004 -- A Macintouch reader report describes using Virtual PC to access the Real Music Store, which sells albums and songs for half the price of Apple's iTunes Music Store, but requires Windows. The main problem was with the Real Music software, not running it in VPC.

DAVE gets around : "._" files locking up the real files. August 25, 2004 -- Two readers wrote to say that the Panther problem of "._" files on SMB locking up real files doesn't occur with DAVE from Thursby Software.

Sam Boychuk, who added to the discussion earlier this week, describes how he uses DAVE to get around the problem:

I've started using DAVE, which fixes up the problem right away. However, you need to re-associate all the files you tried to open in Mac OS X. For example, if you've opened or created a PDF in OS X before DAVE, you have to use Get Info (Apple-I) and re-associate Acrobat with PDF's, otherwise it will open it as a text file.

Furthermore, since the files that are all left open on the server are all the second half of the resource fork, it may make sense to write some batch file on the server to shut down all open files beginning with ._ .

This may sound like a painful workaround, but a simple net stat and lmod should take care of it. Or, find in DOS and then pskill the open files and you should be sweet if you get the users to run it.

Todd Miller also fond DAVE avoids the problem, and offers another idea:

I worked on this for a long time and finally bought DAVE because I didn't have time to mess with it anymore.

I was watching the server for open files and I think this has something to do with the view. I don't think you'll see the problem if you switch to ICON view instead of the column view or the list view. I was not noticing these files being left open when in icon view. I did not do anything close to scientifically testing this, and I don't really have time too, but it might point some of your readers towards an idea to try. What I suspect is happening is that the column view is leaving the enclosing folders open and then you can't make any changes in the whole path. It would take some further investigation to see if this is true.


August 23

VPN Tracker 3 adds XAUTH. August 23, 2004 -- Equinux has released VPN Tracker 3.0, a new version of the VPN (IPsec) virtual private network client for Mac OS X. The new version supports the Extended Authentication (XAUTH) authentication mechanism, which enables VPN Tracker to work with more VPN gateways. Other new features include;

PocketMac BlackBerry syncs Macs to handheld. August 23, 2004 -- Information Appliance Associates has released PocketMac BlackBerry Edition ( US $30), Mac software that allows users to sync Entourage and iCal data to RIM's BlackBerry handheld. Some of the Blackberry-Mac syncing capabilities:

Clarifying info about Mac binding to Active Directory. August 23, 2004 -- Responding to our August 17 suggestion for AD binding, Josh Wisenbaker offered this about UID mapping:

There seems to be a bit of confusion here about the UID mapping option. It should be off by default and only used if you are specifically mapping the Mac UID to an entry in the AD user profile like "IP Phone." If you haven't set something like that up, then the option should not be checked.

Normally the AD plugin will generate a UID from the AD profile automatically. These might not be consistent for the same user from Mac to Mac though, hence the option to map them to something else in the AD profile.

Panther sleep delays AD connection. August 23, 2004 -- Steve Lockwood reports a problem with the Active Directory connection after a Mac wakes from sleep:

We're using OS X 10.3.5 on a school network. We've set up the Active Directory plugin, and it works fine until a Mac goes to sleep. Then, the network connection is somehow broken, and we can't log back in unless we wait some predetermined amount of time (between 5 and ten minutes, apparently). We have not found any info on this behavior at MacWindows or at Apple's forums.

We're using a login screen that asks for username and password. The user accounts are being stored in a Windows 2003 Active Directory. (The domain name is along the lines of xyz-abc.ourplace.local. The forest is ourplace.local.) We had to use the posted shell script to enable DNS lookups for the .local domain to successfully bind. Once the delay is over and the user account is accepted, it signs on decently fast and successfully mounts the user's home folder to the Desktop.

If you've seen this

More on "._" files are locking up the real files. August 23, 2004 -- Two readers responded to last week's report on "._" files on SMB locking up the real files. (Macs leave "._" files on the server when accessing Windows servers using SMB.)

Sam Boychuk has another description:

I'm getting this problem too - basically if any OS X 10.3 user touches any file or folder on the network they cannot delete or move that item (access is denied) - if I do a netstat from the Windows server it says that the file is open even though it is not - essentially the only way to close a connection to a file on a Windows share is by logging the machine out. Still looking for a solution before the users decide to have me fired!

Matthew Kelly speculates on a cause.

Perhaps it is not the platforms, or protocol, but the network cards. Since we know that files can be move or deleted once the Windows machine is rebooted, maybe the file data is not being released by the network cache?

We are using 3Com 3C996 Gigabit Server cards. I would like to know what others that have this problem are using as network cards.

These are managed cards, and I know little of how they work, but it is my understanding that they buffer and cache data. Perhaps the cards do not know how to handle "._*" files.

If you'd like to comment on this theory


Thursby Releases ADmitMac 2.0. August 17, 2004 -- Thursby Software has released ADmitMac v2.0, Mac software suite that integrates Macs into Microsoft Windows Active Directory without a Mac OS X Server and without schema changes. Thursby claims that a Mac running ADmitMac v2.0 is no more difficult to add to an AD network is "no more difficult than adding PCs."

The new version has over a dozen new features including:

In one application suite, ADmitMac provides all the necessary tools for deployment, configuration and Mac-client management in Windows Active Directory and NT Domain environments with no schema changes.

Panther and AD binding suggestion. August 17, 2004 -- John Schumacher sent in another suggestion for getting Mac OS X to bind to Active Directory:

This week I was able to bind an Xserve (10.3.4, also worked after updating to 10.3.5) to our university's AD service, but there were two hurdles to get past. First, the network admins had to authorize me (my AD user ID and password) to add our server to AD's list of computers, which is the last user input before the OS X server attempts to bind to AD. My attempts to bind remained unsuccessful until I unchecked the option that maps the AD UID attribute to the Mac's uniqueID attribute. For whatever reason, ID mapping prevented binding.

There are more suggestions on our Active Directory Reports page.

If you've tried this

"._" files are locking up the real files. August 17, 2004 -- Two readers responded to last week's report on "._" files on SMB locking up the real files. (Macs leave "._" files on the server when accessing Windows servers using SMB.)

Sean Hartwell also has the problem:

Same problem here. It's just as the other users have described it. Managing folders and files on a Windows 2000 Server from a Mac OS X computer is just an exercise in frustration. Moving folders seems to agitate users here the most. Some deletion issues have arisen as well.

Apple really should address this soon as it seems to be something to do with how Panther is handling the resource forks on different OS platforms.

Matthew Kelly has a work around that he isn't too happy about:

The only solution I have found that allows these files to be deleted is to reboot the Windows machine.

eWeek reports mixed results with Win XP SP2. August 17, 2004 -- An eWeek story reports on the experiences of IT managers with the recently released Windows XP Service Pack 2:

Most say they have had no serious problems installing the update, it hasn't all been smooth sailing, either.

And also this:

Early experiences suggest that the security-oriented upgrade will need extensive testing before IT managers can feel confident that they understand all of the side effects.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.3.5. August 13, 2004 -- Apple has released a Mac OS X 10.3.5 update, available in three versions.

Apple describes the two Delta updates at its web site.

If the 10.3.5 fixes or creates any cross-platform problems

The fix for NAV breaking AFP on Win2K servers. August 13, 2004 -- Two readers have reported the same fix for the problem of Norton Corporate Edition 9 on Win 2K Server breaking AFP file sharing, which is caused by the incompatible Email (POP3) scanner.

Gareth Hone of London:

We had this problem in our company several months ago. I took a few weeks battling to realize the problem -- not much help from Symantec either. But we found this solution:

1) Uninstall Symantec from the file server.

2) Reinstall the AV software on the file server (on the console - NOT using the AV rollout tool)

3) When given the options on what components to install, remove the Email (POP3) scanner.

This solves the problem, but unlucky if you need to use Outlook/POP3 on your file server.

Curtis Wilcox said the same:

We encountered this problem on our Win 2000 SP4 server. There's a possible solution I found in Symantec's technical support forum. The link to the message thread is here [see the message from Franck Florentin].

Apparently the solution is to install SAV 9 without the Internet mail plugin. I consider this an acceptable solution as people should not be checking their mail from a file server anyway. I haven't tested this solution yet because our File Server for Macintosh service has crashed and we'll have to reboot in off hours to bring it back.

Group Logic and Apple respond to Finder crashing with Win servers. August 13, 2004 -- Personnel from Group Logic and Apple both responded the reports on our Panther page regarding cases of the Panther's Finder crashing when trying to log on to a Windows server.

Geordie Korper of Group Logic does not think the problems are differences in AFP versions, as one reader theorized. He also offers a theory of his own:

The main additions to AFP 3.1 are support for: filenames over 31 characters, Unicode filenames instead of the local language subset, file sizes over 2GB, and support for Unix permissions. There are also many other less visible changes to the protocol. Although we suggest using a server that can support AFP 3.1, if you are using a file server that does not have support for the newer protocol the Mac OS X client should then successfully fall back to using AFP 2.2 for its communications with that server.

The more likely cause of these Finder crashing problems is that for some reason the TCP/IP connection between the Macintosh and the Windows server is deadlocking and the window size for sending additional data goes to 0.

Eventually the Macintosh will time out. When the Macintosh times out, it attempts to reconnect to the server automatically and crashes, since the currently open connection is hung.

Geordie Korper
Senior System Engineer
Group Logic, Inc.

We also receive a message from an Apple tech support staffer, who encourages readers to submit bug reports to Apple. He describes how:

Do any of the folks reporting this have crash reports of the crashes and have they been submitted as bug reports to Apple? Without more specific data it is not even certain that the reports all refer to the same problem or at which level of the system the problem lies.

If they do not have crash reports the best way to get them would be to attach to the Finder with gdb before inducing the crash This can be done in the terminal. The first thing to do is find the pid (process id) of the Finder. This can be done using the top tool or by:

ps -aux | grep Finder (followed by return).

This will produce more than one line of output such as:

peter 511 0.0 1.7 187836 18096 ?? S 29Jul04 0:16.36
/System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS/Fi
peter 1254 0.0 0.1 31844 660 std UV+ 6:32AM 0:00.24
grep Finder

The first line is the one you want (the second is the grep tool running to produce this output). Then launch gdb and when you reach the prompt do attach 511 followed by return (in this example) and then continue followed by return.

When the crash happens you will drop into the Terminal. To capture a complete picture of what is going on at the point of the crash do:

thread apply all bt (followed by return).

This output can then be submitted in a bug report to Apple.

Easy cross-platform file transfer? Try Bluetooth. August 9, 2004 -- Bo Clawson recommends Mac and Windows file sharing using wireless Bluetooth. He describes how he does it:

I use both Mac and PC, and had been using mostly an Ethernet cable for TCP/IP file transfers between my old laptops, or CDs with larger sets of files.

Now, with Bluetooth in an Aluminum PowerBook and a Dell, quick file transfers is just a couple clicks away in Windows XP, and I love it. Right Click on Bluetooth icon in the Task Bar to turn on BlueTooth; and Right Click again to "Quick Connect" for file transfer to my PowerBook's name and enter a Pair Code on the PC and confirm on the Mac and I'm set to drag files to the OBEX file transfer window that opens on the PC.

When a user is in the Windows XP file directory, and the Mac and PC have already been Paired, Right Click on a file name and pick "Send To" and then "BlueTooth." The Mac's name is then a quicker way yet of sending a file to a Mac

I haven't tried to be overly detailed, as there aren't many details. Files are dropped into my Mac's Users/Shared folder. Bluetooth file transfer seems to run about 40 Kbps which is good for all but my largest file transfers.

The neat part of Bluetooth is I don't have to disrupt my normal work by stopping TCP/IP connection or swapping a CD to get files across. I do not keep my Dell on a network or the Internet, specifically to make sure it remains up an running 100 percent of the time. This strategy has worked for me for over 4 years on several Dell laptops. Running this way keeps its reliability right up there with my Macs.

More on NAV breaking AFP. August 9, 2004 -- Christopher Culligan adds some additional information on the problem of Norton Anti Virus Corporate Edition version 9 interfering with AFP file sharing:

We also have had NAV CE 9 break our AFP over TCP/IP. Intermittent connections every once in awhile can be made, but for the most part, nada.

However, on the Symantec AV server (v9.0), also running Active Directory, we don`t see the problem, so we assume its the client software only.

Also, one reader mentioned trying to use the UAM module instead of AFP standard login -- we tried that and it didn`t seem to work.

If you've seen this problem

"._" files are locking up the real files. August 9, 2004 -- Jason Scott describes a problem he is having with altering files on from a Mac with SMB connections to a Windows Server:

I'm having increasing problems trying to move or delete items from a Windows 2000 server connected via SMB. I keep getting error messages.

The weird thing is after I click OK the item is removed anyway. The problem is when your trying to delete a folder full of stuff it only deletes the last item in the folder. The thing is I know the stuff isn't in use anywhere else on the network. It seems like Windows 2000 isn't freeing up items that someone else may have touched at some point.

Scott has begun a thread at the Apple discussion forum which gives more details. He says of the thread:

At this time no one has posted any solution at all except trying third party apps like DAVE or ExtremeZ-IP.

If you've seen this problem

Finder crashes when accessing Windows folder. August 9, 2004 -- Jack Stoller provides more insight on the problem of the Panther Finder crashing when accessing a Windows server, which numerous MacWindows reader have been reporting. Stoller reports:

A folder on Windows 2000 Server contains file X. Somehow file X gets lost to AFP and does not appear in the listing. Now I take a local copy of file X and copy it up to the server. The Finder crashes. If I use SMB to connect to the server, the file is there and can be deleted. Once I do that, I can copy the file with AFP and the Finder does not crash.

How does the file on AFP get in that state? I'm still not clear on that one.

We still have not heard of a solution to this one.

Macintosh Explorer updates interface. August 5, 2004 -- Rage Software released Macintosh Explorer Aqua, a free patch that upgrades the interface of Macintosh Explorer, a file browser that works like Windows Explorer.

The Macintosh Explorer Aqua patch is an upgrade to Macintosh Explorer 4.1 (US $16), giving it Aqua style buttons, menus, and other interface elements.

Reader report on PowerPC emulator for Windows. August 5, 2004 --Richard Shinebarger that using PearPC, an open source PowerPC emulator for Windows, he can run Panther on a PC:

I have it installed with Mac OS X 10.3. Not the fastest in the world but I can surf and run Mac programs.

(See our emulators listings for more info.)

If you've used PearPC

New Mac OS X Novell eDirectory Plugin. August 5, 2004 -- Condrey Consulting Corporation has announced Kanaka, a plugin for Mac OS X for integration with Novell NetWare systems. When Kanaka ships, it will include the following capabilities:

A beta version of Kanaka will be released later this month. Version 1.0 will ship in the third quarter.

Finder crashing with Win servers: an AFP mismatch? August 5, 2004 -- Darrin Pertschi sends an observation about the problem of Panther's Finder crashing when accessing a Windows server:

I do not have a similar experience to mention, however; I would like to suggest that users take notice of the method to which they connect to Windows; AFP or SMB. I'm guessing these problems will exist under AFP connections.

Panther uses AFP version 3.1, Microsoft uses version 2.x. (Something's not going to work right.)

An Apple engineer told one of my colleagues that this AFP version mismatch is the source of a problem we have with picture usage in Quark. I suspect it is the source of other unsolved mysteries such as those mentioned here.

Reader verifies Panther 10.3.4 vs AD integration. August 5, 2004 -- Jean-François Gaumond verifes Tuesday's report that it is the clean install of Mac OS X 10.3.4 that has Active Directory binding problems.

I also have the exact same problem with a clean install 10.3.4 on new or older machines (G4's and G5's). Once bound on the AD, every user with the new installation, will receive the message at login that the home directory could not be found.

Had no problem with several older installations upgraded to 10.3.4. (from 10.2.x or 10.3.x)

More on Norton AV CE version 9 and AFP File Sharing. August 5, 2004 -- More readers are reporting problems with Norton Anti Virus Corporate Edition version 9 and AFP file sharing.

Richard Hernandez:

The company I work for is currently experiencing the issue reported on August 3. Everything was working fine, as far as Mac file sharing to a Windows 2000 SP4 server with the latest updates, until we installed Symantec AV Corporate Edition version 9. I think our next attempt at a solution will be to have the Macs use the Microsoft UAM login rather than the Mac login.

Michael Campbell saw the problem with Mac OS 9:

We did experience the problem (with AFP), but it did not affect any OS X machines. OS 9 machines however attempting to connect would hang after attempting to authenticate. This was with any of our 6 different Windows 2000 Servers.

The work around is to disable the real-time file protection option.

Steve Jobs undergoes cancer surgery. August 3, 2004 -- Steve Jobs has undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his pancreas. The form of pancreatic cancer that afflicted Jobs is a rare and treatable variant. The more common form (adenocarcinoma) is not treatable and is most often fatal. The surgery, which occurred over this past weekend, will require that Jobs spend the month of August recovering.

A San Francisco Chronicle report describes the illness, its treatment, and possible repercussions for Apple and Pixar. On Monday, the price of both Apple and Pixar stock declined.

On Monday, Jobs informed Apple employees with an email message, which you can read here. In his message, Jobs noted that "I'm sending this from my hospital bed using my 17-inch PowerBook and an Airport Express."

More readers with Panther Finder crashing with Win servers. August 3, 2004 -- Two more readers report Finder crashing when accessing a Windows server. Daniel Stone has a slightly different experience:

I have this problem. When I access certain folders on the server the Finder crashes and restarts with no message or dialog. Unlike your other poster however, it is pretty much the same folders that I can't access whenever I log on. The weird thing is that the two other Macs in my company (some 800 PCs) do not get blocked out of the same folders, but different ones.

Holland Rhodes can prevent the problem by designating the share as read-only:

I have this problem, but it's not even Windows server. It's just Windows XP Pro. I can't really figure out what causes it, but in most cases if I make the share read-only it won't crash. If its a share that has images and Finder is set to display thumbnails, that often causes it to crash regardless of if the share is read only or read/write, but not always.

Panther 10.3.4 AD binding problem with clean install. August 3, 2004 --Michael Yuen adds to our lengthy discussion of Active Directory binding problems with Panther, on our Active Directory reports page.

Several readers had reported that Mac OS X 10.3.4 fixed the problems. However, Yuen said that it did not. Yuen updates his experience:

Upon further investigation, this symptoms only appears on clean install 10.3.4. On systems with 10.3.2 or 10.3.3 pre-bind and unbind, upgraded to 10.3.4, works fine.

OS X 10.3.4's effect on AD integration. August 3, 2004 -- Dan Cochran confirms a previous reader report on Mac OS X 10.3.4's effect on AD integration:

I also have seen the problem discussed by Jason Meyer. Since 10.3.4 I am unable to mount SMB shares as home directories. I can execute the dsadconfig&endash;localhome disable command, but after I authenticate against AD, I get the message that the home directory could not be found.

Something has changed and I'm still baffled.

If you've seen this problem

Norton AV CE version 9 breaks AFP. August 3, 2004 -- Karen Bowerman has the same problem with Norton Antivirus and AFP file servers that we reported earlier:

We also had the issue with Norton Antivirus CE version 9 breaking AFP over TCP/IP connections. We actually had to completely uninstall NAV 9 off the server and reboot the server to resolve the issue. Server is Windows 2000 SP4 with the latest updates and running Services for Macintosh. Both OS 9 and OS X users could no longer connect using AFP. SMB of course still worked for OS X users.

If you've seen this problem

USB Server enables Macs, PCs, share devices. August 3, 2004 -- Keyspan is now shipping 1.1 software update (free update) to its USB Server (US $129), a device that shares USB devices over a wireless or Ethernet network with Macs and PCs. Among the improvements are these:

You can get the Mac update here; the Windows update here.

More on DSL and VPC 5.0.4 performance. August 2, 2004 -- A couple of readers commented on last week's reader suggestion for speeding up Virtual PC 5 by disconnecting DSL.Tony Paton verified the suggestion:

I can confirm that there does appear to be an improvement in performance when the computer is physically disconnected. (Mac OS X 10.3.4 on PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz ) The only problem is that being disconnected isn't going to suit anyone who wants online capabilities. How do we get round that?

Jason Froikin offers a theory as to why disconnect DSL might improve VPC performance:

It's quite possible that's caused by an UNPATCHED copy of Windows and an un-firewalled DSL connection. Us Mac users are spoiled and hardly suffer any obvious ill effects from plugging into an unprotected Internet connection. Windows, on the other hand, will find itself bombarded with various requests from viruses and worms, and even on a PC will start to display strange symptoms.

If you'd like to comment

More on Panther Finder crashing with Win 2000 Server. August 2, 2004 -- Mel Walker is another reader having the problem of the Finder crashing when accessing a Windows server:

I've seen a similar problem when opening a different folder on a Windows server. The finder will crash/restart, the window will close. It seems that certain folders shouldn't be viewed, except that which folder(s) seems to change each time I login to the server.

The machine is used by Macs and Windows machines of all kinds; it's a major production server. Unfortunately, I only know that it's a Windows server of some kind.

If you've seen this problem

OS X 10.3.4 binding problems. August 2, 2004 -- David Erdely reports a problem with binding with an Active Directory domain with Mac OS X 10.3.4. Previously, another reader reported binding problems with 10.3.3 (and offered a fix), but Erdely found that version to work:

I run about 40 Macs on a network of a little over 1000 PC's. I have them logging into our AD domain. I had no problems under 10.3.3 but after upgrading to 10.3.4 our machines seem to "forget" that they are bound to the domain. I cannot unbind them, that freezes up the machine.

I actually have to go into single user mode and delete the ActiveDirectory.plist, SearchNodeConfig.plist and ContactsNodeConfig.plist to remove the machine from the domain. At that point I can rejoin the domain and have no problems, except that the machine will forget that it was joined to the domain after another few days or a week.

If you've seen this problem

Porting Visual Basic to Mac OS X and Linux. August 2, 2004 -- Real Software has a white paper called Porting VB Applications to Linux and Mac OS X using REAL Software's REALbasic. The company also offers a free conversion utility called VB Project Converter, which performs the mechanics of moving Visual Basic projects to REALbasic.

July 2004

Apple may change Rendezvous name to OpenTalk. July 27, 2004 -- eWeek reports that Apple is giving up the name of "Rendezvous" as a result of a trademark dispute with TIBCO Software. eWeek says the new name may be "OpenTalk," but no name has officially been announced. Rendezvous is the name that Apple gives to the open source ZeroConf wireless network discovery standard.

Suggestion for speeding VPC 5: disconnect DSL. July 27, 2004 -- John Symons reports that disconnecting DSL increased performance with Virtual PC 5.0.4:

On my iMac (OS X 10.3.4) I could not get beyond the initial startup screen with VPC 5.0.5 (Windows 98 SE). I tried disconnecting the network. This made no difference.

I noticed that while it was attempting to do so it was interrupting the clock. It would stop for a few seconds and then catch up again. I checked out all the permissions, and corrected as appropriate, but to no avail.

I then disconnected my ADSL connection, and tried again. This time, Bingo! Everything loaded as required, first Windows 98 SE and then Office 2000. The Office applications run OK, speed about the same as my OS 9.2 iBook, perhaps a little faster.

I then powered down, and reconnected the ADSL modem. Back to square one, so very, very slow. I disconnected using the software, but with no avail. It looks as if the Internet connection has to be physically disconnected.

We're not sure what is going on here and suspect this is not a universal fix, but if you've seen this

Fix for Entourage 2004 and LDAP problem. July 27, 2004 -- Alan Klein passed a fix he found for a problem with Entourage 2004 and LDAP directory access that resulted in an error code 17799:

I'm the Mac consultant at a major corporation in New York City and once we upgraded to Office 2004 we could no longer get access to the Exchange Server's Global Address Book &emdash; which caused a major problem for our Mac users.

I stumbled across the Entourage 2004 public forum at Microsoft and came upon a fix that worked. Here it is:

Re: LDAP error code 17799
Date: 29 Jun 2004 21:48:10 -0700
From: Steve Gualandri
News Groups: microsoft.public.mac.office.entourage

I recently upgraded to Office 2004. I was using Office X. I had no problems with Directory Services and other LDAP stuff in Office X.

Since upgrading to Office 2004, I am unable to perform an address lookup in Entourage 2004 V11.0.0 (040405). I continue to get "Directory Service was unable to perform the request Error 17799". I verified my settings and they are the same settings that I used in Office X. Can anyone tell me what error code 17799 is? I am running OS 10.3.4.

Steve

I actually talked to support about this one. In my case, it ended up being simple. Edit the Exchange Account Settings. Under the "Directory" tab, open up "Advanced Options". Make sure "This server requires me to log on".

By the way, I did not have that error code. My only symptom was failed searches in Entourage's Directory Services.

I checked "This server requires me to log on" and everything now works!

Advice for AD User cache and single sign-on issue. July 27, 2004 -- Josh Wisenbaker has some suggestions for last week's report of a problem with clearing Mac OS X's userc logon Cache for Active Directory:

There are two things going on here.

1. The AD cache users setting isn't anything special. It just makes a standard mobile account for the user. See my article at AFP548.com or the Apple User Management documentation for more info on that.

2. Single sign-on is done via Kerberos. If you are using the cache users setting (or any mobile accounts) then if it doesn't immediately find the network auth it is looking for it will default to the cached account info. The problem here is that the AD plugin is really trigger happy about rewriting the edu.mit.Kerberos file. If it doesn't find the domain controllers it will remove the AD Kerberos realm info from the file and bam! Single sign-on is gone.

If you read the edu.mit.Kerberos file it will tell you what two lines to remove to stop the OS from rewriting the file. I've seen cases where the OS still overwrote the file and so I sometimes lock it after it looks like I want. True these steps will keep the file from getting updated dynamically, but this can be minimized by specifying a preferred domain controller.

If you login with the local info because the domain controllers are down it won't pickup a kerb ticket, but will try too the first time you access a Kerberized service. Or you can use the Kerberos application from Core Services, or kinit from a terminal session to get your tickets as well.

AD bindings on Mac OS X 10.3.4. July 27, 2004 -- Michael Yuen is another reader with problems with Active Directory Bindings in Mac OS X 10.3.4:

About AD bindings, it seems there are problems with 10.3.4. The binding process finished without any error message, but upon restart, it would not be able to logon using any domain credential. Strangely enough on the same Mac with 10.3.3 installed, everything is a go.

Upon further investigation, this symptoms only appears on clean install 10.3.4. On systems with 10.3.2 or 10.3.3 pre-bind and un-bind, upgraded to 10.3.4, works fine.

Previously, we've had readers reporting that 10.3.4 fixed binding problems.

If 10.3.4 has affected your binding situation

Active Directory and Macintosh Clients. July 27, 2004 -- Costin Miron commented on Greg Priglmeier's article on using Mac OS X Server to set up Active Directory for Mac clients. Miron has some suggestions and questions:

While I appreciated your How to Use Active Directory and Macintosh Clients without Schema Changes article and found it very instructive, a few times I was stuck.

1. You should mention at the beginning that OD server starts as an OD "standalone server"

2. In Part 3, after changing OD role to "Open Directory Master" and choosing Save you go to "Choose Authentication button" 2.1 There isn't any Authentication button, I am assuming you mean "Authentication button" from Directory Access application. Why would I want to add another LDAP entry when there's already one with exactly the same info? Changing the role to "Open Directory Master" will automatically add that entry.

2.2 A few lines down you're mentioning "Shutdown your AD Mac client computer". That means that adding that LDAP entry was supposed to be done on Mac client. But an LDAP entry like 127.0.0.1 (localhost) doesn't make sense on a workstation (it would on a server that's Open Directory master). There's no LDAP server running at 127.0.0.1 on a workstation.

Maybe I did not fully understand part 3, so any light will be greatly appreciated.

Empty trash problem with Active Directory. July 27, 2004 -- Hugh Burt commented on the problem of not being able to empty the trash:

We have done some further investigation into this and have found that it is indeed something to to with the user's AD account. It seems NT4 accounts that have been migrated to Windows 2000 are affected but new accounts, created on windows 2000 are not. Even more strangely, the problem only occurs on G4s. Affected G4 users have no problem emptying the trash when they login to an iMac or PowerBook.

Please note that at the above link we have a script (Merlins Script) that is proported to delete the trash.

Thursby releases ADmitMac 2.0 beta. July 22, 2004 -- Thursby Software Systems has released ADmitMac 2.0 beta (prerelease) available to current customers. ADmitMac is Mac software for integrating Macs with Windows Active Directory and NT Domain environments. Some of the new feature:

Rage adds tabs to Win Explorer-like file browser for Macs. July 22, 2004 -- Rage Software yesterday released Macintosh Explorer 4.1 (US $16; upgrade $8), a new version of the file navigation tool for Mac OS 9.2 and Mac OS X. Macintosh Explorer provides file navigation similar to Windows Explorer. The new version adds tabbed file browsing, allowing you to have multiple folders simultaneously without the multiple windows, as in many web browsers. Another new feature of version 4.1 is a new file search field in every Explorer window for searching your Mac or selected folders or documents.

For more products that add Windows interface features to Macs, and Mac interface features to Windows, see the MacWindows User Interface Solutions page.

AddressX integrates Exchange Server GAL with Address Book. July 22, 2004 -- Snerdware's AddressX will bring the Global Address List (GAL) of Exchange Server into the Mac OS X Address Book. Mac OS X treats GAL contacts as ordinary Address Book entries, letting use iSync to to move the contacts elsewhere. AddressX also supports forms-based authentication for users of Exchange 2003.

The current version is 1.1, released earlier this year.

Clearing Mac OS X User Logon Cache for AD. July 22, 2004 -- James Hanback is looking for help with single-pass logons to Active Directory:

I discovered recently that single-pass sign ons stopped functioning for my Panther/AD users. Turning off the CACHE USER LOGON option in Directory Access fixed the problem. Alas, if something happens to the network, users won't be able to get to their desktops.

Do you know of any suggestions for automatically clearing the Panther user logon cache at specific intervals to prevent the aforementioned problem from happening again? I assume I could set a cron job to do it. The problem is: I can't seem to find where the cache is stored.

If you can help

Group Logic releases ExtremeZ-IP 3.2. July 21, 2004 -- Yesterday, Group Logic shipped ExtremeZ-IP 3.2, a new version of the cross-platform Windows-based file and print server for Mac OS X and OS 9 clients. (See also this press release.) ExtremeZ-IP runs on Windows 2003/2000/NT Server, Windows 2003 Storage Server, and Windows XP Professional. Some of the features of the 3.2 version are:

ExtremeZ-IP supports version 3.1 of the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) and runs over TCP/IP. ExtremeZ-IP also supports authentication against Active Directory and is compatible with Windows clustering technology.

Alternatives to Outlook and Entourage for Exchange Server. July 21, 2004 -- Dave Scott Novell Ximan Connector, a third-party client for Exchange Server, is now available for Mac OS X as Fink package. Unfortunately, Novell does not offer a Mac OS X version, and the Fink.Source page for Connector was not available at press time, and we could not determine where one could download it. Scott reports:

Just a brief note to let you know that Ximan Evolution (email programme) & Ximan Connector (Exchange "client") are now available as Fink Packages - for Mac OS X 10.3.

I have installed the packages and now can talk to Exchange 2000 (using OWA) both on the company LAN and via the Internet ( without resorting to VPN client).

I have access to full range of functions - public folders, email, GAL access list (company LAN only), calendar.

No problems importing contacts from Address Book either.

At this stage I have ditched using Outlook ( via Terminal Server ) - so maybe there is hope yet for a non Microsoft solution.

Script from Apple on .local hostname lookup useful in AD integration. July 21, 2004 -- Apple has an article titled Mac OS X 10.3: How to Look Up ".local" Hostnames via Both Rendezvous and Standard DNS. Aaron Graham describes it:

Basically it is a script on how to get the AD plug-in to bind to a .local domain. I just spent a long time on that here because I thought it was unneeded since I could get valid DNS results via the command line.

The article notes that "For the Active Directory plug-in to work with .local domains, you must update to Mac OS X 10.3.3 or later."

Advice for binding issues with Active Directory and Macintosh clients. July 21, 2004 -- John Parnaby offers some information about Active Directory binding issues as well as some advice:

Users having AD binding problems with Windows 2000 and any version of 10.3 may be interested in our experiences... We found we suddenly were unable to bind Macs to our domain even though previously we could. A lengthy investigation with a lot of help from both Apple and Microsoft discovered the cause.

The bind 'process' involves the machine object having a password set by the Domain Controller. This is set when the account doing the bind sends a kpasswd request to the DC. This is the last of the 5 Apple steps that you see in the GUI when the AD plug-in is performing the bind - it echoes a message "Binding computer to the domain".

Obviously the account that is asking for the bind must have the rights to do the bind. In our case the accounts that make these requests are administrative users. It turns out that these users were members of a large number of groups - and this was the problem. Being a member of a large number of groups meant that the account requesting the bind had a "large" Kerberos ticket.

The ticket details are sent to the DC via UDP (TCP in Windows, but UDP for the Mac). A large ticket gets chopped up into fragments and a Windows 2000 DC will ignore fragmented UDP packets. Consequently the kpasswd request is ignored, the machine never gets its password set and the bind process times out.

Obviously at some point recently our admin accounts were added to too many groups and the bind stopped working. The interim workaround is to ensure the account doing the bind is not a member of too many groups. We're continuing the investigation to find out what the limit is in our environment and we should point out that this only appears to be with the bind process right now - user accounts changing passwords don't appear to be affected.

This may be worth investigating if you're having binding problems.

Entourage 2004 support of global address lists without WebDAV. July 19, 2004 --Michael Lincoln reports that a new feature of Entourage 2004 is that it can support global address lists without the use of WebDAV on Exchange Server. He describes how:

At my organization has turned off WebDAV service in our Exchange 2000 servers. Our security office considers WebDAV to be a security risk. Before now I had continued to use Outlook 2001 (under Classic) because I needed the global address list (GAL).

I've now adopted Entourage 2004 and have my GAL despite lacking WebDAV. Apparently Entourage directory services do not depend on WebDAV, only the mail itself. I have therefore created two active Entourage accounts: an IMAP account ("VHA Mail") for mail, calendar events, etc., and an Exchange-type account ("VHA Directory") for directory services. The IMAP account is set to be the default for mail, but under the Directory tab the Exchange account is set as the default for directory services. Now I can "check names" against the GAL when (via "VHA Directory") when writing messages using "VHA Mail"! This provides 99 percent of the needed Exchange functionality: mail, calendaring, and directory services all work. Only public folders don't work: although the "VHA Directory" account shows the public folders icon, I can't see the mail inside because I lack WebDAV.

By trial and error I encountered a few settings tweaks that I seemed to require: I used the IP address of both the Exchange server and the LDAP server because name resolution didn't seem to work for the Exchange account (something to do with WebDAV?). In the Directory tab I also had to check two advanced options: "This server requires me to log in" and "Override default LDAP port (3268)". Finally, I used the schema "IP-number/public" for the free-busy server under the Advanced account setup tab. However, as mentioned above, I can't actually see the public mail, only the folders.

If you've tried this

Lincoln also sent along some advise on setting up Entourage:

One additional tip: our servers are centrally managed and I couldn't figure out who to ask for IP address or name of the WebDAV server. To get around this, I let Entourage do the automatic account setup, which filled in the name automatically. Then I did a reverse DNS lookup on that name to get the IP address number that I used as outlined above. In general, however, the automatic setup needs tweaking and I suggest a manual setup after you garner the required server information.

Your mileage may vary, but even lacking WebDAV I now have virtually everything I need.

More information on integrating Macs with Active Directory. July 19, 2004 --Michael Bartosh has an article at the O'Reilly Mac Dev Center on Panther and AD. The article includes screen shots and examples of the dsconfigad command-line utility.

(We've mentioned this before, but it seems worth mentioning again.)

AD plugin with OS X 10.3.4 in a BIND. July 19, 2004 -- Bob Crozier reports that for him, the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update did not fix his problem with the Active Directory plugin:

A number of people have experienced difficulty with the BIND step when using the AD plugin for Directory Services but have remarked that this is fixed in 10.3.4.

I am sorry to report that the fix is not universal. If you are attempting to join an AD domain where the domain name has only one component (eg dc=demo) the process fails with an invalid forest or domain name. If the domain is changed to something with two or more components (eg dc=demo,dc=ad) all is fine.

I have a number of Win 2000 sites where the internal AD domain name is a single component so that it is not accessible from the Internet. I guess I've got some domains to rebuild to enable the Mac integration.

Reader reports AVG Anti-Virus for Windows works in VPC. July 19, 2004 -- Wim van Ommen reports that the free version of Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus works within Virtual PC 6.

Turning off USBin VPC doesn't work for reader. July 19, 2004 -- John West responded to a reader suggestion that disabling USB in Virtual PC increases performance. It didn't work for him:

Turning off USB had no perceptible improvement. If anything this latest version with all the patches seems to run slower now that the Connectix version.(PowerBook G4 867 with 640 MB RAM)

Suggestions for Entourage 2004/Exchange LDAP problems. July 15, 2004 -- Several readers sent in their solutions to problems with Entourage 2004 not querying LDAP or AD.

Ernest Lehmann's fix:

Like most other people who upgraded to Entourage 2004 with an Exchange 2000 email server, I found myself trying to figure out why I kept getting errors in LDAP queries after I'd upgraded.

I had to edit the directory services account (under the DIRECTORY tab).

And adjust the search base to read: dc=mydomain,dc=com

And I also had to check "This server requires me to log on"

I needed to ensure the following was unchecked: Override default LDAP port 389

Jay Christianson found that a previously reported fix worked:

I read the fix for directory services that related to identities. I went into the File menu for Identities and switched identites, made a new identity, and yep the LDAP lookups work now.

Martin Hill has it working now, but isn't exactly sure why:

I previously reported problems getting Entourage 2004 successfully querying LDAP to auto-fill email addresses or even look up names in Directory Services.

This is now working for us and I suspect it is something to do with the LDAP server we have been using. Previously we were using the LDAP server running on our old Exchange 5.5 server as the new Exchange 2003 server refused to talk LDAP to our clients at that time.

However, after reports that some of my colleagues recently had success connecting to the new AD server, we tried again and it now works fine - autocompleting email addresses after clicking the "check names" button in email messages as well as searching on names in Directory Services.

We didn't have to delete identities and re-create profiles or anything. We also didn't have to enter anything into the search base field - we had previously experimented with this field (dc=yourserver,dc=com etc) without success and in the end it works for us with this field blank.

We did need to tick "This server requires me to log on" and "Override default LDAP port" and fill in the custom port number our Exchange sysadmins specified. (We had set these same options this previously with no success.)

TIP for Entourage and Exchange Server 2003 disappearing folders. July 15, 2004 --David Pughe (of London) passed along a tip he found about folder names in Entourage:

Yesterday I found out that if a folder under your Exchange Server inbox has a forward slash (e.g. "books / CDs") then it will not show up in Entourage v.10.1.5. Remove the / and it shows up in Entourage.

Reader problem with Exchange password issues with Entourage 2004. July 15, 2004 -- David Toub asked for help with this issue:

I've been running Entourage 2004 on OS 10.3.4 for several weeks now, and use it to check both my .Mac account and my work Exchange account. Both sets of passwords are stored in my Keychain.

Recently, my Exchange account will frequently prompt me for my password, even though it is stored in my Keychain. This happens for an entire day, approximately one day each week now. I start off fine, but within an hour of arriving at work, I get the first prompt. After reentering my password, the prompts for to reenter my password happen at more frequent intervals.

Restarting Entourage or the Mac itself solves the problem for a little while, then it all starts again. I've run Keychain first aid, and also reset my password on the Windows end of things, but the problem persists.

Strangely, it disappears for days at a time, but when it does recur, nothing I does seems to stop the problem for the entire day. I am the only Mac user at work, so I'm kind of out of luck with our tech support team.

The network environment is Win 2003. There is no problem with Entourage forgetting my .Mac password, incidentally.

If you've seen this problem

Entourage/Exchange calendar gets erased. July 15, 2004 --Alexis Chen is another reader experiencing email and calendars disappearing:

I am having the very same problem. Folders of email and Calendar randomly disappears. Resync with the server, then the user works in and out of the office (connecting to the server in the exact same manner - I have the webmail alias for external use, mapped internally to our server through our DNS hosts file). Users have been up for approximately 1 month, then more consistently, 1 day before the next disappearance.

Specs: Windows 2000 SP3, Exchange 2000 SP3, Office 2004 (Entourage 2004), Panther

OS X 10.3.4 and dsconfigad in the plugin. July 15, 2004 -- Josh Wisenbaker does not have the same problem of an earlier reader report in which the dsconfigad options for the Active Directory plugin were missing in OS X 10.3.4:

I just tried the -localhome and -mountstyle options for the AD plugin and 10.3.4 and it works just fine for me. In fact I never even used these options until after 10.3.4 was released.

Tool migrates MS IIS web servers to Mac OS X Apache. July 15, 2004 -- Versora is shipping Progression Web (US $279), software that provides automated migration of web sites from Microsoft IIS web servers to Mac OS X Server Apache web servers.

Thursby reveals features list of ADmitMac 2.0. July 14, 2004 -- At its user forum, Thursby Software Systems has posted a partial list of features of ADmitMac 2.0, the next version of its Active Directory integration client for Mac OS X. A few of the new features of ADmitMac 2.0, now in beta:

Is Mac OS X 'Tiger' Rolling Over on Windows Support? July 14, 2004 -- An eWeek editorial by MacWindows' John Rizzo looks at Apple's lack of focus on Mac OS X 10.4 as an enterprise client at WWDC.

VPC 4.0.2 Updater located. July 14, 2004 -- Reader Ron Earl has located a web page that is offering Virtual PC 4.0.2 Update, which has been unavailable since the Connectix web site was discontinued after Microsoft acquired Virtual PC. This updated works with Virtual PC versions 4.0 and 4.0.1.

Last week, we posted two links to the VPC 5.0.4 updater, also hosted by individuals.

Norton Antivirus in VPC: it might work, but Symantec won't support. July 14, 2004 -- Several readers responded to last Friday's report of an incompatibility with Symantec Antivirus 2004 and Virtual PC. In Friday's report, we quoted Symantec Support as saying that "Symantec products will not run on [emulation software] and are not supported."

Symantec Knowledge Base Article dated 03/12/2004 says that Norton Antivirus is not supported running in Windows via Virtual PC.

We suspect that while Norton Antivirus does in fact run in some circumstances, is also known to fail; if it does fail Symantec will not provide support.

Andrew Glennie says "I am successfully running NAV 2003 on all my VPC drives (all Windows 2000)."

Al Pawlowski

Symantec AntiVirus Corp. Edition 8.1.0.825 runs on my VPC 6.1.1, on OS X v10.3.4 in both "managed" (virus def updates from a local server) and "live update" modes. In fact, I just did a live update and scan to check.

Corporate edition v8.0 ran in a couple of earlier configurations too, as did Norton AV v7.6 before that. NAV 7.6 would still download the latest virus def's as of the last time I tried it, about six-ten months ago, but that may have been in VPC 5.04.

Len Walther had a problem with AutoProtect, which cleared up (though VPC performance is bad):

Norton AntiVirus 2003 appears to work with Connectix Virtual PC 6.0.1. I have a PowerBook (FireWire) with 1 GB RAM running OS X 10.3.4. VPC is configured for 384 MB PC RAM. It runs, but veeerrrry slowly, taking about 14 minutes to boot when Saved State is not used.

For awhile, AutoProtect wasn't working, but appears to have fixed itself, possibly due to a Norton update.

My PowerBook (FireWire) is 500 MHz and I am using Windows XP Home.

Bob Tweedy has not seen a problem:

I've been using NAV 2003 for a year or so now in VPC 6.1.1 Windows 2000 with nary a problem. In accordance with a recent hint I turned off AutoProtect to see if VPC would speed up; I didn't notice any difference.

Other Windows antivirus software in VPC. July 14, 2004 -- We also had two reports of other antivirus packages for Windows running in VPC. One failure, one success. Glenn Peterson had a problem with McAfee in Windows 2000:

I thought I was running McAfee (version either 7 or 8) on VPC 6.0.1 successfully. I just tried it again and managed to render my Windows 2000 to where it is in a loop of booting and I can't stop it. I am not sure if I ran it on Windows 98 and the upgrade to 2000 caused a problem.

Mike Challen has had good luck with Avast in Win2k:

I'm currently running Avast v4 in VPC 6.1 under Windows 2000. This is free to home-, non-commercial users and everything including automated updates seems to work fine ... so far at least.

Fix for Norton Corporate Edition 9 and AppleTalk. July 14, 2004 -- Joseph Swenson sent in a problem we reported about Norton Corporate Edition (NCE) 9 on a Windows server running AppleTalk. The fix:

One of our server people just spoke to Symantec's tech support and have a solution for the AppleTalk issue with NCE 9. Apparently the POP3SMTP scanner conflicts with certain items such as AppleTalk. Once you remove that component things should run OK.

Computer Associates has Acquired Miramar. July 14, 2004 -- We missed this when it happened, but last March, Computer Associates acquired Miramar Systems. The Computer Associates press release doesn't mention Miramar's PC MacLAN, software for Windows that installed AFP file sharing over IP and AppleTalk. The PC MacLAN product page is still up at the web site.

Virtual PC 5.0.4 Update available on users' .Mac sites. July 9, 2004 -- Looking for the Virtual PC 5.0.4 Update? We've located two sources of the old Virtual PC 5.0.4 update, which Microsoft hasn't offered since it purchased Virtual PC from Connectix. Both are located on the web sites of .Mac subscribers. We found the first through a Google search:

The second was sent to us by MacWindows reader Martin Totusek:

We've received a steady stream of queries from readers on the availability of this update, which is the most stable version of Virtual PC 5. Connectix used to make updates to older versions of VPC available at its web site. However, Microsoft only offers the updates for VPC 6.x.

Virtual PC incompatible with NAV for Windows. July 9, 2004 -- We've added Norton AntiVirus 2004 to our Virtual PC Incompatibilities page. Howard Austin reports that it won't run in VPC 6:

Norton AntiVirus 2004 will not begin to install itself on Virtual PC 6.0 running Windows XP Professional with 256 MB memory, after multiple attempts over several months, both using the CD or copying the CD to the virtual hard drive. My Mac is a PowerBook G4 Titanium 1 GHz with 1 GB RAM.

Austin also forwarded a note from Symantec Support verifying the incompatibility:

If you have software such as Virtual PC, SoftWindows, or SoftPC, which emulate a Windows environment on a Macintosh, your virtual Windows operating system (OS) can become infected with Windows-based viruses. To protect this type of environment, you must have virus protection installed in your virtual Windows OS, such as Norton AntiVirus for Windows. Symantec does not support Norton AntiVirus in this type of environment.

Symantec does not support our products running in emulation environments. Symantec products rely on a tight integration with the operating system and hardware. Emulation software creates an additional layer on the operating system. Therefore, Symantec products will not run on them and are not supported.

For example, when Virtual PC is installed on a Macintosh computer, it creates a file on the hard drive as a virtual Windows hard drive. Any interactions that require access to Macintosh hardware, such as connecting to the Internet or a printer, is then translated by the Virtual PC software to pass to the Macintosh operating system. Because of this translation process, programs such as Norton AntiVirus may not function as expected.

If you know of a Windows antivirus program that will run in Virtual PC

Thursby's ADmitMac 1.1.1 update fixes .local issue. July 9, 2004 -- MacWindows reader Gareth Medd reports that Thursby Software's ADmitMac 1.1.1 update fixes a problem with .local domains. Medd confirms that the update works:

Thursby have provided a fix to Active Directory domains named .local. The update can be found on their forum site for ADmitMac; it provides a download of version 1.1.1. It works. Previously it would only recognize as an NT domain now it recognizes as AD.

A link to the update and a description of the problem and solution can be found at Thursby's user forum.

ADmitMac is Mac OS X software that provides Mac client integration with Microsoft Active Directory without schema changes and without the need for Mac OS X Server.

OS X 10.3.4 effect on Active Directory integration. July 9, 2004 --Jason Meyer suspects that the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update has changed the way a Mac can interact with Active Directory.

Seems like the options -localhome and -mountstyle are no longer available in 10.3.4. When I tried to disable the creation of localhome folder and user their network home folder dsconfigad just spits back the help info.

Also having a weird problem in a test environment, where all users can authenticate to AD just fine, but only a couple get their home folder mounted in the dock. I looked at /var/log/system.log and saw this:

/System/Library/CoreServices/SecurityAgent.app/Contents/MacOS/SecurityAg
ent:
MCXSecurityAgent: Skipping mount of
kDSStdRecordTypeUsers/kDSNAttrOriginalHomeDirectory as "abcdef": Missing

or

badly formed URL

The home folder is on my Win2K server, haven't tried putting it on the OS X server yet, and I have tried both \\servername\share\username and \\server.domain.name\share\username. Still curious as to why, it's not a permissions problem on the server as I can browse to the home folder and drop stuff in it just fine.

If you'd like to comment

Tip: Mac OS X Keychain the cause of Win Server access problem. July 9, 2004 -- Dave Sobel passed along the solution to a recent problem he had:

I was having troubles getting drives mounted in my network after some Windows 2003 machines were rebuilt -- turns out that OS X was caching old passwords for the domain, and once those keys were deleted in Keychain Access, all was well again.

Cross-platform PowerPoint tips. July 9, 2004 -- While surfing the 'net, we came across a web page with tips on creating PowerPoint slides for use on both Macs and Windows.

Version 1.3 of Active Directory integration paper posted. July 2, 2004 -- We've posted another update to Greg Priglmeier's paper How to use Active Directory and Macintosh Clients without Schema Changes using a Mac OS X Server. This is version 1.3 of the paper, which has additions to sections 2a, 2b, and 3 (Text that is new since version 1.2 of this document is in blue text.)

More news from WWDC news: SQLite, Rendezvous for Win. July 2, 2004 -- We have a couple of more items to add to our previous report on announcements from Apple at the Worldwide developers conference this week.

Fix for Entourage X 10.1.5 and LDAP. July 2, 2004 -- Igor Portnoy send us a solution to the problem with Entourage 10.1.5 connecting to LDAP in Microsoft Active Directory with and pulling user's names and e-mail addresses:

In order to be able to search Global List in Active Directory running on Windows 2000 Server with MS Exchange 2000 (haven't checked Windows/Exchange 2003 yet) by clicking on "Check Names" in Entourage X (10.1.5) when composing a new e-mail message, do the following:

1. Go to Tools --> Accounts --> Directory Service

2. Click on "XXX Exchange Account" and then click "Edit"

3. Go to "Directory"

4. In the "Search Base" field type dc=yourserver,dc=com (you can even specify users container by doing cn=users,dc=yourserver,dc=com)

5. Click "OK" and then "X" to close "Accounts".

6.Click "New"

7. In the "To:" field type a couple of letters of the person's name or e-mail address and click on "Check Names"

8. The list with names of people that you have recently sent e-mails to as well as list of people from your AD should appear.

We've also had reports of directory access problems with Entourage 2004. If you've tried this fix with either version

Entourage 2004 and directory access problems. July 2, 2004 -- Gary Estler is another reader with directory access problems with Entourage 2004. He also reports other annoyances.

I'm running a Ti G4 PowerBook with Mac OS 10.3.4 and recently upgraded to Microsoft Office 2004. I was hoping it would allow me to finally cease reliance on Classic and Microsoft Outlook 2001 for my Company's Exchange Server based email. I got everything to work EXCEPT access the Global Access List.

I've used all the possible ways of inserting the server's address in the Directory Access option to no avail. The typical response I get is LDAP Server Error (-17768).

As frustrating as it is, this may be for the best as I find some of the limitations of Entourage to be quite annoying. For instance:

  • No ability to "Save As" from the Inbox message list view.
  • Messages must be saved as either text or Entourage Mail. (No option to save as .rtf or .htm).
  • No ability to customize the toolbar.
  • No "Save Attachments" option in the toolbar.

Casey McCullough also has a problem with Active Directory:

We are not even able to get Entourage to query Active Directory by email address. We keep getting an Error -3260 when we type in a name or email address in Directory Service. The Error -3260 description is as follows: "The connection to the server failed because the network is unavailable."

I'm able to send/receive email, so that's not the problem. I searched this error and came up with nothing.

I think I've got all the right information plugged in on the setup of the Directory Service, but any help/advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Tricia Lay reports:

This is almost exactly what's happening with my setup, and Jeff Boyle's solution didn't work for us...I really hope someone can figure this out soon, as the postings for the 2004 upgrade look like they're having similar problems. My IT guy and I are both frustrated beyond words at this point.

Another Entourage 2004 problem: folders don't synch with messages. July 2, 2004 -- Gerald Asche reports yet another problem with Entourage 2004:

A client of mine installed Office 2004 with Entourage 2004 about a month ago. He was able to link to his Exchange 2000 server, but: 
  • Many of his mail folders do not fully synch with new mail messages.
  • This causes the annoying Entourage icon to continually bounce in the dock.
  • Some folders are labeled with a persistent "red flag"

Clearing the cache on the mail folders resolved the problem for about a day; however, we have not yet found a lasting solution.

My client is running Mac OS 10.3.4 on an iMac with 512 MB of RAM.

We are considering dropping down to Outlook 2001 for the Mac running in "classic" mode.

If you've seen this problem

TIP for Mac OS 9 and Netatalk server. July 2, 2004 -- Eric Theriault reports a problem and solution he discovered with Mac OS 9 and Netatalk:

I have recently stumbled on your Mac OS 9 Cross Platform Issues Page because my wife's MacOS 9 box was hanging when trying to connect to my netatalk server on Linux. Your page gave me some good starting points, but none of them solved my problem.

In my case, there appears to have been some data corruption in the files under the mount point's .AppleDB directory. After creating a new mount point and painstakingly moving the directories and files to the new mount point, ensuring her computer still works after each step, I was left with a handful of netatalk directories. The others did not seem to have that much of an effect.

Reader verifies fix for Panther SMB file sharing problems. July 2, 2004 -- Jason Turner had the file sharing problems reported on our Panther Reports page, and reports that a reader's suggestion worked:

After spending a couple hours trying to determine the source behind SMB file sharing inconsistency, I finally hit pay dirt (via Google) with your page, Greg Noneman's suggestion worked as advertised. Please pass my thanks to him too!


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