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Mac Thread, Allow write but then open as 'Read Only' - huh? in Technical; I've had a weird problem developed with some of my users and Mac PowerPoint. Users can open, create and save ...
  1. #1
    theeldergeek
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    Allow write but then open as 'Read Only' - huh?

    I've had a weird problem developed with some of my users and Mac PowerPoint.

    Users can open, create and save PowerPoint files, however, when they re-open the files they've saved, they are opening as 'READ ONLY'.

    I have checked permissions on their home folders, and they seem OK, that is, they have 'READ/WRITE' permissions on the folder. Other Office programs seem (at the moment) unaffected, at least Word isn't having the same issues.

    The really bizarre thing is that if I open the file and it is 'READ ONLY', if I close it, and then re-open it, it opens as READ/WRITE! Then, if I close it and open it again, it becomes READ ONLY again! However this isn't strictly true because I can open a file 2 or 3 times as 'READ/WRITE', but on the 'nth' attempt it reverts to 'READ ONLY'.

    I have absolutely no idea what the problem might be. Can anyone shed some light??


  2. #2


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    A delay between the file completely closing and it being reopenable? Autosave getting in the way? Is the file on a remote fileserver or locally on the mac?

    If you open a create a file, save and close it and wait 30 seconds then open it again, does it still happen?

  3. Thanks to pete from:


  4. #3
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnix View Post
    Is there a sticky bit set?

    if do an ls -al on the directory, do you see a 't' or 'T' at the end (instead of an 'x')?

    e.g. drwxrwxrwt
    I'm sh1te at terminal commands! I can't remember how to change directory

    I know it's CD something, but what?

    I want to get into a volume called 'DATA' and then 'MACHOMES'

    What would I put into Terminal to a) change directory to my MacHomes directory and then run the lookup you suggest above.

    Embarrassing, but how it is.

  5. #4
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    A delay between the file completely closing and it being reopenable? Autosave getting in the way? Is the file on a remote fileserver or locally on the mac?

    If you open a create a file, save and close it and wait 30 seconds then open it again, does it still happen?
    I'll give this a try, it makes sense. The files are being saved remotely, and are quite large, so it could be a read/write delay.

  6. #5
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnix View Post
    Well, I'm not too hot with Macs, but let's see if it's similar to Linux.

    Find where the volumes are mounted with the 'mount' command. It will list all the mounts, and their mountpoints. The mountpoints appear just like ordinary directories on the file system. Look for the DATA and MACHOMES. These should be mounted on a directory.

    cd to the directory it mentions.

    e.g. cd /mnt/data

    then do the ls -al command. If you're already in the directory you want to check, that directory is represented by a single dot ('.') at the top of the directory listing.

    I haven't got a Mac, so this is blind, unfortunately.

    Even if the sticky bit isn't the problem, at least you'll be able to see what the permissions are for the troublesome files.
    Thanks. I was getting stuck because I was putting "Volume" instead of "Volumes" when inputting the path. 'Mount' nudged me in the right direction.

  7. #6
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnix View Post
    Is there a sticky bit set?

    if do an ls -al on the directory, do you see a 't' or 'T' at the end (instead of an 'x')?

    e.g. drwxrwxrwt
    Directory I'm interested in has "drwxr-xr-x+" as are all the others, so I'm going to assume that that is correct... ?
    However, on one of the affected files, it is "-rw-r--r--@"

    I really need to brush up on this!
    Last edited by theeldergeek; 2nd March 2010 at 12:18 PM.

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    trippwhyer's Avatar
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    I'm having the same exact problem you originally described. Did you ever find a solution or is it still a problem?

  9. #8
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by trippwhyer View Post
    I'm having the same exact problem you originally described. Did you ever find a solution or is it still a problem?
    Never found a solution, but no-one has come back to me since to say it is still occurring. I did email the teacher concerned and explained it could be a read/write delay across the network and to ask they take a little longer to re-open files after saving.

    In a way, I'm glad it is happening elsewhere, as it shows the problem isn't within my own network, I guess!

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    trippwhyer's Avatar
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    It doesn't seem to be an issue when there is a mobile account set up on computer. It seems to strictly be related to user's network home folders. I have also noticed the time factor involved where if you wait 30 seconds or so, the powerpoint will open correctly as read/write. I have a couple theories. The first is that it has to do with the temporary files that MS Office put's in place on a user's network home folder when they launch Word/Excel/Powerpoint. I don't believe the permissions are a problem since my permissions are set correctly and if they weren't why would I get varying results for the same document and the same user. Do you use NHR (Network Home Redirect) at all? My other idea involves NHR which I have installed on about 70% of my mac clients. I don't actually believe this is the problem since NHR is actually designed to fix this type of issue but I could be wrong. By the way, I'm running a OS X server 10.4 where all my user's home folders are stored. 85% of my client Mac's are 10.5, the rest are 10.4.

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    Microsoft have just released an update for Office for mac. Try an update to see it resolves anything. Also a little tip for you:

    When using terminal if you don't want to type in a mega long cd command just type CD followed by a space and then drag and drop the folder you want to get to on to the terminal window and it will complete the path for you. Then press return.

    Much quicker

  12. #11
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    Microsoft have just released an update for Office for mac. Try an update to see it resolves anything. Also a little tip for you:

    When using terminal if you don't want to type in a mega long cd command just type CD followed by a space and then drag and drop the folder you want to get to on to the terminal window and it will complete the path for you. Then press return.

    Much quicker
    Thanks for the tip

    Problem we have with MS Update, is it won't work through our proxy, at least, I think that is what the problem is. I have tried the Office updater on the Mac, and it's a no go.

    If it can be downloaded as a Service Pack and installed manually, i'm happy to go with that.

  13. #12

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    Yeah, if i recall correctly i had the same problem. I downloaded manually.If you have ARD, I *think* you may be able to update your local copy of Office and then deploy the Office folder from your apps folder to the rest of the machines. But i would check it first, unless of course MDS now use .pkg files in which case just deploy straight through ARD.

  14. #13
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    Yeah, if i recall correctly i had the same problem. I downloaded manually.If you have ARD, I *think* you may be able to update your local copy of Office and then deploy the Office folder from your apps folder to the rest of the machines. But i would check it first, unless of course MDS now use .pkg files in which case just deploy straight through ARD.
    Don't have the URL of the download do you?

    I see there is a download available at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.mspx but I'm a bit unsure which download I need! I'm suffering brain 'fuzz' today!

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    What version of Office are you using?

    You could check these links on this page (if not blocked).

    This lists the updates for all MS Offices.

  16. #15
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    What version of Office are you using?

    You could check these links on this page (if not blocked).

    This lists the updates for all MS Offices.
    Mac:2008 (it says)

    I'll check the link now, thanks.

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