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Mac Thread, Uncheck 'Force local home directory..' causes serious delays in Technical; Our Macs (10.6.8) are working nicely with AD - authenticating users and get preferences from our Mac server. But we ...
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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    Uncheck 'Force local home directory..' causes serious delays

    Our Macs (10.6.8) are working nicely with AD - authenticating users and get preferences from our Mac server. But we still have the Directory Utility option 'Force local home directory on startup disk' checked, because when we uncheck this, it causes random and severe system hangs. You get the spinning wheel for anything from 30 seconds to 2 minutes and the whole system is hung - and won't respond to anything.

    Now, as we want to force our users to save their files to their AD home folder this is the only way we can do it. However I have tried everything I can think of and have run out of ideas. I've been trying to sort this since we got the Macs in over a year ago, running 10.6.5. We have also upgraded the Windows servers from 2003 to 2008 so thats also changed!

    So it points to OSX being the problem - question is, how can I find out what is causing these hangs? It happens on all of the Macs when this option is unchecked and renders them unusable until the option is rechecked as the 'hangs' can happen at any time, running any (or no) application and several times during a login session, there is no real pattern!

    A 4 pack of EduBeer for anyone who cracks this, I'm stuck now!
    Last edited by Sheridan; 15th May 2012 at 03:45 PM.

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    JR-PCS's Avatar
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    Does your domain name end with .local?

    Could you try creating a home folder that is stored on a different device/server? What do you store your home folders on at the moment?

    What switches and network cabling do you have in place from the core to the mac clients?

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    Sheridan (16th May 2012)

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    No its a .org domain. I've tried with home folders on several servers now (2003/2008)

    Theres a variety of switchs between the macs and the servers - but they do the same thing even when moved onto the same switch as the server (i.e in our office!)

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    JR-PCS's Avatar
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    Who created the mac images on the macs, yourself or third party company? and how were they created? Have you tried creating a completely clean build of 10.6.8 and then binding to AD with force local unticked?

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    kernewek-sam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheridan View Post
    Theres a variety of switchs between the macs and the servers - but they do the same thing even when moved onto the same switch as the server (i.e in our office!)
    Are they on the same VLAN as the server?

  7. Thanks to kernewek-sam from:

    Sheridan (16th May 2012)

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    Yes we created the images and I also tried a brand new image. All macs are on same vlan as servers.

    I tried a blank image with no applications and also a fully loaded one - both the same!

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    kernewek-sam's Avatar
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    Have tried putting a mac on a Gb port to see if it's the amount of traffic generated by the mac.

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    Its connected to a gigabit port now. When I look at the open files on the server it only seems to have half a dozen or so files open for read/write.

    I've tried using the process monitor on the mac but it hangs when the mac hangs!

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    JR-PCS's Avatar
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    I have set up thousands of macs in over a hundred schools but only come across an issue like this when there was something wrong with one of the following:

    -how the AD domain was configured
    -how the image was created
    -a dns issue
    -permissions
    -cheap/old switches.

    If you don't think it is any of them then I don't have a clue what it could be, and to be honest I don't think anyone one here will be able to help. You might need to get a consultant (like myself) to help diagnose the issue and check how everything is setup in more detail.

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    kernewek-sam's Avatar
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    @AntonioRocco is really good with these sort of problems.

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the responses!

    What sort of problems have you seen with the AD or dns config?

    I can probably dismiss the image as I've tried several and the switches as its been tested on various ones. Permissions also seem less likely as it happens to all users,including admins.

    Very frustrating though!

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    JR-PCS's Avatar
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    It's hard to explain The AD and DNS stuff, and ultimately I have a living to make out of this type of expert advice. I'm sure you can appreciate the difference from a couple of one liners to a full detailed bit of info or documentation.

    One thing I would say about your other tests.
    Are all your switches the same brand, and configured by the same person?
    Equally it could still be a permissions issue, and all users have a permissions issue that windows clients are ignoring.
    You mentioned using several images but have you wiped a mac clean and then installed 10.6.8 and tested it?

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    When you join the macs to the both open directory ( OS X Server ) and AD, I presume you are placing the AD domain first and the OS X ( open directory server ) 2nd in the list ( on both a mac connected to the same switch as the server and on a mac in the classroom or wherever they are )

    DNS Wise can you ping / nslookup / trace route to the server both by hostname and ip address without any issues

    Also on each mac if you flush dns ( sudo dscacheutil -flushcache ) --> http://kitara.nl/2011/06/14/how-to-f...-snow-leopard/

    Then try the resolution of a few of the servers ( AD, OD ) both by name and ip address ?

    Also on a test AD standard user account ( on the home path , what is the UNC path like exactly ) ? Not sure how much difference this will make if any but I remember having worked at one school and the unc path was something along the lines of

    \\Server\users$\students\year_group\%username%

    Going from memory I think I shortened this to something like

    \\Server\users$\students\%username%

    OR

    \\Server\users$\%username%

    Also on both macs ( one from the classroom and one on the same switch as the server ) I presume

    * Date / Time and Time Zone are correct ( within aprox 10 or 15 mins max of the NTP Server or in comparison to your other servers )
    * DNS Servers are configured and in the search domain you at least have the relevant FQDN of your AD Domain ?

    As above though either @AntonioRocco or @Rozzer
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 16th May 2012 at 06:59 AM.

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    Rozzer (16th May 2012), Sheridan (16th May 2012)

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    Rozzer's Avatar
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    I would look at how you are caching. I have enabled caching in a school to the local machine and it made it worse than caching to the network drive. But as JR mentioned above maybe down to a large factor of things. It maybe worth setting up your image again from scratch. If all else fails get a consultant in. If you spend several days on fixing the issue and its still not done then get someone in. PM me if you want any info on help.

    Ross

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    mac_shinobi (16th May 2012), Sheridan (16th May 2012)

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    When you join the macs to the both open directory ( OS X Server ) and AD, I presume you are placing the AD domain first and the OS X ( open directory server ) 2nd in the list ( on both a mac connected to the same switch as the server and on a mac in the classroom or wherever they are )

    Yes - thats how we have them set up

    DNS Wise can you ping / nslookup / trace route to the server both by hostname and ip address without any issues

    DNS is working fine - checked using ping and dig both ways

    Also on each mac if you flush dns ( sudo dscacheutil -flushcache ) --> How to flush DNS cache in Mac OS X (Snow) Leopard « Marius van Witzenburg

    Then try the resolution of a few of the servers ( AD, OD ) both by name and ip address ?

    I've tried the flush as well - and resolution still working OK

    Also on a test AD standard user account ( on the home path , what is the UNC path like exactly ) ? Not sure how much difference this will make if any but I remember having worked at one school and the unc path was something along the lines of

    \\Server\users$\students\year_group\%username%

    Going from memory I think I shortened this to something like

    \\Server\users$\students\%username%

    OR

    \\Server\users$\%username%

    Our home directories are mapped very similar to your, ie. \\server\folder\username

    Also on both macs ( one from the classroom and one on the same switch as the server ) I presume

    * Date / Time and Time Zone are correct ( within aprox 10 or 15 mins max of the NTP Server or in comparison to your other servers )
    * DNS Servers are configured and in the search domain you at least have the relevant FQDN of your AD Domain ?

    All the Macs use our DC as their time server, which in itself is the time server for the domain so the clocks match exactly.

    Also, we only locally cache the tmp folder - which I understand is best for application performance.

  20. Thanks to Sheridan from:

    mac_shinobi (16th May 2012)

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