Previous 1 2 3 Next 83 Replies Latest reply: Dec 20, 2004 4:14 PM by Bork!Bork!Bork!
StealthRocket Level 2 Level 2
Has anyone having trouble with ._ files and Windows servers? The issue is pretty confusing so I'll try and make this as clear as possible.

The problem is I can't move or edit files stored on a W2k server because the ._ files are shown as in use by another user. If I try and move a file on the server into another folder I get the following message: "The operation cannot be completed because a required item is in use." With my sys admins help using the computer management console (on Windows) we've tracked it down to the ._ files associated with the "real" files. It shows all of the ._ files being in use even if the user who's supposedly using it is logged off the server.

I get a similar message saving files to the server. Lets say I have .tif file and open it in Photoshop, make edits and hit command-S. The following message comes up: "Could not save "file name" because the file is already in use or was left open." Now this is where it gets dangerous. If I hit OK the file on the server is deleted so if I were to close the file at this point it would be lost. I have to hit command-S again and a Save As window comes up that pointes to the correct folder on the server and then I can save. The kicker is I STILL can't move the file because the ._ file has the same name so its linked back up to the file and since the ._ file is "in use" the problem persists. If I change the file name when doing the save as I can move it on the server because it has a new ._ file.

Now let's talk about deleting files from the server using Finder. If I try and delete a file on the server that has a ._ file 'in use" the message that says this file will be deleted immediately are you sure you want to continue comes up and I click OK. Then the following message comes up: "The operation cannot be completed because a required item is in use." If I click OK the file deletes anyway BUT the ._ file doesn't get deleted so if I move the file back to the server, the problem persists.
The other problem with deleting is if I try and delete an entire folder with ._ files 'in use" I get the messages I just mentioned and the last file in the folder is deleted. now imagine having to delete a folder full of 250 items one at a time. Even if you deleted all 250 items individually you still can't delete the folder because the ._ files are still there and still 'in use".

I don't normally work directly off the server but this makes file management impossible.

Is anyone else having this problem?
  • J.Otava Level 4 Level 4
    Now let's talk about deleting files from the server using Finder. If I try and delete a file on the server that has a ._ file 'in use" the message that says this

    If one walks to server and tries to remove those ._ files locally, it will also agree files are in use. Use AFP instead of SMB (needs some configuration on the server side).

    Visit and fill in the form.

  • StealthRocket Level 2 Level 2
    Yes, the server says they are in use. Somehow the ._ files are not being let go. I don't know if OS X isn't sending the proper instruction to Windows to let them go or if Windows just doesn't know how to handle them via SMB. Fortunately we can cut the ties to the ._ files on the Windows side but its only a temporary fix.

    I'm starting to come to the same conclusion that we'll have to go back to AFP. The only problem is AFP is noticeably slower and we've been having permission problems with AFP. Files and folders aren't inheriting privileges correctly so it makes the user who copied them up the owner and locks everyone else out. We keep having to reset permissions on the Windows side. Although this could be an Active Directory thing.
  • MarkDouma® Level 6 Level 6
    Do you happen to have Norton Antivirus installed on this Mac, and have its AutoProtect feature enabled and active?

    If so, I would strongly advise you to uninstall Norton Antivirus entirely, or at the very least, disable the AutoProtect feature. It is highly likely to be causing you the issues you're experiencing with saves to networked SMB servers.

    Is Norton Antivirus installed on the file server as well? After re-reading about your trouble deleting the files on the server from the Finder, I'm starting to wonder.

    You may want to note that the message about the fact that the file will be deleted immediately is completely normal for files that are on a file server. In this case, your Mac does not maintain a Trash folder like it does for your local hard drives. As such, when you choose to delete a file or folder, it is deleted immediately.

    My guess is that there is something at a very low level creating a "lockdown" on these "._file" parts of the files. There is no way OS X would be doing this to itself, so I would suspect some other outside source or third party application as the cause. I say that OS X would never do this to itself, since in all of my experience gathered for the process of creating this FAQ, I have never, ever, encountered such problems as these. Saving files to networked PC's running Win XP Home on NTFS formatted drives has been absolutely seamless. That said, neither of our machines have any Antivirus software running. Your problem is quite common though, as I've encountered a number of users who've had the same problem, and I believe they had AV software active.

    Hope this helps....
  • StealthRocket Level 2 Level 2
    No Norton products are running anywhere in this building.

    Just to give a better scope of this problem I'll describe a sample workflow. this is happening on all Macs here not just one particular machine. We have around 20 Macs all running the latest OS and patches. We have a lot of files/folders on the server and there may be as many as five people working on the same job (folder) at one time. This means someone may be tweaking an InDesign file while another is editing images, while someone else is editing illustrations, while someone else is doing copy, etc. All files related to a job are stored in its job folder on the server. I think what happens in a complex workflow like this where files are changing hands quickly is the server isn't releasing the ._ files at the same time a user releases control of a file.

    This only seems to happen via SMB because using AFP uses Microsoft's Services for Macs (SFM). This poses the following questions:
    IF this problem doesn't happen using AFP, is it the AFP protocol or SFM that handles the ._ files correctly?

    If the problem only happens using SMB, is it the SMB protocol in general or Apples implementation of the SMB protocol that causes the problem?

    Is there something Apple can fix in SMB that can fix this?

    Is the problem on the server side because Windows doesn't know what to do with a ._ file or is OS X not sending some bit of information to the server telling it to release the ._ file?
  • Beat Rubischon1 Level 1 Level 1
    Same problem here. ._* files are periodically not unlocked on NFS and SMB mounted shares. Quite annoying when sharing files between several users
    Seems to be a problem in the Carbon layer and I did'nt found any solution. We are running Samba and NFS on FreeBSD and Linux and I'm happy to see that the same problem also appears against a real Windows-server.
  • StealthRocket Level 2 Level 2
    FWIW, I've put together a list of problems this causes to (hopefully) make this easier to understand.

    1. It stops you from moving files and folders around on the server.

    2. You canÕt rename a file or folder.

    3. you can delete a file but a warning comes up first and says the file is busy and then deletes it anyway after you click OK.

    4. If you try and delete multiple files the same warning comes up and after you click OK it only deletes the last file of the group you have selected.

    5. if you highlight a folder and try to delete it the same warning comes up and only the last file in the folder is deleted.

    6. if you delete all files from a folder (one at a time) and try deleting the folder you canÕt because the ._ files are still there and in use.

    7. This one REALLY bites and is very dangerous. If you open a file, say a tif in Photoshop, and save it. A warning comes up and says the file is busy and couldnÕt be saved. The problem is the real file gets deleted because its being overwritten so if you were to close the tif at this point, it would be lost. YouÕd have to save again and this time it would work because the real file isnÕt there anymore. The catch here is the real file would still be locked if you used the same name because the ._ file is still Òin useÓ.

    I think if your the user who has ownership of the ._ files you can do all the things listed above but IÕd have to test it to be sure. I'll post back with results.
  • StealthRocket Level 2 Level 2
    found one more.
    8. If you copy a file with the same name to the server and say replace existing an error comes up saying the file is busy. After you click OK the existing file is deleted and you can copy the file to the server.
  • Erik Sponaas Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks for the head up about this disscussion Stealth,
    So correct in thinking if we scap SMB on our MACs completely and use AFP I won't experience this problem?
  • JohnQPublic Level 4 Level 4
    think of the " ._* " files the same way you would hidden files on a windows example of these is for iTunes...for every song that has an image associated with it (attached to the music file that shows on iTunes bottom left pane)...there will be one of these files...'s the same type of thing as the annoying and hidden "Thumbs.db" file that infects every Windows folder with images (that every connected Macintos can see)...if the files are stored on the Macintosh...just leave them be...if they're on the Windows machine...and you do not have the app that created them...just reboot and delete normally...'s just one of the little quirks that comes from working cross-platform...
  • StealthRocket Level 2 Level 2
    Oh I think this one is a little more than a quirk.
  • JohnQPublic Level 4 Level 4
    ok...not 'bout nuisance in dealing with Windows...LOL...
  • LittleSaint Level 4 Level 4
    The ._ files are the resource forks OS X seperates out when you move a file using SMB up to an NTFS Windows server. AFP shouldn't have this issue since Services for Macintosh will manage resource forks (not positive on that). However, SFM is not very good when you have a large amount of shares and/or files. Admins prefer not to use it and SMB allows them to not have to.

    There many different reasons why this may be happening - network, share permissions, local security permissions on the server, security settings on the server, quota software, etc. Since it appears to be rather common, and if enough people report it through the feedback form, this should get a look from Apple.

    Also if anyone experiencing this problem also has control of their Windows server(s), it may help to start posting some more information like server OS version, what level of security eg. NTLMv2, what are the share permissions, what are the local security permissions. What are the ownership and permissions of the ._ files causing problems.

    The more specific information everyone can provide, the easier it will be to see what exactly is going on.
  • StealthRocket Level 2 Level 2
    As much as I'd like to lay this at the feet of Windows I don't think we can fairly blame this one on it. Someone pointed out above that they're having this problem with Free BSD and Linux. The more I deal with this the more I think its either the SMB protocol or Apple's implementation of it.

    Here's hoping for a fix in 10.4.
  • Christian Aahs Level 1 Level 1
    We have all the problems you've listed, running Mac OS X Panther in a Windows 2003 Network.

    I'm thinking of installing ADmitMac från Thursby and see if its solves the problems.
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