11 Replies Latest reply: Nov 3, 2012 6:43 PM by etresoft
Jgreene777 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm using a MacBook Pro and an iMac (Mountain Lion on both) on a Windows network at the office. There are several SMB drives I need to stay connected to daily. Every time I connect in a new session (after a restart or sleep mode), the Finder will take a long time to populate the list of files and directories. When I click on the folder I need, it also takes a long time to load its contents and so on for every folder on the server. As long as the session is active, the folders that have been loaded will load quickly. The problem is not server-side as all the Windows clients load files and directories very quickly.

 

I have done a lot of research on this issue and can't find anything at the "normal user" level to fix it, at least not with the search terms I'm using. There are plenty of sites with Terminal processes or tweaking system files to make it work. I need something that doesn't take that level of expertise or expose the system to that level of risk (can you trust all these sudo commands you find online?).

 

This is an issue I've had with every Mac I've ever used in a mixed OS environment but this is the first occasion I've had where I need to manipulate those shared files so often during the course of the day. Any help is greatly appreciated. Apple, if you're monitoring this thread, it would be a great time to buck up and help the enterprise side of your business by fixing this by default.

 

- Servers are Windows Server 2008

- Macs are OSX Mountain Lion

- My Mac login is the same as my Active Directory login in all cases

 

Thanks.


MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • 1. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    Apple does not monitor these threads. There is very little enterprise side to Apple's business. When Apple finally gave up on the enterprise and starting focusing on consumers, its performance improve a few thousand percent.

     

    I would start by adding some specifics to your post. What is "a long time"? How many files and directories are you talking about? How is your Mac connected to the network? How are the Windows clients connected?

     

    I sincerely doubt there is anything an end user can do. No, you cannot trust those sudo commands you find online. Apple recently re-wrote its SMB implementation so none of those Samba commands will work any more anyway.

     

    For the record, I have no experienced any speed problems on my machine. I don't access Windows shares very often, but when I do, using my home Cable modem connection and VPN, it works fine. The Finder is much more responsive than Word, for example. I can't save to files on the network - Word is far too slow for that. I use the Finder to copy them, edit locally, and then copy back. I can do all of that before Word has even opened a document on the network.

  • 2. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    Jgreene777 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    - "A long time" - varies between 15 seconds up to about 30 or so... per folder. These same directories and files appear -instantly- on Windows machines

     

    - Tens to hundreds of folders and tons of files. I'm a designer and we have to keep dozens of folders/files per project and we have thousands of clients. Organized by Design>A>A Customer>1234 Project>Art Files>AI, PDF, DXF, EPS, etc.

     

    - All machines, PCs and Macs, are connected via ethernet cable on the same network. I would assume by the technical specificity in the original question, no one would think I'm on dialup or 802a....

     

    - The Finder is a horrible piece of software compared to other file managers (windows explorer) and there is nothing any fanboy can say to change that fact. Apple needs to fix it.

     

    - If you don't access Windows file shares often, why try to "help" me?

  • 3. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    Jgreene777 wrote:

     

    - The Finder is a horrible piece of software compared to other file managers (windows explorer) and there is nothing any fanboy can say to change that fact. Apple needs to fix it.

    Got an attitude, eh? Why not just use Windows then? Perhaps your Mac senses your antagonism and simply doesn't want to cooperate? I don't have a problem with attitude per se, as long as you can back it up. Let me show you how to do attitude properly

     

    I wanted to do a comparison as close as possible to your ethernet network. Instead of using my cable modem connection at home, I went to a place that normally has a much better connection. Alas, today is not so good. Speakeasy says my speed is 6.56 Mbps down and 11.52 Mbps up. I am on a wireless connection, using a VPN, to a Windows server in another country. I tried to open the worst case I have - a temp folder that gets cleaned out every 90 days and is always full of junk. It took the Finder almost a full minute to display 738 items.

     

    One would think that server in the same building would be much faster. At this location, I just happen to have that. I don't have any Mountain Lion machines that are on ethernet here, they are still on Lion. Running my same MacBook Pro on the same wireless connection, but connected to a local server, runs much faster. I don't seem to have any directories as big as the first one, but directories with 3-400 items open more or less instantaneously. It takes 4-5 seconds but I am actually holding down the option key to expand all subdirectories in a given folder. That is more work than displaying 738 directories in a single folder.

    - If you don't access Windows file shares often, why try to "help" me?

    Interesting observation. Someone does try to "help" you and you immediately start throwing around "fanboy". I will let you in on a dirty little secret about Apple fanbois like me - we are always right .

     

    I suggest you contact your network administrator. Your network seems to be misconfigured.

  • 4. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    g_wolfman Level 4 Level 4 (1,120 points)

    - All machines, PCs and Macs, are connected via ethernet cable on the same network. I would assume by the technical specificity in the original question, no one would think I'm on dialup or 802a....

     

    No one thinks you're on dial-up.  On the other hand, are you in a Windows domain?  If so, does your Mac join the domain or not (obviously all the WIndows machines would join the domain...)?  Is authentication via straight SMB or is their a Kerberos realm involved...?

     

    I'm on a university network where Macs aren't "supported" and don't join the AD domain.  I can access Domain shares just fine, although it does appear that teh initial connection is slightly slower via Finder, as compared to the command line.  My network Home folder must be accessed via the command line because of the way permissions resolution work in the Finder wrapper for SMB (which does appear to be a bug that should be fixed at some point).  Regardless, the connection is not molasses slow.

     

    However, I can very easily see how a poorly configured ADC could change that equation.

    - The Finder is a horrible piece of software compared to other file managers (windows explorer) and there is nothing any fanboy can say to change that fact. Apple needs to fix it.

    Regardless of your opinion of the Finder, I guarantee that Windows Explorer is worse.  It's a giant gaping security wound.  It relies entirely on the Trident rendering engine from Internet Explorer (which means it has all IE's vulnerabilities), it's not properly sandboxed even by Microsoft's inconsistent standards and it's part of a family of Windows Shell programs that are integrated right into the Windows Executive.  Parts of the desktop environment should not be kernel code in an OS.  I could go on.

     

    Finder may be clunky in many ways, but Windows Explorer is simply dangerous.

  • 5. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    Jgreene777 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I connect to SMB drives with the Connect to Server... command in the Finder, then I make an alias to the specific directories I need to access regularly in the sidebar.

     

    You know what? It's practically useless to talk to die hard Apple fans about real problems on the Mac. They are like religious nuts in the way they like to ignore their glaring problems. If "focus on the consumer" drives such improvment, then why is the Finder harder to navigate for a basic user than Explorer? Why does this SMB bug still exists after all this time (at least 3 major updates to OSX since I've been experiencing the problem)? I can navigate Win7/Explorer directories without a mouse, and network resources populate instantly. Can you say "Cut and Paste Files natively"? Does it take time to open large files on the PC? Yep, just like the Mac, but it takes longer to FIND the files on the Mac. Apple really perplexes me in the way some of their stuff is designed so much better than others while simple details are completly ignored. iPhoto: trash software on the Mac, pretty decent on iOS. Finder; terrible user experience compared to explorer. iOS; overall a better experience than Android and well integrated with MacOS apps, but useless lockscreen, spotty bluetooth, inablility to customize the default browser and dozens of other issues.

  • 6. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    Jgreene777 wrote:

     

    I connect to SMB drives with the Connect to Server... command in the Finder, then I make an alias to the specific directories I need to access regularly in the sidebar.

     

    That's what I do.

     

    You know what? It's practically useless to talk to die hard Apple fans about real problems on the Mac. They are like religious nuts in the way they like to ignore their glaring problems.

     

    There is a fine line between "talking" and "insulting" and believe you are on the wrong side.

     

    If "focus on the consumer" drives such improvment, then why is the Finder harder to navigate for a basic user than Explorer?

     

    That is a purely subjective opinion. I find Exporer quite hard to navigate. First it hides everything. Then you have to Show folders. Then switch to detail view.

     

    Why does this SMB bug still exists after all this time (at least 3 major updates to OSX since I've been experiencing the problem)?

     

    I am unaware of the bug that g_wolfman is referring to. I have never had to go into the Terminal to fix up something for SMB.

     

    I can navigate Win7/Explorer directories without a mouse, and network resources populate instantly.

     

    Same here.

     

    Can you say "Cut and Paste Files natively"?

     

    Yep. I do it all the time.

     

    Does it take time to open large files on the PC? Yep, just like the Mac,

     

    It doesn't take a long time to open large files on a Mac.

     

    it takes longer to FIND the files on the Mac.

     

    You should try spotlight. It finds anything instantly. Don't try that with your puppy or paperclip.

     

    iPhoto: trash software on the Mac, pretty decent on iOS. Finder; terrible user experience compared to explorer. iOS; overall a better experience than Android and well integrated with MacOS apps, but useless lockscreen, spotty bluetooth, inablility to customize the default browser and dozens of other issues.

     

    Your examples are laughable. iPhoto works great on the Mac. Finder works great too. I used to think Bluetooth was junk when I had a Nokia. I was amazed how well it worked on my iPad. Safari has lots of extensions available.

     

    I don't know what those "dozens of other issues" are. Your network is simply misconfigured. I'm sorry if it doesn't work as well as other people's networks. That's just the way IT is sometimes. Do you actually want a solution to your problem or are you only here to rant and insult people?

  • 7. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    g_wolfman Level 4 Level 4 (1,120 points)

    I am unaware of the bug that g_wolfman is referring to. I have never had to go into the Terminal to fix up something for SMB.

    It's a very odd and subtle bug that only affects people if they are trying to connect to a share (like a network home folder) for which they have permissions - but they lack traversal permissions on the enclosing folders between it and the volume root.  Actually, a network home folder in an NT Domain is the only place I've ever seen this occur.  The way Windows Server does the AGDLP traversal policies for those folders and the way Finder accesses them don't work together.  All the other file shares I connect to work just fine from the Finder.

     

    Unfortunately I can't recall where I saw the article that explained the problem...I'd probably have to try and connect to that particular folder via the Finder and google the error message again.  Also, unfortunately, it never quite explained why the Finder behaved just ever so slightly differently from the command line for what should have been the same utility execution...

     

    Anyway, I don't think that bug (or whatever it is) has anything to do with jgreene777's problem, since acces and display speed was never a problem after the connection was made.

  • 8. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    Still, that is an important plot point. Windows is a very complex network. There are an enormous number of possible configurations. People who do the setup often aren't very knowledgeable about such things.

     

    I remember back 2002 or so, Windows 2000 would completely ignore subnet masks. We had some self-taught-but-maybe-certified IT people who designed a redundant network for emergency response. They circulated the design for comments and I didn't pay too much attention because I figured they knew what they were doing. They had no concept of subnets. They had tested it and it worked, but only because Windows didn't care about subnets either. When they tried to add Linux to the network, there were "issues".

     

    Another time I had a job interview at Microsoft (I was more interested in living in Seattle truthfully). Of course, I brought my Mac on the trip. I couldn't get connected to the hotel network across the street from the MS campus. I even contacted network support and talked to people. They had no idea that a DHCP-assigned IP address had to match the subnet mask. Apparently, almost everyone who had ever stayed at that hotel used Windows and it worked fine.

     

    My wife's current machine shows similar problems with IT support. It is a notebook, but it is configured to use a network-local domain name. If she logged in when she isn't at work, she had to wait 3 minutes for oncampus.local to time out. Mountain Lion fixed this problem.

     

    The original poster is just in a pickle. They are trying to use Macs on files that are apparently dedicated to the Mac, but the Windows IT support only tested it on PCs and simply blames the Mac for any problems. The original poster, stuck between a firm administrative authority on one side and conflicting cognitive authority on the other, is picking the safe option and echoing the Mac-bashing that undoubtedly comes from IT support. It is tragic, but not unexpected.

  • 9. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    g_wolfman Level 4 Level 4 (1,120 points)

    Yes...I've recently been told by my IT department that I simply can't connect to the wireless network because they have no plans to upgrade their Cisco NAC infrastructure to support ML for the forseeable future...Love those IT departments.

     

    Anyway, just for teh sake of future searchers, here's the article I mentioned earlier - an KB article of all things, at that!

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4829

  • 10. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    Anton R Schep Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)

    People who claim that those sudo commands don't work are wrong. I use one daily for my SMB connection to a Windows server and I am using the latest Moutain Lion SMB. There is nothing inherent distrustful about sudo commands. It's the only way to modify system settings. I can understand your reluctance to use them, if you don't understand what they do, but sometimes that is the only thing you can do. Here is the terminal command:

    sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0

    Just test it. If it does not fix your problem, just reboot and the delay will be reset to 3. No harm done. If it works read up on what the command does.

  • 11. Re: How do I speed up SMB connections?
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    Anton R Schep wrote:

     

    People who claim that those sudo commands don't work are wrong. I use one daily for my SMB connection to a Windows server and I am using the latest Moutain Lion SMB. There is nothing inherent distrustful about sudo commands. It's the only way to modify system settings. I can understand your reluctance to use them, if you don't understand what they do, but sometimes that is the only thing you can do. Here is the terminal command:

    sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0

    Not all sudo commands are the same. The original poster didn't specify which ones he used. Perhaps that one. I don't know. I know that I have seen many posts by people to tried to enter commands into the Terminal from some web site and wound up damaging their system and/or losing data. Sometimes it can't be fixed because the person doesn't even know what they did.

     

    Just test it. If it does not fix your problem, just reboot and the delay will be reset to 3. No harm done.

     

    This command is safe to try. Not all commands are. When in doubt, post a message here and ask.


    If it works read up on what the command does.

     

    I did and it is quite interesting. Many web sites and blog posts are written by people who just repost what they read elsewhere and don't really know what is going on. I found this post by someone who most definitely understands the issue. I have one of his books.