This sounds like a potential network problem. Has anything changed on the network recently that you know about? I ask this because in an educational environment you may have no control over the physical network itself and therefore not necessarily know what changes the network administrator may or may not have made.
In no particular order things to check/eliminate are:
1 Talk to the network administrator and present the problem to him/her
3 Network Cables
4 DNS again
5 Network Switches
6 DNS (third time it's made an appearance but it is very important!)
7 The physical network ports on the affected workstations themselves
Check these in turn and hopefully you'll get to the bottom of it.
Thanks for the reply. The deal is that I AM the Network Manager..... and my Mac background is limited.
There are enough similarities between Active Directory (what I'm used to) and Open Directory that I can function in our computing environment without problems (usually).
This situation is just plain odd due to its sporadic nature, This problem will eventually go away when we replace the 10.4.11 Mac workstations and the really old Classic keyboarding program. Until then, I will check DNS. Thanks.
While I'm here, do you have any idea why I can't map a network drive from our Windows 7 PC laptops to our Mac OS 10.5.8 server? The Mac workstations connect to the server with no problem. We have one subnet so being on different subnets is not an issue.
". . . why I can't map a network drive from our Windows 7 PC laptops to our Mac OS 10.5.8 Server?"
I think this is probably due to the change Microsoft made to the authentication level for connecting to Windows file servers. Basically Microsoft dropped all support for anything that resembles a WindowsNT Server in Windows7 and newer.
As you know Apple's server offerings from 10.6 downwards to 10.3 (and possibly earlier) only offers a WindowsNT style file server and that's not likely to change unless you're prepared to change the version of OS X server you're running; or roll your own version of Samba on your current mac server or change the authentication level on your Windows7 PCs to something less secure.
Thanks, that confirms what I had suspected from researching Microsoft and Apple discussion boards. I wasn't sure because most of the discussions of this topic were from the 2010-2011 time frame. I am currently experimenting with workarounds until we add a Windows 2008 R2 server to our 2 Mac servers (10.5.8 and 10.4.11) the summer of 2015. One building is closing then and we will get that server from them along with a bunch of Windows 7 laptops. Fortunately I can at least function with both platforms.