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Speed up working with Windows shares Network
I've found that browsing mounted Windows servers (SMB shares) is mindnumbingly slow and shows me the beachball for minutes at a time. My theory is that the Finder tries to download file information for each file so it can display the usual Finder goodies (file icons, number of items in a folder if you have it enabled like I do, etc.)

The solution that I came up was simple: use the Terminal. Servers are mounted in /Volumes/server's IP; for example, /Volumes/

So first, mount the server in the Finder by pressing Cmd-K, then open Terminal and type mount to see the server's IP, then cd to the correct /Volumes/ directory and use the normal cp and mv commands for file transfers. Type open to open the file just as if you double-clicked it in the Finder.
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Speed up working with Windows shares | 7 comments | Create New Account
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Using SAMBA? Try NetAtalk
Authored by: tres on Sep 16, '02 01:30:48PM

Well, what I've noticed is that everything about SMB on OS X is kind of slow. If you're trying to transfer large files, forget it. I used to either drop them into the public folder and HTTP it to the PC, or 'scp' it to my SAMBA server.

If you're running a SAMBA server you should check out NetAtalk. It's configuration is even easier than SAMBA, and it's much, much quicker.

It's nice to be able to use SMB when you must, but there's too many problems that can occur with it (the only time I've ever had to hit the power button on my TiBook since installing OS X is when I opened a SMB shared disk that was no longer connected--the beachball of death!)

NetAtalk will work on Linux or FreeBSD. With it, you can share those CUPS printers with your pre-OS X macs too. You can share out the same home directory to both your Macs and the token PCs you have on your network.

Plus, using a distribution like Mandrake makes the installation and configuration of NetAtalk extremely easy. Just use the GUI tools to install it, and the Webmin GUI to configure it.

It's faster, its easier, and it integrates better into a network running older Macs. It makes for a cheap cross-platform file server. It's just that NetAtalk isn't as well advertised as SAMBA.

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Using SAMBA? Try NetAtalk
Authored by: veshman on Sep 17, '02 02:26:54AM

How well does NetAtalk work with windows machines?

I'm running a mixed network in my home, and I was going to build a file server. I just assumed I would use netatalk much better? Will I be able to use it in a mixed pc/mac environment easily?



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Using SAMBA? Try NetAtalk
Authored by: tres on Sep 17, '02 06:38:09AM

My apologies, I wasn't very clear.

NetAtalk is for Unix servers. It allows them to use AppleTalk. It won't help with Windows networking.

It will allow your SAMBA enabled Unix server to talk with both Macs and PCs though.

It plays very nicely with CUPS on Unix too.

Anyway, I'm sorry again. If you want to download files from computers running Windows SMB is your one and only choice.

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Using SAMBA? Try NetAtalk
Authored by: frogmella on Sep 17, '02 07:15:28AM

Well, to clarify a little more: netatalk doesn't have to use AppleTalk (though it can). I use it to provide AppleShare facilities over TCP/IP.

The project does seem to have become a little stagnant, but details are available at

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Thanks!! It saved me.
Authored by: macmath on Sep 25, '02 11:48:32AM

Well, maybe I could have sent the files to another Mac with a floppy and have used a floppy, but it is much cooler to go into my presentation admidst a group of Windows people and connect to my Mac and pull down the files I need. I originally could not get it to work...where did I go for help? to MacOSXHints, and the poster and MacOSXHints came through for me.

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SMB is always slow
Authored by: punkmanandy on Oct 01, '02 10:59:49PM

Even on a windows box, SMB can be incredibly slow, becase it apparently has extraneos error checking and the like. SMB is simply not a protocol built for speed

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SMB is always slow
Authored by: svenc on Oct 02, '02 02:22:15AM

SMB => Slow Motion Broadcasting :-)

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