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MarkoInBC

Mac File Server - freezes network access

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've got a 2012 Mac Mini that we run as a file server here in our office.  Before the inevitable "switch to a PC", it needs to be Mac due to the way MacOS allows file names, and about a decade plus of data that needs to be retained.  We have about 16 users (mix of Mac & PC) that may be accessing it at anyone time.  Here's the setup, we have an external RAID 5 box (4 - 4TB drives) for the primary share connected to the Mini over USB 3.0.  At random times in the day, sometimes multiple times a day, all users lose access to the drive.  However, when you go to the Mini itself, everything is working fine.  The only thing that would indicate a problem on the Mini, is when you go to restart, it won't restart... you have to fully power it off by the power button.  Now, I should also add this problem was happening with a different external drive configuration, so it's not the RAID 5 box.  Also to add to the confusion, when the server is not accessible from any computer on the network, it can access other computers and internet.  So it's not losing connectivity, but it refusing to allow external connection.  Lastly, for simplicity we use the same username to access the server from all connection points.  Yes, I know that's probably bad practice but it's just what I've done at the time.  Please, any help/assistance anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!


CPU - Core i5 8600K @ 5.0GHz  |  Motherboard - ASUS Prime Z370-A  |  RAM - G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB  |  GPU - EVGA 1080Ti FTW3
Case - Phanteks Eclipse P350X  |  Storage - Crucial MX500 M.2 500GB  |  PSU - EVGA 650 GQ 80+ Gold  |  Display - Dell S2719DGF 2K GSYNC
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what does the computer report is happening when it does this?

 

what does the CPU activity look like? disk? network? this might help diagnose this problem. It sounds like to me, based off the brief description that something is causing a 'lock' on a process to run long.

 

Also, I know you claim you must use the mini, but I have concern with using OSx as a file server. Mayb fixed from last time I had tried, but Appe's SMB protocol used to be notoriously crappy. So unless all you devices are Apple devices using Apple's implementation of SMB, you're also potentially running into problems there.

 

 

 


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I would recommend looking into the different protocols that are being used for sharing. MacOS can share a drive using a few options such as AFP or SMB. Recent versions of MacOS and Windows both support SMB version 3. 

In MacOS you can have both SMB and AFP (Apple File Share Protocol) enabled. 

I would recommend trying to put everything on SMB. 

I have had issues in the past when both protocols were in use for permanent file sharing. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've checked the activity monitor previously, nothing out of the ordinary is showing.  Memory usage, CPU activity, network traffic... all normal, no massive spikes or anything unusual.  Even the "server app", doesn't log an error when this happens.  We are currently set with both SMB and AFP, but the problem was evident before when just on SMB.  I'm literally trying to eliminate possibilities one by one.  Here's a bit of back story:

 

The external drive we were using previous to the RAID 5, were all connected to an old Apple Xserve.  While connected to that machine, we never had this problem.  Then when we suffered a major power outage last month, the Xserver wouldn't boot, gave me kernel panics.  The plan was to replace it anyhow due to the obsolete architecture.  I replaced it with the Mac Mini and instantly these problems surfaced.  I have a nagging suspicion that there's just something wrong with the Mini itself, but I want to rule out all other possibilities before I go and purchase another to replace it.

 

What I have tried so far:

Swapping network cables

removing all drives but the RAID 5

Swapping RAM

Adding AFP to file sharing

 

The last steps I'm looking at are:

swapping the network switch the server is connected to

Swapping the Mini for another Mac around the office


CPU - Core i5 8600K @ 5.0GHz  |  Motherboard - ASUS Prime Z370-A  |  RAM - G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB  |  GPU - EVGA 1080Ti FTW3
Case - Phanteks Eclipse P350X  |  Storage - Crucial MX500 M.2 500GB  |  PSU - EVGA 650 GQ 80+ Gold  |  Display - Dell S2719DGF 2K GSYNC
Cooling - Corsair H1001 V2  |  Keyboard - Corsair Gaming K55  |  Mouse - Corsair Gaming Harpoon RGB

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Figured I'd post what happened here in case there was any worth to anyone... I tried swapping the switch, nothing.  Tried a different Mac, nothing.  Moved that Mac to a different location (in case it was a wiring problem), nothing.  Turns out it's a problem with the Samba protocol.  Apple changed it after OS Mavericks (10.9) from Samba 2 to Samba 3.  Since that, there have been known issues apparently with Samba sharing of external drives over networks.  There were no really concrete options or solutions I could find online that would deal with that, so I downgraded the Mini to 10.9.5 and haven't had the issue since.


CPU - Core i5 8600K @ 5.0GHz  |  Motherboard - ASUS Prime Z370-A  |  RAM - G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB  |  GPU - EVGA 1080Ti FTW3
Case - Phanteks Eclipse P350X  |  Storage - Crucial MX500 M.2 500GB  |  PSU - EVGA 650 GQ 80+ Gold  |  Display - Dell S2719DGF 2K GSYNC
Cooling - Corsair H1001 V2  |  Keyboard - Corsair Gaming K55  |  Mouse - Corsair Gaming Harpoon RGB

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