OSX Lion Accessing WHS 2011 Shares (slow)

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I’m new to Mac’s but after 25 years of doing it Bill’s way, trying Steve’s alternative is like a breath of fresh air and I’m loving the Mac experience.

I have a small issue accessing Windows SMB shares that you Mac experts may be able to help with.

I use Windows Home Server 2011 for centralized data storage and I’ve setup my iMac to auto-mount the shares I access all the time – so far so good.
The problem I have is the speed opening these shares folders. When the iMac is first booted and logged in, the shares mount immediately but if I open them I usually get a blank window for 20-30 seconds before the contents of the folder appear. I usually don’t turn off my iMac (let it sleep) and this appears to improve things because after its been on a while I only get blank folders if I go deeper into the directory structures.
It’s as if the Mac has to index the SMB shares each time it boots and it doesn’t bother to do this until the folders are opened.
What’s really odd is that I have a virtualized Windows 7 installed in Parallels and when the Mac is waiting to display the folder content I can access the same (or any other) folder from within this virtualized Windows immediately. It should be noted that once opened OSX Reads and Writes data to the SMB shares as fast as the Windows PC’s, so it’s definitely something to do with OSX opening the shares and not the speed of the LAN.
I’ve done all the basics like making sure all the PC’s are in the same workgroup and setting up the server DNS name in the Mac hosts file.


My hardware is a late 2011 27” iMac with i7-3.4GHz and 12MB RAM running OSX 10.7.2. WHS 2011 runs on an HP Proliant Microserver configured with 5GB RAM and 8TB RAID-5 Array. The LAN is hardwired via a 3COM 1Gbps 24-Port Layer 2 Switch.
 
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Does the WHS maintain a local security policy like Windows STD server would.

If so you could set the Network Authentication to LM and NTLM versus the default of NLTMv2 in Server2008r2 and Windows7.

Try gpedit.mmc or secpol on the WHS to make the policy change. Then refresh the policy on the server.

Client, service, and program incompatibilities that may occur when you modify security settings and user rights assignments
Section 4-6, 10, 15 and the Workaround at the bottom. These might be causing the slow initial connection due to authentication requirements.

NTLMv2 is certainly going to slow things down.
 
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Thanks for the reply MacsWork.

WHS 2011 is essentially Windows Server 2008R2 without active directory.

I’ve already changed Network Authentication to LM and NTLM in order to get my Epson scanner working (WHS wouldn't allow it to save scans directly to a share because the Epson didn't support NLTMv2), so unfortunately that’s not the solution.

Any other ideas?
 
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What about the SMB signing also mentioned in the MS KB I linked to.

Even though OS X supports it now, I wonder if disabling it for testing would yield the results you seek?
 
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I hadn’t disabled the SMB Signing on WHS so I tried it today and it does appear to have made a positive difference to the speed OSX displays the WHS Shares.
I tested it by restarting the iMac and opening the WHS Share Mounts as soon as they were available. Normally these would be blank for 10+ seconds (especially the folders that contain a lot of files) but now the folder contents usually display within 5 seconds.
One observation I have made is that it appears the folders that contain files are the ones that have the delay, so for example, if I open the Music Share Mount whose root contains nearly 300 folders (but no files) it displays immediately, but if I open the Pictures Share Mount and navigate to a sub-directory containing a lot of picture files this is what takes time to display.
Does OSX read each file for info before displaying it in the Finder Window?
 
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I don't know for sure what OS X does when viewing a network directory. It does however create a DS_Store file in each directory it views. Like the Thumbs.db or Desktop.ini that windows creates.

It does create the icon preview just like Windows. You may have noticed Windows showing you a lot of blank documents only to slowly have their preview fill in over a period of time dependent on network latency and directory size.

Perhaps OS X simply creates the display all at once. Have you tried browsing the network while in column or list views?

Does the view type matter? I'd be curious to find out. Please post back.
 
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I’ve tried different view types and it doesn’t appear to make any difference to the speed the folders display their content.

One thing for sure, disabling the SMB signing has made a difference and after a much-reduced pause when the share is first opened (after a full reboot) they (and their sub-folders) now display almost immediately, even when the iMac’s been asleep all night, so I’m happy to say this minor irritation is now fixed.

I recommend anyone using a Microsoft 2008 based server with a Mac and are having performance issues consider doing this.

Thanks for your help MacsWork.
 

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