If Your Screen Sharing Stops Working, Read This

clayj

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jan 14, 2005
7,475
190
visiting from downstream
SCENARIO: I have a network of Macs. On my main machine (a Mac Pro), I have set up bookmarks in Safari that link to the Screen Sharing URLs for other Macs on my network (Mac minis, MacBook Air). For example:

vnc://192.168.1.51
vnc://192.168.1.52

So I can kick off a Screen Sharing session with one of those Macs simply by clicking the appropriate bookmark in Safari.

PROBLEM: Sometimes when I do this, one of two things happens... either the Screen Sharing program launches in the dock but the window for the other Mac does not appear at all, or the Screen Sharing program launches and a small black window (with nothing visible inside) appears. Killing and restarting Screen Sharing does not help, and restarting the remote Mac does not help.

SOLUTION: One way to solve this problem is to restart the Mac where you are attempting to use Screen Sharing. But this is overkill; it works because it incorporates the second, easier solution to the problem:

1. Launch the Activity Monitor program.
2. In the Process Name list, look for "NetAuthAgent". It may show as "Not Responding".
3. Select NetAuthAgent, and then click Quit Process (the red stop sign button at the top of the Activity Monitor window). Then, click Force Quit.

Your Screen Sharing should now work.

It appears that as part of connecting to the remote Mac, your Mac must authenticate itself... and NetAuthAgent is part of this process. If this program freezes, hangs, or locks for any reason, the authentication will not work, and you cannot use Screen Sharing. Killing NetAuthAgent is harmless, as far as I can tell, and it will automatically relaunch the next time it is needed.

For anyone else having problems with Screen Sharing not working correctly, I hope this information helps.
 

deboni

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2007
84
0
Oakland, CA
NetAuthAgent bug

Please report this scenario to Apple. It sounds like something buggy that they could (and should want to) easily correct, given you precise replication description.

Tom
 

mike.jalkut

macrumors newbie
May 19, 2008
1
0
You get the life saver of the year award. I about broke my head, banging it against the wall, on this one. Right on the money. Thanks!
 

rsande

macrumors newbie
Mar 6, 2008
4
0
Thanks for this. Wish I had relied on the Wisdom of the Net before rebooting the remote computer... Oh well.
 

iGrant

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2006
542
0
Ridgeway
Agreed thanks for the information. I live in Screen Sharing I feel like. I was the only feature in 10.5 at the time I was looking forward to :cool:. I have been wondering on what would case this to happen and what a solution would be.

Ditto on sending this information to Apple. Screen Sharing is a new Core Service that was introduced into Leopard. I consider it Apple Remote Desktop Lite Edition. This is a bug that could be probably catch and corrected easily.

Love ARD but I only used it for the basics, never the extra feature that came with it, so when I saw Screen Sharing was going to be apart of 10.5 I was really excited.

For the most part is has done everything I wanted, but the freezing was extremely annoying.

-iGrant
 

kpdsgt7

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2009
1
0
Share Screen Mac osx 10.6

I have been reading all your posts. First let me say, I am new to mac. I have had a problem with share screen from my mac book to my mac pro. I read al the posts and no matter what I did, i could not control the mac pro from the mac book. Called apple and nothing there. Really smart guy but could not fix. I finally figured it out by myself. windows style. I had VNC server running and I had to uninstall. boom. It worked both ways.

So. if all else fails and you spend days and days reading the forums and can't fix it. remove the server part of the vnc. In my case I uninstalled all. I got it and it works sweet. Wish I went mac years ago. see ya
 

lilgto64

macrumors member
Apr 13, 2009
36
0
Ohio
Sweet - thanks

SCENARIO: I have a network of Macs. On my main machine (a Mac Pro), I have set up bookmarks in Safari that link to the Screen Sharing URLs for other Macs on my network (Mac minis, MacBook Air). For example:

vnc://192.168.1.51
vnc://192.168.1.52

So I can kick off a Screen Sharing session with one of those Macs simply by clicking the appropriate bookmark in Safari.

PROBLEM: Sometimes when I do this, one of two things happens... either the Screen Sharing program launches in the dock but the window for the other Mac does not appear at all, or the Screen Sharing program launches and a small black window (with nothing visible inside) appears. Killing and restarting Screen Sharing does not help, and restarting the remote Mac does not help.

SOLUTION: One way to solve this problem is to restart the Mac where you are attempting to use Screen Sharing. But this is overkill; it works because it incorporates the second, easier solution to the problem:

1. Launch the Activity Monitor program.
2. In the Process Name list, look for "NetAuthAgent". It may show as "Not Responding".
3. Select NetAuthAgent, and then click Quit Process (the red stop sign button at the top of the Activity Monitor window). Then, click Force Quit.

Your Screen Sharing should now work.

It appears that as part of connecting to the remote Mac, your Mac must authenticate itself... and NetAuthAgent is part of this process. If this program freezes, hangs, or locks for any reason, the authentication will not work, and you cannot use Screen Sharing. Killing NetAuthAgent is harmless, as far as I can tell, and it will automatically relaunch the next time it is needed.

For anyone else having problems with Screen Sharing not working correctly, I hope this information helps.
Thanks - that one has been bugging me for some time - my NetAuthAgent did not show as not responding but it still worked - did not even affect an open screen sharing session - just got rid of the modeless dialog that I could not previously associate with any particular process.
 

ecapdeville

macrumors member
Nov 22, 2005
76
1
Mexico City
Hello...

I have a completely different problem but it affects screen sharing...

I have a Powermac G4 which is used as a file and printer server with OSX 10.4.11... this machine is connected to other 3 Macs running in OSX 10.6.3.

I could share files without problem, I just need to write the login and password of the server and it works...except screen sharing, it wont recognize the login or the password. The option of share screen is turned on at the G4 in fact almost everything in the share section is turned on (except internet sharing)...

The other macs can see the G4, can get into files and can print...but wont share screen and I need it because this G4 doesnt have a monitor and is 24hrs turned on.

thank you for your help.
 

svenwillmann

macrumors member
May 6, 2008
58
0
Thanks for the post, very useful information

In addition I had the problem not being able to log in to the remote machine, solved it this way

Hope it helps someone as well
 

rock-adventures

macrumors newbie
Jun 3, 2010
1
0
Hot sure the NetAuthAgent bit is any use or not; I have no such process running!?

However, the idea of having vnc:// links in your Safari bookmarks list is genius! :)
 

BluesBrother

macrumors newbie
Feb 7, 2011
1
0
Try Chicken of the VNC as an Alternative

I've encountered this same problem (Snow Leopard hangs when trying to connect via VNC). Being able to quit NetAuthAgent and try again is a god-send.

However, as an alternative to this annoying problem, I've starting using ChickenOfTheVNC. I don't like it quite as much as the Mac's built-in VNC support, but at least it connects! :)

Maybe Apple will finally get around to fixing this problem -- some day!
 

windowpain

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2008
590
100
Japan
Wow, thanks for the information.
I was getting sick of having to reboot every time the screen sharing app decided to hang. A much better solution.

And the bookmarked links idea is great. Many thanks. :)
 

onewheelskyward

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2011
2
0
Lion Update

Thanks for the clue! I had this issue with Lion this am, and while I didn't find a task called NetAuthAgent, I did have a NetAuthSysAgent running. It wasn't listed as not responding, but when I killed it my Screen Sharing was able to produce a connection, thus saving me effort of rebooting my machine.

So, for you 10.7 folks, kill NetAuthSysAgent.
 

lilgto64

macrumors member
Apr 13, 2009
36
0
Ohio
Sometimes

Sometimes that helps and sometimes that does not.

Just a moment ago - after connecting numerous times to various systems on my network - screen sharing stopped working properly.

I clicked Share Screen - the connecting dialog popped put he disappeared - and the authentication window never appeared - and no remote window appears.

I Quit Screen Sharing and it says there are open connections - but there is no way to see them.

I did the force quit of both NetAuthAgent and NetAuthSysAgent - no luck.

Also did a logout - login - no luck.

Full reboot fixed it - so not sure if there is another way either in the Activity Monitor or maybe via the terminal - DNS flush or something perhaps - but there is something not entirely 100% with screen sharing.

I also use other products such as LogMeIn and TeamViewer and Timbuktu - so that I can still get into systems when I need to (don't necessarily have all of those on every remote system - but better to have more than only one way to access a remote system).
 

JLMstriker8

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2012
1
0
I'm assuming the NetAuthAgent process that's hanging is on the client end?
Is there any way to do this remotely? I'm about 500 miles from my client machine at the moment so physically rebooting it is not an option.
I've tried telnet as well but it will not authenticate (most likely due to the NetAuthAgent, as I've now learned).

Is there any other way to reboot the machine remotely?
 

Sitckybeak

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2012
2
0
Sydney, Australia
Grrrrrrrr

I have tried each of the suggestions in this thread to no avail.
This problem has only recently started with me - I had been using screen sharing without issues for 18 months to 2 years.
Any insights into why this would be and/or possible solution gratefully received!
 

pkiula

macrumors member
Mar 29, 2008
49
0
Me too. Just started last week. Connecting from Macbook Air to Macbook Mini. Rebooting and the silly suggestions at the beginning of the thread don't work. Any other ideas?
 

sweetrats

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2012
1
0
Me three

I just started having this problem today. I use a VPN then VNC to my work computer. I have been connecting like this without problem for years.

Screen Sharing opens and appear like its trying to connect, but just sits like that. Normally, when it can't connect I get a message saying so. Nothing.
I did try all the fixes above, rebooting, checking the activity monitor for NetAuthAgent - not there.

I can AFP and SSH no problem. But, I have a ton of work to do and really need to see my screen.

:mad: