Trouble with Mac on Windows network

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by txjeep, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. txjeep macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2009
    I hope this is the right forum for this question. If not, please let me know.

    Anyway, I work for a small company and recently saw the light and bought an iMac for work (24" iMac, 10.5.6, Intel 2.8 ghz, 2MB RAM). I love it, with one serious exception. The way the Windows machines and the Mac see shared file locations is giving me trouble, primarily as it pertains to linked file locations in Excel (Office 2008 for Mac). All of the files are on a server named \\cdi\user\, which is mapped as I:\ on the Windows network. The Mac sees this location as "user:".

    We have several Excel workbooks that link to one another, some in different folders, but all on the same network. Once I set up the links in one of the workbooks on the Mac (user:spreads:filename), everything works great until one of the Windows machines opens and saves the file. The Win machine sees the file locations as saved by the Mac, but it apparently saves the link as the mapped letter drive (I:\spreads\filename). After this, the Mac doesn't recognize the file location anymore, and I have to reset all the links again back to "user:spreads:filename". Finder always sees the files under the user: location, so I know it knows where they are. It just doesn't like that mapped drive I guess.

    Is there any way to make the Mac understand this mapped drive on a Windows environment? I would be grateful for any help.

    I'm sure you already figured out that I am not a professional network admin. We don't have one. I am not a complete idiot, but I pay someone to help me with these issues and to do web related stuff for me. He is working on the issue, but he is used to Win networks (though he is the one who turned me on to the Mac). In other words, please dumb down your answers as much as possible so I can understand.

    I have tried a couple of things. One is saving the links from a Win machine as \\cdi\user\spreads\filename instead of using the mapped I:\ drive. The Win machine was happy, but the Mac could not link to this location, although it did seem to recognize that the location existed. When I say this, I mean Excel didn't autoupdate the link, but it also didn't reset the link to a MacintoshHD location like it normally does when it doesn't see the mapped drive. The link shows up as "@cdi:user:".

    I also installed MS Excel on a Fusion partition running XP and it also could not see the linked file locations after a Win machine saved the workbook, which told me it was a Mac OSX issue, rather than an Excel for Mac issue.

    Again, thanks for any help.
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Where are the shared files stored? Are you using a network server, or NAS, or are they stored on one of the user's machines?

    I'm wondering if this could be an issue with either SMB, or less likely, a filesystem issue.
  3. txjeep thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2009
    They are on a machine dedicated to storing shared files. It is running Windows Server 2003.

  4. txjeep thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2009
    FYI, I did have one breakthrough. I was able to use a bridged NAT network connection with VMWare Fusion on the Mac to get a direct connection to my network, rather than sharing the Mac's connection. This allowed me to map the I:\ drive using XP on the emulator. This allows me to update the Excel links just fine, as long as I run Excel in the Fusion XP emulator. I can live with this, since it eliminates the need for my XP machine, but I would prefer to be able to use Excel for Mac. I didn't buy this thing to run XP on it.

    My problem may be that we are running MS Office 97 over here on the XP machines. It's ancient I know, but it really functions well, so folks over here don't want to bother with an upgrade. I might try Excel 2008 on an XP machine to see if the links issue goes away.

    Any other thoughts on this would be appreciated.

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