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Mac OS X 10.3.x network browser shows empty volumes

Mac OS X 10.3.x network browser shows empty volumes

MacFixIt reader Dan Wilga reports a problem with Mac OS X 10.3.x's Network Browser where the full path of a server, including the machine's name, must be less than 56 characters. Otherwise, the Finder shows empty folders. The sequence of events is as follows:

  1. From a Finder window, click on the Network tab in the sidebar. (This is a new feature in 10.3)
  2. Select the zone and server.
  3. Authenticate.
  4. The Finder now shows a folder, for each volume on the server. Normally, it would show an alias (symlink) instead.
  5. Open any of the folders. They are all completely empty.
  6. Further attempts to open these folders (or even disconnect from the server) have no effect.
  7. Looking in /private/var/automount/Network/ shows a directory for the server, with empty folders for the volumes.

Wilga writes "Eventually the client realizes it has no connection, but further attempts produce more empty folders with the same names and "-1" tacked onto the end. Interestingly, other (correctly) mounted servers show their volumes as symlinks, not folders.

"After many, many hours spent tracking this down, I have confirmed that this is a bug in the Finder. When the number of characters in the zone name the server name the volume name is more than 56 characters, this happens reliably. It even happens when the "server" is another Mac using file sharing! We have shortened the names of our servers, and now users can connect."

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