Saving Excel files on a 2003 Server

scwconsulting

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I'm not a total "noob" but maybe one step above when it comes to Macs. I'm a 2000/2003 MCSE and I work for a Consultant in Spokane, WA. I recently setup a network which has 15+ Macs OSX 10.4 and one Windows 2003 SBS Server. I managed to get the macs to authenticate and logon through the active directory plugin in 10.4. Pretty sweet deal and pretty much works flawlessly. We have SMB and AFP shares setup for the mac users which seems to work perfect, except in Excel 2004. If a used tries to open up an already created document and SAVE AS or SAVE when a chage has been made, from time to time they will receive an error about not being able to replace the current document and it'll save it under a temp name with random lettering. If you open up that file and save as, it will then let you save it properly. this only seems to happen in Excel (at least that is all that has been reported to me). Any info or light on this matter?
 

fryke

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Staff member
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My _guess_ is that the files are created with different user/group privileges, so that the current user can read but not write to the file... I'm not sure how that's handled on "Active Directory", though...
 

mudfrog

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I've currently got the same issue here at work. Either the files saves and changes the document name to some random filename or it wont save at all and have to copy the contents of the document into a new document which then enables you to save the file ok.
It's not down to the User privilages as it happens on files that the user has created themselves and then later modify.
Did find people were having same issue when there machines were running Virex 7.5 which we do here aswell and the suggestions were that to turn off Active virus detection. But still not 100% all though it did seem to help at first.
If anybody has any other suggestions then please let me know.
In the meantime I'm going to uninstall Virex completly from the machine to see if this helps.

Regards,

Rich
 

RobertZ

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We run a Mac OSX Server and recently attempted to upgrade a machine to Tiger, and we encountered the same problem with Excel files not saving properly. It appears that the program is trying to write a replacement file before the original file has been deleted; writing fails, which generates a numbered temp file while the original file becomes unusable (subsequently treated as a file in use).

There is quite a lot of discussion about this issue on discussion forums, but there doesn't seem to be a definitive solution yet. Some have attributed the problem to antivirus software (Virex), but we don't use this software so there must be another cause (or multiple causes!)
 

mudfrog

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Interesting that your running OSX Server because most of, if not all of the problems I've read about this problem seem to point to a Windows Server and Mac client scenario:confused:
This is becoming more of an issue now because it's starting to delete files when saving them:mad:
 

Clivey

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Am I correct in thinking that you're opening files directly from the server? Try the same exercise on a local drive please.
 

scwconsulting

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It does only happen when opening from a server. Months later, still encountering this problem. I've contacted Apple and MS and both blame each other. Weird how that happens. The users now are just getting more bitchy so I need to come up with a solution :(
 

Clivey

Registered
OK Thanks. Understand your irritation, you're the man charged with resolving an issue, which whilst 'technical', is in reality, I believe, outside of your control :(
We don't, and never have, worked directly from servers. It is policy here to copy the files you wish to work on to a local 'work in progress' partition, do your stuff, and then backup to the server for the tape to rearchive overnight.
It's maybe an old habit from the 'old days' but it has borne us well. Reason(s)?

It causes problems. It's reasonably well documented that programs save the temp files where the original file is located. If this is over the network, you have extra traffic, the possibility of network interruption (and therefore corruption).
OS X seems to aggrevate the issue by (behind the scenes) actually resaving the new file AS a new file and then deletes the temporary AND the old one in the process - I guess 'cos they think it'll be 'cleaner' - or perhaps that's just the way it has to be... However, the slightest challenge in this process will leave you with a temp file and or a knackered 'new' file.
Quark, for example say don't do it; Adobe CS is causing all sorts of challenges for a friend of mine whose guvenor INSISTS that this the way to do it (despite the proof of the huge temp files that generates).
I've not noted any discernable difference between using SMB or AFP (albeit that AFP will attempt to honour the resource forks, but then MS are using AFP v2.2 and Apple are on V3) as the protocol to connect and there is no (known) way to force the program to use a local 'temp' file whilst it's working.
You also have the situation where you have a copy of the file locally should anything go wrong (this file BTW is moved to another local folder we call 'bin tomorrow' for deletion at a later date). Downside? Administration by the operators - computers run on filing systems, and our op.s have to think about what they're doing and where they're doing it...
Also, should the server fail, there is at least some possibility that op.s can continue with current work...
Trouble is, it's a major change of working culture. If this is the only problem you've got then some would say you've done exceptionally well ;)
Sorry it's not a 'push a button' solution, but at least it is a solution... ATB.
 

scwconsulting

Registered
Clivey said:
OK Thanks. Understand your irritation, you're the man charged with resolving an issue, which whilst 'technical', is in reality, I believe, outside of your control :(
We don't, and never have, worked directly from servers. It is policy here to copy the files you wish to work on to a local 'work in progress' partition, do your stuff, and then backup to the server for the tape to rearchive overnight.
It's maybe an old habit from the 'old days' but it has borne us well. Reason(s)?

It causes problems. It's reasonably well documented that programs save the temp files where the original file is located. If this is over the network, you have extra traffic, the possibility of network interruption (and therefore corruption).
OS X seems to aggrevate the issue by (behind the scenes) actually resaving the new file AS a new file and then deletes the temporary AND the old one in the process - I guess 'cos they think it'll be 'cleaner' - or perhaps that's just the way it has to be... However, the slightest challenge in this process will leave you with a temp file and or a knackered 'new' file.
Quark, for example say don't do it; Adobe CS is causing all sorts of challenges for a friend of mine whose guvenor INSISTS that this the way to do it (despite the proof of the huge temp files that generates).
I've not noted any discernable difference between using SMB or AFP (albeit that AFP will attempt to honour the resource forks, but then MS are using AFP v2.2 and Apple are on V3) as the protocol to connect and there is no (known) way to force the program to use a local 'temp' file whilst it's working.
You also have the situation where you have a copy of the file locally should anything go wrong (this file BTW is moved to another local folder we call 'bin tomorrow' for deletion at a later date). Downside? Administration by the operators - computers run on filing systems, and our op.s have to think about what they're doing and where they're doing it...
Also, should the server fail, there is at least some possibility that op.s can continue with current work...
Trouble is, it's a major change of working culture. If this is the only problem you've got then some would say you've done exceptionally well ;)
Sorry it's not a 'push a button' solution, but at least it is a solution... ATB.
I appreciate your input greatly. The problem is, getting the users to understand this. This is, needless to say, one of my most uptight clients who REFUSE to change any habits. They feel everything should just work great for them no matter what. The problem is, they NEEDED to have a Windows server because of a certain piece of software. So now I'm stuck trying to explain these circumstance's to them. I'm going to continue to search and hopefully find some kind of conclusion. I've seen other Mac/Win environments function fine. I don't see what is different with this one one then this is a SBS server and the others were straight server or enterprise.

I should note too, this issue happens with SMB and AFP.
 

Clivey

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No worries. Just my experience.
If you ever get a resolution, I (and others)would be delighted to know.
ATB
 

mudfrog

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I wouldn't trust our users to work in a way where they were responsible for copying down files and then uploading them for backup purposes. I can see them getting into a right old mess with it. And with some of the size files they work on it would cause more network slowdown.

Well I would also be grateful if you do find a solution to be informed. And like wise if I find anything I will let you know ;)

Cheers,

Rich
 

mudfrog

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Has anyone found a resolution to this issue yet?:eek:

Getting it in the ear from a couple of users with the issue! :mad:

Doing my bloody head in I can tell ya.

Cheers,

Rich
 

scwconsulting

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I called MS support and tried opening up a report, but I got passed around like a 2 dolla whore and never got a call back from their "Professional" team. Seems to be MS knows about this issue and will not address it.
 

mudfrog

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Well this problem seems to of been around for quite some time and the fact that there is no clear solution to this on going problem doesn't fill me with any confidence that it will be solved anytime soon.:mad:
If I was a programmer I would write a fix for it myself and adjust the way Excel saves documents :D

Microsoft = Bunch of FAGGOTS!!!!!:mad:
 

RobertZ

Registered
Something that might work for others, but which hasn't worked for us, is to adopt some imitation Excel software. I've tried a few demos (Mariner Calc for example), and although the interface appears to be identical, it has trouble with some complex formulas that we use in our estimating spreadsheets. This program might work in environments where simpler formulae are employed by users.

As for us, we may well wind up using the method of saving files to desktop and copying to server later. Right now we are simply holding off on upgrading users to OSX Tiger.
 

mudfrog

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I don't think the users would like to use anything else but Excel to be honest.

With regards to holding off upgrading OSX I haven't had an issue with Tiger (There's only a couple machines with Tiger). It's all been Panther so far.
It might be worth you getting one copy of Tiger in and see how you go with it.

Cheers,

Rich
 

Clivey

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Wondering if the recent 10.4.6 update and also 11.2.3 for Office made any difference to this situation? Just a thought
 
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