Mac Metamorphosis

AppleShare IP Woes

- 2000.04.05

The name of this article was supposed to be "AppleShare IP vs. Windows NT." However, in the last few weeks I have had many problems with just getting AppleShare IP (ASIP) running.

I believe AppleShare IP is a very good product, however I am starting to think it doesn't like my Umax SuperMac S900 very much. It all started when I obtained a copy of AppleShare IP 6.1, and the first thing I attempted to do was to install it on my S900 running Mac OS 9. AppleShare 6.1 refused to install, claiming that I needed Open Transport 1.3 or later, which all users of OS 9 currently have. This brought me to Apple's Tech Exchange looking for advice from other users. Most recommended that I have a Mac OS 8.1/8.5 volume on my machine, red flag the entire System Folder, then copy & paste all new extensions to Mac OS 9. That made a lot of sense, so I decided to do just that. I installed ASIP on my 8.1 volume, copied, and bingo, AppleShare IP 6.1 was working.

The first thing I wanted to try out was the Windows File Sharing feature, which I had heard many good things about. Enabling Windows File Sharing took around 20 seconds; all I needed to do was put in my Workgroup & NetBIOS name, followed by a quick restart of the file sharing service.

Now that my file server was up and running, I decided to start dumping the 2 GB download directory sitting on my main PC. It was easy as copy & paste, but four folders into copying I got an error on my Windows machine stating "the device you are copying to can no longer to be found." I swiveled over to my S900 with a big question mark over my head, and saw that my new server had crashed. No error, no warning, just locked.

This went of for about 3 hours, when I decided to upgrade to AppleShare IP 6.3. Download was simple. I didn't even have to fill out any goofy forms to get it. Installation was also very simple. Double click the installer, hit next a couple of times, reboot, and your done.

Upgrading to 6.3 did not help the problem, and I still found myself crashing, so I decided to place a call to Apple technical support, because their support online was getting me nowhere. I was greeted by "Scott" who tried to help me as much as possible, here is a transcript of our conversation.


Scott: Thank you for calling Apple tech. Support, my name is Scott how my I help you.

Me: Hi Scott, I got a problem with AppleShare IP.

Scott: What seems to be happening.

Me: Every time I copy files from my Windows machine to my AppleShare IP server, I crash.

Scott: What model Macintosh are you using, sir?

Me: A Umax SuperMac S900. Yes, I know OS 9 is not supported by you, but I seriously don't think this is a hardware compatibility issue.

Scott: Yes, sorry we don't support the clones, but, hey, I want to at least help you out somehow.

Me: Thanks, Scott. I am also running on 256 MB of RAM and an ATTO Ultra2 SCSI controller with a Seagate Cheetah 2 attached.

Scott: Is that the only drive in the system?

Me: Yes, other than the CD-ROM, which is attached to the internal SCSI-2 bus

Scott: Gotcha, O.K. Have you tried to copy files on any other machine?

Me: Yes, two laptops (PC based).

Scott: Any Mac's?

Me: Not yet

Scott: O.K., why don't you try that. Also check your extensions and try setting your extensions manager to "AppleShare IP 6.3 base"

Me: O.K., I will try that.

Scott: Anything else?

Me: Not yet, but if none of these work I'll call back.

Scott: O.K., thank you for calling Apple Computer.


Following Scott's advice I set my extensions manager to 6.3 base, restarted, and attempted a file copy again. Same problem - I was in crashville. No warning, no bomb icons, just freezing. Throughout this debacle I even attempted several FTP transfers to the AppleShare IP server, and I would get the same result. So I knew then it was not Windows crashing my poor server.

Over the next week and a half I must have reinstalled the Mac OS over 30 times, each time trying different settings resulting in the same problem. I also upgraded the firmware on my video card and Ultra2 SCSI controller. I began to think perhaps it was my Ultra2 controller, so I ripped it out and placed in an Apple OEM 1 GB SCSI-2 drive. Long story short, same problem.

So with my Seagate Cheetah 2 traumatized because of all the mean things I have been doing to it, I placed another call to Apple tech support, while combing through Apple tech exchange online at the same time. After waiting for about half an hour, I was greeted by "Danielle" (Scott does not work on weekends).


Danielle: Thank you for calling Apple tech support. For which product do you require support?

Me: AppleShare IP 6.3

Danielle: And what seems to be the problem?

Me: All file transfers result in my server crashing, and I am running on a Umax S900. I understand Apple doesn't support clones running OS 9, but I have a working volume running OS 8.1 and AppleShare IP 6.1.

Danielle: AppleShare IP 6.1 is not supported on clones.

Me: Are you sure about that? I figured since Mac OS 8.1 was supported, all software that ran on 8.1 made by Apple was supported.

Danielle: Sir, I have been working here 8 years, and I know what I am talking about.

Me: Danielle, I did not ask for your resume.

Danielle: I understand that, but I am just telling you where I am coming from.

Me: O.K., fine. Is there any way you could possibly help me?

Danielle: Sir, I just got through telling you we don't support clones

Me: I understand. It's Apple's policy, not yours, so I can't exactly hold it against you. Can you tell me what Scott *****'s hours are?

Danielle: No I can't

Me: O.K., Thank you.


I guess calling Apple tech support is a hit or miss thing, and I still don't understand why they won't even support AppleShare IP 6.1 which is designed to run on Mac OS 8.1!

Scott, and I spoke some more on Monday, and he tried to help me as best as he could. My problem may in fact be a hardware incompatibility, because it's not like I am using equipment that can't handle the pressure. We tried and tried, but ultimately I had to give up. Almost 3 weeks, and any kind of file transfers result in a lock up.

Currently my S900 is acting as a web, mail, and DNS server. File sharing I am doing though Windows NT, and FTP is being handled by a BeOS machine. If only I could get file transfers to work, I would be the first person to say that it's better than NT in every arena. For now, though, I have to say that AppleShare IP is better than NT in the web, mail, and DNS categories.

With that being said, it is now time to move on to bigger things like playing with my G4. Stay tuned for G4 vs. Pentium III 600.

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