Leopard/Windows Server and File Sharing Tips

As Leopard continues to roar across the globe, some of the ways in which Leopard functions differently when it comes to Windows networks and file sharing are creating difficulties for cross-platform users. Here are a few Leopard/Windows tips to keep in mind:

  • WINS functionality is now located in the Network pane of System Preferences (select your network port of choice and then click the Advanced button and you'll see a WINS tab). In Tiger/Panther, this was in the Directory Access utility. The WINS tab allows you to specify a WINS server and to choose a Windows workgroup.
  • If you perform an upgrade from Tiger to Leopard and your Mac is bound to an Active Directory domain, you should unbind it before upgrading and rebind it afterward. Some users report problems with Macs that have no local admin accounts after an upgrade as well as difficulties in unbinding or logging into Active Directory accounts after an upgrade.
  • As with Panther and Tiger, if you are binding to Active Directory or connecting to Windows servers that use a .local domain name, you will need to ensure that .local is explicitly listed as a search domain (again in the Network pane in System Preferences).
  • Be aware that there are a number of reports that binding to Active Directory is slower and more prone to problems in Leopard than in Tiger. Similarly, login using Active Directory accounts may also be also slower. So, you may want to test Leopard in your environment before putting it on a production machine and/or have a solid backup for any machines before you install in case of issues (but you should probably be doing that anyway).
  • Boot Camp no longer requires burning a separate drivers CD - the Leopard install DVD is used instead (okay, that isn't really much of a tip, but I thought it was interesting enough to mention).

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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