I have a straightforward Windows Domain setup with about 15 Windows desktops and 5 Macs (all on site, local network) happily connecting to some file shares on our file server.

I'm having problems with with one off-site Mac OSX 10.3 that uses a VPN to our Windows provided VPN server to connect to the office and map the fileshare. Frequently, when accessing files on the file share this user will get one or two errors:

"The operation cannot be completed because one or more required items cannot be found. (Error code -1401)"

"The Finder cannot complete the operation because some data in "home1-final.psd" could not be written. (Error code -36)"

  1. This user has been accessing files this way without problems for over a year
  2. No configuration changes or installations have occurred on the file server of the client/user Mac since the problem began
  3. The user can use the files most of the time, but frequently gets these errors.

This is under Windows Server 2003 and Mac OS X 10.50.8.

Any ideas?

2 Answers 2


What version of Windows are you running on the file server? 10.3 is pretty ancient and its version of Samba is even older. There could be any numbers of incompatibilities especially if you're keeping up on Windows patches.

Have you checked the VPN logs to see if the user isn't seeing a dropped connection during the times the error is encountered? Flaky connections often exhibit errors similar to what you're seeing.

  • Added above. I was wrong about 10.3, actually 10.5.8
    – Justin
    Sep 10, 2009 at 18:26
  • Checking on VPN logs.
    – Justin
    Sep 10, 2009 at 19:02
  • @Josh - I don't see anything in the VPN log that indicates a problem. What am I looking for specifically?
    – Justin
    Sep 10, 2009 at 19:04
  • 1
    Well something that might be interesting is frequent disconnects and reconnects or other noise pertaining to that user. Both errors seem to point to IO errors-is the user running any AV software? Also, can you have her create a new account on the machine and try it using the new account? Often times, if its on the remote end creating a new account will show whether its account specific. I would also thoroughly test the networking speed between the remote end and your file server-I could see slow links causing all sorts of oddness.
    – Josh Budde
    Sep 10, 2009 at 20:03

Lets see, VPN, so you are using a routed connection (ie., the remote Mac is not on the same IP network as the local machines). Agreeing with Josh here that 10.3 is rather old, however, I would also suspect something to do with good old windows name resolution aka WINS (it still lurks around with unqualified resource names).

Have a looksee at your WINS settings, then look at the DHCP config provided to your client by the VPN server and make sure that you are setting it up as a Hybrid node (0x8) for NetBIOS resoltion and that it has the correctly WINS server IP addresses in the DHCP config settings it gets from the VPN server.

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