Hi All,

I'm posting this information in the hope that it will save others a lot of pain that we have been through trying to solve this issue. I'd be interested in feedback that others have on the matter.

Background: Several clients have reported that since deploying newer Mac workstations running 10.4.x revision of the OS (Tiger), which are accessing NetWare server volumes via AFP, users have reported issues with the Finder not refreshing the contents of folders correctly (both network folders and local folders). Other symptoms of this issue include the Finder process consuming CPU resources and generating huge amounts of network traffic (typically seen CPU usage pegged at 15-30%, and network activity around 1,000 packets/second even when the user is not doing anything - this is seen the Activity Monitor on the Mac)..

After lots of investigation with both Novell and Apple, we have discovered that the cause of this problem is related to the hidden .ds_store files that the Finder stores in folders on the server. These files apparently contain Finder preferences for the folder (View settings, Colour coding preferences etc....). What appears to happen when a machine gets into this state is that the Finder is trying to update/delete this hidden file in a particular folder (in our case we had a folder that a user only had read only access to, thus he was not able to delete/modify the .ds_store file).

The resolution we have put in place is to remove all of the .ds_store files from the server using a script on a regular basis. You can also configure the Mac not to write .ds_store files to network locations. (see http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301711). So at this point we have devised an effective workaround for this problem, and I have confirmed that it works at multiple sites. The root cause seems to be a bug in Finder from 10.4.x which causes it to freak out if it can't modify these files on the network, however my contact at Apple doesn't expect that this "bug" will be fixed any time soon. So hopefully posting this information may assist other users who also may be having these strange issues and save you a lot of time (it took us weeks to get this result).