Home > Mac administration, Mac OS X > Odd AFP and SMB connection problem caused by iDisk going away

Odd AFP and SMB connection problem caused by iDisk going away

We saw an odd issue pop up in our shop (and others) today. In our case, one of our users just could not connect to one of our file servers using SMB. Others reported seeing the same issue with AFP.

The unexpected answer was that it was related to Apple’s now-offline iDisk service. Apple has now shutdown the MobileMe servers as part of the migration to iCloud, but if certain MobileMe-related settings are in ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist, Connect to Server also does a lookup for the now-offline iDisk servers in addition to the server you’re trying to connect to. Even though the iDisk service is now offline and unresolvable, the Mac will keep trying to resolve it until it times out.

The result from the user’s perspective?: “I can’t connect to the server.”

The fix is to open the Terminal and run the commands below to delete the iToolsMember and iToolsMemberDomain keys from ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist:

defaults delete -g iToolsMember
defaults delete -g iToolsMemberDomain

Once those commands have been run, connecting to your servers should start working again.

  1. Paul Clark
    August 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Thanks for the info. When I try and run this first command I get the following:

    There is no (iToolsMember) default for the (kCFPreferencesAnyApplication) domain

    I also get something similar for the second command. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks..

    • August 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm


      Those errors mean that your .GlobalPreferences do not have the iToolsMember and iToolsMemberDomain keys. You should be good.

  2. August 4, 2012 at 5:36 am

    Strange. On my home Mac (an OS upgraded from 10.5 –> 10.6 –> 10.7 –> 10.8), the values existed, but seemed to be empty. I did a ‘defaults read’, it returned an empty line, then ‘defaults delete’. When I tried to read again, it returned an error.

    I’m pretty sure I had MobileMe on this Mac at one point, so that might explain it. When my subscription expired, I deleted the username and password from System Preferences –> MobileMe, but I remember having a hard time getting it to stick.

    This is good motivation for a clean install – it’s long overdue here. Thanks, Rich (and Peter)!

  3. Hashem Sherif
    August 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks. This is a very useful hint that helped solve my problem as well

  4. Raj
    August 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Wow, this was very useful as we had people having long login times for accessing AFP shares

  5. August 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks Rich. First some of my co-workers were having issues and now I am starting to get ExtremeZ-IP customers calling in on our support line. I found in my testing that there were two other things that fixed it for people. Reseting krb5.conf to its defaults or upgrading to 10.8. Obviously the defaults command are much easier.

  6. Joerg
    August 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you so much, you saved my day! I was about getting crazy with this slow connection.

  7. Paul Clark
    August 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Yes, thanks VERY MUCH! This was the solution I needed. I still don’t understand the need to do the lookup when the resource is local but now at least it’s fixed.

  8. Han
    August 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks Rich for the info! Saved my butt today!

  9. Stephan Peterson
    August 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I saw a related issue today with using “Connect to server” on a 10.6.8 machine to initiate a VNC Screen Sharing session. The machine in question would just sit there trying to connect and would never display the prompt for credentials. While MobileMe wasn’t set up on the machine, it turns our there was a username in the “Member Name:” field. Once I cleared that field in the pref pane I was able to make VNC connections.

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