Guides to the Completion of Scheduled Tasks

Some tasks must be completed on a regular basis. List the scheduled tasks from least frequently recurring to most frequently recurring. Each one must have a detailed guide on how to go about completing the task and how often/when the task must be completed. Try to be as detailed as possible.

Are there any scheduled tasks for this system? Anything to do with maintenance? One thing that comes to mind is that we might need to check for software updates once and awhile.

Guides to the Completion of Common Requests

This section outlines the guides to completing tasks that are commonly requested by clients

Recover files from backups

If clients lose their files, they may ask for them to be recovered from the system's backups. Information about the backups and how this can be done are at Backup Macs.

Making double-sided printing the default preference

Double-sided printing is enabled on a per-machine-per-student basis; ie, the student would have to set it up on each different machine they want to use.

  1. Go to "System Preferences"
  2. Find "Print & Fax"
  3. click "the printer in the list"
  4. click "Options & Supplies"
  5. click "Driver"
  6. "tick" "Duplex Unit"
  7. click "OK"
  8. Select "Double Sided" in the particular application you want to print from

Common Failures/Bugs & Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting for many of the common problems found on Macs can be found at http://www.gballard.net/macrant/osx_troubleshooting.html. Problems that we have discovered and are not on that page are documented in the rest of this section.

Replace this text with a symptom that somebody would use to describe what happens when he/she logs into more than one machine

The lab Macs use network home directories. The login / logout hooks provide some temporary links to the local disk to improve performance, and then remove them at logout. Any machine already logged on will be in an unstable state after you log out of another machine.

All that needs to be done to fix the issue is that the user must log out of both machines. Do you have anything to add here?

A user cannot log in

If a user is not able to log in, there is a possibility that the user is simply not entering the correct credentials. These steps will try to fix the problem by first tackling the most probable causes then escalating to less probable causes. If at any point the problem is fixed, the remaining steps may be skipped.

  1. Verify with users that they are:
    • using only the first 8 characters of their usernames
    • Entering their passwords correctly:
      • if they set their passwords in 2011 via https://www.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca/password/ they should enter their entire passwords
      • if they set their passwords before 2011, only the first 8 characters should be entered, even if their passwords are longer. Passwords should only use the "aA1" character set - no funnies.
  2. Get the student to log in to the Mac in the Consultant's office. There are no group restriction and all that is required is a valid account and password in the Active Directory
    • if login fails, then a password change is probably required (see the Passwords are rejected section). It is now very unlikely that other rejections will happen because a user is not in a group that has lab access.
  3. If no-one can log in I'm having a bit of trouble cleaning this section up because I don't know the system well enough. Do you see anything that you can fix?
    • suspect that the time is incorrect (AD and Kerberos allow only small differences in time between client and server); a reboot may fix it; otherwise, sometimes they "lose" the configuration and a local administrator login is required to change the System Preference, Date and Time, to "automatic" from ntp.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca
    • we have had a couple of instances where the Domain information cached on the Mac becomes corrupt; preventing user login; and preventing administrator ability to bind/unbind the machine to the Active Directory - see ST#70642 for local administrator actions to repair.
    • Login / operation may be very slow if the student fileserver is heavily loaded
    • Several times student accounts have been accidentally orphaned - the symptom is that they can authenticate, but then not "do" anything, effectively they do not have permissions on their home directory after it is mounted. Support people have to un-orphan them, and make sure it doesn't happen again - could have been caused by bad Registrar data for example.
    • If students have trouble logging in for a lab exam, we have had cases where it is their first attempt of the term. If they didn't attend the first lab and re-set their password, a process about a month later will re-set the password, effectively disabling the account until they go through a password re-set with the Consultants

Passwords are rejected

What does it mean for a password to get rejected? A brief description of the symptoms might be useful here.

Passwords that are being rejected must be reset This can be done in one of two ways:

  1. Have the user log into https://www.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca/password/ with his/her WatIAM password
  2. Reset it with passwd on a student CPU host, such as cpu02.student.cs Will this be enough information for people acting on your behalf to figure out what needs to be done? If it is, just lever it. Otherwise try to add some more information.

X11 Problem

Poeple with this problem see the following error message:

/software/ssh-openssh-4.3krb/private/xauth: error in locking authority file /u5/iturner/.Xauthority
Terminal type is xterm
cpu02:~> xterm
X11 connection rejected because of wrong authentication.
X connection to cpu02.student.cs:10.0 broken (explicit kill or server shutdown)

The cause is the existence of a file in the home directory [What's the name of this file?], created by the X11 program on Leopard (Mac OSX 10.5.x). The existence of this directory will also cause X11 to not work properly on the older, Mac OSX 10.4 machines (none currently) [The "none currently" is a bit ambiguous in it's message. Does it mean that there are no macs running OSX 10.4 in the Mac labs?]

This issue appears to have been solved with our Spring 2011 Snow Leopard image. However, should the error occur, do the following:

  1. Press "ctrl-c" to exit the error condition
  2. Exit all existing host sessions
  3. In either a local xterm or the local Terminal, enter rm .Xauthority-c
  4. At this point, you should be able to start host sessions, eg xterm on cpu18 from the X11 "Applications" on the Menu bar. They should also be behaving properly, even allowing "child" X sessions, as you would expect. If this is true, the problem is resolved.

Printing Problems

The paper size default for a new student account might show up as A4; once they select US Letter, it should "stick" (note: the A4 paper size will probably make the printer "hang" waiting for the correct paper to be loaded) Is this a problem that needs to be triaged? I'm not sure exactly. If not, this section may be deleted.

Trouble printing from a lab mac and gets an email back from lpquota saying the job was rejected because of a missing quota on imacxxx.local

Our lab macs get that ".local" appended to the name if they have seen a network problem, especially while booting. One can observe the situation by starting a Terminal window, and typing hostname. The proper response is imacxxx.student.cs etc; the improper one is imacxxx.local. Simply unplugging and re-plugging the network cable from the mac will solve the issue. The user can also try rebooting.

Machine will not boot and the power light is flashing

The pattern with which the power light blinks gives information about the cause of the issue.

Blink pattern Issue
A flash once every second Either there is bad RAM or no RAM present
Three flashes, a pause, and then three more flashes (occurs continuously) There is only a marginal amount of RAM

Either the RAM modules are bad or they are not seated properly. All you need to do is open the ejector clips and install the ram modules. This is done by pushing very hard with both thumbs, closing the ejectors, and then replacing the cover. If this does not fix the issue, install one module at a time or reinstall the original ram that came with the iMac.

Apple also provides some more [[http://Guides to the Completion of Scheduled Tasks Some tasks must be completed on a regular basis. List the scheduled tasks from least frequently recurring to most frequently recurring. Each one must have a detailed guide on how to go about completing the task and how often/when the task must be completed. Try to be as detailed as possible. Are there any scheduled tasks for this system? Anything to do with maintenance? One thing that comes to mind is that we might need to check for software updates once and awhile.

Guides to the Completion of Common Requests This section outlines the guides to completing tasks that are commonly requested by clients Recover files from backups If clients lose their files, they may ask for them to be recovered from the system's backups. Information about the backups and how this can be done are at Backup Macs.

Making double-sided printing the default preference Double-sided printing is enabled on a per-machine-per-student basis; ie, the student would have to set it up on each different machine they want to use. Go to "System Preferences" Find "Print & Fax" click "the printer in the list" click "Options & Supplies" click "Driver" "tick" "Duplex Unit" click "OK" Select "Double Sided" in the particular application you want to print from

Common Failures/Bugs & Troubleshooting Troubleshooting for many of the common problems found on Macs can be found at http://www.gballard.net/macrant/osx_troubleshooting.html. Problems that we have discovered and are not on that page are documented in the rest of this section.

Replace this text with a symptom that somebody would use to describe what happens when he/she logs into more than one machine The lab Macs use network home directories. The login / logout hooks provide some temporary links to the local disk to improve performance, and then remove them at logout. Any machine already logged on will be in an unstable state after you log out of another machine. All that needs to be done to fix the issue is that the user must log out of both machines. Do you have anything to add here?

A user cannot log in If a user is not able to log in, there is a possibility that the user is simply not entering the correct credentials. These steps will try to fix the problem by first tackling the most probable causes then escalating to less probable causes. If at any point the problem is fixed, the remaining steps may be skipped. Verify with users that they are: using only the first 8 characters of their usernames Entering their passwords correctly: if they set their passwords in 2011 via https://www.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca/password/ they should enter their entire passwords if they set their passwords before 2011, only the first 8 characters should be entered, even if their passwords are longer. Passwords should only use the "aA1" character set - no funnies. Get the student to log in to the Mac in the Consultant's office. There are no group restriction and all that is required is a valid account and password in the Active Directory if login fails, then a password change is probably required (see the Passwords are rejected section). It is now very unlikely that other rejections will happen because a user is not in a group that has lab access. If no-one can log in I'm having a bit of trouble cleaning this section up because I don't know the system well enough. Do you see anything that you can fix? suspect that the time is incorrect (AD and Kerberos allow only small differences in time between client and server); a reboot may fix it; otherwise, sometimes they "lose" the configuration and a local administrator login is required to change the System Preference, Date and Time, to "automatic" from ntp.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca we have had a couple of instances where the Domain information cached on the Mac becomes corrupt; preventing user login; and preventing administrator ability to bind/unbind the machine to the Active Directory - see ST#70642 for local administrator actions to repair. Login / operation may be very slow if the student fileserver is heavily loaded Several times student accounts have been accidentally orphaned - the symptom is that they can authenticate, but then not "do" anything, effectively they do not have permissions on their home directory after it is mounted. Support people have to un-orphan them, and make sure it doesn't happen again - could have been caused by bad Registrar data for example. If students have trouble logging in for a lab exam, we have had cases where it is their first attempt of the term. If they didn't attend the first lab and re-set their password, a process about a month later will re-set the password, effectively disabling the account until they go through a password re-set with the Consultants

Passwords are rejected What does it mean for a password to get rejected? A brief description of the symptoms might be useful here. Passwords that are being rejected must be reset This can be done in one of two ways: Have the user log into https://www.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca/password/ with his/her WatIAM password Reset it with passwd on a student CPU host, such as cpu02.student.cs Will this be enough information for people acting on your behalf to figure out what needs to be done? If it is, just lever it. Otherwise try to add some more information.

X11 Problem Poeple with this problem see the following error message:

/software/ssh-openssh-4.3krb/private/xauth: error in locking authority file /u5/iturner/.Xauthority Terminal type is xterm cpu02:~> xterm X11 connection rejected because of wrong authentication. X connection to cpu02.student.cs:10.0 broken (explicit kill or server shutdown)

The cause is the existence of a file in the home directory [What's the name of this file?], created by the X11 program on Leopard (Mac OSX 10.5.x). The existence of this directory will also cause X11 to not work properly on the older, Mac OSX 10.4 machines (none currently) [The "none currently" is a bit ambiguous in it's message. Does it mean that there are no macs running OSX 10.4 in the Mac labs?] This issue appears to have been solved with our Spring 2011 Snow Leopard image. However, should the error occur, do the following: Press "ctrl-c" to exit the error condition Exit all existing host sessions In either a local xterm or the local Terminal, enter rm .Xauthority-c At this point, you should be able to start host sessions, eg xterm on cpu18 from the X11 "Applications" on the Menu bar. They should also be behaving properly, even allowing "child" X sessions, as you would expect. If this is true, the problem is resolved.

Printing Problems The paper size default for a new student account might show up as A4; once they select US Letter, it should "stick" (note: the A4 paper size will probably make the printer "hang" waiting for the correct paper to be loaded) Is this a problem that needs to be triaged? I'm not sure exactly. If not, this section may be deleted.

Trouble printing from a lab mac and gets an email back from lpquota saying the job was rejected because of a missing quota on imacxxx.local Our lab macs get that ".local" appended to the name if they have seen a network problem, especially while booting. One can observe the situation by starting a Terminal window, and typing hostname. The proper response is imacxxx.student.cs etc; the improper one is imacxxx.local. Simply unplugging and re-plugging the network cable from the mac will solve the issue. The user can also try rebooting.

Machine will not boot and the power light is flashing The pattern with which the power light blinks gives information about the cause of the issue.

Blink pattern Issue A flash once every second Either there is bad RAM or no RAM present Three flashes, a pause, and then three more flashes (occurs continuously) There is only a marginal amount of RAM Either the RAM modules are bad or they are not seated properly. All you need to do is open the ejector clips and install the ram modules. This is done by pushing very hard with both thumbs, closing the ejectors, and then replacing the cover. If this does not fix the issue, install one module at a time or reinstall the original ram that came with the iMac. Apple also provides some more general information on fixing this issue

Machine will not boot but beeping occurs As Ed researched in ST#66267 I can't see information in this ST item. Not even a summary. Will people who are trying to fix this issue be able to gain information from this ST item? If not, we should delete this line For New World Macs (1999 onward) and Intel-based Macs, the beep pattern provide information about the cause of the issue according to the following table:

Beep Pattern Issue 1 beep no RAM installed 2 beeps incompatible RAM types 3 beeps no good banks 4 beeps no good boot images in the boot ROM (and/or bad sys config block) 5 beeps processor is not usable

Steps to Fix the Issue No fix information was provided in the source. Can you please add it? docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303363][general information on fixing this issue]]

Machine will not boot but beeping occurs

As Ed researched in ST#66267 I can't see information in this ST item. Not even a summary. Will people who are trying to fix this issue be able to gain information from this ST item? If not, we should delete this line

For New World Macs (1999 onward) and Intel-based Macs, the beep pattern provide information about the cause of the issue according to the following table:

Beep Pattern Issue
1 beep no RAM installed
2 beeps incompatible RAM types
3 beeps no good banks
4 beeps no good boot images in the boot ROM (and/or bad sys config block)
5 beeps processor is not usable

Steps to Fix the Issue

No fix information was provided in the source. Can you please add it?

Current Discussions Related to the System

Some systems have important long-term changes that are being discussed. If needed, a summary of each discussion may be included here.

Are there any to be mentioned?

Topic revision: r1 - 2013-07-17 - DrewPilcher
 
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