Mac Mini will not screen share reliably

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I’m trying to use a Mac Mini as a server for the Drobo. It is going to run headless. The main issue is that I am trying to use Screen Sharing to access it, but somehow the screen sharing hangs and the application is there, but there is no window.

One thing is that the two machines on a separate time capsule seem to disappear. Maybe something strange in between. They are daisy chain together. Almost like the time capsules are not passing file and screen sharing properly. Spent an afternoon on this.

Discovered that I have MobileMe on these and when i login locally it knows my me.com name and puts in this gigantic string for user name. Also some machines show they can’t contact MobileMe so I turned off back to my mac. That didn’t help. Rebooting machines did seem to help but that is not good for a headless server.

Also this seems to fail most when I’m trying to run remote desktop sharing and ten propagates to file sharing. Although can happen file sharing just breaks.

Some posts mention the process netauthagent hangs but there is no auh process in snow leopard.

Others talk about Kerberos encryption keys and bad network passwords in Keychain Access. I deleted all those keys and rentered passwords but no joy.

I lost the kerberos reference but doesn’t help as it just say delete without saying how to fix.

Finally unplugged the mac mini and dropped dreams of gettig the drobopro into the machine room. Using iMac now and hoping it is more reliable. There isn’t a big penalty anymore for leaving a machine on but I’d prefer to use one without a rotating hard drive for reliability sake.

The Mac Mini is out there churning away, but the service is broken. Rebooting the Mac Mini helps, but that isn’t a great solution is you want it out of the way.

So time to search with Google…First there is this NetAuthAgent issue, but I don’t have that running. I wonder if Snow Leopard changed the name of the process.

If Your Screen Sharing Stops Working, Read This – Mac Forums

PROBLEM: Sometimes when I do this, one of two things happens… either the Screen Sharing program launches in the dock but the window for the other Mac does not appear at all, or the Screen Sharing program launches and a small black window (with nothing visible inside) appears. Killing and restarting Screen Sharing does not help, and restarting the remote Mac does not help.

SOLUTION: One way to solve this problem is to restart the Mac where you are attempting to use Screen Sharing. But this is overkill; it works because it incorporates the second, easier solution to the problem:

1. Launch the Activity Monitor program.
2. In the Process Name list, look for “NetAuthAgent”. It may show as “Not Responding”.
3. Select NetAuthAgent, and then click Quit Process (the red stop sign button at the top of the Activity Monitor window). Then, click Force Quit.

Your Screen Sharing should now work.

It appears that as part of connecting to the remote Mac, your Mac must authenticate itself… and NetAuthAgent is part of this process. If this program freezes, hangs, or locks for any reason, the authentication will not work, and you cannot use Screen Sharing. Killing NetAuthAgent is harmless, as far as I can tell, and it will automatically relaunch the next time it is needed.

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One Reply to “Mac Mini will not screen share reliably”

  1. If you like the Terminal you could use a

    sudo killall -9 NetAuthAgent

    and if it’s something you do often you could run it via Quicksilver in a little bash script. 🙂

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