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  >> Home Networking, Internet Connection Sharing, etc.


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Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 20-Apr-14 15:35:39
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Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


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This is the scenario. I've recently set up a home network - using the Ethernet hub built into my router. The network is wired Ethernet, and at present I've got three things on it - a Mac, a Windows XP machine and a printer. The printer is directly on the network, and the idea is for it to be used by both the Mac and the Windows machine. All three devices have been assigned fixed LAN IP addresses.

I've dealt with the DNS side of things and have turned off DHCP in the router. Having configured them, both machines can access the Internet, and both machines can print to the printer. But at present the Mac can't see the Windows machine, and vice versa, even though I've assigned each machine a name and have told each machine the name of the Workgroup.

So, why can't they see each other? Any ideas?

One of the reasonably-frequent things I wish to do is to transfer large numbers of picture files from the Windows machine to the Mac. So, can I actually do this, dragging the files directly over, or do I have to set up an intermediary folder and put all the files in there first?

It's not as if I've set out to actually share all types of files, only JPGs, TIFs and the like, which are universally recognised. Indeed, sharing ALL files wouldn't be feasible in both directions anyway, due to the different filesystems that these computers use.

In order for the "dog to see the rabbit", as it were, am I forced to envoke file sharing per se?
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 20-Apr-14 15:43:23
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Re: Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
Can the mac access the PC via IP address and vice versa? Have you shared the folders you want sharing?

This will rule out the "workgroup" settings somewhat......

If this is an old aged installation of Windows XP anything is possible, many programs can goose up windows file and print sharing on XP.

Is the subnet mask set correctly? I presume it is but as you say you have disabled DHCP (why?) then I need to ask it..

Zen 8000 Pro

Edited by Pipexer (Sun 20-Apr-14 15:43:52)

Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 20-Apr-14 16:23:26
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Re: Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


[re: Pipexer] [link to this post]
 
I've obviously not been clear enough. I don't want to SHARE files per se, I just want to occasionally copy some picture files, made on the WinXP machine, across to the Mac.

An arguably simpler way of doing this would be to transfer the files on to a USB memory stick and then just plug the USB stick into the Mac. However, some of the files are very big and the totals would mean having to use the memory stick several times over each time. So, clearly the more elegant means of copying them across would be to use the network.


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Standard User gah789
(learned) Sun 20-Apr-14 17:05:13
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Re: Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
Getting Windows XP and Mac OS-X computers to "see" files on the other operating system is often a horrible process as you have discovered. Much of the difficulty lies in the fact that Windows and Mac OS-X often don't recognise the computer names (Netbios) assigned by the other operating system. In addition, Mac OS-X doesn't work well with Windows workgroups. It is ok with full domain names but it is likely to be too much effort to go down that route.

From personal experience, I find that the easiest solution by far is to install a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device to your network that can be seen by both computers using native Apple & Windows protocols - in the same way that your printer is "seen" by both operating systems. You ought to do that anyway as a backup arrangement.

If you want to try further to establish a direct link, I would suggest that you get hold of Apple's Bonjour program which can be run on Windows XP and will locate computers on your network. In fact switching off DHCP on your hub/router may not be a good idea unless you are absolutely that you are assigning compatible static IP addresses. On OS-X you will need to go into the Network > Advanced > WINS tab for your network adapter to set the Netbios and workgroup details correctly. Even after all of this you are likely to find that establishing a link is an erratic process.
Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 20-Apr-14 17:24:34
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Re: Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by meditator:
I don't want to SHARE files per se, I just want to occasionally copy some picture files, made on the WinXP machine, across to the Mac.
That is file sharing per se, in that you need to share the directories from and to which you want to copy.

So enable file sharing on both and either share some existing directories or create transfer directories on each for the copying.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 20-Apr-14 17:49:46
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Re: Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
Yes, and you can't do that without setting up folder sharing in Windows.

Anyway that's besides the point, please try the steps I mentioned first. This could be quite drawn out if you don't really know what you want to achieve or even what you're looking for, but relying on Windows XP Workgroups is not advisable, it could be broken for any number of reasons.

Zen 8000 Pro
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 21-Apr-14 11:36:41
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Re: Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


[re: Pipexer] [link to this post]
 
I'm new to this particular aspect of home networking. Having read the various replies here, I've had a long think about it all and concluded - surprise, surprise - that I won't be able to do what I want without involving file/folder sharing. But it's the method for getting the sharing that's the tricky part. I think once I've cracked that, each computer will be able to see the other. There may be one or more security issues involved in this, though.

Meanwhile, I've found an article describing how to do this sort of sharing, albeit that it was written about four years ago and is nowhere near as straightforward as I was hoping. It appears that there are one or two different ways of getting the shared status, depending on exactly what you ultimately want to do. And you can set it up from either the Mac or the Windows PC.

What's concerned me, though, has been that, regardless of the method, what will happen is that, on the XP machine 'File & Printer Sharing' will get turned on. Now, I do vaguely recall that some years ago F&PS was globally regarded as a security risk; it could succumb, apparently, to probing or hacking from the Internet. I've therefore always had that turned off in the Properties of the Network Connection. Whether or not that vulnerability has since been stemmed by other features of Microsoft Networks (or specifically by an XP update) I've no idea, but in my mind it represents a bit of a concern. Incidentally, my XP has always been kept bang up to date and has been stable for several years. Being still a popular OS, I'd imagine that many of its users around the world will have used it in this or similar networking situations. However, I still have that nagging doubt about the F&PS vulnerability. Does it still exist?

I've actually now done a dummy run of setting up the sharing of a folder that sits on the XP machine (I'd want to transfer the picture files from that folder to the Mac). The path it led me down was to run the XP's Network Setup Wizard. This seemed a bit odd, as the network already exists. Anyway, it got to the point where it announced that it would, in the next step, turn on F&PS and I chickened out. Quitting the wizard and going back to the very start and selecting just plain vanilla file/folder sharing instead then got me simply a strong warning notice that this option wasn't recommended. I abandoned the exercise at that point.

So, the questions that come to mind are: (1) Does that F&PS vulnerability still exist? (2) Do I really need to run XP's Network Setup Wizard, given that the network already exists, or can I ignore running that wizard and instead safely opt for plain file/folder sharing instead. Does the wizard give anything extra, eg. in firewalling against external intrusion if F&PS is enabled?

Just to clarify: my understanding is that F&PS applies at both the LAN and Internet levels and that it's because of the latter of these two that it represents (or at one time, represented) a security risk. I've no need for 'remote sharing', only sharing within the LAN, so if I can get away with plain-and-simple file/folder sharing without needing to enable F&PS, that'd suit me fine. Or is that just a contradiction?!

Edited by meditator (Mon 21-Apr-14 11:47:18)

Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 21-Apr-14 12:35:51
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Re: Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by meditator:
(2) Do I really need to run XP's Network Setup Wizard, given that the network already exists
(2) No, Just turn on F&PS in the Properties of your Local Area Connection.

Only those folders you decide to share can be seen only from your LAN. Unless you are running some server, your PC does not have a visible external IP that can be accessed from outside.
F&PS applies at both the LAN and Internet levels
From where do you get that idea? When setting up sharing of a folder it says its for other users on your network.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 21-Apr-14 12:44:10
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Re: Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


[re: Pipexer] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Pipexer:
Can the mac access the PC via IP address and vice versa?
Access how?

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 21-Apr-14 13:44:15
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Re: Why can't my Mac and Windows PC see each other?


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
UNC path... ping... etc

Zen 8000 Pro
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