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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Mac not getting along with Windows PC on network


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Lastmboy

 
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Member Since: Apr 07, 2012
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
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I had a home network with one iMac and two Windows PC's. Frustration with one of the PC's had led me to donate it to charity and I now have an iMac, a 2009 Mac Pro, and an older Mac Mini, along with the remaing Windows pc.

I continually have/had problems accessing shares on the Windows PC(s) from the iMac. It will work fine for a couple of days with no problems. Then suddenly it will unmount the shares. If I try to re-connect, I get the "There was a problem connecting to server..." error message. The other pc could still access it fine. Media boxes could still access it fine. But nothing short of rebooting both the iMac and the PC would get them talking together again. Then after a day or two, back to the same error message.

Now I'm getting the message when the iMac tries to access the remaining Windows pc. It can see every machine on the network no problem. If I open the Windows pc in finder, it says "Connection failed" at the top. If I click on "Connect", it pauses for a few seconds, then comes back with "There was a problem connecting to server...".

I'm pulling my hair out trying to figure out what is causing this issue. I know the settings are correct, because it will share files perfectly fine for a day or two at a time. Anyone have any theories. I can provide more details, if needed.

Thanks.

27" iMac 3.4GHz I7, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, iPad Air, iPhone 5S, Apple TV (3rd generation), iPod Classic
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MacsWork

 
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I prefer to use Automator actions to connect Macs to PCs.

There is more configuration upfront, but in the end it's more reliable and easier to troubleshoot.

Since you probably have no internal DNS and are relying on broadcast discovery I would have the PC IP statically assigned versus dynamic, therefore you can always access it via IP address. If you want to get fancy, once you assign a static IP to the PC you can add that to the local hosts file on the Macs to continue using the PC name for connecting.

Another caveat would be the local user on the PC that you are authenticating with. Be sure it has a password.

Once the PC is configured with a static IP, (preferably something outside the DHCP scope of your existing network) then you can use Automator to create the on demand connection.

Under the Files and Folders library in Automator use the "Get Specified Servers" and "Connect to Servers" options to specify your connection.

eg

smb://192.168.1.200/share

Or if you created hosts entries

smb://pcname/share

When you click the Run button in Automator you may be prompted for credentials unless you've previously saved them in your keychain. The username should be entered as pcname\username and the password for the PC user.

This should mount the network share as you'd expect.

You can then save the Automator action as a self contained Application and run it at will, or even at logon.
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Lastmboy

 
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Member Since: Apr 07, 2012
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacsWork View Post
I prefer to use Automator actions to connect Macs to PCs.

There is more configuration upfront, but in the end it's more reliable and easier to troubleshoot.

Since you probably have no internal DNS and are relying on broadcast discovery I would have the PC IP statically assigned versus dynamic, therefore you can always access it via IP address. If you want to get fancy, once you assign a static IP to the PC you can add that to the local hosts file on the Macs to continue using the PC name for connecting.

Another caveat would be the local user on the PC that you are authenticating with. Be sure it has a password.

Once the PC is configured with a static IP, (preferably something outside the DHCP scope of your existing network) then you can use Automator to create the on demand connection.

Under the Files and Folders library in Automator use the "Get Specified Servers" and "Connect to Servers" options to specify your connection.

eg

smb://192.168.1.200/share

Or if you created hosts entries

smb://pcname/share

When you click the Run button in Automator you may be prompted for credentials unless you've previously saved them in your keychain. The username should be entered as pcname\username and the password for the PC user.

This should mount the network share as you'd expect.

You can then save the Automator action as a self contained Application and run it at will, or even at logon.
Thanks for the informative reply. I am actually using Automator to mount my shares at bootup. I had actually figured that out on my own . However, they're subject to the same issue. Sometimes they work, and sometimes not. I have the hosts file set to point to the addresses as well. Every computer on my network has a single account on it, with the same username and password, so that's not usually an issue. However, I did NOT think to pick an IP address outside of my DHCP scope. I'll have to give that a try. Thanks.

27" iMac 3.4GHz I7, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, iPad Air, iPhone 5S, Apple TV (3rd generation), iPod Classic
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