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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

syncing PC and MacBook

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Member Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posts: 3
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I recently bought a MacBook and love the thing. I have an older Dell laptop, the Inspirion 9300 model, which I still use for some programs. I've tried searching for a while now on how to sync them up, or be able to access each others files, but networking isn't my forte.

If anyone can provide some information, or even links to helpful sites it would be much appreciated

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Member Since: Aug 04, 2007
Posts: 258
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You need a cross over Ethernet cable to connect the PC and Mac.
On the mac you should enable Windows Sharing in the 'Sharing' preferences to allow the PC connect to the Mac or vice versa using the SMB protocol e.g.
\\MACNAME\sharename or SMB://pcname/sharename
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Member Since: Aug 12, 2007
Location: UK
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Mac Specs: Mac pro Quad Xeon; 15" Retina Macbook Pro; macbooks (family); Macbook pro 17"; intel & G4 iMacs.

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If the person writing the question knows little about networking then the last answer isn't going to mean a great deal.

How do you connect to the internet? Do you have a router?

If you have a router:

then the IP addresses will be set for both laptops using a process called DHCP. (the IP address is a unique set of numbers for your computer on the network) The IP addresses should be something LIKE and with the router using

You now need to enable sharing on them both

Mac - System preferences/ click windows sharing... click 'enable accounts' then click on an account and type in the password

You now need to put them into the same workgroup (preferably)

Mac - Open directory Access (in utils directory)... click SMB/CIFS and click 'configure' a window will appear. In the top box 'workgroup' type a name for your network such as HOMENET

Pc - Open system in control panel and system (slight variations from version to version) but find the tab "computer name". Then look for the button "Change", click this and enter a name for the computer then further down the window click the button next to workgroup and type the same workgroup in the box below then click OK and restart your computer.

If you do not have a router:

connect the computers NET / RJ45 / CAT5 sockets together with a "CROSS OVER" network cable....

then you need to manually configure the IP address of each machine (use the above numbers) - Use help on each machine or reply asking for further help.....

then set the workgroups as described above with suitable computer names.


Both computers should now be able to see each other on the network. To check this do the following:

Mac - Click finder, click Network and there should be a folder with the name of the workgroup we selected earlier. Double click this... You should now see the windows computer as an icon

PC - Click network neighbourhood or Network (depending on version) and you should see the Mac appear


PC - Make a folder called 'share' on drive C in the route directory. Right click it and select 'share..' - Now each version is different from here on so basically answer the questions on screen to allow other people read write access to the folder.

Mac - If you now double click on the Icon for the PC computer it will bring up the authenticate box. Select the share as above and click OK then type the password if you set one.

A new finder window will now appear with the PC folder in it and you can now save items into it from the mac and vice versa.

If you want the share to appear automatically when you turn on your computer and it is available go to Accounts within system preferences and click 'login items' then click on the right hand '+' and click on the share that appears in the top left pane then click 'ADD'

Hope this helps, if you need further help with specific bits just ask and i'm sure one of us will clarify it.

Experienced computer user, applications programmer and component level service engineer but came to the Apple platform with intro of intel!. Pro-photographer and director of electronics company.
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