Help with networking? I can't connect to a windows network

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by captainalex, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. captainalex macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2009
    I'm a mac noob. Actually I'm pretty technologically challenged full stop. But I got a mac about a month ago. There's not problem connecting to the internet, it picked it up straight away. However I live in a house full of windows computers which are all wirelessly networked. Sometimes I can connect to them (for no rhyme or reason) and sometimes I can't. I don't particularly care that I can't reach them but I need to be able to connect to my printer. I just plugged my printer straight in the USB and it worked so they're compatible.

    But my network and computers aren't in the side bar of the finder at the moment. I try clicking "go" and then "connect to server" but I have no idea what my server address is. Is it my IP address or what? as I said I'm technologically challenged.
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    It's the IP address of the computer you're trying to connect to.
  3. captainalex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2009
    I just tried that
    It says "Connection failed. the server may not exist or it is not operational at this time. Check the server name or IP address and your network connection and try again."

    The network still hasn't randomly showed up like it sometimes does.

    I thought macs were supposed to be easier!
  4. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    I have never been able to connect to the Windows laptops on my network either.
  5. zPolarBear macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2009

    You probably already have Samba enabled in your computer's Preferences.

    What I did not know is that I needed to use smb:// in front of the IP address of the Windoz machine I was trying to connect to.

    (Go->Connect to Server) smb://

    The printer is different. I had to get a Mac printer driver for the Mac and a Windoz driver for my dozers. (One HP USB printer attached to my wireless AirPort Express and one Brother printer attached wirelessly to my router.)
    Both work now...

    I had another ethernet switch with USB and it only worked with windoz drivers. I had another printer attached to my MacBook, but I did not want a lap top tethered to a printer, so I got the AirPort Express and everyone is happy. :)
  6. captainalex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2009
    Thank you so much! i tried smb and it worked! And I installed the driver and now the printer works as well. You seriously are my saviour.

    I don't know what you mean by Samba though? would that allow my macbook to pick up the signal by itself instead of me having to put in the IP address every time I wanted to print?
  7. Norouzi macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    If your Windows machines aren't showing up in the sidebar, you might need to set the Workgroup in the WINS settings. Open System Preferences then click on Network. Select your adapter on the left (if your wireless it'll be your Airport) then click the Advanced button. The 3rd tab over is WINS make sure the Workgroup is set to the same as your Windows machines. This is usually MSHOME or WORKGROUP. Once it's set to the same as your Windows machines they should show up in the sidebar and you can connect to them from there rather than by using Connect To.

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