Mac novice :-) Problem Directory Access when connecting Snow Leopard and Windows XP


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 6, 2010
Dear all,

I have recently bought a Mac Book Pro. This is my first experience with a modern computer from Apple and in very first contact with Mac OS "Snow Leopard".
I am trying to configure that Mac to share the resources of my Windows XP small network at home. For that I have followed several instructions I found published on the Internet by other Mac users who were trying to do exactly the same as I am trying to do.
Unfortunately I face a quite basic problem all the time: when I follow any of the posts/ instructions, sooner or later, I cannot move forward because I cannot find where exactly the DIRECTORY ACCESS (or any functionally equivalent configuration program like that) in Mac OS Snow Leopard is located.

For example here you are instructions I was trying to follow in order to synch Mac's and Windows "workgroup" :confused:

"(...) To configure a Macintosh OS X system's work group name to match Windows', navigate to the Applications folder within the Mac's Finder, open the Utilities folder, and double-click Directory Access. Click the lock and supply the Mac's Administrator password to enable changes. Select the SMB/CIFS entry and click the Configure button. In the resulting Directory Access window, supply the work group name you want the Macintosh system to use and click OK. (...)"

As I mention above, I could not find the "Directory Access" and as a consequence I had no chance to configure SMB/CIFS, which I understand from the posts I have read is the usual way to connect Mac's OS to Windows.

I would really appreciate if somebody would provide me instructions I could follow to configure Snow Leopard to connect with Windows XP.

Thanks a lot for your help
A Mac novice


macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
.. London ..
I think you're reading the wrong set of instructions. What you quoted is a pretty complicated procedure to join a Mac computer to a Windows Active Directory Domain, which is something you only find in medium to large companies / organisations with large, tightly controlled computer networks (I look after one of these at work).

Your small windows XP home network most definitely doesn't need anything resembling Directory Access.

It's been a long time since I last shared a file / folder between Windows XP and OSX on a small network, but I recall it was quite simple.

I'm guessing that the folder you want to share is on a Windows XP machine right? And that it is already shared, and the other XP machines are able to see it no problems? And that your OSX machine is connected to the same router as the XP machines? You've already done most of the hard work.

In OSX, open a Finder window. (same as Windows Explorer in Windows)

Press Apple-, (or File/Preferences) to get something like

You want to tick the boxes for Bonjour and Connected Servers. Hopefully, when you tick them and close the preferences window, your XP machines should start showing up. This may not work perfectly but should get you on the right road.

I got that image from which is worth a read.