Networking - Can't see PC's but PC's can see Mac? Tech Support very unhelpful...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by entatlrg, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #1
    Well after an hour and 20 minutes with Apple Tech Support I've run into a bump on the road with my beloved MacBook Air :(

    On the network I have an HP Desktop, an LG P300 and a Lenovo T500, and now my MacBook Air. All the PC's can see each other including the MacBook but the MacBook can't see them.

    After a grueling conversation first with a tech support newbie I had no luck, finally I was put through to an expert and I figured 'great, now I'll get the problem solved' ... not so, after doing all kinds of trial and error he thought maybe I should reinstall the OS, hell this is a new computer I'm not interested in hours on the phone and installing the OS ... I've done that enough with Windows ...

    So I politely told him we were getting nowhere with his advice and if it's this much trouble just to see PC's on my network maybe I better re-think this whole 'buy mac' idea, return the MBA before the return period is up and go PC shopping ...

    And that's where I'm at now, time to walk away from the mac for an hour, if anyone can give me some idea's that might help please do, I love this MBA the Support didn't go well at all ...
     
  2. belvdr macrumors 601

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #2
    Do you have the same workgroup/domain defined on each of the systems? Also, can you access them via IP (Finder -> Connect to -> smb://<windows IP>/<share>)?
     
  3. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    Jan 8, 2005
    #3
    Your return period is already up.

    What are you trying to access on the PCs?
     
  4. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #4
    How did you figure that out?
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    Pa
    #6
    It's a pity Apple couldn't tell me to do that when I spent a few hours on the phone with them too!

    And you don't google when you get a brand new mac and it doesn't work- you call Applecare.

    P.S. Why is GOOGLE in CAPS?
     
  7. belvdr macrumors 601

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  8. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

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    USA
    #8
    Well since you've already been working at this why don't you let us know what you have tried? Otherwise you'll get a bunch of people posting things you've already tried and it'll just take longer to get this resolved. Also, let us know your current settings for your network on your machines such as if you have sharing enabled. Most of troubleshooting is getting the information out there, otherwise it's just guessing.
     
  9. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #9
    Is the windows firewall turned on? Are they running Vista or XP?

    Can the mac ping the machines ip address?
     
  10. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    Jan 8, 2005
    #10
    He posted about getting his MBA in Jan.
     
  11. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #11
    Here's how I subscribed the problem to Tech Support >

    Update - Talking with Tech Support for the 3rd time now, he's telling me "PC and Mac don't always get along on a network, and that the 'only' way I wiil be able to connect to the PC's on the network is to enter their IP addresses manually ...

    Is that true? Each time you Mac users are on a network with a PC on it do you have to enter the IP address of the PC in your mac settings in order to be able to see and access the files?

    Shouldn't it be automatic?? I mean a $400 pc netbook here connects and see's all the pc's including my mac ... there HAS to be an easier way.

    I'm typing this while on hold to speak to a 'networking expert', this will be the third expert today...

    Here's how I described the problem to Apple Support ... I have a new Macbook Air, on the network is two other PC computers. The two Computers can see each other and the Mac on the Network, but my Mac cannot see them. In Finder, nothing shows up under "Shared".

    I am connected to the Internet no problem, it's that I can't see or access files on the other computers on the network.

    What surprises me most is no one has been able to help me when I called support, I've searched for hours online and spent over two hours on the phone and still no success.

    Now, if I type in the IP address of one of the computers on the network I can see the computer and some of it's folders, but when I restart the computer I have to manually enter the IP address again. This should not be necessary of course, the mac should join and show the computers on the network automatically. I have file sharing check marked and the settings are all correct as far as I can tell.

    I searched the internet and found this info on the Apple site here - http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1231, I followed those instructions and still no success.

    The Mac should see the PC computers on the network and allow me to access shared files without problem, it should automatic, even the $500 pc netbook I have here joins the network immediately and allows me to access the folders ...

    I'm stumped and I need help, we bought two 1.8 and one 1.6 mghz notebooks and an ACD monitor. In my office I have the 1.8 and 1.6 Mac Air and neither of them can connect or show the other computers on the network, I need a simple, quick solution, sure it's something I'm doing wrong, but what?
     
  12. belvdr macrumors 601

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #12
    It's good that you came back, but we need answers to the questions above.
     
  13. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #13
    The Final Verdict ...

    I spoke to the Networking Expert finally, he has concluded that my Macbook Air is sending and receiving the signal correctly therefore there is no more Apple Support can do for me.

    He suggested it has to be my router and for some reason the router isn't automatically broadcasting the signal to the pc to accept the mac signal and vice versa ... and therefore I should contact Linksys to see if they can help ... not likely it's one of the newer dual band routers, the best they currently offer ...

    I'm beyond stumped ...

    :(

    it's known issue is the last version of the OS - but the instructions at the link above didn't help ... looks like Steve doesn't like to play nice with Bill if you ask me.
     
  14. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #14
    windows firewall is off, file sharing on, running XP on both PC's, thanks
     
  15. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #15
    sorry for the multiple posts ... but I love my MBA and the ACD monitor, things were going great until I tried to access files on a PC...

    don't yell at me here, but.... what if I installed Vista on my Air via Bootcamp and partition the drive with a fair bit of space and spend 50% of my time in Windows, doing what I need to do via other PC's on the network etc.

    I've read many times don't buy a mac just to install Vista on it, but that's a better option to me than returning it I think ...

    I have the 1.8 / 128GB SSD model, it's plenty fast, anyone else out there running Windows on their Macbooks or mba's a lot?
     
  16. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #16
    There is nothing wrong with installing windows on your mac, i have a few times for gaming with mates.

    But there is no need to return it, because your mac cannot see the windows machines. You will have a configuration problem somewhere. (which is why your posting here asking for help) i would probably say a DNS problem. If DNS is working you should not have to type ips all the time.

    Does your link-sys router have some sort of DNS facility in there?
     
  17. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #17
    Here's what I'd do (if you're still interested).

    1. Download and install Bonjour networking on your wife's machine, and any other Windows machine with which you want to connect. http://support.apple.com/downloads/Bonjour_for_Windows (This will avoid messing with IP addresses)
    2. Find out the names of each of your Windows machines. Control Panel > System > Computer Name
    3. You need to make sure that ALL machines are part of the same workgroup. Make sure the Workgroup field is exactly the same for each machine.
    On Windows: Control Panel > System > Computer Name > Change
    On Mac: System Preferences > Network > [Select a connected interface] > Advanced... > WINS
    4. On your Mac. Open Finder > CMD+K > smb://<wife'scomputername>.local/
    5. Click Connect. You should see a list of shares. You might get prompted for a username/password. Enter your wife's username and password, the one that she uses on her Windows machine that you are connecting to.

    If that fails. Then try this:
    1. Open Finder > CMD + A > Utitlities > Terminal
    2. Type this: smbclient -L <wife'scomputername>
    3. Type this: smbclient -L <wife'scomputername>.local

    You might get prompted for a password, ignore it and press enter. Copy and paste into this thread everything that you see in the Terminal.
     
  18. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #18
    Thanks very much for the info in the last two posts, (and putting up with my venting), sometimes when I try and rationalize this venture into mac I get frustrated... pay a higher price for hardware and then time on phone with tech support and no success...

    Bear with me here though, I don't vent without reason, frankly the two posts above give me more to try than the Network Expert could suggest from Apple, plus (like a fool) I did what he suggested and re-installed the OS late last night, but, you may ask how did I do that without a dvd drive? ... well, I took the (external) dvd drive that came free with my wife's ($1300) LG P300 and plugged it into the usb drive of my Air and it worked ... if it hadn't of worked I'd be ordering a dvd drive from apple for $99 ... I realize I could use the drive in another computer ... but to install an OS?


    Anyway, I guess I'm a bugger for punishment, because still I don't want to return this MBA and my new ACD ... there must be a reason so many people buy it and stick with it ... I like typing on the MBA a lot, the ACD is nice to look at and hooks up nicely to the MBA I pay a premium price for that convenience, okay I'm willing to, but it's not too far in the back of my mind that for half the money I can get the LG P310 and everything is included and pretty much plug and play no matter how you look at it....

    The Air is a pleasure to use and work on, so I'm going to give it my best shot, time will tell.

    Thanks again for the tips above, I'm going to try them later today.
     
  19. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #19
    The main thing is to see if you can resolve those machines by name. If you can't there's no way to browse the PC by name either. So, you can always try in Finder -> Connect To -> smb://<ip of windows machine>/<share> to test that.
     
  20. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #20
    In my mind there is no question that your problem is resolvable. There's obviously nothing wrong with you wife's laptop or you MBA.
    Remember, it's important that you provide us with as much info as possible when working though your problems. Post screenshots if possible. Good luck.
     
  21. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #21
    I completely disagree. If Apple says it should work, and it doesn't work, it's defective, and should be returned. Either way, good luck getting it to work.
     
  22. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    Leeds, UK
    #22
    If only things were so black and white. Here's a list of issues that could affect the ability to connect to Windows shares:

    1. The router could be dropping samba traffic.
    2. The router could be faulty.
    3. The Mac might be on a different subnet and the router isn't providing the Mac with the correct routing.
    4. Window firewall could be dropping samba traffic
    5. Anti-virus could be dropping samba traffic.
    6. Windows registry could be partially hosed and the samba service might not be running.
    7. Windows registry could be partially hosed and the samba service might not be running properly.

    There's not a single thing that Apple can do to fix any of those.
     
  23. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #23
    stomer, your last post reminded me of a question to ask the OP, which would eliminate all but #3.

    OP: Can your PCs browse each other?

    EDIT: Nevermind, answered in original post. But it does eliminate everything but #3.
     
  24. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I wasn't necessarily referring to the OP's current problem. My point was to illustrate to thejadedmonkey that there can be many reasons why a particular network service might fail. As long as the vendor doesn't have a bug in that network service, then I don't see where the defect is.
     
  25. belvdr macrumors 601

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #25
    Agreed, but you jogged my memory bank... :)
     

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