Networking Lion to machines with XP on them

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Makers, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Makers macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2011
    Greetings all, first time poster. I'm new to Mac. Bought a used 2008ish MacBook Pro a month or so ago, liked it so much, got a new iMac. This is a work related computer, and we have 4-6 PC's in the place that will need to get data that will be stored on my iMac. I have moved most all the files from my PC to my iMac, so file wise, I think we're all set.

    However, I can't get my iMac to be visible or accessible from any of the XP machines. I've searched most of the day for tutorials, etc and here's what I have tried with no success. Forgive me if I say some things the wrong way, I'm not up to speed on all my Mac terminology yet.

    I went into "Sharing" and turned on file sharing. I selected "Options" from there and clicked on the one that "makes it friendly for PC's". I added a folder to that, the one folder that contains all the files I want people to have access to. I gave "everyone" access to read & write.

    I went into Network Settings, Advanced, and went to the "WINS" area and gave it a work group name the same as the one used for all the PC's.

    When I go to a PC, running XP, and select "Network Locations", it'll display on the list and say I don't have authority to connect when I try to select it.

    With my Macbook Pro, I thought I just turned the thing on, and it seemed like everyone could see me and I could see them. With my iMac, I'm struggling.

    I'm dealing with graphics files, Illustrator, Photoshop, jpeg's, etc., and I just need the PC's to be able to access the files a create. And if I modify something at the PC level, and save it, I need it to save back at the original location, on my iMac.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    The issue's real simple, Macs are formatted in HFS+ and that filesystem is not supported on any XP system or any Windows system by default, which means you'll never see any of the Mac's shared folders, files and drives. By contrast Macs are capable of seeing XP machines because Macs can read/write to FAT32 volumes but only read from NTFS by default (but not write/delete).

    1 option is to purchase Macdrive software and install it on each of your XP machines. Macdrive allows Windows machines to see Mac content on HFS+ filesystems. You can then read/write/delete to an HFS+ partitioned hard drive.

    Another option is to use an external storage device and format it to FAT32 which both Macs and XP machines are able to see (read and write).
  3. Makers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2011
    Well, that was disappointing to hear, but not a huge deal. I went to a PC this morning and clicked on "Network Places", then on the "Microsoft Network" and it showed up. I clicked it, it asked for my name and password for the Mac, I entered that and then it showed up on the network for that PC.

    I opened files that were stored on my Mac, I saved a file from there back to my Mac, then opened it on my Mac. I then created something from scratch on the Mac, went to the PC, opened it right up fine. I made some changes, saved it, went back to the Mac and it opened fine with the changes.

    So is this normal or am I setting myself up for a huge mess at some later point?

    Sounds and looks like it's working beautifully to me, without having to buy anything or install anything on the PC's.

    Did I miss something?
  4. obdave macrumors member

    May 25, 2008
    Wait. Wrong. This is absolutely not true. I found this thread Googling for an issue I had with Lion, but I just could not let this misinformation pass. Mac's can mount Windows drives, and Windows machines can mount Mac drives, regardless of the underlying file systems involved. The networking protocols are not concerned at all with the underlying file systems. So a Mac can read and write files on a PC even if the PC's HD is formatted as NTFS, and a PC can read and write files on a Mac, even if the Mac's HD is HFS+.

    For example: a couple years ago I switched to Mac, and I now host all my work files on the Mac so that I can take advantage of Time Machine's hourly backups. I leave my iMac running all the time, and only boot up my XP machine occasionally, so I have the XP machine set up to map a Mac share at boot. Note that the underlying file system of this Mac share is HFS+. XP cannot read or write HFS+. But it doesn't need to. XP communicates with the Mac using SMB. The Mac's SMB protocol deals with reading and writing files, but the PC side does not see any of this.

    So for the past 18 months I've been doing this and it's great. I boot my XP machine when I need to, and I work on files that are hosted on the Mac, and they get backed up to Time Machine along with everything else. It's wonderful. Getting this to work reliably was complicated, and I documented how I did it here:

    The reason I found this thread today is that I upgraded to Lion and this mechanism no longer works. It appears that SMB is broken in Lion and I'm looking for a new way to map a Mac running Lion from XP. It does not appear that this is possible right now. In the meantime I've downgraded back to Snow Leopard.

    BTW, I looked at Macdrive, and it solves an entirely different problem. Macdrive appears to be a product which allows you to directly connect a Mac-formatted disk to a PC, which is not what the OP (or I) was trying to do.

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