Networking on Windows Workgroup

Discussion in 'macOS' started by yatman, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. yatman macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Sorry if this is a repeat guys but everything i've read is related to 10.4 or before and it appears there's some differences in menu options so I'm not putting two-and-two together.

    First I'm a newbie to the macworld. Just bought myself a new unibody macbook for x-mas.

    So the deal is I'm having trouble getting it to see and recognize my windows workgroup home network.

    I see tips on enabling windows networking or smb or other stuff but i can't seem to find those options in 10.5.5 (now updated to 10.5.6).

    Any help would be appreciated - if there's a manual or reference document specific to 10.5.5/.6 that's available, i'd appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Slowstick macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2008

    I have had some problems and may be able to help.

    Are you running XP or Vista on your Windows machine?
  3. yatman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Running vista

    Hi - I'm running Vista on my a desktop, vista on a laptop, and xp on another desktop. The Macbook Pro is running 10.5.6 and running vista via bootcamp.

    When i boot into vista on the Macbook, everything's rock n' roll. When I boot into OSX, I can't figure a darn thing out.
  4. Slowstick macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2008
    Try adding your OSX MBP laptop as a network shortcut on your Windows PC. The host name of your MBP can be found by going to System Preferences and then to sharing and the host name is found at the top of the window and usual ends in .local. See if it at least connects. Then let me know what happens!;)
  5. yatman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    I'll give that a shot and get back to you. Off to the gym right now - thanks for helping me out.

    Being new to OSX, I have no clue what I'm doing with this stuff. Vista and XP never gave me any trouble so I'm just used to plugging things in and seeing the network neighborhood and start sharing files.
  6. yatman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Ok - looked in the System Preferences/Sharing and saw that the laptop is named teesh-macbook.local.

    BUT when i look in System Preferences/Network/Advanced/WINS the netbios name is teesh_macbook.

    In Vista, I see a teesh_macbook but when I try to connect, I get an error "Windows cannot access \\teesh_macbook"
  7. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
  8. yatman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    having fun

    Well i am "having fun" cause this is the only way to learn things and really know how to do it. But it doesn't make it any less frustrating not figuring it out for sure.

    That being said, I have now noticed even more wierdness in osx. All of a sudden, it appears that I can see my XP and Vista desktop machines in the Shared listings. I Also see my teesh_macbook in the listings. BTW - the shared listings was completely gone before - couldn't see it.

    So when I click on the XP box it does open the shared folders on that machine and the same for the vista box.

    When I click on the teesh_macbook, I get a connection failed. The mac won't even connect to its own shares. I have the "File Sharing" and "DVD or CD Sharing" checked.
  9. yatman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    OK madog- after playing with your instructions, i managed to get the netbios settings done, got the sharing settings done and now I am able to manually go into IE on my pc and type in "\\\" in the browser line and have it actually open the share on the mac.

    It still doesn't show up in the network "neighborhood"

    So I manually mapped my "M" drive to the macbook's share from my vista box and it opens fine.

    Now if I can figure out how to get the security so that it allows me to read write but others to read only.

    I wish I could figure out why it's still not showing up in the network neighborhood. I guess it doesn't broadcast the same way a Windows box does.
  10. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    I mentioned the fun part because it really is not in any way shape or form...
    Some more info for you:


    Stacy Rothwell reports a problem connecting Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Macs to Windows servers. The problem occurs only when file sharing is turned on:

    After a clean install of 10.5 on my Mac Pro, I was able to connect to my Win 2003 Server twice before it would just time out. Now it always tells me the server isn't responding. I can reach it just fine (under my account) from other Windows PCs and, in fact, if I run Parallels under 10.5 I can, indeed, get to the Win 2003 Server via Parallels.

    The REALLY strange thing is in my home I have 5 Windows PCs and 2 Macs. One of the Windows PCs will automatically show up just fine under the new Finder but none of the others will. This Windows PC that shows up is no different than any other. It is on the same workgroup as all the others, etc.

    It turns out if file sharing on the Mac is turned OFF, then all my Windows PCs will show up and connect just fine under SHARED in the Finder.

    As soon as I turn on File Sharing, then it breaks. None of the Windows PCs will connect any more under their Windows names. Must go back to using IP addresses.

    If you turn file sharing off and then REBOOT, it all works normally again.


    Several readers wrote with workarounds for Mac OS X 10.5.0 problems accessing Windows files servers. Previously, we reported suggestions that turning off file sharing enabled Leopard to see Windows shares. Other readers offered other configuration changes.

    Gregg Guarnera offered an explanation as to why turning off file sharing works, and offered a file sharing tweak that does the trick:

    I was having this same problem after I installed Leopard. My Windows file shares would sometimes show up but not be accessible or would not show up at all. There seems to be a bug in Leopard where it has problems connecting to Samba (Windows) file shares if you are sharing your Mac files without using Samba. This is why turning off file sharing helps.

    The solution is to go to System Preferences | Sharing and select "File Sharing". If you have file sharing turned on click on the "Options..." button and make sure the option "Share files and folders using SMB" is checked. Click Done. That should do it.

    John Buchanan changed DHCP settings on his wireless router:

    I updated to Leopard from Tiger yesterday. With Tiger I could easily connect to my Windows computer either via Network in Finder or via Connect to Server. After the Leopard upgrade I could no longer connect, similar to other users posting reports to

    None of the suggestions at solved my problem. Then I started looking at the DHCP server settings on my Linksys WRT54G router, and saw that I had my fully qualified domain name in the Domain Name I tried changing this to my Windows workgroup name, then renewed my DHCP lease on my MacBook Pro, and voila, there was my Windows workstation (WinXP SP2).

    Shane Moore updated his previous report with this note on his success. He made changes to his passwords and fiddled with his wireless connection:

    I was able to connect to my Windows machines finally.

    1) Passwords can't have any special characters including "%,$,etc". Changing the passwords or escaping them before entering them into the smb:// password dialog helps.

    2) I had to make a new location for my wireless connection. Automatic would not allow me to properly change my workgroup. Duplicating automatic and naming it something, then changing the workgroup allowed me to see all machines on the network without a WINS server. This was not extremely reliable though. The machines would randomly disappear/appear from Finder.

    Note: See this article below for step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

    Kevin Wheeler changed his firewall settings:

    Like many of your readers, I "woke up" after installing Leopard to realize I couldn't access my shared Windows directories. On a hunch, I checked out my Firewall settings (Security > Firewall > Advanced) and turned "Enable Stealth Mode" off. Suddenly, there was a new entry for "SHARED" in my Finder pane and everything seemed fine again. I have no idea if this will be stable, as I just discovered this particular problem.


    As for the poster's complaints regarding WINS workgroup and Finder browsing, the options are still there in Leopard. You can configure the WINS information in System Preferences/Network/ Advanced/WINS section. Choose a workgroup, and choose a wins server if you have one on your network.

    The sidebar also has an "All..." option that should be the equivalent of Tiger's "Network" browsing option in the Finder. In my experience, network browsing has always been a little iffy. Its almost always been more reliable to access SMB servers through a command-K connect to server dialog, and then bookmark the server for easier access later. YMMV, but in the least Leopard doesn't downgrade anything in the SMB services area.


    from via via
  11. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    aaaaaaand some more....

    We've had one suggestion and lots of reports about the problem of Windows PC's no longer being able to access a Mac after an upgrade to Leopard. One reader is experiencing a loss of data.

    J. Jason Burford offered a configuration setting suggestion:

    I have found a way to make it work.

    Make sure you have the correct work group on the Mac. Under Network settings click Advanced; it is the WINS tab. It will not save in Automatic mode you must save a custom location.
    Enable SMB sharing.
    On the PC (XP) open settings, Accounts, on the upper left hand side is a link to Manage network passwords. Delete the ones that are not workings and re-add them. They are usually:
    "SMB MAC Name"
    XP user name\administrator


    Arvid Tomayko-Peters sent a revisal to his June 16 tip for enabling Windows to see Leopard file sharing (directly above). He adds one more setting change to his previous suggestion:

    Actually, what seems to have done the trick (in OS X 10.5.4) is to set not only the workgroup in the Network settings > Advanced > WINS tab, but also to enter a custom name for the Mac. It had a pre-generated seemingly random name, but it said that that name was already in use. So I just changed it to something else and set the workgroup to the one in the list and then my mac showed up in Windows XP sharing. I did also disable and re-enable the SMB sharing on each user account as I had done last time I had to do this (in 10.5.3), so I'm not sure whether or not that is also necessary to do.

    This tip is in response to reported problems with Windows PCs accessing Leopard shares. If you've tried this suggestion please let us know.

    Another workaround for Vista PC accessing Leopard file sharing

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    Brent Blumenstein offered another workaround for the problem of Windows PCs not being able to log into Leopard file sharing. (There is a previoulsy reported workaround here.) Here, Blumenstein is specifically talking about Vista:

    On an XP machine I can logon to a Leopard file share and access the shared files without issues using just a Leopard user name, and this is so whether the XP machine is a member of "workgroup" or some other name. But on the Vista machine a weird syntax is required, and this is true whether the Vista machine is a member of "workgroup" or some other work group name.

    Here is the Vista solution I found: When logging on to access the Leopard shares from Vista the user name must be in this form:


    NOTE: Capitalization of DOMAIN is essential!

    I do not think this has anything to do with the work group name. When I default everything in Leopard it shows up as a member of "workgroup" when viewed from the Windows side, so Leopard is apparently set up to use "workgroup" as the default work group name.

    The conclusion about naming work groups in peer-to-peer networking that I had come to even before starting to fiddle with Leopard (my first Mac experience BTW) is that being a member of the same named work group has been de-emphasized on the Windows side (if it ever was an issue): I can connect my XP and Vista computers easily whether they are a member of the same named work group or not. I am simply warned in the docs that discovery might take a little longer.

    So, where did the DOMAIN token as required when logging on from Vista come from? Is it Leopard requiring this, or is it Vista?

    Meanwhile, I am able to access my Leopard files from Vista (and XP) with approximately the same reliability I am able to share files among my Windows computers.

    Note that our Leopard Tips and Reports page has previously reported tip that differs from this one.

    If you've tried either of these suggestions please let us know.


    I'll stop posting info here, though some of that seemed hopefully relevant. All in all, keep checking out (I was on the Leopard Tips and Reports section found on the right side of site)
  12. yatman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005

    schnikies - that's gonna leave a mark!!!

    That's a lot of info madog. Crap. I'm better off booting into vista, copying what i need from the shared area to the vista partition and then rebooting into osx.

    Either that or get parallels/vmware or something. Don't want to buy software for just 1 thing like that (though vmware and parallels are relatively inexpensive).
  13. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    Flash Drive!

    Or, if you know someone going to college, see if their Comp/Book-store sell Mac software. Can get Fusion/Para for about $40.
  14. Slowstick macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2008
    Wouldn't Bonjour for Windows work? I have never used or tried Bonjour, but I hear that might do the trick. I might be wrong because, to tell you the truth, I have no idea what that is.
  15. yatman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005

    is apparantly an application that runs in the background in windows monitoring apple software for updates. It's installed when you install quicktime or iTunes.
  16. Slowstick macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2008
    According to Apple, Bonjour is:

    A zero-configuration networking, enables automatic discovery of computers, devices, and services on IP networks. Bonjour uses industry standard IP protocols to allow devices to automatically discover each other without the need to enter IP addresses or configure DNS servers.

    See this link yatman:

    That should work!
  17. yatman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005

    that is interesting.

    I'll have to play with that and see what I can figure out.

    Thanks for the info.

    I did manage to map a network drive to the mac share from my PC but I had to reference the mac by IP address not it's netbios name.
  18. Slowstick macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2008
    No problem and good luck. I am sure something will work. :)

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