Trouble-free Mac-Windows Wireless File Sharing w/ Windows Live Sync

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by DrifterYank, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. DrifterYank macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #1
    I am on my second iMac since mid-September. Both were new and running Snow Leopard. I returned the first one as defective after a series of problems. These included being unable to share files over my wireless home network with my Windows XP Pro laptop.

    My second, current, iMac works fine. However, I am still unable to share files with my XP machine. Between the two iMacs, I have spent many hours with Apple Support and on my own over several weeks trying to get file sharing to work—all to no avail.

    Having given up, I decided to work out a system for transferring files between the iMac and XP machines regularly using a CD or flash drive. In the process, I started to explore syncing at the same time, and I came across Windows Live Sync. It is The Answer! Not only can I share files, it syncs them between machines. You can choose to sync either automatically or manually.

    You need a Microsoft Hotmail Account to use Windows Live Sync. But it, as well as Live Sync, is free. Just go to the Windows Live Sync Site . You need to download the software to each machine. The Windows machine has to be set up to allow remote access. I found this unnecessary on the iMac, however. Once opened the software will appear as an external drive on the Mac. You need to log into the Live Sync Site while the downloaded software is open and set up the folders that you want to sync. It works like a charm. Just remember to have the software open and be logged into the Live Sync Site on each machine when you want to sync.

    Originally, I was hoping that a future update to Snow Leopard would fix my file sharing problem. But, now I could care less. For me, the syncing capability is far superior to just having the ability to share files.

    I hope this is helpful to some others.
     
  2. hakuryuu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    Lomita, CA
    #2
    Are you not able to ping and/or connect via Finder > Go > Connect to Server? I am sure you've tried this but I just have to ask.

    I cannot see my mac/windows machine at home but I can do the above.

    At work everyone is connected to an Active Directory server and everything works just fine. My guess is most of this lies in a problem with the workgroup at home but I can't seem to get the machines to see each other. Oh well i've got a Mac Mini Server coming soon which will eventually end up as an open directory server at home once I am done with my certifications.
     
  3. DrifterYank thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #3
    File sharing

    Yes, I have been through all this. I can ping and I can see shared folders but I cannot access them. Firewall is off etc. Thanks for your interest.
     
  4. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

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    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I prefer Dropbox.

    I did look at the Microsoft option, but it looked like all their other stuff and their current interface annoys me for some reason.

    Anyway, whereabouts do you work in Microsoft?
     
  5. DrifterYank thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #5
    Microsoft Windows Live Sync

    I created this thread because I know there are lots of others having problems with file sharing, particularly since Snow Leopard was introduced. A local third-party Apple Support company that also does Windows support canceled an appointment to come to my home to try to get file sharing working after researching the many reported problems, especially with Snow Leopard. They postulated that in another 3-4 months Apple updates to Snow Leopard might correct the problem.

    Your Microsoft accusation is unwarranted. I have no connections to the computer or software industry beyond being a user. Windows Live Sync works. Beyond that, I could care less who makes and supports it. Hopefully, this solution will save others some of the time and effort I expended.

    If you like Dropbox, fine. Use it. I don’t know anything about Dropbox.
     
  6. bericd macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    #6
    I too have been using live sync for a while now. It is free compared to Dropbox (which is free for < 2 GB), and I use it to provide off-site backups for various relatives.

    I think typical fan-boys see the microsoft link and scoff at the idea. Live Sync is more responsive than iDisk and the library size isn't as limited, and did I say it's free?
     
  7. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    The comparison to Dropbox was actually not an accurate comparison which I will go on to explain.

    I'm not a fan anything. When I need to get something done, I use the tool that I find the best.

    Also, your comparison to Dropbox is wrong as well.

    Live sync actually just synchronises content between your hard disks. MS don't provide any 'cloud' storage unlike Dropbox or iDisk. So that also means that there is a limitation and that is your HDD space.

    Sharing anything public relies on leaving your computer on and you publish the file from your HDD. Not secure enough in my eyes. Plus I don't leave my computers on 24x7.

    As for cost, yes its free, because they are just really linking your computers together over the net, but free is always good and pretty rare these days.

    In comparison, Dropbox provides 'Cloud' space with public sharing for free and iDisk provide 10GB of storage, mail, calendar, contacts, photo/video hosting/sharing, web hosting and Find my iPhone. I don't mind paying for this as I use all features, however if you are going to use 1 or 2 features it might not be suitable for you.

    Also, both iDisk and Dropbox have an iPhone app which is good for me as I have an iPhone.

    And I have never had a problem with iDisk sync.

    What I do like about that client is that you can set pre-defined folders to sync and then not have to worry about putting files into certain places to make them appear elsewhere. The only downside for me is that most of my folders are a few gig in size and would take too long to sync over my extremely crap broadband connection with its terrible upload speed
     
  8. hakuryuu macrumors 6502

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    Lomita, CA
    #8
    iDisk provides 18.54GB on my end and I have absolutely no problems with it. It works as fast as my internet connection allows.

    For my money MobileMe is excellent, especially considering it syncs more than just typical data.
     

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  9. DrifterYank thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #9
    Windows Live Sync 1-month Update

    After using Windows Live Sync for one month, I remain completely satisfied with it for my purposes.

    Regarding comments about security, there is no reason to leave the computers on 24/7. And, there is no reason to make your selected folders public. Limit permissions to yourself. Log onto Live Sync when you want to sync the folders you have selected; log off the rest of the time.

    There are a zillion options for someone wanting cloud storage. I don't need Windows Live Sync for that.
     
  10. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    If it works for you then that is cool, it just wasn't for me.

    With regards to this comment tho

    Isn't this required to sync, as when I played around with it, it referenced the folders on the local machine with no indication of cloud storage. Therefore it looked like both computers had to be on 24/7 to actually sync.

    Is this not the case?
     
  11. DrifterYank thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #11
    Syncing with Windows Live Sync

    I use my new iMac most of the time. So, I don't care if it and my Windows laptop are both perfectly synced at all times.

    I log onto both (at the same time) a couple of times a week, sync (the folders on both computers are updated within a couple of minutes) and log off. There is no cloud storage. I don't log on again for several days until I want to update again.

    In the past, I have used Mozy for cloud storage when I wanted that. You can use 2GB for free. With two synced computers plus two backup drives I am no longer doing that, however. Technically, you should also have off-site copies but, at least for now, I am choosing to do without.
     
  12. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Cool, cheers for the clarification
     

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