using a pc as a server (storage) in home network

swindmill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
944
4
KY
I'm new to home networking, but I have figured out how to use my iMac G3 as a server. My regular computer is a powerbook. I have an old pc (windows 95) that I'd like to use as a server to store files on. Ideally, it will just sit on the floor with nothing attached and act as an electronic filing cabinet. I have it hooked into my router, and it can get online. I have enabled file sharing and windows sharing on both macs. My pc is not showing up in my Server menu on either Mac, nor are the macs showing up in the network neighborhood on the PC. What do I need to do in order to access the pc from my Macs?

Quick Update:

my macs are now showing up in the PC's network as MY-NAME_C. When I click on them, they ask for a password, but my OS X password does not work.

2nd update:

maybe I'll end up figuring most of this out by chance, but here's more:
I now have both macs showing up on the pc and both of the macs themselves. It appears they are showing up on the macs normally (file sharing) as well as in a workgroup folder. The PC is now showing up on the imac which is connected to the router via ethernet, but not on the powerbook, which has a wireless connection. As I type this I restarted the pc and now it is not showing up on the imac again. aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

[any guidance might save me from self destruction]
 

musicpyrite

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,639
0
Cape Cod
To access your Windows machine from your Mac, under the Finder, go to Go>Connect to Server (or command K) type in "smb://192.168.0.101/c" but make sure to replace the 192.168.0.101 with the IP address of your PC. To find the IP address of your PC, click Start>Run and type in 'command' then in the prompt, type 'ipconfig' and look for an IP address.

To access your Mac from your Windows Machine, click on Start>Run then type in '\\192.168.0.100\YOURNAME' and replace the YOURNAME with your short username, and replace the IP address with the IP address of your Mac. To find the IP address of your Mac, under the Finder, go to Apple>About this Mac>More Info, and when System Profiler opens, under Contents, select the Network, and look for you IP address in that window.

Edit: to access your Mac from your PC, you need to use your OS X password and username. To access your PC from your Mac, you need to use your windows password and username.
 
Comment

swindmill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
944
4
KY
I tried connecting that way and it said "1 or more items cannot be found". I guess that means the issue now is that my macs aren't recognizing my pc, or finding it. At one point, the pc was showing up in Networks in the finder of both macs, but after restarting the pc it is no longer there. I am trying to set it up so that it wil be a reliable place the store files, so I guess I need to figure out why the pc is not being found consistently.
 
Comment

musicpyrite

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,639
0
Cape Cod
When ever you cannot, for some reason, connect your Mac to your PC, open up the Termianl and type 'ping 192.168.0.101' and see if you Mac sees your PC on the network (don't forget to replace the IP with your PC's IP)

And do the same with your PC -> Mac problems, only using the DOS prompt.
 
Comment

swindmill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
944
4
KY
My powerbook is now seeing my pc. I was running virus protection and a software firewall on the pc, and had to disable both for the powerbook to see it. the imac still is not seeing it, and I can't begin to think why. I will try the reccomendation you provided above on the imac and see what happens.

update:

I ran the ping command and it came up with 56 data bytes. I don't understand how putting my IP address in the command tells me that the imac is seeing the pc. My IP address is same whether the pc is connected to the router or not. :confused:

[Do I need to set the pc to be my server?]
- I just connected it to the router, putting it in the network, but have done nothing to designate it as "the" server
 
Comment

ChrisBrightwell

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2004
2,294
0
Huntsville, AL
Go buy a basic networking book. Seriously. It sounds like you're almost shooting blindfolded and you're just confusing yourself.

Also, for what it's worth, ditch Windows 95. It's an atrocious OS and is no longer supported anywhere. Format and reinstall either Linux (which would be better suited for OS X) or Windows 2000, both of which are actually designed to serve in a server capacity.
 
Comment

slooksterPSV

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2004
3,283
128
Nowheresville
I hate to say this, but you'll have better luck with Linux like they said. Use Linux and share whatever you need. I share my Music drive on my XP Computer, but the problem is sometimes it won't show up, like I can't find the *server* or so its called (its actually the shared workgroup computer). So... I mean if you have Linux, that's more dedicated, so that would work better. If you are new to Linux, just go through a tutorial on another computer.
 
Comment

swindmill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
944
4
KY
I am most definately shooting blindfolded. I've been googling various networking phrases all day trying to figure things out. Just googled Linux and realize it's free. I guess should figure out how to do it now.
 
Comment

ChrisBrightwell

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2004
2,294
0
Huntsville, AL
swindmill said:
How much will it cost me to switch this old pc over to linux?
It can cost as little a few hours, but you're apparently pretty green as far as networking in concerned.

Go look at something like Linux for Dummies. Find and read the section describing how to setup a fileserver. If that doesn't help, try the next book.
 
Comment

kg9ov

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2005
73
0
In front of a computer...
As others have said, Win95 is very old and unsupported. It would be better to upgrade to something newer. But, I'll throw my two cents in anyway. Also, this is all from memory since I haven't used any Win9x stuff in a very long time...

When the Win95 box boots, do you get the username/password dialog or does it boot right to a desktop? If you get the username/password dialog, you must enter at least a username in it. If you hit <escape> or the Cancel button, the Windows file sharing will not work. I don't remember if this effects other systems on the network connecting to shares on the Win95 box.

When connecting to a share on the network, Win95 does not allow you to enter a username. It will only prompt for a password for the share. You must enter the correct username in the username/password dialog when you "log in". This username should be the username for your user account on your Mac.

-Tony
 
Comment

musicpyrite

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,639
0
Cape Cod
I'm not so sure about using Linux.... installing/configuring/mantaning a Linux server can be pretty complicated... but you could probably do it with a few good books.

swindmill said:
I ran the ping command and it came up with 56 data bytes. I don't understand how putting my IP address in the command tells me that the imac is seeing the pc. My IP address is same whether the pc is connected to the router or not. :confused:
The ping command will tell you weather or not the Mac and PC are capable of seeing each other, thus, able to network. If they don't see each other, sharing files might not be possible, or in most cases will require special configuration.

Also there is a difference between a internal IP and an external IP. You only have 1 external IP per ISP, and is just a random number assigned to you buy your ISP (sort of anyways, thats all you need to know for now). And you also have a LAN (local area network) IP, which distributes the IP amongst other computers in your house. Normally this number is a special number like 192.168.x.x, 127.0.0.1, or 10.0.1.1 for example. You always ant to work with your LAN IP when trying to create a LAN based network.

All this would be better explained in a networking book. I'm not so good with words. Try to upgrade to 2000 or XP if your machine can handle it, they are far easier to work with.

Check this thread by edisgnuk, it might reveal some useful information.
 
Comment

swindmill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
944
4
KY
Thanks for all the info. It seems like the consensus is to use something other than 95. For now, I have the workgroup set up and the macs recognize the pc, but only one at a time can see it. If the imac can see it, the powerbook can't. Then if I resart the imac, it will show up on the powerbook and not the imac. Once I get a newer OS, and everything is working, will it be possible to just leave the pc running, without a monitor, and use it as an e- filing cabinet?
 
Comment

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
Ditch Win95. It SUCKS.

If you want a true server, try FreeBSD. Might be a bit much for you, but hey-- Google is here to help.

Or Win2k would be nice if you don't care for FreeBSD but it costs some money....
 
Comment

swindmill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
944
4
KY
I actually have everything working as I want it to, now. Both macs recognize the pc and can load drives from it. I discovered how old the pc is, though, when I attempted to store my music library on it and wouldn't allow it, saying 'not enough free space'. I guess it will work for now, until I find something with more space and a newer OS.
 
Comment

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
swindmill said:
I discovered how old the pc is, though,
~cough~Windows Ninety-five~cough~

If you load a stripped down Win95 install onto it or a smaller OS then you might get some space... or even a LiveCD Linux distro and wipe out the hard drives.
 
Comment

dotdotdot

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
2,381
33
A suggestion,

LINUX: Linspire - it costs money but is the easiest linux for a windows user (never used it but my friend got a WalMart PC - no clue why - and it came with it) and it updates itself and it look good... it used to be called Lindows, like Linux Windows, but, well you know Microsoft, always suing...

Also, on the Mac OS if you want to use Windows 95, test an account called "Win95" or something and see if that connects - create a password for it and try to use the networking that way.

If you want Windows, get Windows 2000 Professional or Server or Windows XP Professional or Server... (Pro is cheaper in both cases) then look on Google for ways to disable Windows interface (so it looks like Windows 3.1 w/o colors which uses no resources basically) and install AntiVirus and Firewall and AntiSpyware, set it up to Automatically run at a certain time DAILY.

Put the internet into Windows XP and buy a wired/wireless router. Windows will automatically detect the router, just install drivers and it should work right off the bat.

Create a unique name but Don't encrypt the router! You need a password to access the files but dont encrypt the router - Macs dont like Windows with Encrypted routers just as the same goes for Windows. So, in Windows, make an Unsecured Wireless Network with a name of your choice, no spaces or caps or numbers or weird letters... (NOTE: When you become more experienced, then you can try to encrypt the router)

There shouldn't be a problem...

Hope this helps!

Keep in mind that an upgrade will run you very little...

If you go XP, don't get Home edition! It is the current equivelent of Windows ME, and XP Home is unsupported long before Pro...
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.