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Sharing files between Mac and Windows Computers


I always wanted to access files in my Windows home network from my Mac (Lion OS).

It was always hard for me to transfer files between my windows machines and my mac, until I recently learned how we can connect Windows From Mac and connect Mac from Windows.

We need to use SMB (Server Message Block) protocol. SMB is a native sharing protocol for Microsoft Windows operating systems.

I am presenting here how I did connect my Windows network and Mac. I am presenting just the pulling (Read from) operation from both Windows and Mac, so that I can explain accessing Windows Files from Mac as well as accessing Mac files from Windows.

 

0. Prerequisites

You need to have a Mac machine connected to your home network, through modem or router.

Keep your windows machine or your windows network connected to your home network, through modem or router.

 

1. Access Windows files from Mac

I wanted to get some of the backed up files from my Windows server (\\Orion). So here is what I had to do.

Step 1: Prepare the folder in windows machine for sharing

1. Right click on the folder you want to share with Mac, select Properties.

2. Select the Sharing tab. Under the Sharing tab, under Network File and Folder Sharing group box, you can see the folder name and the sharing status.

Note: In the following screenshot you can see the Backup folder is having Shared as status; initially it would have Unshared as status.

Share Windows Folder

Note: This screenshot is taken in windows server 2008 R2. Look and feel might vary with other Windows operating systems.

3. Click on the Share button and add the user profile with who would have access for the shared folder. Note, this user profile’s credentials (user name and password) should be used in the following steps to connect the windows machine to Mac.

Share With User

Note: This screenshot is taken in windows server 2008 R2. Look and feel might vary with other Windows operating systems.

4. Select Share button on the file sharing window and select OK  on the properties window. Now you are ready to share your folder.

Step 2: Access shared folder from Mac

1. Select Finder in your Mac, to open finder’s default window.

2. Click on Go menu and select Connect to Server…

Screen Shot 2011-10-29 at 2.08.45 AM

3. This brings us the Connect to Server dialog box. In the Server Address text box, type the address of your computer using one of the following format.

smb://DNSname/sharename

smb://IPaddress/sharename

Screen Shot 2011-10-29 at 3.15.42 AM

4. Click on Connect button. This would present you a dialog box prompting you to enter the user name and password.

Screen Shot 2011-10-29 at 2.11.30 AM

4. Enter the user name and password. (The user name with which you shared the windows folder).

Note: I have presented my domain name along with the user name. I guess this is not required if you connect to a stand alone windows machine.

Screen Shot 2011-10-29 at 2.11.58 AM

5. Select Connect. Now the finder should present you the content of the folder being shared.

This way I got all my backup files from my windows machine.

 

2. Access Mac files from Windows

As a preparation for this blog I took screenshots in Mac. But the blog writer (I use Windows Live Writer) is in windows machine. So I had to transport all my screenshot files from Mac to windows. This how I transported them.

Step 1: Enable file sharing

1. Select the Apple menu and select System Preferences… (or select system preference from the dock)

2. Select Sharing under Internet & Wireless group. By default file sharing is turned off in Mac.

Sharing

3. Click on the Options… button. This would bring up a dialog box as below.

Screen Shot 2011-10-29 at 3.32.59 PM

4. Here select Share files and folders using SMB (Windows) check box.

5. Select the user account for which the file sharing to be enabled. This action might ask you to enter the password as well. Once the account is selected, click the Done button. Ensure that the file sharing is checked in the left hand side of the sharing preference dialog.

Screen Shot 2011-10-29 at 3.38.47 PM

Step 2: Prepare the folder in Mac for sharing

1. Group all the files to be shared in a folder.

2. Right click on the folder and select Get Info. This action opens a Info window of the folder to be shared.

3. In the dialog box, select the Shared folder check box. This action makes the folder shared folder your mac.

Screen Shot 2011-10-29 at 3.40.59 PM

4. We can confirm if the folder has been shared or not, by going back to System preferences and Sharing. You can see the folder being shared listed under shared folders list box.

Screen Shot 2011-10-29 at 3.45.42 PM

Note: Blog Screenshots is the folder I intend to share. Also note that the ip address of the mac system is provided in the same dialog box; this should be while accessing the shared folder from Windows OS.

 

Step 2: Access shared folder from Windows

Note: Following steps are based on Windows 7.

1. Select Start select Computer.

2. On the left pane right click on Computer and select Add a network location. Alternatively, you can press Alt+F to bring the File menu and select Add a network location.

Add network

3. Click Next on the first page of the wizard. It’s a welcome page for Add network location.

4. In the following screen, select Choose a custom network location and click Next.

5. On the Specify the location of your website page, you can directly provide the ip address in the form of \\Server\SharedFolder; or select Browse button.

image

6. Selecting browse would bring up a small dialog box Browsing For Folder.

image

7. Here select the name of the mac machine (In my case I chose MacBookPro-8E10). This would prompt for Mac book’s user name and password. Select the shared folder under the Mac machine and click OK on the browse dialog box.

8. Hit Next on the add network wizard. In the next page, provide your own name for the shared folder or leave it to the default and hit Next.

9. Select Finish on the confirmation page. This would bring you the shared folder under network places of your Windows Explorer.

So, finally doing all these I got my screenshots brought all the way from my mac book pro to the windows system. Here I am completing my blog page.

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One response to “Sharing files between Mac and Windows Computers

  1. bonus baccarat November 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    This has been an eye opener for me.

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