Tutorial: Resolving problems with connecting to Windows servers/clients

Tutorial: Resolving problems with connecting to Windows servers/clients

Mac OS X was designed to integrate smoothly with predominately Windows or mixed platform networking environments. With the advent of Boot Camp, more Macs than ever are being forced into proximity with Windows servers and clients.

Problems do arise, however, when negotiating connections, sharing files and otherwise interacting with Windows systems. We've outlined some of the most prominent issues along with their associated fixes.

Error -36 Some users experience problems connecting to SMB shares -- especially for when on networks behind firewalls -- receiving the error message "-36."

If you are having the same issues, you may want to try the following procedure, which will allow UDP traffic:

  • Open System Preferences
  • Select the "Sharing" pane
  • Select the "Firewall" tab
  • Click the "Advanced..." button
  • Turn off the option to the "Block UDP traffic"

In other cases, this issue can be caused by the fact that the Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger) SMB client only uses encrypted passwords by default, and the Windows server only accepts plain text passwords, as described in Knowledge Base article #301580.

Connect to server via IP instead of through Finder navigation If you have problems connecting to a Windows server via the Finder (double-clicking on an icon), you may want to try connecting to the desired network volumes by typing IP address directly (as example sfp:// in "Server Address" field of the "Connect to Server" menu item under "Go" in the Finder.

Patience is key when connecting to shares Network Browse can sometimes be frustratingly slow -- requiring up to 60 seconds to display available volumes on the network.

Active Directory issues Most of the Active Directory issues in Mac OS X center around login and password problems --- either rejection of correct login information or unexpected logouts from the Windows (or Mac) Active Directory service.

Another issue affects Active Directory and all versions of Mac OS X 10.4.x, where when "bound" to a Windows domain, sending print jobs to connected printers fails. Printer Setup Utility shows all the available printers, but when sending a job, the user is given the error "unable to connect to SAMBA host, will retry in 60 seconds", along with "Connection failed with error "NT_STATUS_NO_MEMORY."

Unbinding then re-binding of client systems has been proven successful with some users.

Another fix involves deleting then re-adding the Active Directory domain in Directory Access (located in Applications/Utilities).

SMB printer issues In some cases, Windows printing via SMB may not function properly.

Adding an underscore (_) at the beginning of a printer's IP address can resolve the issue in some cases.

For instance, an IP printer configured to 123.456.789.012 is given a queue name of _123.456.789.012. Remove the printers on the Windows machine and re-add them with the new queue names. The Macs can still us the old queue names configured when you set up the printers initially on the server.

Another solution is as follows:

In Printer Setup Utility (located in Applications/Utilities), click the 'Add' button while holding down the option key - this will give you an extra printer option - 'Advanced'.

Set "Device" to "Windows Printer via SAMBA", "Printer Model" to the correct driver, and "Device URI" to the complete smb:// address of your printer, e.g.:

  • smb://user:password@WORKGROUP/HOST/PRINTER

Problems sharing iTunes music with PCs Some users experience issues streaming iTunes from Mac OS X systems to Windows PCs.

One potential fix for this problem involves opening a TCP/IP port using the shareware utility Brickhouse.

In particular, using Brickhouse to allow incoming/outgoing traffic on TCP port 3689 (iTunes Music Sharing port) has proven successful for some.

  • #301580
  • Brickhouse
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