OS X to Vista networking help needed

Anyone know of any good resources for networking a Mac (running OS X) and a PC (running Vista) on a peer-to-peer lan network?

I’m asking because I have a 4.75gb file on my Vista machine which I want to transfer to the Mac and it is too big to burn to DVD.

I have turned on File Sharing for Windows on the Mac but although the two machines are on the same subnet (192.168.2.x), and both can ping the router ( neither can ping the other!

I have tried both wireless and wired networks, to no avail!

19 thoughts on “OS X to Vista networking help needed”

  1. I don’t think so Twenty.

    If only because I just copied another file (a smaller version of the 4.75gb one) onto a dvd and when I drop the dvd into the Mac, the Mac says it is blank!

    I didn’t try viewing the dvd in Parallels though – good thinking Twenty!

    Back in a mo!

  2. You could always FTP them over. Turn on FTP service on Vista and ensure port 21 is not blocked by Vista’s firewall. I think ICMP is blocked by default hence cannot ping.

    If you’re using Parallels, why not config virtual machine settings for shared folder and drag-drop files between OSes – it’s in Parallels manual. Similiar to VMware.

  3. Ok,

    cool – Parallels can see the DVD burned by Vista (but the Mac can’t – weird!).

    Now I have a lower quality copy of the file on the Mac.

    I’d still like to find a way to network them though. It seems crazy that I can’t.

  4. Sounds very odd Tom. I have a hybrid Windows/Mac network at home and although I sometimes have name resolution issues there’s never a problem pinging machines based on IP address. Does the ping on IP fail or is it just a $ping machine-name that fails. If it’s the latter then you should at the very least be able to open a writable share on your Vista box and then instead of looking in the network area of Finder go to Finder–>Go–>Conect to Server, enter smb://ip-address in the connection text box, hit connect and it should present you with a list of available shares from that machine. If you can’t ping the machines on IP address then it may suggest something a little more sinister. 😕

  5. Pings are probably stopped by the host firewalls.
    Turn off any windows or MAC firewalls.. Check the arp tables, even if ping isn’t working you should see an entry in the arp table.
    Use the command arp -a to show entries in the arp tables on the 2 hosts this means they physically know how to get to each other. then make sure you’ve file sharing turned on.

    Alternatively boot the MAC in target disk mode and connect via firewire to the PC as an external drive.

    Just my 2 bits, networks are my thing, macs I’m just learning!!

  6. Wow!

    Thanks for all the help guys!

    @Conor it is two separate machines. FTP is failing to work for me, won’t connect. Trying the Lifehacker article now.

    @Jonathan, are your Windows machines Vista? Seemingly that makes a big difference because of the newly written tcp/ip stack.
    I am trying to ping and connect by ip address.

    @Branedy I may have to go this route. I have a La Cie external drive but the Vista machine can’t/won’t see it!!!

  7. @Tis Me – I know this is stupid but I am slow to turn off firewalls.

    @Shane – I wasn’t familiar with Hamachi but I use FolderShare from time to time. However, moving a 4.5gb file out to the Internet and back again would have taken days, I suspect!

    @Dáithí – thanks a million. I had gone through the procedure outlined in that article last night but couldn’t get it to work. Today though I tried a slight deviation from article and I’m connected – wohoo!

  8. Tom, Hamachi only uses the server to setup the connection between peers then all file transfers are direct.

  9. Hi Tom,

    My Windows boxes machines aren’t actually Vista-based, still refusing to move from XP. I had forgot about the stack rewrite and stupidly assumed that basic networking would still function. 🙂 Looks like Vista is playing silly beggers alright. Another thing you could try out of curiousity is to put a web server (Apache or IIS if you already have it installed) on the Vista machine and see if port 80 traffic in the “local area network” is blocked aswell as ping traffic. If not then there’s one solution and perhaps points the finger at an over-zealous firewall on the Vista box.

    Best of luck.

  10. @Shane – ah, apologies – I mis-understood. Thanks for clarifying that for me. I’ll have another look at it then.

  11. You could try a telnet to the Vista machine on port 139: telnet 192.168.2.X 139 if the connection attempt seems to hang then it is likely to be a firewall issue.

  12. Tom,

    If you’re that worried about the firewalls, disconnect from internet first then try with firewalls off. 90% chance that the issue with conection is because of firewalls. Are you seeing an arp entry for the hosts? Like if you ping MAC from PC and PC from MAC, then on windows command prompt, type arp -a and you should see an arp entry for the MAC and do the same from the terminal program in MAC to see arp entries.

    C:\>arp -a

    Interface: — 0x2
    Internet Address Physical Address Type e0-a0-0c-07-ac-08 dynamic

    This will at the very least tell you if the machines can see each other at layer 2.

    To get windows to see the LaCie drive use MAcdrive http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive6/
    The demo is fully functional for a few days, I used this recently to transfer date from PC to LaCie and then onto MAC.

    Good Luck!

Comments are closed.