View Full Version : Networking a mac to a PC

8th March 2005, 01:14 PM
I've never networked two computers but thought I'd give it go on the weekend and found out how bloody frustrating it can be! :angry: Tried to connect my powerbook 1.5ghz to a P4 running XP home and couldn't get them to recognize each other. They wouldn't automatically detect so I typed in all the information ie. ip addresses ect. and still they wont recgnise each other. Do I need an ethernet hub just to connect a mac and pc together? I just borrowed a blue ethernet cable from work- are there different types and I have the wrong one? Also I would like to share the internet connection on my PC with my mac- Is this just as painful as trying to network them to each other?

Any help would be muchly appreciated before I kill my PC. (I wouldn't kill my mac- I love it too much :) )


8th March 2005, 02:10 PM
just quickly pull up the terminal and see if you can ping the other machine ie


if it says:
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.119 ms

or something, there is a link there, and the computers are talking.

The thing about networking, is there are layers of networking, and jsut because you set up to machines and they can talk to each other doesn't mean you can access files etc.

There is a good write up that describes exactly what you want to do on apple's site somewhere. dont ask me where...

8th March 2005, 02:35 PM
First thing, you need to find out if that cable you took from work is a "Crossover" cable or not. I would assume it's not, therefore, you can't use that cable to network without it going into a switch/hub.

From there, it shouldn't be a problem. I have two machines XP Pro and new iMac and I had no issues at all getting them working.

First, I setup the shares on the XP box and I also created a username for my mac (not necessary).

Then, Press :cmd: K to launch the Connect to Server window

Type in the IP Address of your XP machine here.

NB: Please note both machines have to be on the same subnet

To find out the IP Address of your XP machine,

1) Open a Command Prompt
2) Type ipconfig

Once you have connected, you should have a dropdown combo listing the shares that are available, click OK and then you should have mounted on your Mac desktop the Windows share.

From XP to Mac ...

Click the Start button, then Search ... for Computers

Type the name of your Mac machine (or part of it's name)

It should then appear in the list, double click on it and you should be prompted with a password. Enter your username and password and then you should be connected to the Home directory of that user.

Things to look out for ...
+ On your XP machine, make sure you don't have a firewall on (unless XP is your Internet connection, then DON'T TURN IT OFF)
+ Try the ping method as Jimbo suggests above. If you can't ping either machine, something is blocking them or there is no physical connection.

8th March 2005, 05:23 PM
Just to add to sikosis' excellent instructions, this is the server address to my XP machine:


Yours should be something similar.

Also there is are some excellent instructions on how to network to a windows machine in OS X help, the topic is "Connecting to Windows computers and servers from your Mac"


10th March 2005, 11:44 AM
Thanks for the help guys. Realised that I have a blue ethernet cable so it's only one way- Will go to Disc Shop this weekend and grab a router if they're not too expensive or maybe just a two way ethernet cable.

Just another quick question. What's the difference between a router, switch and hub?



10th March 2005, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by 78LUK@Mar 10 2005, 11:44 AM
Just another quick question. What's the difference between a router, switch and hub?

Just a quick answer... www.google.com.au


10th March 2005, 12:41 PM
Oooh, I know the answer to this! :)

(And I've got nothing else to do at work at the moment!)

Hub: Plug each 'puter into the hub using a straight through cable. Turn 'em all on (that helps a lot, I discovered). When one computer sends a message to another computer, it sends the message to the hub, and the hub indiscriminantly sprays that message out to everyone. Whoever is supposed to get the message can take it and do stuff with it; all the others ignore it. Very inefficient way of doing business.

Switch: A deluxe hub. Everything is the same as the hub, except that the switch doesn't spray stuff. It's smart enough to know who is living where, and sends messages to the correct recipient only.

Router: Smart switch. Take everything that a switch does (smart packet forwarding), and add network management functions like DHCP, MAC address filtering, then add a second physical network connection to allow a router to connect to a totally different network. Wait, that's all jargon.

A router can connect to two (or more) different networks, and manage communications between them. Routers can typically provide management functions for the individual networks, such as filtering out specific 'puters, or assigning network addresses to computers when they connect in. Routers can also provide management functions between the networks, such as opening ports to allow specific data to pass between the networks, and firewalls to block junk or miscreant data.

A good example of a router is to connect all your home 'puters to it, creating a LAN, and then connecting your internet to the routers second network connection, allowing the LAN to share the internet connection, without relying on any single 'puter to share it out.

10th March 2005, 01:40 PM
This thread is pushing me to try stretch my boundaries...
I have 4 macs networked and a P4 tagging along - it gets access to the internet through the hub. Believe it or not when I want to test stuff on the PC I copy it to my thumb drive and walk it over.
I haven't tried to see the PC yet - I was worried that if I let it into the inner circle I might have security issues... Yes I'm ignorant - and did look on google and... the mind boggles.

I don't know much about PC's - like do they now come standard with networking ability?
But before I try this out - are there any security issues?

Thanks IO - now I know...
What's the difference between Hubs, Switches and Routers

oh.... the folding tongue beat me to it...

2nd April 2005, 02:09 PM
Oke Doke.
I have bought a yellow ethernet cable and have set up a connection. I can ping each computer. However the drives don't show up on either the mac or pc and I still can't access the internet on my mac. I have turned file and internet sharing on both mac and pc and have turned all firewalls off and they still don't recognise each other.

I have gone through all of the Mac help files on networking and searched on the net and as far as I know it should be working.

Please help before I pull my hair out.



2nd April 2005, 03:38 PM
this is so easy.windows xp is so great with networking!you don't need a crossover cable here is what you do!go to "my network connections" ok now.to share a connection the easyist way is to, click on "setup home or office network" in the network tasks tab.
then follow the wizard.click on the frist radio button on the connection method step.and follow the rest of the wizard, and in no time you will have your mac on a shared connection!your welcome.

2nd April 2005, 03:43 PM
oh yeah and return the router,switch,hub ex!

2nd April 2005, 09:52 PM
In the XP network connection wizard I get to the stage where it asks to create a network floppy disk to install on other computers. I tried putting it onto my mac but it wanted to start up virtual pc on the mac. What I should I do here?



2nd April 2005, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by sikosis@Mar 8 2005, 02:35 PM
First thing, you need to find out if that cable you took from work is a "Crossover" cable or not. I would assume it's not, therefore, you can't use that cable to network without it going into a switch/hub.

Aren't powerbooks autonegotiate?

2nd April 2005, 10:30 PM
you needa hub if you want to connecting anything.

how are you connecting the computers?

quite easy. You do nothing on the mac end. Just run the network wizard on windows XP and once its done restart and your powerbook will detect it. If you have done this before and it still doesn't work just run the network wizard again with a computer different name.

I've had problems too but remember its never the mac, its the PC. PCs are awful when it comes to detecting networks even to other windows machines.

You must run network wizard! and restart!

BTW YOU NEVER need to run that network set up. Thats only for windows machines. Macs are smart enough to auto detect. Just make sure you have runned windows network wizard on the PC and restarted! You must restart.

As i said before if it doesn't work do it again with a different name

2nd April 2005, 10:44 PM
Aren't powerbooks autonegotiate?

I believe they are, so any network cable will actually do :P

3rd April 2005, 03:32 PM
you don't need the floopy chose the ohter radio button silly! :lol: