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Mac / Windows connection with crossover cable

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Last Modified: 2013-11-12
I have a Dell Optiplex 745 running Windows Vista Ultimate and an iMac (Intel-based) running the latest version of Leopard. Apparently, I can connect the two computers directly with a crossover cable, and then use the Vista machine as a hard drive for the iMac. I must mention I have Parallels desktop running on the iMac and a copy of Vista running as a virtual machine, so I should be able to run the Dell software, etc. directly from Parallels on the iMac - right? I have connected the machines with a crossover cable, but I cannot locate the one on the other; the iMac does not "see" the Dell and vice versa. What am I doing wrong? Or waht should I do differently?
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Are both machines in the same workgroup and do they are they in the same IP range?  Normally such connections are made through a switch or router of some kind, but in theory the crossover cable should work.

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Sorry - in this, I am a novice. I don't know how to determine if the two machines are in the same workgroup or in the same IP range.
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Do either or both of these machines have access to the Internet through a router or some other device?  If they do, most likely an IP address has already been assigned.

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Yes - both have wireless access to the Internet through a router.
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If that's the case, then most likely they are already both on the same network segment.  On the Mac, go to the System Preferences in the Dock and select Security.  If the firewall is turned on, temporarily turn it off.  

Then go to Finder and choose applications, then Utilities, and then Network Utility.  The Info screen should show you the IP address of the mac. If it shows nothing, choose a different interface.  BTW...if you are connected wirelessly, there's no real reason to do the crossover cable unless you want to.

Then go to the PC and get a command prompt by clicking on Start and the Run and in the run box type CMD and press enter.  In the box that appears, type ping <ip address of the Mac> without the <>  (ping 192.168.2.1 for example).  You should get a reply from the Mac.

You can do the same in reverse.  Check to make sure that the Windows firewall is off, in the command prompt Window that you opened on the PC type ipconfig and press ENTER.  this will show you the IP address of your PC.  Back on the Mac, in the network utility application choose the Ping option and enter the IP address of the PC.  You should get a response from that as well.

Author

Commented:
Thanks - I'll try that this evening and get back to you.

Author

Commented:
OK - I was able to ping each computer from the other, following your very good instructions. Thank you for that.

Now - how do I "see" one computer from the other - how do I connect to my Dell from the Mac so that I can control the Dell's hard drive?
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Good at least you know that you have connectivity between the two.

Things ought to work by name and you should be able to see each other in the network neighborhood of the PC and in the Mac as well...but sometimes that depends on how the name resolution happens within the router.

So, for the moment, lets assume that we need to do this by IP address.  You have to have some share on your PC.  In the domain level world, the C: drive has a built in share called C$, but I'm not sure that's available if your not living in that world.  So try this.  Go to the PC and open My Computer and right-click on the C: drive and choose sharing and security.  On the Sharing tab, create a share called C.  Check the permissions, but I think that the Everyone group is given all rights.  You might not want this in the end, but it's a good place to start.  OK the window shut and a hand should appear under the C: disk icon.  Your experience with sharing a folder or file in Windows will vary depending on how Windows has been configured.  I'm attaching a link that will give a fuller explantion.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304040

Now go the Mac and open Finder and at the top choose the Go menu. Then choose Connect to server.  In the Server address line enter SMB://PC_IP_ADDRESS/C.

When you click on Connect, a Finder window should open with the C: drive items.  Your access to this will depend partly on how you've done the sharing... make sure to read the above article.

There are some articles posted here about issues that some users have had using SMB to communicate with a PC.  A better solution seems to be using AFP, but I don't believe that's supported on XP...think you have to go to 2003 to have that option.  I've used it and so far have not had any issues.  If I can find some of the threads I'll post them here.

Author

Commented:
Thanks again for your detailed and very helpful response. I shall try all of this this evening, when I back at home again.

By the way - I don't have XP on my PC - I have Vista. So perhaps AFP could work? (Not that I have any idea what SMB and AFP mean, except that they are probaby some kind of file-sharing protocol.)

I'll read the above article, and I will see what I can find out about SMB and AFP.
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