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Windows 7: W7 Ultimate 64-bit definite issue networking with Mac OS X - detailed


21 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
W7 Ultimate 64-bit definite issue networking with Mac OS X - detailed

Folks,
I have been trying for months to get my Macbook talking to my Windows 7 workstation. Finally today I devoted some proper time to gather some significant evidence, in the hope that someone smart out there can help as I am sick to the back teeth with this problem!!!
Below I have written a long narrative of what works and what doesn’t, if anyone is genuinely interested in this topic then a) I hope the below is interesting and helpful for you, and b) in return I hope you can help me solve it before one or the other machines goes through the window.
Thanks in advance,
Alastair

CONCLUSIONS
 There appears to be a fundamental compatibility problem between Mac OS X and Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.

 The problem actually appears to have a degree of randomness / instability about it (see below when, during diagnostics, the workstation actually disappeared, then reappeared!).

 I can only presume this issue relates in some way to the “enhancements” either related to Ultimate versus Professional, or to 64-bit versus 32-bit variants.

 At the moment there is only one solution I am confident would work, which is to revert my workstation to 32-bit… however this is not an option for me as it would render around 21GB of RAM unusable and remove the whole raison-d’etre for purchasing a powerful workstation in the first place.

 I am therefore stuck and in need of help!

PRECONDITIONS
a) In all cases I am using connectivity between three different PCs and a Macbook Pro 2.53GHz Intel Core Duo, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X running version 10.7 (Lion). BTW I know Lion is new but it was exactly the same with 10.6.

b) I have three PCs: an XP Pro machine, a Windows 7 Pro 32bit machine and a Windows 7 Ult 64bit machine.

c) All three PCs are running the same antivirus and firewall (Norton Internet Security 2011), this was left ON for all tests on all machines.

d) I have already been through all the myriad of advise on this subject: as you can see from the below, file sharing etc has all been enabled. The “secpol” changes etc have also been made on the Windows 7 Ult 64bit machine only (but these were only made because it didn’t work without the changes and everyone seemed to think this was needed).

e) All my Windows computers are configured to workgroup “WILF” and also set this Workgroup name on the Mac in the WINS settings dialogue. No homegroup exists on the network.

f) No other “tinkering” has taken place. Although I have some tech skills, I am just a bloke who wants to use his computers, not a computer genius. As such the Tosh laptop is pretty much fresh out of the box, the Mac has nothing non-standard and the only setting change is the WINS setting for the Workgroup name. The workstation is a little over a year old so but I have not poked around with anything deep inside it, so if there is anything wrong it should be superficial – the kind of thing a basic user could have changed by mistake and can easily be changed back.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS
1. Connecting between Macbook and old Windows XP machine (XP Pro 2002 SP3):

- Open ‘Finder’ on Mac, PC immediately visible under ‘Shared’.

- From Mac: Single click on PC icon indicated “Connecting” then “Connect as Guest”, opens a list of all shared and public folders. Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.

- From PC: Opening “My Network Places” and clicking on “View Workgroup Computers” shows all my networked computers including the Mac, double-clicking the Macbook icon opens a list of all shared and public folders. Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.

- In short: this appears to work as it should.

2. Connecting between Macbook and new Windows 7 machine (Windows 7 Pro 32-bit 2009 edition, Tosh laptop w/ Intel Core i7 M620 @ 2.67GHz, 4GB RAM):

- Open ‘Finder’ on Mac, PC immediately visible under ‘Shared’.

- From Mac: Single click on PC icon indicated “Connecting” then “Connect as Guest”, opens a list of all shared and public folders. Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.

- From PC: Opening “Windows Explorer” and single-clicking on “Network” shows all my networked computers including the Mac. This time I decided to try logging into the Mac drives as me, rather than as a guest:
o Double-clicking the Mac icon opens up the ID / Password dialogue box.
o Inputting my correct username and password for the Mac immediately opened up all the folders on the Mac I have access to (the shared / public folders but also the folders for my login account on the Mac).
o Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.

- In short: this appears to work as it should.

3. Connecting between Macbook and fairly new Windows 7 workstation (Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 2009 edition SP1, Supermicro workstation w/ 2 x Intel Xeon W5590 @ 3.33GHz, 24GB RAM):

- Open ‘Finder’ on Mac, PC WAS INITALLY immediately visible under ‘Shared’… however while carrying out the testing for the XP machine and the laptop, it has disappeared! The other two machines remain visible.

STOP PRESS: It reappeared… for how long, is anyone’s guess…

- From Mac: A single click on PC icon almost instantaneously indicates “Connection Failed”. Repeated attempts produce the exact same result. To verify the basics some elementary diagnostics:
o Mac IP address 192.168.0.11 can be successfully pinged from the PC.
o PC IP address 192.168.0.3 can be successfully pinged from the Mac.
o From PC entering comment “ping MACBOOKPRO-598A” (the latter being the computer name of my Macbook) works successfully i.e. name resolved OK, no packet loss, 1ms round trip.
o From Mac unable to run the reciprocal ping test for EITHER PC since I don’t know what to put into Ping to allow it to resolve the computer names.
o However I note that all 3 Windows machines remain visible in the Finder, only the two which work (the XP machine and the Windows 7 32bit laptop) have the “Eject” symbol next to them and they are still the only two which work both ways without problem.
o In the Finder window after clicking on the PC icon in the left column, I get another instance of this icon in the next column with “Connect As” underneath and presently “Connection Failed”. If I click on “Connect As” I receive the error “There was a problem connecting to the server ‘alastair-ws’ (which is the PC name of the workstation).
o Finally if I use the GO -> Connect to Server option in Finder, using SMB://alastair-ws I receive the same error as above. I get EXACTLY the same error if I use the IP address of the workstation 192.168.0.3 as above.

- From PC: Opening “Windows Explorer” and single-clicking on “Network” shows all my networked computers including the Mac. Again I decided to try logging into the Mac drives as me, rather than as a guest:
o Double-clicking the Mac icon opens up the ID / Password dialogue box.
o Inputting my correct username and password for the Mac immediately opened up all the folders on the Mac I have access to (the shared / public folders but also the folders for my login account on the Mac).
o Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, although naturally not the other way around.

- Therefore the PC-to-Mac seems to work OK, but the Mac-to-PC does not no matter what I try, although the IP is visible and it’s clear the connectivity exists (or Mac copy onto PC would also not work).
[END]

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 W7 Ultimate 64-bit definite issue networking with Mac OS X - detailed




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