Administration: Networking OSX and Win 7

It’s possible to get Apple’s OS X and Microsoft’s Windows 7 talking to each other and sharing files. But how easy is it? And can it be done at high speeds? One of our Dev Shed forum members asks this question. He’s received one answer so far; if you know of other methods, we’d love to hear from you.

Fairly new member siDev12 writes:

I am in the process of trying to get my Windows 7 (professional) PC and Mac 10.6.8 to share files between each other at gigabit Ethernet speeds.
The setup is as follows. Though to begin with I used a gigabit switch TP-Link SG1005D, I was having some issues getting them to talk to each other properly, and so I am using a Netgear router, but still have the same issue.

Both machines have wireless network cards that connect to an Internet router in another room. My goal is to get these two machines connected together in order to share large video files between them.

On the Windows machine I have set the Ethernet network card to have an IP address of, subnet I have enabled sharing in the network sharing properties.

On the Mac I have set the file sharing on with SMB. For the Ethernet network card, I have set

From the Windows machine, if I go to My Computer -> Network in the left column, I do see the Mac machine, and when double clicked on, can see the ‘Public Drop Box’ folder. I am able to drop files from Windows into it, and sure enough, when I go to the Mac, it is in the drop box.

However…. if I want to access folders on Windows 7 from the Mac, clicking on go->Connect to server and typing in smb://, it will not connect; it just says that the IP address is wrong. Yet if I enter in smb://computername/Users, I do get a connection to the Windows 7 machine. But this is not from PC-Ethernet Card to Mac-Ethernet Card; it appears to be from PC-Wireless to Mac-Wireless — which defeats the purpose, really, as the file transfer is very slow. The whole point of connecting via the gigabit Ethernet cards is to achieve gigabit Ethernet transfer rates!

So at the moment, transferring from PC to MAC uses the Ethernet cards but MAC to PC only works through wireless!!

Any help you can offer, I would be very grateful! I know what the problem is, I just don’t know how to fix it.

Is networking PC and MAC really this difficult?

AdamPI, one of our long-time members, replied:

First things first: you cannot have both the wireless and the wired running at the same time. (Yes, it’s technically possible, but not feasible for what you’re doing.) Connect the two through the switch and turn off wireless on both (they may do it automatically when they detect a connection, they may not, since at present they can’t get out to the Internet, right?) Okay, so if you want them to get out to the Internet through wired, great, just run an Ethernet line from the router to the switch and you’ll be good to go. Check IP addresses to make sure they are what you expect and you’ve made a simple wired home network.
If you don’t want/need them to connect to the router for Internet, or can’t get a cable over there for whatever reason, you can still connect them via the switch, just make sure you turn wireless off then you will have to manually give each of them an IP address. Truth be told, you don’t need the switch at all at this point, you can connect the two directly to each other and use one less cable.
That’s the networking (Layers 1-3 if you know what that means) part of it. Now, for Layers 4 -7, the protocols. It might be necessary for you to install AppleTalk onto your Ethernet interface. It should be pretty simple, and Google can help with instructions.

Do you have any other suggestions for managing this connection? Feel free to comment on the thread:

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