Can't connect to Windows Vista PC from Mac over Ethernet

By Michael Rosen
Nov 11, 2012
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  1. Hi, I am trying to connect my Macbook Pro to my old Vista PC over ethernet cable but I can't get them to connect. I set up static IP's on both and the PC can ping the Mac but the Mac times out when I try to ping the PC. I even had the Windows firewall turned off. I had already turned on SMB connections in file sharing. They connect fine over wifi but I want to transfer 50gb of files faster.

    Thanks.
  2. dotVezz

    dotVezz TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 117

    From what you're saying, it sounds like you're just connecting directly using only an Ethernet cable. However, in order to connect two computers directly, you'll need to use a crossover cable (Ethernet cable with some wires changed on one end). You also have the option of using a network hub or router in between.

    Respond if we can help any more. I could be understanding your situation wrong as well.
  3. Michael Rosen

    Michael Rosen Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yes, though I tried a crossover cable first with no results. I had read somewhere that newer network cards could handle the connection with a regular cable. Then again, I didn't try forcing the static IP's when I was trying the crossover.

    Thanks.
  4. dotVezz

    dotVezz TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 117

    That's the first I've heard of modern cards being able to do that without a crossover cable, but you inspired me to do a quick google search and it seems you're right! However, it may be the case that one or both of your cards doesn't support it.

    Anyway, you do need to assign static IP address on both computers when using a crossover cable. Without a router or hub to assign addresses over DHCP, you need to do it manually.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,419   +281

    I'm not sure it is even that complicated dotVezz.

    In my, hopefully temporary, living situation I don't have easy access to wired internet. So I have a MBP connected to a router wirelessly for internet, but I also have Internet Sharing turned on in the Sharing System Pref on OS X so my desktop PC (win 7) can access the internet. I have regular Windows sharing turned on and I can access the shares from my MBP without issue. This is not traveling through the router at all, provable by turning Airport off in OS X and still having sharing between the Mac and PC work.

    So while I don't know what the actual problem is with M. Rosen's setup, I know that mine works fine (straight cable too, not crossover).
  6. dotVezz

    dotVezz TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 117

    SNGX, my apologies if I missed it, but I'm just hoping to make sure I understand. You're saying that your MBP and Win7 PC are connected directly over ethernet - correct?

    If that's the case, then Michael's situation looks a lot easier to solve.
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,419   +281

    Yes, that is correct. Straight Cat 5e cable. I'm going to be out of town for the next 12 hours or so, but if it isn't solved by then I can look into my settings on both 7 (should be nearly identical in Vista) and OS X 10.7.5 (should be pretty similar in other versions of OS X). The good news is they shouldn't be anything odd, because I'm not super knowledgeable in networking and I have this set up and don't remember doing anything special.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,285   +281

    I've connected our iMac 10.4 to the router and my Win/7 pc also and getting File/Print sharing enabled on both was all that was required.

    Both systems need to be on the same WORKGROUP name
    • set pc workgroup instructions here
    • set mac workgroup -- Click System Preferences
      Click Network
      Click Advanced
      Click WINS
      type whatever you want in the workgroup box

    Access a Mac Share with Map Drive

    Access a PC share with Finder GO->Connect to Server and enter
    • SMB://pcName/shareName




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