My small home network consists of a Windows XP PC, a MacBook with OS X Leopard, and a Mac Mini with OS X Leopard. Several networking issues kept bugging me:
- the XP PC sees the Mac Mini in the network neighborhood but can’t access its shares, mapping those shares only works if the Mac Mini is addressed by its name instead of its name
- the XP PC doesn’t see the MacBook at all, neither by name nor by IP
- both Macs can list the PCs shares, but connecting to them results in the errors “no direct map for 32 bit server error (0xc0000205)” and “broken pipe” in the OS X console
- both Macs cannot connect to the PC using its name, but only by using <name>.local
The first issue was solved by updating the Mac Mini (and the MacBook for that matter) to the latest Leopard version 10.5.6. However, this didn’t help with any of the other issues.
Issue number 3 was solved with the help of a geekstogo.com article. In the XP registry I needed to add the IRPStackSize parameter to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters and set its value to 18 (decimal) according to this Microsoft KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/285089.
Issue number 2 was related to a fu… up “WINS” configuration on the MacBook. When I checked whether the workgroup name in the WINS tab in System Preferences -> Network -> Advanced was set correctly it was empty. So, I tried to enter the same name as on the PC and on the Mac Mini, but the change would never get persisted i.e. remembered. I did as adviced in http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=6198136 and now the MacBook appears correctly in the XP network neighborhood. However, its shares still could not be accessed. So, I checked System Preferences -> Firewall and realized that I had checked ‘Allow only essential services’ instead of ‘Set access for specific services and applications’. Issue 2 solved.
At this point I discovered the great article ‘Explanation of Leopard NetBIOS (Windows Sharing) Wackyness With Solutions’. It’s got extensive explanations and good tips.
And…while reading it, time passed…more time passed…and all of a sudden my XP system showed up in the Finder with its real name i.e. there was no need to address it with <name>.local. Issue 4 solved.