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Teaching Old Macs New Sharing Tricks

Despite their age, you can get pre-Mac OS X clients to share their data with Windows OSs. At my company, we recently had to replace Apple iMacs running Mac OS 9 with Windows XP workstations. I needed to transfer several gigabytes of data from the iMacs to a Windows Server 2003 file server. I couldn't burn the data to CD-ROMs because the iMacs didn't have that capability. And buying extra software wasn't an option. So, I had to use the tools bundled with Windows 2003 and Mac OS 9. After much trial and error, I discovered that you have to perform the following steps to create a file share for pre-Mac OS X clients:

  1. Install File Services for Macintosh on the Windows 2003 file server. To do so, open the Control Panel Add or Remove Programs applet and click the Add/Remove Windows Components option. Highlight the Other Network File and Print Services check box, and click Details. Select the File Services for Macintosh check box, then click OK, Next.
  2. Create the Mac file share. However, don't attempt to do so by right-clicking a folder. Instead, use the Computer Management console. To get to this console, open the Control Panel Administrative Tools applet, then double-click Computer Management. In the left pane of the Computer Management console, navigate to System Tools, Shared Folders, Shares and create a new file share from there. Only then will you be given the option for creating a Mac file share as opposed to a Windows-only file share. When creating the file share, I recommend that you enable the Windows Guest account. Although not necessary, it will make your job much easier because the Macintosh client won't have to authenticate itself to the server. You should disable the Guest account after you've completed the file-copying operation.

After creating the Mac file share, you can access the shared folder on the Mac client. Simply open Chooser, click AppleShare, then select the shared folder from the Windows 2003 file server. You're now ready to transfer the files from the Mac client to the file server.

—Dorin Dehelean


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