CONNECT  OS  X  TO  WINDOWS  7

In this section I will explain and example how you can get an old Apple Mac Powerbook G4 computer (circa 2007!) that is running the Tiger 10.4.11 operating system to share files with a Windows PC running the Windows 7 operating system - File Sharing over a wireless network between Windows 7 and OS X basically. For this example I am using my Packard Bell EasyNote TS11HR, Windows 7, 64Bit computer that I bought in December 2011. The process below can also be used on later versions of OS X and Windows and demonstrates that an aged, second-hand, Apple Mac can still be useful.


NOTE: This article was created for Windows 7 and therefore its wordings and screenshots relate to the Windows 7 operating system. Where possible I have updated the wordings to relate to the Windows 10 operating system. Either way, the information is very relevant regardless of what Windows operating system you are using.

Begin by making sure all of your Windows 7 file sharing and network sharing options are Switched ON - Go to START Menu >> CONTROL PANEL >> NETWORK AND SHARING CENTER >> ADVANCED SHARING SETTINGS and make sure both the Home & Work and Public network profiles have their NETWORK DISCOVERY, FILE & PRINT SHARING and PUBLIC FOLDER SHARING options set. Basically make sure all of the settings in that control panel are switched on.

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Fig 1.0 - Make sure all of the File Sharing and Network Sharing options are switched ON

With the Windows 7 file sharing and network sharing options switched ON the next step is to go to your Apple Mac and click on its NETWORK folder/icon from either the System Preferences control panel or Finder program in order to open the NETWORK folder. In this example I've used the Finder program to open the NETWORK folder which contains three shortcut icons, with the third one being a shortcut link to a computer called Pblaptop - The name of my Packard Bell, Windows 7, computer.

When you see your own Windows 7 Computer shortcut icon listed within the NETWORK folder double click on it to continue. Doing so will tell your Apple Mac to create a network connection to your Windows 7 computer, and more precisely to its USER folder and/or PUBLIC folders depending on what folders you have allowed to be shared on your Windows 7 computer. In this example I have allowed my USER folder and its sub-folders, including its PUBLIC folders, to be shared with any connecting computers (i.e. my Apple Mac); as specified when setting up the Windows 7 Network and File Sharing options (Fig 1.0 above).

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Fig 1.1 - Double click on your Windows 7 Computer shortcut icon to continue

Before the network connection can be established your Windows 7 Network Name (i.e. WORKGROUP), Windows 7 User Account Name (i.e. YOINGCO) and Windows 7 User Account Password (Hmm!!!) must be inserted into the message requester that appears (Fig 1.2 below). The first of these two items should of been inserted for you, in which case you will only need to insert is your Windows 7 User Account Password. Once these details have been entered you will then be asked which SHARED Windows 7 network folder you want to connect to and create a shortcut icon for (Fig 1.3 below).

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Fig 1.2 - Enter your Windows 7 User Account Password to continue

In this example (Fig 1.3 below) although I can only select my Windows 7 USER folder from the drop-down menu, it will mean I can also connect to my PUBLIC folder and its sub-folders too, even if indirectly. So all of my computer folders, from the USER folder downwards (in hierarchy), will be accessible from my Apple Mac in other words. Once you have decided which main shared network folder you would like to connect to, and create a shortcut icon for, such as your USER folder click on the OK button to continue.

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Fig 1.3 - Click on the OK button to authorise access to your Windows 7 SHARED Folders

To stop sharing certain folders over the new, Apple to Windows, network connection that will be created you would need to change certain sharing options via the Windows 7 NETWORK & SHARING CENTER control panel (not shown here).

After clicking on the OK button (above) a shortcut icon (network connection icon) to your main shared network folder (i.e. USERS) will be created, on the Apple Mac desktop, whereby once you double click on it you should be able to view, and have access to, its folders and sub-folders. In this example Fig 1.5 shows the content of my USERS folder and Fig 1.6 shows the content of my PUBLIC folder.

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Fig 1.4 - Double click on this shortcut icon to gain access to your main shared network folder and its sub-folders

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Fig 1.5 - You should now be able to see your main shared network folder (i.e. USERS) and its sub-folders

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Fig 1.6 - Viewing the content of my Windows 7 PUBLIC folder from an Apple Mac

At this point a network connection has only been made from my Apple Mac computer to my WIndows 7 computer which means all I can do for now is view and edit (i.e. delete or copy) folders and files on my Windows 7 computer from my Apple Mac computer. If I want to do the reverse, view and edit folders and files on my Apple Mac computer from my Windows 7 computer, I will need to set up WINDOWS SHARING on my Apple Mac computer. This will grant Windows 7 access to my main Apple Mac shared network folder called Drop Box.

CONNECT  WINDOWS  7  TO  OS  X

To create a network connection from Windows 7 to the Apple Mac (OS X) you first need to go to the Apple Mac SYSTEM PREFERENCES control panel and double click on the SHARING icon, located under the heading Internet & Network. This will open the Sharing window (control panel) whereby you then need to click on the option called WINDOWS SHARING (Fig 2.1 below).

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Fig 2.0 - Click on the SHARING icon to continue

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Fig 2.1 - Click on the WINDOWS SHARING option to authorise, enable and set up the Windows Sharing feature

After clicking on the WINDOWS SHARING option (Fig 2.0 above) a security requester will appear (Fig 2.1 above) asking you to enter your apple mac account details (username and password) in order to then authenticate (authorise/allow) the action of enabling (switching on) the Windows Sharing feature. Once this has been done (Fig 2.2 below) you must then enable any apple mac accounts (users) that require access to the newly created network connection (the network link from Windows 7 to the Apple Mac).

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Fig 2.2 - Click on the ENABLE ACCOUNTS button to continue

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Fig 2.3 - This requester can be ignored for the moment.....

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Fig 2.4 - .....Grant (Authorise) access for this account by entering its password into the PASSWORD edit box.....

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Fig 2.5 - .....then click on the DONE button (from Fig 2.3 above).

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Fig 2.6 - Windows Sharing has been authorised, enabled and set up; ready for action.

At this point Windows Sharing has been authorised (switched on) by the main user (John Cairns) of the apple mac computer, enabled for the user John Cairns (who just happens to be the main account user of the apple mac computer) and set up (by the apple mac computer) ready for action - The apple mac will now makes its Drop Box folder publicly accessible to Windows users. So the next step is to go back to your Windows 7 computer in order to grant a Windows 7 user to look inside that apple mac Drop Box folder.


Just to recap. This now means that although the apple mac has just created a network connection (link) between itself and the Windows 7 computer, which was authorised by the main user account called John Cairns in order to give Windows 7 users a way of connecting to the apple mac Drop Box folder, you still have to go through the Windows 7 side of security before you can actually access the apple mac Drop Box folder. So go to your Windows 7 computer and click on its network icon/folder so that the apple mac computer can now be seen.

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Fig 2.7 - Windows 7 - Go the NETWORK FOLDER so that the Apple Mac computer can be seen

In the above example my Apple Mac computer folder, within my Windows 7 network folder, is called JOHN-CAIRNS-POW which is named after my apple mac powerbook g4 computer and its user account name of John Cairns. Double clicking on that JOHN-CAIRNS-POW folder (icon) brings up a Windows 7 security requester that needs to know who is authorising the access (link) to the apple mac computer and its public folder called Drop Box.

When that security requester appears you need to enter the username and password of the currently logged-in Windows 7 user account. Do NOT enter your currently logged-in apple mac user account details (username and password) otherwise you will receive an error.

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Fig 2.8 - Do NOT enter your currently logged-in apple mac user account details (username and password).....

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Fig 2.9 - .....Enter your currently logged-in Windows 7 user account details (username and password) instead.

If you have entered, or do enter, your apple mac user account details by mistake you will need to click on the USE ANOTHER ACCOUNT option that appears on the security requester thereafter (Fig 2.9 above) in order to gain access to the apple mac computer. Below shows me correctly entering my Windows 7 user account details, with Yoingco being my Windows 7 username.

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Fig 2.10 - This time the log-in will work because I am using my Windows 7 user account details.

Once you have successfully logged-in (authorised access) to the apple mac computer you can then view its publicly networked folders, including its main Drop-Box folder, in the same way as you would a normal folder.

In the example below I have already double clicked on the JOHN-CAIRNS-POW network folder, using my Windows 7 computer and its user account log-in details as described above, and now have access to my apple mac's main (currently logged-in) user account folder; which is also called Yoingco - I like to keep all of my computers the same, with the same usernames and account details. This is just my preference. I could easily of named my apple mac user account JohnApple for example.

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Fig 2.11 - Double click on your apple mac's main user account folder to continue

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Fig 2.12 - Double click on one of the apple mac's publicly shared folders to continue

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Fig 2.13 - View the content of that publicly shared folder

In the above examples all I have done is gone through various publicly shared folders on the apple mac, via my Windows 7 computer, in order to view a photo file I placed in the apple mac's Drop Box folder. The screenshot below show me viewing its properties, which therefore makes Windows 7 create a Thumbs.db database file for it. In other words, it shows/proves that I am indeed connected to the apple mac folder via Windows 7.

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Fig 2.14 - Viewing a photo file's properties on my apple mac computer from my Windows 7 computer

If you want to connect to your apple-windows >> windows-apple network using its domain url (ip address/url) simply type it into any address bar of a Windows 7 folder - In the example below I have to type in the domain's (network's) ip address plus the user name folder. Now you can see why I keep things simple by using Yoingco for my account names and so on, regardless of what computer I am or will be using.

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Fig 2.15 - Type the apple mac network (domain) url into any address bar of a Windows 7 folder

Once I have then dealt with the now familiar and standard security requester, asking for authorising account details, I can then view apple mac folders that are publicly shared within the network.

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Fig 2.16 - Viewing the same photo file, on the apple mac, using a different method of access through windows 7

As you may of gathered from the above; It is mainly the Apple Mac and Windows 7 computers that do all the work for you. All you need to know is how to switch on your Windows Sharing options, on both the apple mac and windows computers; which have now been explained and exampled for you (above). The only other thing to say is the key/secret to getting the whole thing to work is to RESTART YOUR COMPUTERS once the above actions have been accomplished.

To make this clear; RESTART YOUR APPLE MAC COMPUTER once the Windows Sharing option has been set up. Then RESTART YOUR WINDOWS COMPUTER once your apple mac computer has restarted. And if necessary, then RESTART BOTH COMPUTERS - Apple first and Windows second. These restarts are key to making sure both computers initialise/set up their networking features, options and settings properly.