Fix Your Problem Connecting to SMB

Update: No issues after the Mavericks upgrade

In my recent post about Mac OS X Lion, I spoke a little bit about my SMB connection problem when connecting to a Windows File Server.  Well, it’s a happy day, because my IT guy has found a solution to the problem!  So, I hope this post helps you to fix your problem connecting to SMB so that you too can say “I finally fixed my SMB connection problem!” (seriously, go ahead and say that by clicking one of the sharing options…that would be awesome).

But, before I show the solution, I need to outline the problem:

The Problem

Ever since “upgrading” (this problem made it feel like a downgrade), I haven’t been able to connect to my shared drives at work on my iMac.  I outline the problem in this forum post as well, but basically, I had been trying to connect to a 2008 Windows File Server which uses Active Directory to validate permission levels.

The way that this was done in Snow Leopard was that I would fire up my Connect to Server panel, tell it which drive I wanted it to connect to, and, abracadabra…it just worked:

After the Lion upgrade, though, I couldn’t connect, and I was instead met with this lovely window:

For some reason, I was always able to mount the FTP side via SMB, but not the shared drives on our Windows File Server.

That is…until Friday.

The Solution

The solution to the problem was actually incredibly simple.  Basically, you just open up Terminal and manually tell the computer to mount the drive.  …And that’s it.  I have no idea why this works from Terminal and not the Connect to Server panel, but it does.  Here’s how it goes.

As you can see, I am not connected to my external drives here:

I open up Terminal and write in this line:

And as you can see from my Finder window, the drive is now mounted:

I can jump back to the Terminal and mount another drive if I wish:

And back in Finder, there it is:

In theory, I could do this as many times as I need to with as many drives that I need to.

Go back to the Terminal and type

exit

wait for it to say

[Process Complete]

then push Command + Q to Quit.

And just like that, I’ve mounted the drives for the day.

The Catch

A couple things to remember:

  • You will need to go through this process each time you restart or shut down the machine
  • You should attempt a connection to the drive through the Connect to Server panel before doing this in order to prep the connection with your domain credentials.

But, that’s it…at least in my experience.  Now I just have to wait until Apple sends out a Software Update to fix this problem permanently.  Until then, I have a shortcut to Terminal in my Dock, and I’ll take the 30 seconds to manually mount my drives each morning.

I’ve read all over the internet about different people having different problems with SMB and Lion, and there are a lot of variables at play here.  You could have

  • Different types of servers
  • Different versions of the same type of server
  • Different methods of authentication
  • On the Domain vs. Not On the Domain

So, if this solution doesn’t work for you, please don’t hate me.  Maybe if you leave a comment, some other kind soul will swing by and help you in your time of need as well.

A special thanks for my IT guy, Matt Hager, for helping me through this problem.  I never would have figured it out on my own.

Please leave a comment even if this didn’t solve your problem.  Who knows…someone smarter than I am may come along and help you out.

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About Luke

My name is Luke, and I'm the Online Media Manager for a technology company, photographer, husband, and father. You can see a snapshot of some of my work at LukeCoburn.com. I cheer for the Red Sox and am completely in love with my wife and four little princesses.

31 Responses to “Fix Your Problem Connecting to SMB”

  1. rzhale August 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    @lukecoburn Good to know. That’s 1 of 2 problems down. Thanks!

  2. MBLeib August 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    @lukecoburn @KevinCallanan What a friggin’ pain. Only recommendation I’d make is to use iterm2, seriously.

  3. _sjs August 10, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    @lukecoburn No luck for me. Thanks though, I hadn’t seen that yet.

  4. infa August 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    You can make it automatically mount at startup by doing the steps outlined by the article and dragging the drives form the sidebar into Login Items in the System Prefs/Accounts pane.

  5. LukeCoburn August 12, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    @infa Hey, thanks for the tip!

  6. pistrinus August 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    The other problems with the smb,since the upgrade is the scan to smb or fax to smb feature. any ideas how to fix that problem.(i have a ricoh mp printer and cannot scan to folder since the upgrade)

  7. IntaminFanatic August 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    @pistrinus Try changing the folder from smb://server/folder/ to smb://server.doman.extension/folder/

    For example, //junk/ would become //junk.websiteServer.com/folder/

    It’s worth a shot, I can’t say that this’ll work, but it did solve my Lion-upgrade SMB issues…

  8. derrelicte September 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Did you have to create a folder in /Volumes/ first?

    I tried this and I had this error come up:

    macbookair-5004:/ User$ mount -t smbfs //server/Home/username /volumes/username

    mount: realpath /Volumes/username: No such file or directory

    • LukeCoburn February 2, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      @derrelicte Since writing this post, I have discovered a few folders that I do need to create a folder in Volumes for. A couple of the shared drives do not require this step and a couple other ones do. For those that do, I need to do the following:

      cd ..

      cd Volumes

      mkdir (Name of Folder Here)

      mount (the rest of the command to mount your folder)

  9. LauLau81 December 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Very well explained… I am trying to follow this guide and hope I can solve my prob. Thank you for sharing the guide…

    • LukeCoburn February 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      @LauLau81 Did this end up working for you?

  10. mikeyott December 21, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    @mattyboddy Got it sorted mostly in a round-about way. Say how can I send terminal commands from the Mac so they run on the Ubuntu box?

    • mattyboddy December 21, 2011 at 1:59 am #

      @mikeyott you’ll neet to SSH into the ubuntu machine. Make sure ubuntu is running OpenSSH. Then from mac “ssh username@serveraddress”

      • mikeyott December 21, 2011 at 2:21 am #

        @mattyboddy cheers!

      • mikeyott December 21, 2011 at 4:41 am #

        @mattyboddy too easy. Cheers again.

      • mikeyott December 21, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

        @mattyboddy an odd problem. keep getting “this file has been modified outside dreamweaver” even though it hasn’t. Any ideas?

        • mattyboddy December 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

          @mikeyott I have seen that one before. Seemed to only manifest between Dreamweaver and Samba shares. I’ll have a think for you.

        • mikeyott December 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

          @mattyboddy found ‘solution’. In DW prefs there is an option to never reload modified files. I can’t think of ay issues so it might be OK.

        • mattyboddy December 21, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

          @mikeyott Ah nice one! Yeah the files wouldn’t actually get modified anyway.

        • mikeyott December 21, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

          @mattyboddy I suspect its a date-stamp issue. maybe file dates on server R newer after each reload. Dont know why that would happen though.

        • mikeyott December 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

          @mattyboddy I’ll stick with the dreamweaver pref. easier 🙂

  11. jtadman January 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Make sure you disable time machine for the folder you’re mounting it under to prevent it trying to back up your network share. Also, Lion seems to connect to SMB fine if the user name and password you’re using on OS X is the same as the one on the server.

    • LukeCoburn February 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

      @jtadman Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Lippu June 1, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Thank you for sharing Luke.
    Could not solve my problem until I came across your post. Since I tried your method I came up with a simpler method, would like to know if it works for you guys too.
     
    From menu
    Go – Connect to server (command K)
    at the server address change afp: to smb: then the server name eg
     
    from afp://comptername_or_ip to
    smb://comptername_or_ip to
     
    This is working helping me connect to my HP Indigo Rip (windows xp) hot folders
     

  13. Lippu June 1, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    Thank you for sharing Luke.
    Could not solve my problem until I came across your post. Since I tried your method I came up with a simpler method, would like to know if it works for you guys too.
     
    From menu
    Go – Connect to server (command K)
    at the server address change afp: to smb: then the server name eg
     
    from afp://computername_or_ip to
    smb://computername_or_ip to
     
    This is working helping me connect to my HP Indigo Rip (windows xp) hot folders
     

    • Jinus January 1, 2017 at 7:09 am #

      Didn’t work.

  14. Jinus January 1, 2017 at 7:09 am #

    The only meaningful bit of this article is the command that mounts the drive. Yet you still couldn’t bother writing that command in the article but included it in a screenshot hosted on a third party website that’s not available anymore. Sigh…

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