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


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 I cheer for the Red Sox and am completely in love with my wife and four little princesses.

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