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Windows Server 2003 and Mac OSX

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  • Windows Server 2003 and Mac OSX


    i have a windows server 2003r2 server which is on a workgroup at my home/home office.

    the server is used for filesharing around the windows xp/vista pc's and laptop's

    My question is - If i brought a couple of mac's ie - mini and macbook. - could i add this to my workgroup and access the windows server ? - do i need to setup anything on the server ? - as well use the server for printer server ?
    Last edited by macman; 31st August 2009, 21:45. Reason: Adding a question

  • #2
    Re: Windows Server 2003 and Mac OSX

    Have a read at this

    Not too sure if it will help in you situation as i'm not a mac guy.


    • #3
      Re: Windows Server 2003 and Mac OSX

      thanks but not that much help


      • #4
        Re: Windows Server 2003 and Mac OSX

        There is always more than one way to get anything done with this combination, especially if the Mac user has access to the server's open TCP and UDP port(s). If not physically local, you must ensure that an open port in the domain's firewall(s) will pass the information across routers. I assume the hardware can be pinged successfully.

        First of all, you can access a W2003 Server using Remote Desktop Connect (RDC). This is a free tool that Microsoft provides. It will let you open a terminal services session on the server, just as if you were sitting at the server console [albeit with a few limitations]. You do not even to set up the Mac user with a username within the 2003 domain, as it will not even know there is such a user. This means that the person must know the name and password of an authenticated domain user who is a member of the special security group for this purpose, and the Group Policy is enabled to allow access this way.

        Even without paying for it, you can install Terminal Services on a W2003 server and enable two "administrative sessions" without licensing. This option is included on the Server 2003 install disc. You can buy CALs to enable more simultaneous sessions, in groups of 5. Note that a remote desktop user must be a member of the security group to enable access this way, and the server's GPO must also enable it. No one is automatically a member of this group, so a deliberate effort must be made to enable this access. If you are going to enable a number of regular users to work this way, I would take the additional RAM into consideration as well as the version of the Server 2003 software and number of CPUs, or slow down the system for all.

        For my small clients, I like to use this approach on their servers, but only enable my remote username, in order for me to be available to provide help remotely across the Internet, but not to allow them to have a security back door that any employee can access.

        You can tweak the settings to require the local user's permission to interact with their session, or freak 'em out if you do not inform them that you have the ability to move their mouse, etc. without their being aware that you are even watching. This is also good for observation of users - make sure your organization's electronic security policies are updated to inform employees that they are subject to management's discretion on matters such as this, etc.

        Note that with the above approach all the action takes place entirely at the server using server resources. Only the thin client enables the outside access and control. You can tweak the options at the client side to make printers and local hardware available [and visible] at the server side.

        Another [more secure and typical] way to access the server is to attach to it from the Mac client and mount a shared server volume. For this, your best bet is to make sure the server has been promoted to the higher security within a Server 2003 forest. This means Active Directory is functioning. On the Mac, you need to set up the protocol, I find CIFS [same as accessing Windows shares] to work better than AFP, the usual Macintosh offering.

        In addition to some minor setup on the Mac side, it is easiest if a new share is set up on the server, during which the Mac-compatible option is enabled. This share can duplicate another share but makes it simpler for the Mac user. When the Mac user looks for available servers using <Apple> K, the share appears available and permissions are preset for easy access.

        Microsoft Technotes are very clear as to how to accomplish these procedures. I have been using them for more than five years and they really have gotten easier to deploy and more reliable to use over time.