Mavericks and SMB (Connecting to Windows shares)

Sharing files between Macs and NAS drives and Windows PC’s has always been very easy, but Mavericks brought a slight change that has caused some problems for certain users in mixed PC and Mac environments.

Apple adjusted the default protocol for SMB (Samba, the Windows file sharing ability) from SMB1 to SMB2, and the SMB2 implementation apparently carries a bug which is incompatible with many NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices, and some versions of Windows.

If you don’t have any problems, all good, but if you do have problems connecting to Windows PC’s, NAS drives, and Linux machines, try this work around:

  • From the OS X Finder, hit Command+K to summon “Go To Server” as usual
  • In the “Server Address” field, enter the IP to connect to with the cifs:// prefix (instead of smb://) as follows:

Apple Mac Connect to Server Dialog

 Apple Mac Connecting to Server Progress WIndow

Apple Mac Login Dialog

The reason this works, is because CIFS connects with SMB1 rather than SMB2, the old way.

Mavericks has also moved all network-based Mac-to-Mac file sharing to SMB2, away from AFP. Although AFP still functions for legacy support and for connecting between Mavericks and earlier versions of OS X.

Hopefully that this bug will be resolved with future updates of OS X 10.9