When Windows PCs can’t access data on a Time Capsule

Has this ever happened to you?

You successfully set up a Time Capsule router at your client’s home or office to use as auxiliary storage for several networked Macs and Windows PCs. As of close of business yesterday, everything was running smoothly. This morning, however, your client contact leaves a frantic message on your cell phone urging you to fix a problem that her Windows users are having in accessing the Time Capsule. She says that while the Macs are able to auto-mount their sharepoint, the Windows workstations cannot. She is concerned because her staff is under pressure to meet a project deadline by the end of the day.

I dealt with a similar situation this past week. On a MacBook Pro, I had set up Windows XP Professional to run under Parallels Desktop while I had configured a second Mac to run Windows 7 under VMware Fusion 2. After installing and configuring all the necessary components (e.g., AirPort Utility for Windows 5.4.2, Bonjour for Windows), I shut down both virtual machines. The next day, I found that neither of the two virtual machines could mount its respective sharepoint on the Time Capsule. Moreover, the Time Capsule refused to authenticate the same account name and password that I was able to verify the day before.

I logged onto my iMac, turned on AirPort, and verified that I could mount the Public folder of the Time Capsule volume using Connect to Server (Command-K). Since the router was operational, I figured something else was causing the Windows workstations to fail authentication. After trying several options, I resolved the problem that the Windows machines were having by clicking the Disconnect All Users button in AirPort Utility.

Suggested Resources
Can Windows see the Time Capsule disk?
“The hard drive in the TC is actually formatted HFS+, with Windows using SMB to connect to it via the TC. Windows shows the drive as being formatted FAT32 but in fact it is not.”
Using Apple’s Time Capsule with Your Windows PC
“[If] Windows Vista cannot see Time Capsule drive, navigate to Local Policies folder, Security Options view. Find Network security: LAN Manager authentication level. Change to “Send LM & NTLM – use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated.”
Windows 7 and Time Capsule
“It’s obviously not an authentication issue, as we’ve fixed that by changing the LM authentication policy. It looks more like there’s an issue with the number of connections to the TC from a single host. Either the TC badly handles requests, Windows is making too many requests, or a mixture of both.”
TimeCapsule NAS problem with Windows 7
“I turned off Windows Search under Control Panel’s Programs and Features and restarted the computer. I have been moving files back and forth between the desktop and TC.”
Search field missing from Start menu
“If Windows Search is removed from Windows 7 components, then you lose the search box in the Start menu. Disable it in ‘Services’ if you don’t require it. This will keep the actual search box present in Start menu.”
LAN Manager authentication level – Windows XP or higher
“Determines which challenge/response authentication protocol is used for network logons.”
How do I view my LAN Manager Authentication Level setting?
“In Windows XP or later, view your LAN Manager Authentication Level setting using the Local Security Policy Console.”
VMWare Fusion FAQ: How do I choose the right network mode for me?
“Bridged mode is probably best because it allows your virtual machine to use Apple’s Bonjour technology; only in bridged mode will a Windows virtual machine’s Network Neighborhood show the other PCs on your LAN.”
Advertise configuration globally using Bonjour – AirPort Utility
“Advertising a service globally using Bonjour requires a wide-area hostname. Get a free hostname with a service like Dynamic DNS.”
Error box on Windows 7 start up [involving] dnssd.dll
“After installing AirPort Utility for Windows from the Time Capsule install CD, you may encounter ‘The program can’t start because dnssd.dll is missing from your computer’ on a restart. To fix, install Bonjour for Windows (either 32 or 64bit, depending on your installation).”
MacDrive 8 for Windows
“Apple’s amazing Time Machine backup file sets can now be accessed like any other Mac file direct from Windows. MacDrive enables you to browse the backed up files and copy the contents.”


1 Comment

Filed under Apple Hardware, Third Party Software, Troubleshooting, Windows on a Mac

One response to “When Windows PCs can’t access data on a Time Capsule

  1. Pat

    MacDrive can’t access TM backups on Time Capsules, because they use the sparsebundle image format, for which there is no support (at least in version 8.5) of MacDrive.

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