The Great Migration: XP to OS X

After 15 years of solid MS/PC use (with occasional Linux flirtation), I decided I wanted my computer to be an appliance, not a science project. This is my log of the difficulties I encounter. I like my MacBook, I do. But there will be no gushing here.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Play Nice Children: Mounting Windows Shared Folders

One thing you'll notice right away is that finding shared files on Windows machines with OS X is less than straightforward for long-time Windows users.

Assuming you've got a shared folder setup properly on a Windows machine on your network, it goes like this:

1. Open Finder
2. Click Network
3. Click the desired [Windows Workgroup]
4. Click the desired [Computer Name]
5. Click Connect
6. Select desired [Shared Folder] from drop-down
7. Click OK
8. Open Finder
9. Click [Shared Folder]

And what's so "less than straigtforward" about that, I hear you asking? Nothing at all, if you don't have a password on your shared Windows folder. But with the addition of a password, let's start again from step 6.:

6. Select desired [Shared Folder] from drop-down
7. Click Authenticate Again
8. Click Name panel
9. Type [Windows Login]
10. Press tab
11. Type [Windows Password]
12. Click Remember this password in my keychain (but only the first few times, until you learn)
13. Click OK
14. Select desired [Shared Folder] from drop-down again (if it's not the only one)
15. Click OK
16. Open Finder
17. Click [Shared Folder]

And this might all be tolerable if clicking "Remember this password in my keychain" actually worked, but you'll quickly learn to skip step 12, because OS X refuses to remember this password. I've read that this is supposed to provide better security, but then why pretend to offer the option in the first place? My search for a simple method for opening a shared folder led to a complicated setup process, but luckily for you, I'm about to walk you through each step.

Using Applescript to Automatically Mount & Open Windows Shared Folders (On OS X 10.4.7)

That's right, we're gonna learn Applescripting today, but not really.

1. First go to Finder --> Applications --> AppleScript --> Script
2. In the Script Editor paste the following in the first pane:
tell application "Finder"
if (folder "[Shared Folder]" exists) is false then
mount volume "smb://[Windows Workgroup];[Windows Login]:[Windows Password]@[Computer Name]/[Shared Folder]"
end if
end tell
tell application "Finder"
open "[Shared Folder]"
end tell
Replace the words in brackets with your own information. For a shared folder that's not password protected, simply omit "[Windows Login]:[Windows Password]@".
3. Eject the shared folder if it's currently mounted, then click Run in Script Editor to test your script. If you've done this properly, a Finder window will open with your shared folder in the top left pane.
4. Now, saving the file (more involved than you'd think):
a. Click File
b. Click Save As...
c. Type a name
d. Set "Where:" to Desktop
e. Set "File Format:" to application
f. Select "Run Only" check box
g. Unselect "Startup Screen" check box
h. Click Save
5. Eject the shared folder, then double-click the file you just saved on your desktop, you should see the same results as in step 3.
6. Congratulations, you've just knocked 16-17 steps of keyboarding and mousing down to one double-click.

This could become annoying (and desktop cluttering) very quickly if there are more than a few shared folders you regularly use. My solution to this is Quicksilver, but that's an entirely other post.


At August 09, 2006 9:39 AM, Blogger Pat said...

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