Connecting to Windows Shares form OS X

I've been playing around with my new camera which has led to a lot of file moving/copying. I'm always paranoid that I'm going to lose a picture so I have quite a few places where backups of them are mirrored.

Anyway, I, of course, have to import all of my images into iPhoto on my Macbook. So tonight when I was about to do so, it brought up something that happens to me quite often.

I have a few PCs at home; one of which is my main file server where all of my images are primarily stored. So I opened up iPhoto and hit Import and wouldn't you know it... there were no shares listed... again!

I opened Finder to see if they were there and, once again, there wasn't even a "SHARED" entry on the left panel when there should be about eight of them.

So I figured if my Windows shares keep disappearing, then it must be happening to others as well. So, here is what to do when it happens to you!

Open up Finder and either select Go > Connect to Server form the file menu, or simply hit Command + K. This will open up the "Connect to Server" window like the screen shot below.

Connect to Server (Command+K)

If you are connecting to a normal Windows share, as we are in this example, enter the location in the format of a URL but use smb as the protocol. For example, I wanted to connect to my file server which is So, I entered smb:// in the "Server Address:" box and hit Connect.

Once you hit connect, OS X will attempt to connect to the server and return a list of available shares to connect to. Pick the share you want and voila! You should be connected. You should now see the share listed under "SHARED" on the left side of Finder.

Alternatively, if you know the share you want, you can specify it in the Server Address: box and skip the selection part of the process. For instance, I knew the share I was looking for was called photoBackups. I could have just easily entered smb:// and hit connect. This would have connected directly to that share without presenting a list of shares to choose from.

I hope is just as simple as that in your case as well. It works for me every time. Now If I could just figure out why they keep disappearing...

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