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ATPM 10.10
October 2004




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Networks in Action

by Matthew Glidden,

Mac to Windows: Troubleshooting the “No Logon Servers Available” File Sharing Error

The Error

If you’ve shared files from your Mac to networked Windows users, you know how easy it is. Open the Sharing preferences pane, enable Windows File Sharing, and click Apply Now. The Mac even tells you what address to use (\\\sevans in this example).


Theoretically, seeing the files from Windows is pretty easy. Click Start, select Run, and enter the address. Sometimes, however, you see this error: “There are Currently no logon servers available to service the logon request.”

Zounds, what a vague error message. Logon server? Is that in System Preferences? (It’s not.) It’s hard to even know where to start looking for solutions. On the Mac? In Windows? In your other pants pocket?

What’s Going On

The error is a case of mistaken identity. When it looks for the network share, Windows gives your Windows account name. If that name doesn’t exist as an account on your Mac, however, the Windows system is kept out. On being rejected, Windows reports the above error.

The easiest solution? Change the network mount to an account that already has sharing access on the Mac (such as the Mac’s owner).

  1. Go to the Desktop and right-click on the My Computer icon.
  2. Select “Map Network Drive…” and its window appears.
  3. Enter your Mac’s address and shared directory as the folder.
  4. Select “Connect using a different user name.”
  5. Enter the Mac owner’s user name and password or another account with access to the shared files.
  6. Select OK to close the window, then Finish.
  7. A window showing the shared Mac files should appear.

Check the “Reconnect on login” check box to look for these files each time you start Windows. (This also preserves the name change.)

If you’re using a wireless network and still see the error, connect the computers with a physical Ethernet cable and try again. Sometimes the distance between computers and the wireless switch makes sharing files impossible or impractically slow. Direct Ethernet is much faster.


Fixing the Windows-to-Mac account issues will get your computers working agreeably again. The “No logon servers available” error is annoying, but shouldn’t stop you from talking to your friends. (Or yourself, but we won’t dwell on that.)

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Reader Comments (1)

Simplicity Rules · October 5, 2005 - 13:36 EST #1
Ever heard of a cd burner or dvd burner. Granted it may take you 6-7 RW discs (1 DVD) but at least you won't be near the edge ready to jump.

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