Workaround for Local Network Discovery Failures & Problems Connecting to Servers on Mac OS

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Local networks usually work flawlessly on Macs, so some of the most aggravating problems that a select group of users may experience with Mac OS running OS X Yosemite (and sometimes with later releases) involve network connections. Some of these could be related to wider connection and Wi-Fi functionality issues, and others that could affect common LAN network functions and the ability to discover and connect to another local Mac or transfer files on a local network from other AFP Macs or even wider. SMB machines. The final issues with LAN detection and connectivity are what we’ll focus on here.

This is basically a tracking solution, specifically troubleshooting local network connectivity issues and the inability to find network machines that are undoubtedly on the same network that was once connected fine. These usually manifest with a Mac running Mac OS X Yosemite connecting to other Macs running earlier versions of Mac OS X, but the workaround may be relevant to other situations where a similar error also occurs.

If you are experiencing the specific network discovery or connection attempts, you know the routine; try to connect to another local Mac as it should, and after a long wait you will eventually get the message “There was a problem connecting to the server ‘ComputerName’. The server may not exist or is currently unavailable. Please check the server name or IP address, check your network connection and try again. It is of course entirely possible to see that exact error message for the reasons stated in the error message which would make it a legitimate message, but in this case the target server connection worked fine before, the target server exists, the IP is correct , and the network connections are active on both sides, and you can even ping the server IP from the problematic Mac.

Problem connecting to Mac server, error message in OS X

If you run into that error message with a local network connection that absolutely should work, try the following routine to make sure the local network Macs are discovering and connecting correctly as intended. You will need the target IP address of the Mac, the IP address can be found in Network Preferences on all versions of Mac OS X (ask the local sysadmin if you are unsure of the server IP):

  1. Close any open failed network attempts and failed network related windows in the Mac OS X Finder – this includes the network folder or network browser in Finder
  2. After the ‘connection problem’ error message appears, disconnect the Wi-Fi connection in Mac OS X via the Wi-Fi menu bar
  3. Turn the WiFi back on in Mac OS X from the same menu
  4. From the Mac OS X Finder, press Command + Shift + K to bring up the “Go to Server” menu and enter the IP address of the LAN Macs to connect to
  5. Manually connect to a local Mac server For Macs use afp: // (target-ip) and for SMB / Windows use smb: // (target-ip)

  6. Click on ‘Connect’ and the target Mac should be discovered, then login as usual, the LAN connection should be established as intended
  7. Login screen for local server connection in OS X

Once connected, you will be in the familiar Finder-based navigation of the target Mac (or server) as usual.

Mac successfully connected

A fairly easy fix, but you’ll find that once the connection expires, you’ll have to start over, turn the Mac’s general network connection off and on again, then target the IP address to reconnect. On the other hand, while the connection is successful and active, the network Macs will appear as they should appear in the network browser of the Mac Finder.

Networking usually works fine in Mac OS X which makes this a bit of an anomaly, and having most Mac users not experience it at all is good. There are several ways to share files between Macs, including the AFP approach, AirDrop or SSH. Use whatever is most appropriate for your situation or what is most reliable in your area. For moving one or two files easily and without the need for general file system access, AirDrop can be a quick fix that will avoid the need for the workaround described above.

I personally encounter this particular network discovery problem on a regular basis with a particular Mac running Mac OS X Yosemite connecting to another local Mac via AFP. The discovery error never occurred before this particular MacBook Air ran Mac OS X Yosemite (it’s also a clean install, if you’re curious), indicating that the cause is probably a software glitch, maybe even specific to some Mac hardware. In addition, the network problems do not occur on other local Macs, which is consistent with numerous reports from other users experiencing similar detection and AFP and SMB problems, usually in a typical office LAN environment or home. That a workaround for this involves turning Wi-Fi on and off is also noteworthy and may indicate a fix with a future Mac OS X system software update that focuses on wireless. It’s worth mentioning that a similar bug existed in earlier versions of Mac OS X connecting to SMB and NAS shares, which could be fixed with these cifs: // trick, and that bug was later fixed.

Hopefully, the steps above will be helpful for Mac users who encounter a similar network discovery problem, and always remember to update Mac OS X to new versions of system software when it becomes available. If you’ve encountered similar network machine or LAN connection detection issues in Mac OS X, let us know how you resolved them by leaving a comment below.

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Workaround for Local Network Discovery Failures & Problems Connecting to Servers in Mac OS X: FAQ

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the Workaround for Local Network Discovery Failures & Problems Connecting to Servers in Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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