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I've got a couple of MacBooks that I'd like to be able to read / write files on a shared network drive within a Windows Active Directory network. What's the best way of doing this?

Also, one of the MacBooks is being used by someone who is only here on a temporary basis (its their own personal MacBook), so ideally I'd like to be able to remove their access once they've left. I'm thinking setting up a new user with just access rights on what's required, then when they leave, revoking the account. Does this sound like a reasonable approach?

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There's not a single question mark in your "question" – jj33 May 19 '09 at 14:15
Yes, please clarify... is this a question about how to set up the user accounts, or how to bind the machines to the directory in the first place? – avstrallen May 19 '09 at 14:20
jj33, good point, I've tweaked it accordingly. – Pauk May 19 '09 at 14:21
adamvs, it's mainly to do with getting the Mac's to read / write to the Windows network drives. I'm not so bothered about having full network authentication, but if that's what's involved in getting network access then, that's fine. – Pauk May 19 '09 at 14:23
is it really a windows server, or is it a linux with samba ? – lImbus May 19 '09 at 14:29
up vote 6 down vote accepted

From Finder, hit Command-k, enter smb://<servername>/<share>

They need a user account, but the Mac doesn't need to be bound to the domain. Macs don't support DFS, so you need to know the actual path to the file share that you're interested in.

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That's exactly what I was after, thanks! – Pauk May 20 '09 at 8:03

I was about to say that I thought it would be easiest to bind the machines to the Directory domain using the Mac Directory Utility in Applications>Utilities, but I'll defer to duffbeer703 (cos my practical AD experience ended with 2000 Server). If you get stuck, there's some good info at and there's a specific forum at

As for your plan about using limited rights accounts for a temporary period, that sounds very sensible to me.

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Thanks for the links, they'll come in handy. I'd up vote your post, but can't yet! – Pauk May 20 '09 at 8:04

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