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I'm using Snow Leopard with Remote Desktop Connection attempting to access a Windows XP machine on a home network. If I specify the Windows PC's hostname it won't connect. Only by specifying the IP address does it connect. It's the same issue when trying to ping the Windows machine - IP address works, hostname doesn't.

Both machines are on the same subnet connecting with a wireless router.

Is there way to get OSX to resolve the Windows PC by its hostname?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I installed Bonjour on the Windows machines and now OS X can see them by hostname (ie hostname.local). See

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Are you using DHCP, or are your IP addresses set manually? If you are setting the IPs manually, then it's possible that the hostnames won't be registered in the router's DNS, so when OS X goes to look up the hostname, it doesn't find it.

One workaround would be to add an entry in the Mac's HOSTS file, if the IPs are static. Then your mac would connect directly to that IP whenever you typed in the hostname.

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I'm using DHCP. – Wavy Crab May 13 '10 at 22:21
Can you resolve the Mac's address using the hostname from the XP computer? – nhinkle May 14 '10 at 0:24
No, Windows can't ping the OSX machine either. – Wavy Crab May 29 '10 at 20:13
Have you checked the router's configurations? Some routers will purposefully drop ICMP (ping) packets. Also, what is the IP given to each computer? Is it possible that they're somehow not getting IPs in the same subnet? – nhinkle May 29 '10 at 21:02
Same subnet, Windows PCs can ping each other (by name and IP address). Mac can only ping Windows by IP address. I think it's some kind of DNS issue. Windows must be bypassing DNS (WINS?) which is why they can ping each other. Mac can't resolve Windows PC name so it can only ping my IP address. – Wavy Crab May 29 '10 at 21:08

Are you looking it up as "hostname.local"? If so, that could be your problem, because Mac OS X reserves the .local domain for IETF ZeroConf (Apple calls their implementation of this "Bonjour"), whereas Windows uses .local for a different, Microsoft-proprietary name resolution scheme. Try the hostname without the .local, or see if you can use change your default domain on your Windows systems to something other than .local (maybe .home or something).

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