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I am running OS X Server 10.7.4 and I have set up a local host name. Let's call it myhostname.local

When I connect from an OS X machine or an iOS device, everything works fine, but when I connect from a Windows 7 machine it says "Cannot find server". I read something about it having to do with the zero configuration service, but I tried with that disabled and enabled and it didn't make a difference. This is a wired connection, on a local network. Using the IP address directly works fine for the Windows machines.

Does anyone know what I should do to make this work? Do I have to register myhostname.local on the LAN router?

EDIT It has come to my attention that one Windows machine can connect using the host name while another cannot. Both are on the same network, and neither have the host name listed in their hosts file. What could be the cause of this?

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Why dont you add myhostname.local to your C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file on your pc? –  user174859 Nov 21 '12 at 2:00
    
I'd prefer not to have to do that, since that would mean separately configuring every Windows machine we have. I'm curious as to what makes Apple's OS work, but Windows not. –  borrrden Nov 21 '12 at 2:11
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Perhaps one is configured to use multicast DNS, and the other not? –  Keith Nov 21 '12 at 2:27

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

On a peer to peer network with no central DNS server, Windows and Mac resolve names using different processes. Typically Windows uses NetBIOS and Mac uses Bonjour, or some bullshit name like that.

You can install the Bonjour service on any Windows OS. Often times this is installed alongside Apple apps like Itunes.

Read up on this awesome technology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonjour_%28software%29#Microsoft_Windows_implementation

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Superb catch!! That was completely the problem. Installing iTunes on the computer in question fixed it. –  borrrden Nov 21 '12 at 2:49

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