The Short Version: Every now and then File Sharing on the target machine running OS X Lion quits working. I must disable and then re-enable File Sharing to get it working again. So far I haven’t found a permanent fix.

Today I discovered that I could no longer access shared files on my iMac from a MacBook Pro via SMB File Sharing. Both systems are running Lion. The file sharing was working only a day prior. This problem was rather odd. I could access file shares on other machines from that Mac without a problem. I could also access that Mac via Screen Sharing using the same credentials that File Sharing wasn’t accepting.

I’m not sure what caused this problem. The only major change I made on the iMac since yesterday was to run a Full Defrag using iDefrag 2. I don’t know if this actually caused the problem (or if it even could). While troubleshooting the issue I repaired permissions on the drive, but that didn’t make a difference.

Though the short name, originally established under Snow Leopard, for the account had been working I tried using only the long name. That didn’t work either. Every time I entered my credentials the login prompt shook to indicate it didn’t work.

Finally, I just went into the File Sharing Options, unchecked SMB (AFP wasn’t checked to start with) and saved this change. This turned off all file sharing. Next, I went back into the settings and re-enabled SMB File Sharing.

It worked.

Despite the fact that the system settings weren’t any different I can once again access shared files over SMB. My best guess is that something hadn’t been fully re-enabled. Perhaps during the defrag process some permission was changed that prevented the sharing from working. By disabling and then re-enabling the service it may have re-established the appropriate file permissions. Of course, that’s just speculation.

Updated 11/24/2011: The fix wasn’t permanent. The same problem cropped up again and, as before, the same solution also corrected the problem.

Updated 06/09/2012: Yep. It still happens despite various system updates that have been released since. Every now and then I’ll attempt to connect and then find that I have to disable and re-enable the service to make it work again.

Apple, OS X, Tips
, , , , , , , , , , ,

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. I’ve had the same problem with SMB shares between my Mac and Windows machine since moving to Lion. It seems once a month I have to turn off sharing, then turn it back on again. Have assumed there must be a timeout built into Lion for this, as it switched off in the middle of a file transfer last month. Most curious.

    • I still have the same problem as well. It worked fine earlier this week but this evening when I needed to transfer just one file I had to disable and then re-enable File Sharing to get it working again.

  2. With Lion, Apple has finally caught up to Microsoft in the department of releasing software that isn’t even compatibile with itself! I have been running into this problem as well – joy. . .

  3. I’m so glad others are having the same problem… I was beginning to think I was crazy or something… every week I restart SMB file sharing to get it working again…

    Thanks SO much for sharing this, I can’t seem to find any fix for this other than “restart” file sharing by unchecking it, then checking it.

    Works everytime, but it’s a shame that we even have to do it… I’m running 10.7.5 BTW.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: