Browsing for Network Servers in Mac OS 10.3

Question: Why am I not able to view all the servers available on our district network when I click the “Network†icon in Macintosh OS 10.3?

The IT Guy says:
In Panther (OS 10.3) the number and names of servers you see when you click on the “Network†icon in a finder window varies — depending on many factors. Some of these are user configurable (you can make changes on your computer to change what you can see and browse on the network) while others depend upon how your network is configured and the services that are active.

One of the first things a Macintosh user should do if the district uses a “WINS†server is enter that WINS server address into the “Directory Access†application, which is located in Applications/Utilities. WINS is a service that helps computers on the network locate each other, and specifying your local WINS server should immediately enable you to see more network resources.

Often you can connect to even more network resources than those to which you can “browse†using the Network icon in the finder. Servers visible when you click on the Network icon are sometimes limited to those that are assigned within the same “subnet†as your computer. This can explain why some computers may be able to browse to certain network servers while others cannot. This can happen if the IP addresses assigned to each computer are within a different subnet. Generally the best bet, to consistently connect to server resources, involves finding out the syntax for connecting to the server (starting with either “smb://†or “afp://†[no quotes] — depending on what protocols are enabled on the server) and enter the server name and share name in the Finder’s GO — CONNECT TO SERVER window. These shared server resource addresses can be saved for repeated use by clicking on the (+) icon in the CONNECT TO SERVER window.

Apple has an excellent article offering even more details about these issues, titled About network browsing and connected servers in Mac OS X 10.3".

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