I have a PC with Windows 8.1 and a Mac with Mavericks. I have a folder on the Mac that is shared with the PC. When I'm on the PC and I try to open a file that is shared by the Mac, such as an ISO file (a disk image), then I get a message saying that I cannot open the file, or the file is in use (it depends on the app/filetype). I have the same problem when I open a video file. Strangely, text files and PDF files are just fine. And if I copy any of the problematic files to the local Windows disk, then I can open them just fine.

The specific error messages are:

  • AVI files opened in VLC: "Your input can't be opened. VLC is unable to open the MRL."
  • ISO files opened by Windows Explorer: "Sorry, there was a problem mounting the file."

This only started happening after I upgraded to Windows 8.1 on the PC and Mavericks on the Mac. Mavericks upgraded its SMB version from SMB1 to SMB2, so perhaps that is related? Does anyone know what the problem might be, and how I could fix it?

Thanks in advance!

  • cross post much? You are now 4 of the top 5 hits for this search :P
    – Spyder
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 23:45
  • Can the PC write a file to the Mac and then read it (testing round trip of data that Windows presumably has crafted properly)?
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 16:15
  • Has anyone found a fix for this? None of my non-Mac clients can access SMB shares on my Mavericks server.
    – d0g
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 6:56

3 Answers 3


This seems to be a known issue as I remember running across a work-around the other day at TUAW:


Basically what they are telling you to do is replace the SMB:// in the Go > Connect To Server... dialog box with CIFS://

I gather this forces the Mac to use an older version of the SMB networking standard that is the default on Mavericks. Not sure if this will work in VLC and not sure how to compensate for the issue on a PC but this should help when you are working on the Mac end of things...

  • The problem I'm having is the reverse, though. I'm using Windows 8.1 to connect to a shared folder on Mavericks, while those instructions indicate how to connect to other PCs from a Mac.
    – Gary
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 15:58
  • I have the same problem as mentioned in the link, but the cifs:// workaround does not work at all for me...
    – Arne
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 20:42

There is an issue with accessing files on the mavericks machine from a windows 8.1 machine that is not fixed by dropping the mavericks back to SMB1. It must relate to directories are certain types of files, because many operations succeed. Syncing larger recursive folders with Vice Versa or GoodSync always fails.


This post provides some clues: http://cammodude.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/os-x-109-mavericks-workaround-for-smb.html

I can't test it myself, but adding smb_neg=smb1_only to /etc/smb.conf and then restarting the sharing server (uncheck then re-check the box) might work. I note on my mac there is a /etc/smb.conf.old file that might be a good starting point.

DISCLAIMER: Messing with this could break a lot of things.

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