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How To Share A File Or Folder Across Your Network

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#1 Rimmer


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Posted 25 March 2006 - 08:51 PM

Sharing a File or Folder in Windows

Guide Overview

The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate how to share a file or folder with the users of other computers on a network. Examples are given for Windows XP Home, Windows 2000 and Windows 98.

Select and Share the File or Folder

To share files and folders between computers on a network the computers must all belong to the same workgroup and the 'File and Printer Sharing' service must be enabled on all the participating computers. There are other guides in this forum that describe how to set these up. The same process can be used to share an individual file or you can share entire drives such as DVD/CDROM drives or hard drives. Sharing your C: drive is not to be encouraged because it will make your system very vulnerable to damage either malicious or accidental. The examples shown here are for sharing a folder.
  • In 'My Computer' or using 'Windows Explorer' navigate to the Folder that you want to share, do not open the folder just have its icon visible.

  • Right click on the folder and in the menu which opens select 'Sharing...'or 'Sharing and Security...'.

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  • The 'Foldername Properties' window will open on the 'Sharing' tab. Click on the 'Share this folder' button (Win2000):

    Posted Image

    or tick the 'Share this folder on the network' box (WinXP):

    Posted Image

    or click the 'Shared As:' button (Win98).

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  • The 'Share name:' field is now available and automatically filled with the folder's name. You can change this so that network users see a distinctive name for the folder as the folder name may be the same as one on their own computer which may lead to confusion. In Windows 98 and 2000 you can also add some descriptive text in the 'Comment' field but this doesn't seem to appear anywhere to other users.

  • Click 'Apply' then 'OK' to close the window.
The folder icon will now include a hand to show it is being shared.

Posted Image

Set the Access Level
You may want to allow others to view your files but you might not want them to be able to overwrite or delete them. To control the level of access you need to set the Permissions in Windows 2000, the Access Type in Windows 98 or tick the 'Allow network users to change my files' box in Windows XP Home.

Windows 2000
  • Open the folder properties window again and click the 'Permissions' button on the 'Sharing' tab. This will open a 'Permissions for Sharename' window. In our example this is 'Permissions for Azkaban'.

    Posted Image

    The default in Windows 2000 is to give everyone full control i.e. all users can read, overwrite, rename or delete the files in your shared folder.

  • To limit the access all users have to your files click the 'Deny' box next to the 'Full Control' permission. This moves all the ticks to deny boxes.

  • Tick the 'Allow' box for the 'Read' permission if you want everyone to be able to open the files.

  • Tick the 'Allow' box for the 'Change' permission if you want everyone to be able to edit and rename the files.

  • Click 'Apply' then 'OK' to close the window.
More detailed access control can be applied if you have other user groups defined as well as 'Everyone' but that is beyond the scope of this guide.

Windows XP Home
The default in Windows XP is for the folder to be read-only, users cannot edit or delete the contents.
  • Open the folder Properties window again.

  • If required tick the 'Allow network users to change my files' box.
    This will allow all users in your workgroup to edit, overwrite, rename or delete the files in this folder.

    Posted Image

  • Click 'Apply' then 'OK' to close the window.
Windows 98
  • Open the folder Properties window again.

  • On the 'Sharing' tab three Access Types are listed, the default is 'Read-Only' with no password.

  • Select the access you wish to give to other users. Full access would allow users to overwrite, rename and/or delete the files. If you choose 'Depends on Password' both of the password boxes become active and you can enter different passwords for read-only access and full access.

    Posted Image

  • Click the 'Apply' button. You will be asked to confirm any passwords you have entered.

    Posted Image

  • Click 'OK' to close both the windows.
Once the folder is shared on your network, users belonging to your workgroup will be able to see an icon for the shared folder in their 'My Network Places' or 'Network Neigbourhood' window. Double clicking on this icon will give them access to the files you have placed in the shared folder on your computer. A user password will be required for access to files shared from a Windows 2000 computer, if set a password will be required for files shared from a Windows 98 computer.

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