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Bring back the shared folder overlay icon!!!! RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • This one is right at the top of the list of quite honestly the stupidest thing on 2008 R2 I've seen so far....(My list is growing and I've only had it installed for about 10 hours)

    1) The removal of the shared folder overlay icon in windows explorer

    I can no longer see at a glance which folders in a hierarchy are shared. This makes it about as difficult as it can possibly be to work with file servers , and keeping track of where NTFS permissions need to be applied when shares go several levels deep, and inherit security progressively down the tree. 

    I was gonna report this as a bug but it seems its by design (sic).

    I just want to know how long it will be before theres an update / patch / hack or something i can apply to get these back?
    ....because i'm not migrating my file servers to R2 without them. No way


    • Changed type boxing_surfer Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:37 PM Lack of interest from microsoft
    Sunday, August 23, 2009 9:28 PM

All replies

  • hi henrik. sadly not

    HKCR\Network\SharingHandler already contains REG_SZ value ntshrui.dll in both Win7 and Server 2K8 R2

    i dont think the explorer code displays the icon resource for shared folders anymore

    thanks for the suggestion anyway

    j
    Sunday, August 23, 2009 10:40 PM
  • Hi,

     

    No longer present as an overlay is the sharing hand. Why was the sharing hand removed in favor of the private overlay?

     

    Given the changes in how people use computers, sharing information is becoming more and more of the default state. Most people have some sort of home network, and when you set up a HomeGroup, pretty much everything is going to be shared. To remove the visual clutter, the information was moved to the Details pane. What's more, a single overlay cannot express the different ways an item can be shared, so in order to figure out what the deal is, you have to go to the Details pane anyway.

     

    Generally speaking, overlays are not a good way of presenting information because there can be only one overlay per icon, and there is a limit of 15 overlays per ImageList. If there are two or more overlays which apply to an item, then one will win and the others will lose, at which point the value of the overlay as a way of determining what properties apply to an item diminishes since the only way to be sure that a property is missing is when you see no overlay at all. (If you see some other overlay, you can't tell whether it's because your property is missing or because that other overlay is showing instead of yours.)

     

    In addition, it will be very convenient to view the shared folders on your File Servers if you use “net share” command.

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    Monday, August 24, 2009 7:17 AM
    Moderator
  • im sorry vincent

    you should understand that net share is not at all convenient for viewing a hierarchy of shares. Especially not when there are THOUSANDS of them per server.

    When shares and NTFS permissions inheritance is organised hierarchically, some kind of structured hierarchical view of those shares in the overall context of the file system is essential. This is what the share overlay gave us, and what microsoft have very carelessly removed.

    The points you have made in your response are perhaps relevant for a home OS, but certainly do not apply to an enterprise one.
    From the amount of web-chatter ive read, it would seem that admins are generally unhappy about the removal of this specific overlay.

    I agree that it should be up to the users to decide what overlays we use,
    Its not Microsofts right to remove this unilaterally

    I would also like to know when microsoft plans to bring back this overlay.
    Without it I think that my company will most likely not upgrade our file servers to R2 either.
    • Edited by jaydee180 Monday, August 24, 2009 12:16 PM
    Monday, August 24, 2009 12:08 PM
  • Hi everyone, is this issue resolved or does it still remains?

    I've just started our tests with 2008 R2 and I'm stunned to see this feature is removed - moreover that it's impossible to re-enable ?!

    Does anyone know a trick or a workaround?

    Thanks, Stanley.
    Saturday, October 17, 2009 10:24 AM
  • Hello

    This problem still remains.

    Yes its quite unbeliveable that the shared folder icon has been removed from the UI. And there is not a way to re-enable it

    It really seriously affects how Windows 2008 R2 is usable in the enterprise. Its not just for file servers but the ability to easily see shared folders at a glance was really useful in lots of situations. My other example is with the 'Server' service. If you have some problem with it after a reboot or something, you could know if none of your shares were visilbe in explorer. 

    I ran into a chap at a microsoft event recently. His recommendation was to make sure that anyone who cares about this problem should open a PSS case and report it as a bug. Even if its not technically a bug, the more issues and complaints that are raised with MS will increase the chances that a 'fix' will be implemented later on.

    So I would encourage everyone to get on the phone to PSS....
    Also make PLENTY of noise about it on this forum (because it is monitored by MS)
    And speak to your MS Technical Account Managers about how this will affect your R2 migrations

    Of course its stupid that we have to go through all this for such a basic feature that we've taken for granted for so long.
    Microsoft should probably remove drop down menu's from the next OS, and remove icons and pointer too, because there are some compelling reasons to stop using windows in the enterprise these days. 

    Does anyone seriously think they can run their global enterprise with this Fisher-Price bloatware that is Win7, Win2k8 R2

    These kind of mistakes really just show how we cant trust MS to make good design choices anymore.
    its already increased my planned use of Linux

    Sunday, October 18, 2009 6:22 PM
  • I really love the Windows 2008 R2 OS. But stuff like this is definately dissapointing...

    Check this out aswell:
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsserver2008r2general/thread/5c8e37c9-04aa-4ed4-b6d9-c28cb0d6dbf8

    Things like the shared folder icon and having your application icon in the taskbar show have been there for years... "By design" is a cheap answer for having this stuff thrown out.
    Sunday, October 18, 2009 8:51 PM
  • I did check out the other topic. Tim Quan's feedback suggestion does not work however.

    That leaves this forum. (support/bug calls will be denied as this is 'by design')

    But I bet a lot of people agree with us so I invite them to leave a short msg on this forum.

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:59 AM
  • I'll be reporting it to PSS as an issue

    Its possible to refuse the case to be closed until its been escalated to the product group.

    Its all about making noise. You shouldnt give up so easily.

    :)
    Wednesday, October 21, 2009 3:03 PM
  • Any solution for this problem yet?

    Sunday, November 8, 2009 4:48 PM
  • I've got a call open with PSS at the moment, and I've submitted a DCR (Design Change Request)... giving detailed reasons as to how this affects us in the enterprise and why it should be brought back, and how much it costs us in terms of extra man hours etc...

    I urge all of you who have interest in this problem to open a case with PSS and do the same. The more good quality DCR's they get, the more likely they are to change this behaviour.

    Think about how exactly the removal of the shared folder icon affects you.
    Think about how this is impacting you financially.
    Remember, the stronger the rationale the better are the chances of this being rectified.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION:
    (Provide a high-level summary of the problem, including descriptions of the affected user scenario and the user experience when the problem occurs)

    IMPACT AND BUSINESS JUSTIFICATION:

    IMPACT APPLICABILITY:

    OPPORTUNITY - What change would you like to see to remedy this

    Also, does this issue have any strategic, political, or press considerations?

    WORKAROUND
    (Are there any? They are unsatisfactory, because...?...)

    Many thanks

    Friday, November 13, 2009 11:30 AM
  • I just noticed this today. They really need to bring it back. So frustrating.
    Friday, November 13, 2009 7:02 PM
  • I am speechless at the removal of this very basic and intuitive function. Is there an official reason WHY it was removed "by design"? If it was for performance reasons, then i can at least conceed to a performance tradeoff.

    Nevertheless, every time I am browsing through folder heirarchies, it's very informative to know which folders are shared and which are not at a glance. At least make available a way to turn it on!

    I love R2 and 7, but the lack of the ability to turn on this overlay makes it feel crippled.

    Saturday, November 21, 2009 6:02 AM
  • Hey guys! I found a workaround (or at least an alternative tool that shows the overlays).

    It's called Altap Salamander: http://www.altap.cz/

    It's a highly robust file manager I happen to use and I noticed it still showed the overlays both in 7 and R2. :)

    I really can't say enough good things about this file manager. Enjoy!
    Saturday, November 21, 2009 6:28 AM
  • its a good find. But im not going to spend any money on a 3rd party product to add a feature that should be in the OS

    Everyone... open your PSS cases now. Microsoft cant charge you. Some people at microsoft dont even know that this feature has been removed!
    Theres no official documentation anywhere that indicates that its been removed. Its entirely undocumented.

    Very easy to open a case as a bug with no workaround, and submit a DCR.

    Its the only way that MS will change this stupid situation.

    Saturday, November 21, 2009 9:36 AM
  • Microsoft, please bring this back. You might be able to use daft excuses for removing this on Windows 7 such "preventing cognitive overload" but this just won't fly for a flagship enterprise operating system such as 2008 R2. Oh, wait, 2008 R2 is Windows 7, just with extra bells and whistles, maybe you will get away with it!
    Sunday, November 29, 2009 6:53 PM
  • I find it strange that no one is suggesting looking in Start>Programs>Administrative Tools>Computer Management and using the shared folders item which lets you view and change ALL the shares (as well as add or remove them) on a machine, not just the ones you can see in the current 'My Computer' or 'Windows Explorer' view.  However, I do agree it's handy to have a 'quick view' of what is shared by the use of the overlay icon.
    Monday, November 30, 2009 12:53 AM
  • The point is to be able to tell at a glance which folders are shared while browsing folders with explorer.

    What about desktop.ini?

    [.ShellClassInfo]
    IconResource=C:\Windows\system32\SHELL32.dll,158
    
    Monday, November 30, 2009 1:19 AM
  • Hi Keith, that's very similar to the suggestions of using a NET SHARE. The problem is you get all shares for the machine. Yes, you can filter the output, etc, but it was so much easier seeing shares at a folder level in Explorer, especially on a home server or similar with 100s or 1000s of shares...
    Monday, November 30, 2009 1:24 AM
  • Hi Brian, I tried your idea with the desktop.ini and after a nightmare round of fighting Windows trying to save the darn thing, even from an admin prompt, even after removing the s and h attributes, even with write access, eventually, finally, I saved the changes and it made no difference. After saving, Windows managed to reset this handy security partially back in. All this just for an ini file.

    I'm really getting fed-up with these restrictions in Windows 7/2008 R2, they are giving me a headache...
    • Edited by Rob.Ford Monday, November 30, 2009 6:18 PM
    Monday, November 30, 2009 6:25 AM
  • Hi,

     

    There is a workaround, you can navigate to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Shared Folders.

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    Monday, November 30, 2009 7:27 AM
    Moderator
  • Vincent & KeithT2000

    As was stated way back at the beginning of this thread, using the 'Shared Folders' MMC snap-in is not a workaround.
    It just gives you a list of shares.

    The benefit of the shared folder overlay is specific, and no other tool replaces it.

    You should understand that the 'Shared Folders' MMC snap-in is not at all convenient for viewing a hierarchy of shares. Especially not when there are THOUSANDS of them per server.

    When shares and NTFS ACL's are organised in a hierarchical structure, with ACL inheritance used to add layers of security at each level of the tree, some kind of hierarchical view of shares in the overall context of the file system is essential. 

    'Shared Folders' just doesnt do that.
    Neither does 'net share'

    Maybe if you have no more than a handfull of shares on your system you wont notice the difference. for a large enterprise with clusters of servers TB's of SAN storage and hundreds of shares per server, L2 admins making security modifications everyday, you DEFINTELY will!!

    Everyone who has an issue with this should take boxing_surfer's advice and open a PSS case with microsoft, and submit a DCR. They cant charge you as this is NOT officially documented anywhere as a 'by design' change. 

    Monday, November 30, 2009 12:20 PM
  •  

    There is a workaround, you can navigate to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Shared Folders. 

    Do all Microsoft employees attend the same brain-washing sessions? If I hear one more Microsoftee repeat this as a workaround I just might flip!
    Monday, November 30, 2009 6:23 PM
  • Why bother ranting? Raymond Chen also has his typical post justifying the bad decision: http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2009/12/09/9934348.aspx I've stuck to XP because of the poorly designed Windows Explorer.

    Thursday, December 10, 2009 8:03 AM
  • It sounds as though an equally valid, if more dev-time-intensive, way for Microsoft to address this issue would be to enhance or supplement the "Shared Folders" snap-in with a richer share-management solution. In that way they could display the hierarchical relationships of the shares, among other things. At worst(?), add a mode to the snap-in that is essentially a folders-only Explorer, including tree, that does not show any overlay except the shared overlay.

    The point of the change is, (Microsoft feels) the number of people who will have a better UI experience without the "shared item" overlay outweigh the number who will have a worse experience without the overlay. It is mildly surprising that it was removed entirely without an intervening version with it deprecated (default off but still available), but bear in mind that the effort was to improve the product.

    As such, although the overlay managed to fill your needs, consider whether there may be alternatives that would be even more useful to you while also meeting the goal of being less obtrusive to the people who don't need it. Make an effort to keep moving forward, instead of regressing the change.

    • Edited by StrikerBlast Thursday, December 10, 2009 6:21 PM Changed emphasis
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 6:19 PM
  • Having the "shared item" overlay as a worse experience then without the overlay on a SERVER?!?  Maybe it is possible that it is a worse experience on a desktop (re: Win7), but I posit that it is not possible that it is a worse experience on a server which supposedly only admins are on the console.  Is it not possible to have different UI options available between Win7 and 2008 R2?

    Friday, December 11, 2009 4:07 PM
  • Let us assume, for the moment, that it is actually beneficial to non-network-admin users that the "shared item" overlay has been removed.

    Consider that it is not enough to divide this behavior by OS (7 vs 2008 R2), due to the fact that many organizations have all of their users logging in interactively to Windows Server machines on a regular basis, as an application server (eg. Remote Desktop Services, Citrix XenApp, etc.).

    Also consider that it would then not always enough to decide based on whether the "Terminal Server" role is installed, as some sites have only one or two servers which handle all their roles, and other sites choose to buy the CALs and install the role to allow more than 2 admins to work on the box at a time. (I am not going to examine the merits of these approaches beyond the fact that they decidedly do occur in the wild, and Microsoft has not shown a tendency to follow the "punesh thoos lusers" philosophy.)

    It might have been possible to decide based on whether the user is in one of the Administrator groups, but then you either slow down Explorer by checking for that before drawing the overlays, or load one of two different Explorers. Neither is ideal, and both still fail at all of those sites with the "everybody should be an Administrator, right?" mindset. (Again, not going to discuss the merits. It happens, and Microsoft is not likely to slap their hands very hard, if at all.) And let's not forget all the uninformed admins who would then raise bug reports about how they see "shared item" overlays, but none of their users can.

    Friday, December 11, 2009 7:25 PM
  • As an admin, I still miss the overlays, but you make very good points Striker.  I am still unconvinced that the overlays were/are a bad thing even for regular users of even home OSes.  However, I have no doubt that MS had these discussions and obviously came to different conclusions.
    Friday, December 11, 2009 9:32 PM
  • In my previous post, I mentioned desktop.ini, which sucks because by itself, it does not work.

    If you open folder properties and select the last tab, "customize", you can then select an icon.  Chosing the shared folder icon (people on a folder) and closing it will put the following in the desktop.ini file:

    [.ShellClassInfo]
    IconResource=C:\Windows\system32\SHELL32.dll,158

    If desktop.ini does not exist, it will create one with those two lines.

    If you copy it, however, it will not work, even if you set permissions to HS (hidden, system).  PITA.
    Friday, December 11, 2009 11:59 PM
  • Hi Vincent and other MS folk,

    This is really a pain. It helps a great deal to have the share icon overlay for shared folders. It's hard to believe anyone found it a problem when there are so many more distressing aspects to these OS's. Running servers requires knowing what is shared. Using netshare or the MMC is wholly inadequate, not to mention more time-consuming.

    I am migrating over from an old Windows2000 server and I am mimicking the setup and seeing which shares are which is really crucial. This adds time and contributes to errors in the migration since the correct shares are essential for the proper running of third-party applications. And as has been mentioned, there is the "lock" overlay, which I find a bit less than useful, the presumpion being that most of the file system is "locked" at least as far as domain users are concerned. On a server, it should be "all locked" and then we open a share, which is the reverse of what might be found in one's home.

    So, I bought Win7Pro for about $200 and it works for home. But I pay upwards of a $1,000.00 + licenses for Win2008R2, and it doesn't have the share icon? Since there is such a price difference, not to mention the hugely functional difference, it would make sense to give administrators the tools to do their job with a minimum of hassle.

    For example, this has set me back in my deployment of this new server which was planned for mid-week. I've wasted a couple of hours trying to figure out how to turn it on only to see it was removed. It is defintely slowing down deployment.

    I have opened a PSS case for this.

    Regards,
    L
    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 12:46 AM
  • Having the overlay icon present for a shared folder surely won't impact the performance notably. And if performance is the issue, let's remove all the picture & video metadata that the explorer shell reads by default, which really criples the shell.

    Ms has become big because of two things: setup.exe and a good graphical interface.
    It's the same as with powershell - if I wanted to type in commands on a prompt, why have the huge shell explorer.exe running? Ms should focus on what has made them big. And the overlay icons are part of the graphical interface, at least that's what they're supposed to be...

    Let's not start to confuse the word 'good' in 'good graphical interface' with nice looking.

    Sunday, December 27, 2009 1:14 PM
  • Let's not start to confuse the word 'good' in 'good graphical interface' with nice looking.


    Thats a really excellent point Stanley

    Microsoft would do well to remember it.
    Wednesday, December 30, 2009 4:12 AM
  • This is a bunch of bull, bring the hand back before you have a revolution on your hands.
    Monday, January 25, 2010 10:53 PM
  • Yep, this is REALLY annoying - I don't care so much about client OS's, but the Server OS needs to show if a folder is shared or not at a glance.  I don't want to have to look at a directory and have to click on each folder to know if it's shared or not - ridiculous!  This is now actually costing me time and as an admin I can't afford to waste time - not like your Joe Bloggs home user who wouldn't even know how to share a folder in the first place!

    At least give us the option to turn this feature on or off MS - seriously, get it together with the basics!
    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 2:18 AM
  • Bring this back! Bring this back!
    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 7:03 PM
  • Bring it back!  If overlays are so bad, why keep the little padlock overlay when I remove some ACEs
    Friday, January 29, 2010 4:10 PM
  • In Server 2003 I have used the Computer Management -> Shared Folders as well as the "Net Share" command.  However, the most useful and easiest method for reviewing file shares is the overlay icon in Windows explorer.  As far as I can tell, MS's idiot designers removed it to make space for the absolutely useless overlays added in Windows 7.

    If you can't fix the problem of only one overlay allowed at a time, at least give both 2008 R2 and Windows 7 the ability to prioritize the overlays, including the "SHARED HAND" overlay.

    Mike Ober.
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 3:31 PM
  • Do you work for MS?  Removing the Shared Hand overlay makes the system harder to manage.
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 3:33 PM
  • I want the shared folder icon back by default as well, and everyone on my team feels the same way.  We are windows administrators and we rely on this functionality frequently.  Allow end users to toggle it if necessary, or make it a well-publicized optional patch,  but bring the option back. 
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 7:53 PM
  • Add me to the list -- this needs to be at least an option to turn on/off....ridiculous that it's gone....
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 2:17 PM
  • Removing this feature was a very poor idea for a server OS. Fair enough in Windows 7, but as others have said, in a server OS you can have hundreds or thousands of folders being shared individually, and not being able to see which are shared at a glance is a massive step backwards. I am *not* a happy customer.
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 8:42 AM
  • I was looking for a way to re-enable this really useful feature, but i didn't even imagine it could have been completly removed!!!
    MS, what the ____ are you doing with explorer?! There is already so much disabled features! Is it not enough that by default you removed menu bars, damned files extensions for years, buttons icons (only text now!), no more memory on all folders only last one opened, etc., etc.! We can re-enabled most of theses, but if you're starting to remove features completly, what a pity! Are you REALLY listening to customers?! Helllllooooo, we are here!

    We are bigs boys, really, and system administrators too, in enterprise , don't you think that we can make this kind of choices by ourselves?!
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 10:28 AM
  • Me too. As an IT admin/consultant for small businesses -- and one who has been teetering on the brink of "Maybe Win7 is RfPT" -- this and similar issues have caused me to take a step back and look at what the true TCO is in terms of administration.

    I agree with Noel (in another thread here about this) -- at least about what I think he said. The product maker probably broke this long-useful feature during the cognitive overload of creating the gussied-up Aerofluff and other look-and-feel eye candy, and then couldn't fix it before the RTM deadline. Perhaps that leaves hope for a return of the very useful shared folder icon. In SP2011?

    In the meantime, could a PowerShell script, linked to an added-in context-menu item, share a folder and change its icon to the shared folder icon -- and vice versa? If anybody has done that and cares to post it or a link to it, I would use it for our simpler needs. I don't know how useful that would be in larger/more complex environments. 

    And on the subject of look-and-feel, why couldn't the product maker have included a single "Classic XP" option that made working in Win7 the same experience as XP from top to bottom? It's probably overkill, but could creating a GUI abstraction layer, similar to the HAL, do this? That shouldn't cause cognitive overload for their programmers.

    Oh wait. Then users wouldn't need new training manuals and classes. Never mind.

    What do I know? I've only been supporting Windows since 3.0.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010 5:53 PM
  • I want my icon back!!!
    Monday, May 3, 2010 6:24 AM
  • I really enjoy the added difficulty involved in looking at my shares in computer management and comparing them to the tree in explorer. I enjoy that as much as I enjoy doing all of the management tasks for Exchange in the Exchange Management Shell- Things I used to do with some simple pointing and clicking in the Exchange Management Console. It has really made my job as an IT professional much easier... (Not!) I'm anxiously waiting for the next generation of Windows where I can boot up to a BASIC interpreter and hand-key all of my commands (I'm thinking Amstrad CPC). Surely that will cut back on "cognitive overload". Hey, I've got an idea for an invention... I'll call it an acoustically coupled voiceband modem and I'll transmit data over telephone lines (and pay by the hour)... But really, can we have our shared folder icon back?
    Tuesday, May 11, 2010 4:10 AM
  • That was hilarious! Thanks.
    Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:53 PM
  • Generally speaking, overlays are not a good way of presenting information because there can be only one overlay per icon, and there is a limit of 15 overlays per ImageList.

     

    In addition, it will be very convenient to view the shared folders on your File Servers if you use “net share” command.

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

     

     

    1. Bring the bloody overlay back already.
    2. Increase the overlay limit, then.
    3. No, net share is the opposite of convenience.

    Simple visual indication of what is shared and not is a very intuitive and useful feature, no? Since when is it "better" to display this highly relevant information in text form, which is not even displayed until the shared folder is selected?

    Please read a book on user interface design, or hire a usability engineer (we have them in Sweden, are they completely absent in the US?).

     

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 1:51 PM
  • Sorry to disrupt all the commiseration, but I'm concerned some of the recent posters may be under the delusion that this is a ballot.

    In general, Microsoft does not make design decisions based on public forum posts. If you really want to motivate some potential change, do as the original poster did and open a Product Support case.

    If you're actually trying to get Microsoft to do something, just saying some variation of "me too" here (no matter how comical or well argued) won't cut it. On the other hand, if you are just seeking empathy from your peers, or actually have something to add that has not already been said in some form, carry on.

    We now return to your regularly scheduled opinions, sane or otherwise.

    Monday, May 17, 2010 1:13 AM
  • Shortly after this forum thread started, the feature team responded with the rationale behind this design change. Since then there has been a large amount of activity on this thread and we’re thankful to everyone who took the time to write thoughtful, constructive responses that explained why the workarounds discussed did not meet their business requirements.

     

    Takeaway items included the fact that the details pane is only useful for viewing sharing status of a single folder at a time, the Share and Storage Management snap-in is not convenient for viewing a hierarchy of shares and that it is important to see the relative location of the share on the folder tree for context (particularly since ACL inheritance is often used to add layers of permissions down the tree).

     

    The multiple downsides to using overlays have been discussed in various locations including this blog post by Raymond Chen.

     

    It is important to set expectations that we cannot promise any future product changes at this point. Having said that, we’d like to start a discussion about whether adding an optional column showing sharing status in explorer would be sufficient to unblock the scenarios that are important to people affected by this change. The column would contain values specifying either ‘shared’ or ‘not shared’ (consistent with the states that the overlay used to convey). As with other Explorer columns, it would support sorting and could optionally by shown or hidden based on user preference.

     

    Again, we want to be clear that we are using multiple data points to research future product considerations including but not limited to feedback from forum threads as well as direct interaction with a cross section of customers (medium generalist IT pro, large enterprise etc.).

     

    On a side note, this blog post might be of interest to those who would like to know more about how the Windows team handles customer feedback in the engineering decision making process.

     


    Laura Zhang - MSFT

     

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:04 AM
    Moderator
  • Laura,

    This would make me happy, A column would be sufficient though I would still like the icon.
    I use this feature to quickly glance at folders that are not shared any more after a scripted repair to find users directories of accounts that no longer exist. Then I can easily cleanup and remove old directories faster.

    Thank You

    Thursday, May 20, 2010 5:27 PM
  • Geez, after so many posts telling you the visual cues of being able to see shares in the file system hierarchy are paramount, what makes you think a column would suffice?

    Allow me to clarify:

     

    NO, we need the share icon back on the shared folders.

     

    Please.

    Sunday, June 6, 2010 2:21 PM
  • Takeaway items included the fact that the details pane is only useful for viewing sharing status of a single folder at a time, the Share and Storage Management snap-in is not convenient for viewing a hierarchy of shares and that it is important to see the relative location of the share on the folder tree for context (particularly since ACL inheritance is often used to add layers of permissions down the tree).

      

    It is important to set expectations that we cannot promise any future product changes at this point. Having said that, we’d like to start a discussion about whether adding an optional column showing sharing status in explorer would be sufficient to unblock the scenarios that are important to people affected by this change. The column would contain values specifying either ‘shared’ or ‘not shared’ (consistent with the states that the overlay used to convey). As with other Explorer columns, it would support sorting and could optionally by shown or hidden based on user preference.

     

    Again, we want to be clear that we are using multiple data points to research future product considerations including but not limited to feedback from forum threads as well as direct interaction with a cross section of customers (medium generalist IT pro, large enterprise etc.).

     

    On a side note, this blog post might be of interest to those who would like to know more about how the Windows team handles customer feedback in the engineering decision making process.

     


    Laura Zhang - MSFT

     

    How would adding a column address the main problem of not being able to view shares in a hierarchical context? It would not really be any improvement on the current method of displaying share information in the details pane.

    If we have a column, the column would only display share information for the list of folders in the currently selected level of the hierarchy.

    why cant you just put it back like it was and just make it user selectable?

    I think its laudible that MS are now kind of weighing back into this debate, even if somewhat half heartedly and without making any implication that anything will actually change. Its a shame that MS werent carrying out this kind of analysis before going to market.

     

    Sunday, June 6, 2010 5:28 PM
  • It is important to set expectations that we cannot promise any future product changes at this point. Having said that, we’d like to start a discussion about whether adding an optional column showing sharing status in explorer would be sufficient to unblock the scenarios that are important to people affected by this change. The column would contain values specifying either ‘shared’ or ‘not shared’ (consistent with the states that the overlay used to convey). As with other Explorer columns, it would support sorting and could optionally by shown or hidden based on user preference.

     


    Laura Zhang - MSFT


    Laura, having a column in the details view of explorer would surely improve on the current situation. We (my company) would welcome such an improvement.

    I'm glad the comments on this forum are monitored - it's customer feedback after all.

    Thanks, Stanley

    Sunday, June 20, 2010 1:20 PM
  • Geez,

    A collumn would add a benifit of being able to sort by shared or not shared and be able to easily cut copy or delete folders that are no longer shared instead of going through 3000 items to find 30 unshared folders.

    Both would be nice but a collumn would be even better

     


    David
    Sunday, June 20, 2010 4:23 PM
  • im not so keen on this idea. Adding a column alone would not really solve the problems that removing the overlay had created.

    we migrated our file servers back to 2003, becuase 2008 R2 explorer is a dog, and windows 2008 is a dog of an OS, altogether.

     

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 10:38 PM
  • There may be other reasons for the lock overlay on a folder icon, but what I've found is the lock overlay means the file/folder permissions have been changed and is restricted in some way from what would be inherited, usually that not every one has access to read the folder and it's contents.
    For example, if you remove the HomeUser group from having Read & Execute permission to a folder under My Documents, the lock overlay will appear. (I do have my Documents shared in a HomeGroup)
    Removing the Users and Authenticated user groups from a folder created in the root of a drive will also add the lock overlay to the folder icon.
    You can remove the lock overlay in this case by resetting the permissions to be inherited, and removing all permissions that are not inherited.
    Right click the folder, click Properties
    Click the Security tab
    Click Advanced
    Click Change Permissions
    Check Both boxes to Include inheritable permissions, and to Replace all child object permissions
    Click Apply then click Yes
    Wait for the list to refresh
    Remove all permissions that say <not inherited>

    That should remove the Lock overlay.
    You may need to Uncheck Use Sharing Wizard in Control Panel | Folder Options | View tab to see the Security tab, and may have to boot to Safe Mode as well if running Home Basic or Premium.

    If you are not sure about what the permissions do, may be best to leave them alone. Definitely, do not add a Deny permission of any kind unless you are certain of how it will work. You can lock yourself out of the system by adding a Deny permission in the wrong place, especially if you deny a group rather than a user.

    Friday, June 25, 2010 3:37 AM
  • Friday, June 25, 2010 3:38 AM
  • I just create custom icons for my shared folders, it not that much work unless you have 1000's of shares
    Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:25 PM
  • manually creating custom icons is unworkable for environments much bigger than a small office / home office. Thats never going to work in the enterprise. Last time i checked, Windows 2008 R2 was beingg targeted at environments a bit bigger than that.

    Thanks also jay gardner for the little link to the cute tutorial on how to share files, but a fair few of us already know how to do that. ;) I've been working with windows since DOS. I'm not sure it really contributes to the usefulness of this thread, the subject of which is the absense of any indicator in windows explorer that a foler is shared, in windows 2008 r2. no offence.

    Also, this thread isnt about the padlock overlay icon. I've already figured out what makes it appear and what to do to make it disappear. The point is its utterly useless, and contradictory to microsoft own assertion that overlays create cognitive overrload. I havent heard anybody applaud it as a great new feature.... until now that is. :)

    Fundamentally, if you cant see in explorer what folders are shared and which arent in some kind of 'real world' (i.e. hierarchical) view, then the OS simply isnt useful as a file server in large environments where multi-tiered support departments exist, changes occur to file servers on a daily basis, where we employ things like DFS and DFS-R and need such a visual cue to as a way to attempt to keep things self documenting, and also to avoid stupid mistakes that happen in the absense of it.

    Monday, June 28, 2010 8:23 PM