How to access other Windows systems in a workgroup network? RRS feed

  • Question

  • To access other computer in a Windows network I usually set up same usernames and same passwords for all users on all computers in the same network.  I wonder if there are simpler or alternative ways.

    I have two computers, Vista and XP, connected with a crossover Ethernet cable.  I can never connect without the same username set up on both computers.  If I have only the same username but no password set up on both machine, the Vista can see the pre-set and user-configured shared folders in the XP but the XP can't see the Vista's except its public folder. The Vista system has the network discovery and file and printer sharing turned on whereas the password protected sharing is turned off.  Eventually I still have to put in same password on both computers to get them work.  So there seems to be some difference between the pre-set public folder in Vista as well as the pre-set shared folder in XP and user-configured shared folders.  What is the difference?

    I had supposed having the password protected sharing turned off, one could access the Vista system willy-nilly.  It says that "When password protected sharing is on, only people who have a user account and password on this computer can access shared files, printers attached to this computer, and the public folders.  To give other people access, you must turn off password protected sharing."  What does this statement actually mean?

    While in a peer-to-peer network, can one connect to a shared folder in other system using Windows Explorer or mapping network drive without the same username and same password already set up on the connected computers?

    I remember one can one access any another system without a shared folder on the Run command using "\\anothersystem\C$"?  Am I correct?

    Sunday, May 27, 2012 11:55 AM

All replies

  • If you don’t want to use passwords in Vista, you have to make the files/folders available to Everyone.

    First of all, go to Control Panel > Classic View > Network and Sharing Center and make sure you have Network Discovery, File Sharing and Public Folder Sharing all set to ‘On’ and Password Protected Sharing to ‘Off’.

    To share a Vista folder, click it > Share on the Toolbar > Advanced Sharing, click ‘Share this folder’ > Apply > OK, etc. Two little people should appear on the icons of the folders that are shared.

    As you don’t have Password Protected Sharing turned on, you have to change the security permissions on your folder(s) to allow Everyone access. Right-click the shared folder, click Properties > Security Tab > Edit > Add and type ‘Everyone’ (not the quotes) into the box and OK. Tick the boxes next to the permissions you want to allow (e.g. Read or Write, etc.) then Apply > OK, etc. You may see some screens coming up with message 'An error occurred while applying ……..'. This is not unusual and can be ignored by clicking Continue.

    Sunday, May 27, 2012 5:43 PM
  • I did do all this.  I had everything turned on except password protected sharing.  From XP, I could see the public folder in the Vista not the user-configured shared folders though.  By default, the user-configured shared folders gave read permission to everyone.  I left it as it was because that was the permission I needed.  I still couldn't get read access until I had the same password set up on both computers.

    By the way, do we have to at least have the same username set up on both computers and do we have to log on the same username on both computers at the time trying to access either direction?  Sometimes we might not have both computers logged on with the same username.

    Monday, May 28, 2012 12:33 AM
  • ‘Everyone’ should give you unrestricted access. Perhaps the Vista firewall is blocking it?

    Also, I don’t know if this still applies to Vista. As you are sharing with an XP machine, you may need to install the Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) responder on the XP machine so that the computer shows up in Vista’s network map, get it here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=4F01A31D-EE46-481E-BA11-37F485FA34EA&displaylang=en

    Monday, May 28, 2012 8:26 AM
  • I have tried the Vista with another XP which was XP Home and it worked fine both ways.

    Then I tried again with the first XP which was XP Pro.  They could see each other on the network panes.  And they could access each other if both were logged in with the same user name and password.  However when both systems were logged in with different user names, the Vista could access the XP but the XP couldn't access the Vista though the Vista icon was available on the XP network pane.  The error message was "\\theothersystem is not accessible. You might not have permission to user the network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions."

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 7:58 AM
  • Hmm?

    Straw-clutching, is ‘Everyone’ set up for all the Vista users? Also, bear in mind that different users can share different files/folders.

    • Marked as answer by healee Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:26 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by healee Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:26 AM
    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:08 AM
  • Thank you for sharing my feeling.

    As I said, public folders on the Vista were also accessible from another XP while logged on with different user name.  Public folders should be given 'Everyone' access, shouldn't they?

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:39 AM