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how to share a folder so only accessable by 4 users on network,  all others can't view folder contents (win xp pro)

Posted on 2004-04-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Hello, i'm sure this is an easy one.  I just want to do it right.  I have the simple networking turned off so i have access to the specific user permissions and i setup 4 accounts which have full access to the designaed folder.  I turned off access to guest account (deny all). They created users are a member of /users and not included in /guest. When i go to access the host computer it does not give me permissions.  I don't see how to use the created user name and pass to get into this folder.  I would like to not have to map the drive to each computer as users will be moving, i know this is one way to do it.  I tried activating the guest account (previously was disabled) and i can now see the share folder just not get into it.  Please help.
Question by:rkremser
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Expert Comment

ID: 10773488
Do you have a directory server setup? If not, when using your username and password, put in yout username like this:


Expert Comment

ID: 10775378
Do the users have passwords?

If not then you will have to tell the computer to allow users with no password. Do the following:

Go to Start > Run and type gpedit.msc and click OK.
Go to 'Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options'

Double click on 'Accounts'. Then double click 'Limit local account use of blank passwords to console login only'. On the properties for this item select the radio button next to Disabled and click OK.

Are you logged into the computer you're looking at the host computer with correctly? (With the same username and password you created on the host computer?).

e.g. I have a server and a client station. The server has an account created for bob with password="passord" and the appropriate permissions set for a shared folder (bob will have full access, read & write etc..). The user then logs into the client station as bob with password="password", only then will the user have access to the server's shared drive via he client PC.

I'm sorry if I didn't make that very clear, I was trying to make a simple example the ensure we're thinking on the same wavelength! :o)

Lastly, I know it's simple, but are all the computers on the same workgroup/domain?

Author Comment

ID: 10776464
ok, i've briefly tried these with no luck.  Let me tell you what my ideal situation would be and hopefully it will help.

When trying to open a folder from over the network a prompt will come up asking for username and password.  
Its strange because when on the computer which has the file on it i can go to open a shared folder on one of the other computers and it does just what i want.  It prompts to enter a username and password to acess the share.  

Is it possible to set it up this way.  I'm sure it is just how can I.  
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Expert Comment

ID: 10776871
That should be easy, take my server client machine example with 'bob'. :o)

It should ask for the username/password when the user clicks the shared folder as long as the user on the client machine DOESN'T logon to the client machine with a password, but with just the same username used on the server. Also, if the password is different on the client machine then it will just not work, as it will try and logon with that username/password automatically without asking (silly thing!)

Hmm, that may have been a confusing scentence! Do you understand?

On my server at home there are several user accounts for each user that accesses a shared drive, just like you're trying to do. When a user clicks the shared drive it just works (as they have already entered their username and password at windows logon on their own machine).

But if I logon to my computer with the same username without a password, a box will pop up asking for the username/password when I click the shared drive. If I logon as the same username with the same password the drive just works without a password prompt. If I logon to my computer as a user that isn't in the list of authourised ones on the server it will just refuse full stop

You said that "when on the computer which has the file on it i can go to open a shared folder on one of the other computers and it does just what i want.  It prompts to enter a username and password to acess the share.". Try logging onto the computer that has the file as one of the other users and then try and access a shared folder on their computer, I'll bet it won't ask for the password.

It's all to do with what user is logged onto what machine. Do you need it to ask for the username/password for any particular reason? Or is it okay for the folder to just work for authourised users?

Author Comment

ID: 10777808
ok great, thanks i should have time later tonight to try to get this working.  In all honesty i thought by prompting for a username and password would have been easier.  I suppose its not the case.  One thing i was trying before and not sure if it was correct or not but when i was trying to add permissions throught the client computer user records..  ie \\clientcomputername\user  ,  it just pretty much laughed at me at this point.  It kept on saying it couldn't be found.  But if my understanding is correct, i should just create accounts on the server computer which corospond with the existing username and passwords as on the client computers?  I think the problem that i'm running into is that one of my main comptuer accounts is called administrator.  It was the defaut one to start with and i never changed it.  thanks for the continued help

Accepted Solution

Nilknarf earned 100 total points
ID: 10778543
Yes, when adding permissions XP only lets you add users that exist on that current computer, it will refuse to add a user via another computer (\\clientcomputername\user). I suppose if it could do that then it might be a security risk on a network).

To add permissions properly in XP you have to do the following (sorry if you already know this, but I thought it would be best to say just in case anyone else ever reads this and would like to know!).

Firstly, (after creating the appropriate user accounts for people that will be accessing files on this computer - same username and password as is present on their 'client' computer) disable the 'simple file sharing' option under: tools>folder options>'view tab' in windows explorer or my computer.

Then right-click the folder you want to share, select 'sharing and security'. Select 'share this folder' then click the permissions button.

Here you can add a user to the permissions list for the folder. If you want to grant everyone, no matter who they are, full access to the share, check the 'full control' and 'change' options under 'EVERYONE'. The folder will now be available to everyone on the network.

*Note*:Clients will still need to know the username and password of SOMEONE on the server computer (to count as 'everyone' they must still be identified as a user), this can be the user that the server is logged in as, or the username/password of their own user account on the server - a password is not needed if their account on the server doesn't have one. As mentioned before, if the username & password is the same on both client computer and server the folder will be accessed without prompting for a password.

If you only want certain people to access the folder, select 'EVERYONE' and click the remove button. Then click add, click on the 'object types' button and make sure that the only thing selected is 'users', click OK. Next click the advanced button, then click 'find now', you can then select whatever users you want to have permission to access the folder. (You can press the ctrl key to select several people). Click OK once more and finally, with the users selected, select what level of access you want them to have to the files. (Full control, Read only access etc..).

After this is done, all that is left to do is make sure that the selected users can access the folder from their computers.

It's hard to explain without a picture or two to illustrate, but after it's been done a few times it's easy and secure.

One more thing, if you want a client computer to login with a username and password, but the client user doesn't want to bother with typing the username/password, just use the auto-login feature built into XP.

Start>run then type 'control userpasswords2', press OK. In the box that opens, uncheck the option at the top "users must enter a username and password to use this computer", it will ask you for the users password to verify. Now whenever the computer starts it will automatically log in as that user with that password.

I do this on my home computer for simplicity (and laziness!) :o)

Author Comment

ID: 10789591
I finally got it working, thanks it just allows acess without prompting now.  thanks again.

Expert Comment

ID: 10789857
Always welcome! :o)

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