I cannot access the shared directories on my computer over the network even though it is displayed in the workgroup


My DELL laptop is having WIN XP PRO and the LAN is connected via a workgroup.

From my computer I can access other computers on the network and others can see my computer
displayed in the list of computers in the workgroup. However they cannot open the shared
directories on my harddisk. I have given full control on a directory for copying and modifying
files on my hard disk but I always get the same message

"Computer not accessible. You do not have the permission to use this network source.
Network path not found."

We do not have server and we have a very simple LAN connected via switches.

We access internet via a gateway.  There is no special password to access. I take care of installing the operating
systems and configure the systems for network.  So we do not have a network administrator either.

Can somebody please give me a solution.

The majority of computers on the network have WIN XP and a couple are on WIN 2000.


Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

You might need to create accounts on YOUR computer so that people on other machines can authenticate when trying to access your shares. You'll want want to use the same user name and password for the accounts that people use on the ohter machines.

Your only other choice might be to utilize Simple File Sharing, which I think uses the Guest account on your machine if it's enabled:
fluidynAuthor Commented:


I enabled simple file sharing  and also the guest account, but it does not work.

I created a the same user name and password as another computer on the network, but it did not work either.

I am still unable to access the shared directory from another computer

fluidynAuthor Commented:

Sorry I forgot to add one more detail. It is a Toshiba laptop.

Check Out How Miercom Evaluates Wi-Fi Security!

It's not just about Wi-Fi connectivity anymore. A wireless security breach can cost your business large amounts of time, trouble, and expense. Plus, hear first-hand from Miercom on how WatchGuard's Wi-Fi security stacks up against the competition plus a LIVE demo!

try turning simple filesharing off!!

simple filesharing is only of use if all you machines are XP, in my experience SFS just complicates matters.

turn off the guest account, disable SFS, and you should be prompted fro a username and password to access the folder.

just as a side note, your user account MUST have a password, if your laptop automaticly logs on, or you do not need a password to log in, you need to create a password first.

First and formost, make sure there is no firewall software running! XP has built in PFW.Turn off the Internet Connection Firewall ICF in the advanced settings for the Lan Connection. Check for Norton Internet Security AV/Firewall, BlackIce, ZoneAlarm, PC-cillin (yes, some AV products have built-in firewall), VPN client (Raptor Mobile, Cisco VPN), et al.
Next, check your XP networking setup:
Although this link says to set netbios over tcp/ip to "default", follow the instructions below...
Turn on "Simple file sharing" on the XP (Pro only) machine. Open explorer, click tools, click folder options, click the view tab and scroll down until you see "Use simple file sharing" then check the box..
For complete explanation, see here:

There's a different Guest account setting that controls networked access to XP's shared disks and folders when simple file sharing is enabled.

To enable networked access, enter this line at a command prompt:

   net user guest /active:yes

To disable networked access, enter this line at a command prompt:

   net user guest /active:no

For the duration of testing, enable the Guest account on XP. If all works, you can deal with that issue later (username/passwords for everyone on every PC)
Client for Microsoft Networks needs to be the primary network logon for all other machines

All machines are in the same workgroup

Enable NetBios over TCP/IP in WIndows XP

   Click Start, click Control Panel
   Click Network Connections.
   Right-click "Local Area Connection", and then click "Properties".
   Click on (highlight) "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)", and then click "Properties" button
   Click the General tab, and then click "Advanced" button , bottom right.
   Click the WINS tab.
   Under "NetBIOS setting" section, click Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP, and then click OK two times, the "close".
     ( ) Default
     (*) Enable NetBios
     ( ) Disable NetBios

   Reboot the computer.

Step 2: Start the Computer Browser Service
Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
In the console tree, expand Services and Applications.
Click Services.
In the right details pane, verify that the Computer Browser service is started, right-click Computer Browser, and then click Start.
Close the Computer Management window.

Windows XP (at least PRO) defaults a setting in Local Security Settings to something very unhelpful.
If all this does not solve your problem, check Local Security Settings, Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts.  This may be set to (default) Guest only - local users authenticate as Guest.  Change this to Classic: local users authenticate as themselves. At this point you need same username/password on both machines. Log into 2nd PC with that username. Passwords cannot be blank.

Start/run: gpedit.msc
   Local Computer Policy
     Computer Configuration
      +Windows Settings
         +Security Settings
           +Local Policies
             +Security Options
          Double-click on Network Access:Sharing and Security Model for local accounts--
                 --change to "Classic - local users authenticate as themselves"

Look for and set these properties as shown also

Network access: Allow anonymous SID/Name translation     ==> Enabled
Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts     ==> Disabled
Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts and shares          ==> Disabled
Network access: Let Everyone permissions apply to anonymous users     ==>      Enabled

Now you may disable the Guest account as recommended for improved security (for the XP box).  Without this set properly nothing will work for XP!

There's a different Guest account setting that controls networked access to XP's shared disks and folders when simple file sharing is enabled.

To enable networked access, enter this line at a command prompt:

   net user guest /active:yes

To disable networked access, enter this line at a command prompt:

   net user guest /active:no



Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
fluidynAuthor Commented:

Thank you for your solution.

On the Toshiba laptop, by disabling SFS and Guest account, I am now able to access the shared files.

However on the Dell laptop I did not find the option of SFS in the folder options under Tool menu as
mentioned before and guest account is disabled.  But I am unable to access the shared files.

However I have Macfee Anti virus installed on this system. Perhaps this could create the problems.

Iwill try your above mentioned solution and let you know if it works


log in as administrator
select start run and type this command with out quotes "SC sdset SharedAccess D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU) "

restart the system

this will work
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Software Firewalls

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.