Educate Me on File Sharing in 2003 Server Domain

I have 15 clients (XP Pro) within a Windows Server 2003 network. The server is down at the moment.  However, I am confused about the sharing between clients on the network (client-to-client). I am totally familiar working within a workgroup.  I need a little explaining how the server plays a role in this operation.

I was told by the Corp. Guru that we would not be able to share files since the server is down. But, he is dead wrong as I can share files between clients.  As I recall, I set up several clients to enable sharing on some folders. This sharing is working.

Obviously, I cannot reach any shares that are configured on the server as it is down. After all, its job is a "file server" and also servers other task such as DNS, etc.  What is the deal with Server Credentials?  Do these somehow control the ability to share client-to-client?  I do understand the workstation's ability to "cache" logon to the domain as that is the case now even when the server is down.

Can someone give me a 500 point dissertation?

Thanks in advance.

Ray Rider
Memphis, TN
RayRiderAsked:
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Darius GhassemCommented:
File shares can be on any computer on the network when your DNS server is down the clients can still use NetBios for name resolution.

Cached Credentails allow clients to logon if the AD server is down since the AD server the authenticating if it is down the clients won't be able to logon so they use Cached Credentails.

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RayRiderAuthor Commented:
dariusg:

Thanks for the answer.  Tell me if I got this clear.  If the server is down, it has nothing to do with file sharing.  File sharing is a NetBios function that any two clients can use.  All the server is doing is to allow the client to logon to the domain.  Because of cached credentails, that simply allows the client to logon so they can do the NetBios file sharing.

Another path would be logon to the Local Machine if the credentials we not there for some reason.

Do I have this correct?

Ray Rider
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Darius GhassemCommented:
Correct file sharing is part of the actual server or computer running the file share. DNS is not needed for file sharing. So, if the server or computer is running with the file share on that computer then you are good to go.

Another path would be to use the local user accounts.
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RayRiderAuthor Commented:
I understood the problem better than I gave myself credit for!  I wanted to make sure I was on the right path as I will have to eventually report on this, I don't have the experience I would like on Microsoft's servers. Sun servers running Solaris is a different story - The real server world!  :)
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Windows Server 2003

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