Windows XP Pro 32 / 7 Pro 64 Simple File Sharing from Start to Finish

The objective of this question is to learn - not to simply solve one problem.  So, "have you tried this?" isn't the kind of answer I'm looking for.  Rather, "Here is how you do it that will surely work".

I fairly well have gotten simple file sharing to work with Windows XP Pro 32.  Now, with Windows 7 Pro 64 machines coming into the mix it seems to be a problem once more.  I've gotten away with "a standard setup" and "try this and that" when problems arose.  That's not good enough.  I want to learn how to set things up to just work.

"Simple file sharing" .. no logins or passwords.

I have a Win 7 64 machine that can't be mapped on another Win 7 64 machine.  But it *can* be mapped on a Win XP 32 machine just fine.

So, I want to start from scratch and set them up to share files without "\\computer\folder can't be accessed".

What should I read to both understand and to set things up?  What's the best approach for reliable setups?
LVL 27
Fred MarshallPrincipalAsked:
Who is Participating?
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.

Well, for starters, are you referring to sharing on a Domain or within a Workgroup?  It sounds like you're talking about a Workgroup on a small business or home network, so I'll go with that.

Essentially, if you configure machines with the same workgroup name and an identical set of userid/password combinations on each Windows 7 workstation, you can make the process of sharing file and folders very easy.  My home workgroup is configured in this manner.

Please take several minutes to read through these previous Experts Exchange questions where I have provided some thorough summaries (along with hyperlinks to tutorials) on how to ideally configure a Windows 7 workgroup.  Based upon your preferences, I think you will find the information valuable:

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to let me know.

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
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Yes.  Workgroup.

OK.  I took a fairly careful look at all that.
I think I'm doing everything right as I've done this many times and I did pay close attention.
I liked learning about fsmgmt.msc.
I liked learning about shrpubw.exe.

I have a couple of problems .. now shifting gears in objective a bit:

I can't get a particular Win 7 Pro 64 machine to share at the OS drive level at all on SOME computers in the workgroup.  One XP and one Win 7 Pro 32.
Any lower level folder seems to work fine.  
(Please don't suggest this is a bad objective because I'm being asked to make it happen no matter the concerns).

I have read about making accounts with the same names and passwords.  We *have not* been doing this and don't expect to start now.  I did run into a situation with Server 2003 adding on a bunch of Win 7 Home systems where it seemed necessary though.  But, this is all peer-to-peer stuff I'm learning about with this question.
So, I don't understand (haven't tried even as an experiment yet) to see what this might do.
I have so few systems that can't see each other at the C drive level!  But I might try it.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
I did a Wireshark capture on an XP client that also won't access the shared drive.  All I see when I try to access the shared drive is:

NT Status: STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED (0xc0000022)

I already knew that access was denied.  This doesn't seem to tell me why.
10 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

Did you know that ransomware is the most widespread, destructive malware in the world today? It accounts for 39% of all security breaches, with ransomware gangsters projected to make $11.5B in profits from online extortion by 2019.

Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
I have now changed:

Nothing fixes the access denied on the two clients I'm trying to get to work.
This only at the drive level.  i.e. C:
which is shared now with two different share names and still no luck.
I don't mind going a bit off-topic with the objective for a little while.

To be honest, I have never been a big fan of sharing out the entire "c:" partition.  If I want to gain that type of access, I utilize the "c$" share instead and currently do that on my home workgroup using the LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy modification combined with an account that has full admin privileges on each workgroup computer.  Other than that, each workstation has the Public folder open to everyone on our home network to easily access and transfer files/folders.

Here is a similar scenario from the Microsoft Answers forums.  The selected solutions include the use of the LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy registry update, but please note that the longer answer from a Microsoft MVP prominently emphasizes that we "Create matching user accounts and passwords on all machines."  It sounds like you are rather hesitant to do that, but I truly believe that it is well worth the time & effort:

Getting Access is Denied when accessing Windows 7 share from Windows XP
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Yes, well while we may agree, I tried to keep the issue of sharing the entire drive out of the discussion due to the current need.

I ran a number of cases and have attached the results.  I hope it's clear enough.
The third case was surprising because it opened a login dialog even though my understanding is that a login dialog is not the mode selected on the Host.

Also the 5th trial was surprising because I changed the password on the client, logged out, logged back in with the new password and was still able to access the Host drive level without entering the password in use for that User on the Host user setups.
I must admit that grid is a bit confusing with the generic nomenclature, but I think that I understand the essentials.

Ultimately, I think that you are probably going to arrive at your final end-state based upon personal preferences.  Regardless of the unspoken need, you can potenially share almost anything between your workgroup computers.  It really depends upon how easy and/or transparent you want the process to be.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
I'm now in the mode of checking combined name/password situations and am getting (woe!) mixed results.  Sometimes I can access and sometimes I can't access the Win 7 machine share at the drive level.

This makes me wonder: Where does Windows store the saved usernames and passwords used to login to a share?  Even when passwords are not explicitly required?
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Thanks to run5k for addressing the original question.  I learned a couple of things.
I'm going to ask a new question regarding accessing Windows shares at the OS drive level.
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
Windows 7

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.