Trouble sharing a folder on Win 7 Pro

I am having a bit of trouble sharing a folder on a Windows 7 Pro machine.  I have enabled "File Sharing" on the network options.  Right clicked the folder and there are two options, "Share With" and the option I am most familiar with is to choose "Properties" then choose the "Sharing" tab.  If I choose the person's name, then Windows says "Windows cannot find "Joan"  I have made sure Joan was on the same Workgroup as the Win7 machine.  The only way I have got the folder to share and map on "Joan" XP machine, was to share the folder with "Everyone" and give them Full Control.  Not the best way I know.  When I go to Joan's machine, I can map the drive by typing \\server\folder and then putting in the admin password to the server.  It shares this way and reconnects at log on.  I am pretty familiar with sharing folders on a server on a domain, but the Win7 and Workgroup have me somewhat confused.  If you could point me in the correct procedure, I would appreciate it.  Thanks.
257RobertsAsked:
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Persistent drives fail over time. They are *never* permanently persistent in my experience. What I do (my own machine and client machines not on a domain) is put a shutdown.bat logoff script in C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\User\Scripts\Logoff. This script disconnects all drives. Then have a logon script (or desktop script that must be run) to logon to the drives when starting up or logging on. That keeps everything clear and the login is renewed each login.

.... Thinkpads_User
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tomcahillConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The user Joan needs to be created on each PC.  It sounds like it isn't.

The benefit of a domain is that users are cetnrally managed.  In a workgroup you don't have that benefit and users need to be managed per machine.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Given all you said including your experience, you should be able to share the folder on the XP machine using the username and password of the Windows 7 machine. That normally works. You need to have "use passwords" enabled as well.  Try that and let us know.

... Thinkpads_User
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itnetworknCommented:
Create a matching local account on both computers using the same password. Make sure the local account has "full rights" to the shared folder. Connect to the shared folder using the account that you created with the password, if prompted.

If you ever change the password on one computer your will have to match it up on another computer. I'd recommend not letting the password expire in the local user account properties.
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257RobertsAuthor Commented:
Thinkpads, Do I have to have the folder shared with "Everyone" with "full control"  You mention the need to have "use passwords" endabled.  What are you referring to.  I am thinking I do not want to have an account on the server for each user that will access the server folder, 6 users in all.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
On either XP or on Windows 7, no, I do not use "Everyone", just the users who need access. On personal computers, this is just one or two users.

If you are using your Windows 7 machine as a server, you either need to use Everyone or else enumerate them.

One of the settings in Windows 7, network and sharing center, Home/Work settings down near the bottom is to use passwords for sharing. That is what I was referring to.

At 6 users (and sometime more in the future) you would be better to use a small server anyway. SBS was built for this.

... Thinkpads_User
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257RobertsAuthor Commented:
Yes I set up the Windows 7 Pro machine as a workgroup server. When you say enumerate the users, what are you referring to?  giving them a number instead of name?  I see the "Use Passwords for Sharing" under the "Change Advanced Sharing Settings"  It says that to give others access to files it must be turned "Off"?  

This install was for a small church that did not have funds for SBS or Win2K8 Server.  I think the maximum will be 5 users.  The software database they are accessing is only a 5-user license anyway.  

Thanks for helping me with this.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
"Enumerate" means here (what I meant) is to list each user in the Sharing Properties. I did not mean give them numbers, just listing them.

So you probably want to set up each username in Windows 7 and then list these usernames in the sharing properties.

It says that to give others access to files it must be turned "Off"?

It says when password protected sharing in ON, only people who have a user account and password on this computer can share ...

So you really need to set up each person if you do not want to use "Everyone"

.... Thinkpads_User
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257RobertsAuthor Commented:
Okay, I think I have got what you are saying.  Trouble is some of the users have no passwords (Yikes!) on their local machines.  I guess I will continue to use "Everyone" as long as they have to have the Win7 Server password stored in their mapped folder credentials.  You are exactly correct though,  about a much more stable and easier way to share resources on a network using SBS or Windows Server.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Even in a small environment, I believe people should have userids and passwords. But if they don't, then "Everyone" is probably your option here.  ... Thinkpads_User
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itnetworknCommented:
How much data are you talking about? You can buy cloud based storage very cheap, and can restrict access to who can access it. If the data is less then 5 GB's, then you could get this for free.

I would recommend trying cloud based storage ($60 for 100 GB per yr) until they could afford SBS. I would be very hesitant to have an open share with "full access" to it.
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257RobertsAuthor Commented:
The database is used frequently by the program and I think performance would suffer if the database was in the cloud.  Database size is about 1GB.  They specified a "Server" but I am thinking they could have just used a NAS box or something similar.  Main thing was they wanted daily backups of the data, and Win7 has a pretty decent backup program built-in now.  It appears that even though the share has "Everyone" permissions, you still must put in the server username and password to have access to it.
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257RobertsAuthor Commented:
I am still having trouble with the computers losing the share.  Sometimes they connect after a reboot and sometimes not.  One Win7 machine has no trouble connecting, I am guessing it has something to do with the option once the drive was mapped to "Remember this Username and Password"  The XP machines are the ones having trouble.  When I originally set up the mapped drive, the XP machine asked for a username and password.  I put in the admin password on the Win7 machine that hosts the share.  When the machines kept losing the share, I recreated it on the client machine using the "Connect to this drive using a different Username and Password" option.  I am thinking maybe it wont work without all clients having a user account on the server.  Or can you think of a reason why the mapped drive is not persistent?  Thanks for your help.  I have to go back to the job tomorrow to see what I can do to get it working correctly.
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257RobertsAuthor Commented:
Do you think it would be better to have all the users accounts on the Win7 machine acting as the file server?  I would have to make two users start using a password on their local machine.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Do you think it would be better to have all the users accounts on the Win7 machine acting as the file server?

Yes. That is the best way to go. But that has nothing to do with persistence, so consider the scripts as per above to keep persistence under control.

.... Thinkpads_User
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257RobertsAuthor Commented:
So "Joan" would have an account on the Win7 file server that matches username and password on her local machine?  I just use folder permissions, add "Joan" "Full Control"?  Thanks for your help.  Not sure why it wouldn't work correctly the other way I had the share configured, but I will try the way you are suggesting.
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257RobertsAuthor Commented:
I added "Joan" plus one other user on the Win7 file server.  Same username and PW as the local machine.  Seems to be working now, restarted each machine twice and drive connected automatically each time.  Still not sure why the two other machines did not need a user acct on the file server, but I guess there was some reason.  I would be interested in the text of your shutdown.bat  script as I have in the past seen a machine that connected fine, but for some reason lost the connection months later.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Shutdown scripts are fairly simple to do. Create a file shutdown.bat and in it put commands like:

NET USE Z: /DELETE

Do that for all drives and then have a NET USE script to log the folders on startup.
.... Thinkpads_User
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257RobertsAuthor Commented:
Thank you Thinkpads. I will award you best answer.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks, and of course, I am always happy to help. ... Thinkpads_User
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