Home Download | Exchange Server | Feedback | Index | ISA-Server | Jokes | Terms of Service/Usage Policy | Windows Security | What's New | White Papers
 Networking Topics
Windows XP Prof
Windows XP Home
Windows 2000 Server
Windows 2000 Prof
Windows NT4 Server
Windows NT4 Work.
Windows ME
Windows 98
Windows 95
Windows 3.x

Network Basics
Trouble Shooting

Exchange Server
e-Mail Security
e-Mail Spam
Server Software
Windows Security
 Featured Product
 Network Addons
Direct Cable
Serial / Parallel
High Speed Cables
WLAN - Wireless
Jokes ( computer )
Download Site

Windows XP Home: Sharing Disks and Folders

Note : If you have Windows XP Professional and decided to work with "Simple File Sharing"
turned on (as recommended by Microsoft) , then follow the procedure below, but if you
prefer to
share files like on Windows 2000, then turn off "Simple File Sharing".

Once the
network has been checked / configured, you can access other systems via
My Network Places"

To allow other systems to access data on your disks / in your folders, you have to give
Permission for this : you have to share your disks and/or folders :
(the procedure for sharing on the Home Edition is different to
Sharing on XP Professional )

Select the disk to be shared (for example in "My Computer") and right-click on the disk-icon
to get the context / popup-menu : Select "Sharing and Security...."

Compared to previous version of Windows,
Microsoft has put in much more information
to warn users on security issues, and this is
an example : Sharing a complete disk can
be a security problem.
Sharing only folders is more
selective and not such a high
security problem :

Once you have selected the
folder to be shared, make
either a Right-click to get the
Context/Pop-up menu and
select "Sharing and Security..."
or select from the
"File and Folder Tasks"
(on the left side) to :
"Share this folder"
Different to previous versions of Windows,
where it is sufficient to just have File and Print sharing
installed to be able to share, Windows XP suggests
to run first the "Network Setup Wizard"
If you know how to handle later the setup of
the firewall, you can select to share files without
running the Network Setup Wizard :
- confirm again, that you just like to enable File Sharing
and you skip the Wizard.

However, if you are new to networking and not sure
about the security issues, it is a good idea to use the
Network Setup Wizard:

The "Network Setup Wizard":
starts up :

it allows to setup different
network configurations,
I am running it here to
Share files and folders.

No selection possible here,
just continue with "Next"
"Before you continue...."

Microsoft has added a lot of
Help information, which you
should review, if you are not
familiar with an issue.

As an example, see below
the "steps for creating a home
or small office network".

"Select a connection Method.":

The Wizard can setup your network
to include already Internet Connection
sharing, there are some very well
documented example, which you
should view before continuing.

"Other Internet connection methods":

For this example, I selected
to configure the network
without an Internet Connection
(I will handle that later)

Again, see the example of such
a network in the help.

"Your computer has multiple
connections" :

You may not get this screen,
I got it because I have 2 network
adapters in my system, one for the
LAN connection to other systems,
the other to connect to my ADSL-
Because I had 2 network adapters:

"Select the connections to bridge" :
I selected the network adapter to
be used for LAN communication.
"Give this computer a
Description and Name " :

The system allows to define the
name of the computer or just to
confirm it (we did configure it
already in the last step
Remember: This name MUST be

UNIQUE on ALL systems on
the network.

"Name your network" :

Also, define or just confirm the
name of the workgroup.
Remember: This name must be
the same on all systems on the

"Ready to apply network settings..."

The system lists all settings
defined in previous steps.

Last check, that all information
is correct.
"Please wait...."

While the wizard configures the
system, you are entertained by
a small animation (not in this
document) ......
"You're almost done..."

Use Network Setup Disk
on other systems ??????

maybe later , at this time I prefer
to configure my other systems myself.
"Completing the Network Setup Wizard":

Done (finally ! ).

This window offers links to the
online help for :
- Using the Shared Documents folder
- Sharing files and folders.


Once you have run the Network Setup Wizard,
(or if you had decided to skip it),
the checkbox to share become active :
I share my drive, define the name to be displayed
on other systems as the Sharename and I allow
other network users to change my files.

Note: this is different to NT4 and Windows2000,
where I can assign permissions based on
usergroups and even single users, but similar
to the security settings on Windows95/98/ME.
If you need to have User-level security, you need
to use Windows XP Professional.

Unlike Windows95/98/ME, I could not find
a possibility to protect a network share with
a password : once you have shared a disk or folder,
everyone has access to your data.

I found the following explanation on
Windows XP Simple Sharing and ForceGuest
in the Windows XP Professional Resource Kit.

Once a disk or folder is shared, the icon will show it via the "holding hand :"

You can
check the usage of the shared resource via the network (files used, users connected).

Unlike the Windows XP Professional Disk / file Security , Windows XP Home does not allow
to define security settings in the Properties of a disk or folder on NTFS formatted drives, because
Microsoft like users with the need for advanced security settings to purchase the Professional
Edition of Windows XP.

However : The security system is available under Windows XP Home Edition, if you are
willing to use the Command-prompt to execute the "cacls" program , below the Online-Help
information ("cacls /?") (or use "
Safe Mode" to define your security settings ) :
Displays or modifies access control lines (ACLs) of files

CACLS filename [/T] [/E/ [/C] [/G user:perm] [/R user [...]] [/P user:perm [...]] [/D user [...]]

Another possibility : "Safe Mode"
When starting up your system, press the F8-key ( before getting the Windows XP startup screen)
to get to the "Windows Advanced Options Menu" , where you select to boot in "Safe Mode" :

When displaying the "Properties" of a
disk or folder in "Safe Mode", then also
Windows XP Home (and Windows XP
Professional with "Simple File Sharing = ON")
will display the tab "Security", allowing to
view / change the security settings on a disk
formatted in NTFS.

More on the Windows XP Simple Sharing, Security and ForceGuest

WindowsNetworking.com is in no way affiliated with Microsoft Corp.
Copyright © 2014, TechGenix Ltd. All rights reserved. Please read our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.