How to Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition (PART 5)

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This article includes Part 5 of the "Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition" guide. Part 5 discusses how to share folders.

Note To view the other topics of the "Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition" guide, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base articles that are listed in the "References" section of this article.

The "Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition" guide includes the following topics:
Part 1. Introduction: Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition

Part 2. Buying the Network Hardware

Part 3. Connecting the Computers

Part 4. Installing the Network Card

Part 5. Sharing Folders

Part 6. Sharing a Printer

Part 5. Sharing Folders

Advantages of Sharing

When you turn on file sharing, you can determine what resources are available in the network. All the computers on the network can use the resources that you enable for sharing. For example, you can enable the following resources for sharing:
  • Folders
  • Drives
  • Printers
  • Internet access
Resources that are not set up for sharing remain private.

There are many advantages to sharing devices and files:
  • You can easily copy or move files from one computer to another. You can share work on files on different computers.
  • You can access a single device, such as a printer or a ZIP drive, from any computer.
  • One Internet access point is sufficient for several computers to use the Internet at the same time.

Sharing Files

When a computer allocates resources, it assumes server functions. Any computer in a peer-to-peer network workgroup can do so. You must configure file and printer sharing for a computer to act as a server. You set up this functionality when you installed the network card. Therefore, you can already share a file or files that you want to use on other computers. To share a file, follow these steps:
  1. Locate a folder on the computer.
  2. Right-click the file that you want to share, and then click Sharing and Security to view additional settings.

    Folder context menu
  3. The next two windows only appear when you are setting up your first shared item. Windows notifies you that sharing data presents a certain security risk. Therefore, remote access is turned off by default. Click the Security warning message, click Just enable file sharing, and then click OK.

    Security warning message

    Sharing tab

    Enable file sharing dialog box
  4. Now you can share data. Click Share this folder on the network, and then type a share name. You can use this name later to access the data. The share name and the folder name do not have to be the same.

    Sharing tab
  5. Specify whether the data that is accessed over the network can be changed, and then click OK.
  6. The icon for the shared folder appears with a picture of a hand:

    Shared folder icon

    Other Places
To access the shared folder, click Start, click My Computer, and then click My Network Places. You can access the shared folder in the following ways:
  • Directly on the top level
  • Hierarchically on the computer level
When you open My computer, the shared resources for all the computers in your small network are listed next to each other. You can find the required folder under Share_name on Computer_name.

My Network Places

If you entered a computer description when you assigned a computer name, you must search for Share_name on Computer_description (Computer name).

If you work your way down to a specific computer in the network, you will see only the shared resources on this one computer. Click View workgroup computers, double-click the computer names (either as Computer_name or as Computer_description [Computer name]), and then search for the name of the shared file.

Office network

BMW computer

If you click Allow network users to change my files, you can view, copy, move, change and delete files in this folder on any computer in this network. You can add new files and access subfolders and files.

You can use the same method to share whole drives, including the following drives:
  • Hard disks or partitions
  • CD ROM drives
  • ZIP drives
To stop sharing, right-click the file that is shared, click Sharing and Security, and then clear the Share this folder on the network check box. When you do so, this resource no longer appears under this computer name. However, the folder link directly in the network environment remains. It is no longer available unless you set it up for sharing again. When a user tries to access the folder, they receive a "No access" message.

No access warning message

Your network is now fully functional. If you have already set up an Internet connection, optimize the configuration. Make sure that File and Printer Sharing and Client for Microsoft Networks are turned off in the dial-up connection (only here). and make sure that the Internet connection firewall is turned on. A dial-up connection to the Internet does not use these services, and the firewall provides some protection against malicious users. To optimize the configuration, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network Connections.

    Network Connections
  2. Right-click the dial-up connection, and then click Properties.

    Dial-up adapter context menu
  3. Click the Networking tab, and then click Advanced to confirm the following settings:
    • The Client for Microsoft Networks check box and the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks check box are not selected.
    • The Internet Connection Firewall check box is selected.

      Networking tab

      Advanced tab
  4. Click OK.
To view other topics in the Set Up a Small Network guide, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
813936 How to Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition (PART 1)
813937 How to Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition (PART 2)
813938 How to Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition (PART 3)
813939 How to Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition (PART 4)
814005 How to Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition (PART 6)
This article is a translation from German. Any subsequent changes or additions to the original German article may not be reflected in this translation. The information contained in this article is based on the German-language version(s) of this product. The accuracy of this information in relation to other language versions of this product is not tested within the framework of this translation. Microsoft makes this information available without warranty of its accuracy or functionality and without warranty of the completeness or accuracy of the translation.

Article ID: 814004 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 01:59:34 - Revision: 4.0

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

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