Cannot share files under Vista

  skeletal 17:41 09 Apr 07

I'm still having many problems with Vista. The latest is that I cannot set file sharing. When I use my laptop I want to be able to alter files on my Vista computer (I can do this when its running on XP on dual boot). When I go to Local disc/Properties, under Network File and Folder Sharing, it is set to "Not Shared". All I want to do is press the button "Share..." but this button is greyed out.

Under Control Panel/Network and internet/Network and Sharing Centre, all the "Sharing and Discovery" settings are "On", except for printer sharing which Vista helpfully says "no printers installed" because Vista doesn't recognise my fairly new printer; this should not affect file sharing surely?

So, how do I share?



  anskyber 17:48 09 Apr 07

Is your network set up and recognised by Vista?

  skeletal 18:08 09 Apr 07

Yes, after much difficulty (that was nearly another thread!).

When in Vista I can share files on my laptop, but when I go to my laptop it will not let me share stuff on the Vista machine; it comes up with error messages saying I don't have privleges etc etc. This, I assumed, was because Vista has set "no sharing" to the files...which is why I want to press the greyed out button!


  rodriguez 18:13 09 Apr 07

When I installed Vista, I found that I couldn't access files between mine and the other XP machine because it was in a different workgroup. The Vista workgroup is called "WORKGROUP" and the XP one is usually called "MSHOME" - this can stop the computers seeing each other. Once I ran the Network Setup Wizard on the XP machine and renamed the workgroup to "WORKGROUP" I could access the files no problem.

  skeletal 18:23 09 Apr 07

rodriguez: correct. That is what I discovered after much frustration and is now solved (I could not see computers in either direction).

The computers are now visible to one another, but I cannot file share, as described...a different problem.


  Forum Editor 23:13 09 Apr 07

about the need for the same workgroup name - that's always been the case. There are a few differences in the way that Vista handles file-sharing:-

By default Vista uses the Public folder rather than the Shared Documents folder to simplify file sharing. With Public folder sharing enabled, the public folders and all of the folders within the Public folder are automatically shared with the name 'Public'. You do NOT have to configure file sharing on separate folders. You only have to either move or copy the file or folder you want to share on the network to the Public folder.

By default Vista doesn't allow simple file sharing. Access to shared folders, including the public folder (if shared), requires a user name and password. Simple file sharing is enabled by default in Windows XP Home Edition.

The other thing that's worth checking is the network location type. For home networks this should be set as 'private', and you can do this in the network sharing centre - click 'start' then 'network' then 'properties'.

  skeletal 12:38 10 Apr 07

Thanks FE. I need to look at that again, you make some very interesting points. I think the public folder “Share button” is also greyed out as that was one of the ideas I had when trying to make it work.

However, something you say is interesting, the “user name and password”. I think this is the message I get when I try to connect from my laptop to the Vista machine. So what is this “user name and password”? I did try putting in my “Vista name”, but it didn’t work (I have not set a password to the computer).

Also, what is worrying, I want to share EVERYTHING and as I have a massive directory structure, I certainly won’t be copying it into another folder!

I use synctoy to keep track normally, but I don’t think this will work under Vista, ATM.

Sorry about keep saying “think”. I have had to go back to XP as Vista has gone back to crashing big time.


  skeletal 15:02 10 Apr 07

Managed to start Vista...

Network is "private". I can see the Public folder, which has a few other folders (empty) in it, and they say "Shared" although if I click (somewhere!) where it says "Show files shared by me", it says I have none.

Back to the laptop, it just says I don't have permission to view the Vista computer.

Oh, and I can only get this far if I turn off the Windows firewall (note: firewall off and still get the "need permission" message). I can't see how to allow the laptop through as there does not seem to be anywhere where I can add an IP address.

I really need to give up on Vista, but I hate being beaten; Mrs Skeletal is telling me I'm spending far too long sat here!


  skeletal 20:48 15 Apr 07

I have now reinstalled Vista. The network issues remain; i.e. I cannot connect to the Vista computer from our laptops.

Updated info:
Although I have not done anything to the Vista firewall, I can “see” the laptop from Vista, and the Vista computer from the laptop (not sure if this good or not!).
I can modify the laptop files from Vista.
In Vista’s Networking panel, everything is set (as far as I can tell) to file share; however, no matter which option I chose (for file share rather than public folder share, or media share etc), there are some words that say “password required”.
When I try to look at ANYTHING on the Vista computer, from the laptop, I get asked for a user name and password. I try putting in my name (that is used on the Vista computer), the computer name, or combination of the two. I can’t get any further and the get this message:

“<Mycomputername> is not accessible. You might not have permission to see this network resource. Contact the administrator of the server to find out if you have access permission.
Logon failure: user account restriction. Possible reasons are blank password not allowed, logon hour restriction, or a policy restriction has been enforced.”

I assume that the laptop would see EVERYTHING if I could give it the password it wants. But what is it? I would expect that there would be a form within Vista’s Network screens that would say “Enter password here that you need to use on another computer to allow connections” or something. Note that I do not use a password to log into the Vista computer. I’m not saying you can’t use a blank password (I do use one!), I haven’t set a time or policy restriction. Perhaps Vista has? If so, where, so I can “unset” it.

Also, the point about public folders etc., is not the answer since I would expect to see the folders appear, and then get an error message when trying to open a non public folder. Remember, I cannot “get into” the computer at all.

Any more thoughts please?


  jtt 12:35 17 Apr 07

Slightly off topic (sorry skeletal) I'm not sure why people say that the workgroup names must be the same. It makes navigating easier if they are, but they don't have to be. You can still access files and folders if they are not, although you have to look around a bit for them.

  riiverstock 12:50 17 Apr 07

skeletal ,it is always hard to backtrack and remember what I did when solving a similar problem.

I think that initially I had my network showing as a Private Network but when I changed it to Public Network (or similar seting) things got a lot better.

Or was it Public Drive or Folders.

Is this of any help?

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