How can I access files from other computers on my network?

Question

I cannot access files on the Windows 2000 computer from any other computer on my network. It says access is denied.

I have tried many of the suggested solutions on this and other web sites as far as setting up file sharing, permissions, etc.

Setting up new shares, share permissions, etc. is very confusing.

I regret ever upgrading to Windows 2000 on this computer! What can be done to get access to this computer from my new Windows Xp computer? the W2K computer has a wireless adapter connecting to the network.

Answer

This question was answered on June 21, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

When you are unable to access a specific shared file or folder, it might be because the network computers are not in the same workgroup or because file sharing has not been enabled on the computer containing the file or folder Files and folders are "shared" when they are made available to other users on your network from the computer on which they reside The following troubleshooting steps help you track down and solve problems with file sharing and access Make sure that your network is functioning correctly:

By checking the status of your network, you can determine if the problem is due to a connectivity issue with your network or due to your shared file configuration One easy way to check the status of your network is to verify that all of the computers can access the Internet If you are having problems accessing the Internet (possibly caused by loose or incorrect cables), fix those problems before proceeding with other troubleshooting methods listed here.

Try accessing a different shared file or folder:

If there are other shared resources on your network, try accessing those resources instead If you can access other shared files but not the one you want, you might not have permission to access the file For more information about permissions, see below.

Ensure that all computers are in the same workgroup:

You will need to look at each computer to check its workgroup and, if necessary, change the workgroup name.

Note Do not assign a computer (such as a work laptop) to your workgroup if the computer is already a member of a domain and you intend to reconnect to the domain later.

If the computer is using a Microsoft Broadband Networking adapter, you can check which workgroup your computer belongs to on the main screen of the Broadband Network Utility Alternatively, you can check and modify the workgroup names on each computer by using the following instructions, specific to the Windows operating system.

Windows XP:

Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

Double-click System, and then click the Computer Name tab If you need to modify the workgroup name, click Change.

Windows 2000:

Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

Double-click System.

Click the Network Identification tab If you need to modify the workgroup name, click Change.

When all computers are members of the same workgroup, try sharing or accessing shared files again

Turn on file and printer sharing on the computer that contains the file you want to share

The computer that you are trying to access must have file and printer sharing enabled for sharing to work correctly When you run the Setup Wizard, you have the option of enabling file sharing and printer sharing , but that option applies only to the computer running Setup If a different computer contains the file that you want to share, you also will need to enable sharing on that second computer.

Verify that the file or folder’s permissions have been configured for access over the network

When files or folders are shared over the network, they still may not be accessible by everyone Their owner may configure permissions that limit which users can read, write to, or delete the shared resources If you are having difficulty accessing a file or folder on another computer, it may be because the permissions for that file limit your ability to see it over the network You may receive an "access denied" error message, or have problems locating the shared files on your network.

To check the permissions for shared files or folders, go to the computer containing those files or folders In Windows XP, right-click the folder containing the information you want to access and choose Properties Click the Sharing tab to see if file sharing has been enabled

If the computer is using Simple File Sharing in Windows XP, files are either shared to everyone or not shared at all, and permissions cannot be modified In other words, a shared file should be accessible from another computer If the computer is not using Simple File Sharing (recommended), click the Security tab to check and modify permissions for each user accessing the folder.

Note Windows XP Home Edition uses only Simple File Sharing Windows XP Professional Edition uses both Simple File Sharing and standard, permissions-based file sharing.

To check permissions in Windows 2000, right-click the file or folder whose permissions you want to check and choose Sharing.

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Author

Posted by Raymond of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on June 21, 2004