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  Most Popular Tutorials

• Microsoft Vista Home Networking Setup and Options
The most daunting part of upgrading to Windows Vista may be trying to figure out where in the layers of menus the networking and file-sharing options are hidden.

• Do It Yourself: Roll Your Own Network Cables
It may not be something you do everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a network cable on the spot can be very handy.

• Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router — and by extension, your network — is as secure as possible.

  Most Popular Reviews

• Microsoft Windows Home Server
If you have a home network, you'll welcome the easy file sharing, remote access and the image-based backup features of Windows Home Server.

• Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive
Iomega's fourth generation StorCenter Network Hard Drive brings many of the features found in higher-end storage devices down to an attractive price.

• MikroTik's The Dude
This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.

Questions and Answers

Question: Should you now disable the Guest account? Having set up explicit share permissions, do you still need the Guest account enabled?

Answer: Most network administrators would not enable the Guest account.

If ALL users who you wish to permit to access to your machine have specific accounts, then you should disable the Guest account. They will still have access to shares that you created with Simple File Sharing, because this put the everyone group in the ACL, and that includes all the users you created, as well as guests.

If you need to allow 'other' unspecified users access to some of the shares, then you must leave the Guest account enabled.

The guest users will only be granted access to shares with Guest permissions. That includes any shares with the Everyone group. They will be unable to access shares without explicit guest permissions.

To disable the Guest account:

  1. Click Start | Control Panel | Performance and Maintenance | Administrative Tools | Computer Management;
  2. Open the Local Users and Groups | Users folder;
  3. Right-click on Guest and select Properties;
  4. Check Account is disabled.
  5. Click OK.

The Guest account is disabled, as shown by the red 'X'.

NOTE: In Control Panel | User Accounts, there is apparently the option to turn the Guest account off.

This does not disable the Guest account.

It only prevents Guest logins at the console of the local machine. The Guest account is still enabled for network access!

Use the method described above to disable the Guest account. Note also that turning the Guest account on from Control Panel | User Accounts will both enable the Guest account and permit local login.


Question:  If you have more than one XP Professional machine, do you need to create user accounts on them all?

Answer: Say you have several XP Professional machines, each with disks and folders to be shared. When you go to add users to the ACL, the only users available to be added are from the local machine! Do you need to create identical user accounts on all the machines?

The basic answer is YES. You need to create identical user accounts on all machines which a user needs to access.  It's best if the user name and password are the same on all of them.  Then, the user name and password offered by that machine will be accepted by all of the other computers.

Does this seem messy? Wouldn't it be more sensible if the user accounts could be created on one central machine, and in the ACL editor you had the option to select remote users from the central user list as well as just locally-defined users?

Well, you can, and this is called a domain. A domain is a group of computers which share a common user account database. To create a domain, you need a Windows NT or Windows 2000 server set up as a ‘domain controller'. You then create all the user accounts on the domain controller. Individual servers (machines with stuff to share) 'join' the domain. You do not create user accounts on them. The act of  'Joining the Domain' adds a new option in the ACL editor. Now, you can add not just local users, but also users and groups from the domain. Now, we have a single centralised set of user accounts which can be used across multiple servers.

It is beyond the scope of this article to describe domains.

XP Pro File Sharing
1. Disable Simple File Sharing
2. Create User Accounts
3. User Account Passwords
4. Create User Groups
5. Create Shares
6. Access Control Lists
7. NTFS Permissions
8. Connecting from Clients
9. Sharing My Documents
10. Q & A
11. Troubleshooting
Read Entire Article
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