Longtime subscriber Tom wrote to ask about a file-sharing problem on his home network:
When times were good and I could afford it, I bought myself a new desktop (Gateway running Windows XP Media Center Edition) and gave my old DELL (running Windows XP Pro) to my wife. Well, all she ever did was do a little email, surf, and print. That DELL had two perfectly good hard drives that I decided would make excellent storage devices for my music and other media files. Life was good.
It was really easy setting up the shares and all was well.
I got busy. I could not devote the time I needed to maintaining the two PC’s the way I liked. I made sure they were both protected with good anti-virus and firewall. And I made sure they were both kept up to date with Windows updates. Then one day when I had some leisure time and wanted to listen to some tunes I found I couldn’t connect to the shared folders on my wife’s computer. All was not well.
I did a little diagnostics, played with the firewalls, checked out my router, did some searching on the Internet, removed sharing and put it back, and pulled out a little hair. All to no avail.
Every time I try to connect I get;
I am the "administrator". Who is left to contact?
To my recollection, I first noticed I had a problem after I upgraded both PC’s with SP3. I am using the same firewall software that I had before SP3 on both machines.
I get the same message if I am on my wife’s PC and I try to connect to a shared folder I setup on "my desktop.
Thinking it might be the firewall programs, I physically disconnected myself from the Internet, turned off both firewall programs, and tried again. The same result.
The real strange thing is my wife can still print on the shared printer connected to my machine (even with both firewalls working).
If I can share a printer, why can I not share a folder?
I have the use of a Toshiba laptop that belongs to a club I belong to. (It is running Windows XP Home Edition upgraded to SP3). Connecting to the shared folders on it works GREAT!, but it cannot connect to the shared folder I have on my PC. (The laptop can see the shared folder, but I get the message "\\Gateway\Temp-Temp is not available. You might not have permission to use the network resource. Contact the administrator to find out if you have access permissions. Access is denied.") It is running the same firewall software that is on my wife’s PC.
Any help would be appreciated.
I wrote back to Tom to commiserate with him.
I’ve got a Windows XP Home machine that can see my XP Pro machines but the XP Pro ones can’t see it other than to use its printer.
Well, that’s not quite right. If I open Windows Explorer, go to Network Neighborhood, etc. it can not connect.
But, if I open Windows Explorer and then enter the specific shared folder into the address bar, it works.
In his case, that would be typing
in the address bar.
I haven’t figured out what the answer is and can’t find anything on Google to solve it, either. I’ve been living with it for a couple years.
Tom wrote back to say:
I am a happy dude again. I found a way around my problem that I can live with. I found the solution on the Internet Fixes site at http://www.internetfixes.com/help_desk_winxp/printer_sharing_ipx.htm.
Now I have an icon on my desktop that takes me directly to my wife’s PC and my folders.
That’s a smart fix, but it uses an old networking protocol IPX/SPX that’s not used much any more. Even more significant to some users, the IPX/SPX protocol has been removed from Windows Vista, so the solution won’t work there.
Even without adding or turning on IPX/SPX, you could create a Shortcut and specify the shared drive or shared folder as the destination. The only snag with that procedure is that, although Windows will give you access directly to the shared folder (e.g., \\Gateway\Temp above), Windows XP will be slow creating the shortcut and slow opening the shortcut.