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Configure Sharing and Discovery in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

Updated: October 14, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 7

You can use the following procedures to enable sharing and network discovery:

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

  1. Start Network and Sharing Center.

  2. Click the down arrow button next to Network Discovery.

  3. To allow your computer to be found by other computers on the network, click Turn on network discovery.

  4. To prevent your computer from being found by other computers on the network, click Turn off network discovery.

  5. Click Apply.

  6. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

  • To use the Ping tool you must enable File Sharing. Turning on Network Discovery does not enable the ports used by Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), the protocol used by Ping.

  • If you have firewall software installed, it can affect your ability to use Ping or other diagnostic networking tools. To use Ping, ensure that your firewall software is configured to allow ICMP protocol packets.

  1. Start Network and Sharing Center.

  2. Click the down arrow button next to either File Sharing or Printer Sharing.

  3. To allow users to share files or folders, or to share printers, click Turn on file sharing or Turn on printer sharing.

  4. Click Apply.

  5. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

  • Firewall software blocks network sharing by default for security. To use file sharing or printer sharing in Windows, you must ensure that your firewall software is configured to allow the appropriate networking protocols to communicate. Consult the documentation that came with your firewall software.

  • Turning on printer sharing automatically turns on file sharing, because printer sharing uses the same protocols as file sharing, and requires the same Windows Firewall rules to be enabled. However, the reverse is not true: turning on file sharing will not automatically turn on printer sharing.

  • To allow some users to share files, but prevent others, see Enable or disable File Sharing with Group Policy.

  1. Start Network and Sharing Center.

  2. Click the down arrow button next to Public Folder Sharing.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To disable public folder sharing, click Turn off sharing (people logged on to this computer can still access this folder).

    • To allow network users to read but not modify the files or folders, click Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open files.

    • To allow network users to read, modify, create, or delete files or folders, click Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open, change and create files.

  4. Click Apply.

  5. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

  1. Start Network and Sharing Center.

  2. Click the down arrow button next to Password protected sharing.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To disable password protected sharing, click Turn off password protected sharing.

    • To enable password protected sharing, click Turn on password protected sharing.

  4. Click Apply.

  5. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

  • Turning this option on restricts access of shared resources to only those users with valid user accounts and passwords on this computer. To grant access to a shared folder on this computer to a user on another computer, you must create a user name and password on this computer and supply them to the other user. If the user name and password they use to log on to their computer is different, then they will be asked to supply credentials when accessing a shared folder.

See Also

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