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10 Jun 2010  

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
File Sharing - Between Windows 7 and XP Network Computers

How to Share Folders Between Windows 7 and XP Network

One of the questions we hear most on this forum is regarding networking a Windows 7 Computer and a Windows XP Computer, and it has come to my attention that SevenForums doesn't have a tutorial on this. So here we go, this is how you do it

Note   Note
This Tutorial is still under construction, certain elements are still missing, namely screenshots for the XP bits

get a pen and paper handy you will need them later on

warning   Warning
I should point out that this Tutorial will disable all built in windows security on your network. 99% of issues with this are caused by Windows 7's new upgraded network security, so we switch it all off to get it working. I do NOT recommend this for corporate networks or networks with machines which you do not know connecting. Only do this if you know and trust all machines on the network and everyone's intentions. Disabling the security features in this tutorial will NOT compromise your machines security on the internet.

Lets get Started

Preparing Windows 7 for networking

1. First, open up Networking and Sharing centre by clicking the internet icon in the bottom right hand corner and then clicking Open Network and Sharing Centre.

File Sharing - Between XP and W7 (and vice versa)-step1.png

2. Under View Active Networks, if the type of network is listed as "Home" or "Public" then change it to "Work" (so in the below screenshot, my network is a "Home" network but in order to network to an XP machine it needs to be on a "Work" Network)

File Sharing - Between XP and W7 (and vice versa)-step2.png

2b. While you are here, click Choose Homegroup and Sharing Options>Change advanced sharing options, and make sure that the following options are set:
a. turn on file and printer sharing
b. turn on network discovery
c. turn on sharing so anyone with network acces can read and write files in the public folders
d. turn OFF password protected sharing (VERY IMPORTANT!!!)
e. Enable file sharing for devices that use 40- or 56- bit encryption (this one is optional, I am not sure if XP needs this, but it doesnt do any harm to be thorough, so check it anyway)

click save changes on all windows so far just to make sure it has all gone through ( I know this sounds obvious but it is easily missed)

File Sharing - Between XP and W7 (and vice versa)-step2b-1-.png
File Sharing - Between XP and W7 (and vice versa)-step2b-2-.png
File Sharing - Between XP and W7 (and vice versa)-step2b-3-.png

3. Next click Start then right click Computer in the Window that opens under Computer Name, Domain and Workgroup Settings check that the Workgroup name is set to WORKGROUP (this SHOULD be the default, but it is always worth checking) if not, then you will need to click Change settings and change it to WORKGROUP (Make sure its in capitals. I'm not sure if Capitalisation matters, but we will assume that it does to avoid headaches later)
File Sharing - Between XP and W7 (and vice versa)-step3.png

Finally, lets share a folder, In my experience the "Public" folders used by default do not work properly for Workgroups. So we will create a shared folder of our own to use. In this example, My folder will be at D:\Pictures\Tutorial\Shared because that is the folder i am using to create the screenshots for this tutorial, obviously replace my path with whatever the path of your shared folder is

4. Right click your shared folder and click Properties, then select the Sharing tab followed by "Advanced Sharing" (Please note your screen will differ slightly from mine, you will notice my network path says \\Martin-PC\Pictures\Tutorials\Shared at this point yours will say "Not Shared" this is normal so dont worry about it)

File Sharing - Between XP and W7 (and vice versa)-step4-1-.png

5. Check the box which says "Share this folder" and then click Permissions at this point 2 things could happen,
a) Under the permissions tab you have a box which says "Everyone" this is what we are aiming for, if you do then check the box which says "Full Control Allow"
File Sharing - Between XP and W7 (and vice versa)-step5-1-.png
b) If you do not have a box which says Everyone then click Add and under "Enter Objects name" type Everyone then click Check Names, If it looks similar to the screenshot below, click ok and then follow step 5a.
File Sharing - Between XP and W7 (and vice versa)-step5-2-.png
c) before exiting the properties screen make a note of the network path (in my case this is \\Martin-PC\Picures\Tutorial\Shared

Click Ok etc. and there you go, your Windows 7 machine is set up for sharing.

Preparing the XP Machine for Sharing

You will be pleased to hear that setting up XP is MUCH easier. so without further ado away we go. (Apologies for the lack of screenshots)

1. Make sure you are logged in as an administrator

2. Click Start>Control Panel>Performance and Maintenance>System

3. Click on the Computer Name tab

4. Click Change next to where it says "To rename this computer or to join a Domain click Change

5. Change the Workgroup name to WORKGROUP (again capitlise it just in case) the default on XP is MSHOME so this will more than likely need changing (as opposed to the Win 7 section where we were just checking)

6. If prompted to restart the computer, do so and then come back here.

7. Create a Shared folder somewhere easily accessible (My Documents or the Desktop would be a good choice)

8. Right click the folder you just made and click "Sharing and Security" click "Share this Folder" or run the network and sharing wizard.

9. Make a shortcut somewhere accessible (next to the shared folder you created in step 7 would be a good choice) by right clicking and going "new shortcut" under path, type in the Network Path that you wrote down for the Windows 7 machine (This step is optional, it just makes it easier to find your shared folder as finding them can be a pain in XP) This will then allow you access to the folder you shared in Windows 7

10. In Windows 7 open a new Explorer window, on the left hand side go to the Network icon, there you should see your XP PC's name, double click it, and you should see the folder you shared.

And there you have it Enjoy!

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