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Windows 7: Cannot open shared folders between Windows 7 & Vista

08 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 64bit
Cannot open shared folders between Windows 7 & Vista

Good afternoon eveyone.

I have a Windows 7 PC and a Windows Vista laptop that I want to be able to share either whole drives or certain files between the 2. (both are 64 bit systems btw)

The problem is that I can go through the whole share file / drive procedures without any issue. All network settings are as they should be having checked myself and checked a multitude of various other forums.

The network is communicating because I can see perfectly well anything that is in the pre-created public or user files on either computer, the problem is when I try to share any other files. It says that permissions have not been set, despite the fact that they are set for everyone to view.

From what I can tell, there are many references to the fact that where Windows 7 and to a lesser degree Vista is involved, that both computers have to have identical user names and passwords. Well no password has been set on either computer. The user account on my vista machine was different to my desktop, so I changed the name on my vista machine so its the same as the desktop, but this made no difference.

I am at a loss as to what to do. There was no problem with this on XP (my previous desktop) it could share between my Vista and vice versa without any problem at all.

I do have Zonealarm on my Vista but I already checked and made sure the allowed IP range includes my desktop PC which it does, and in any case there would be no way either computer could see each other if this was not the case. I did temporarily disable the firewall on my Windows 7 machine, but again no difference, it has since been renabled.

Any ideas - I did try disabling the homegroup setting on the Windows 7 machine, but again made no difference whatsoever.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who may have some more suggestions.



My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Jan 2012   #2

Win7Ultimate x64 + x32, Win7Pro x64, XP x32, Win 2003, Ubuntu and OpenIndiana

I've never tinkered with the various passwordless sharing options Windows offers, but I think you need to have identical user names and identical non-blank passwords to do what you want. Blank or missing passwords won't work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 64bit

Hi Solidwave,

Thank you SO much for your reply. While it didn't exactly solve my problem in one foul swoop, what I did was create two other user accounts, one on my Win 7 machine, the other on my Vista machine, same user name and same password for each, and bingo it worked.....well almost - Win 7 I had to play around with on the permissions to allow ALL users to access, not just the local machine.

I'm guessing that with Vista and Win 7 there is an added level of security that was not there with XP that ensures if a computer wants to access a shared file / folder that it can see on the network (such as someone trying to tap in when parked outside) then they have to have a least a user name and password that matches one of the computers on the network, if not then they will not have permission to access those details.

Thanks again.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Jan 2012   #4

Win7Ultimate x64 + x32, Win7Pro x64, XP x32, Win 2003, Ubuntu and OpenIndiana

Workgroup sharing with usernames and passwords (which is the kind of sharing you're using) has no concept of which users are authorized on the network. Authorization is done locally by each computer.

As a result, if you want to access shares on computer A from computer B, you need to have a passworded account on computer A. Having an account on computer B will not get you anywhere with computer A unless your account on computer B has the same name and password as an account on computer A itself.

Note that the account you use to access shares on computer A does not need to be the same as the one you use to log in to computer B. If you have a passworded account "User 1" on Computer A but log in as "User 2" on computer B and try to access network shares on Computer A, you will be presented with a username + password dialog. If you log in as User 1 (with the appropriate password), Computer A will let you see its shares as if you were User A. There's usually not much need to do something like this, however.

Windows' handling of username/password authentication for network access has been more or less unchanged since Windows NT was released in the 1990s. It's not a Windows 7 thing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cannot open shared folders between Windows 7 & Vista

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