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Windows 7: Windows 7 Folder Sharing Issue

26 Dec 2010   #1
jimadler

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Windows 7 Folder Sharing Issue

Hopefully someone will help me understand a bit more about Windows 7 file sharing over a home network. I'm sure it is just my misunderstanding as I am new to Win 7, but I'm not sure.

Scenario: wireless home network, one iMac OSX Snow Leopard, one ThinkPad laptop Window 7 Professional, one HP wireless printer shared between the two computers.

Network is fine, I can view files on the iMac from the Win 7 laptop (and even delete them in some circumstances, and from the iMac I can view most all files in the Win 7 machine (and even delete some of those from the iMac as well).

Here is where my understanding fails me: I don't want to share ALL the file on my Win 7 machine with the iMac, only the Public designated folders. In the the file sharing "HOME Network" access screen I have:

- Discover network: on
- Turned OFF file sharing
- Turned on Public folder viewing

My understanding, from what I've read, when I log into the Win 7 computer from the iMac, I should only see the Public Folders, not the entire User suite of folders (like My Documents, My Pictures, etc.). Also, I'd like to restrict them to "read only". However, when I log into the laptop from the iMac I see EVERYTHING and can manipulate the documents in many ways (move, delete, etc.). I've tried several configurations and variations on the HOME Network access screen to no avail. I've tried setting permissions on folder (for example, my one User name is "JIM", so I set the USER ==> JIM folder to security of "nobody", which to me means nobody but JIM can access the folder). However, I go back to the iMac and sure enough, I can access USER ==> JIM and view and delete as much as I want on the laptop.

I'm obviously doing something wrong but I just can't figure this out. I simply want to view the Public folders on the laptop from the iMac, but not allow viewing/manipulation of folders/files anywhere else on the laptop.

Please help if you can.

Thank you.

Jim


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27 Dec 2010   #2
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

From what your saying you must have set up a Homegroup on the Win7 machine. When you set up a Homegroup in a mixed Op system network the User folder is shared out for some reason, I'm not sure why but that's how it works. Homegroups is mostly made to work with Win7 machines and it's not really for a mixed Op system network though it can be done.

If you want more control over what is shared you should set up a Workgroup on the Win 7 machine and leave the homegroup you created on the Win7 machine.
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27 Dec 2010   #3
brady

 

folder sharing: add the "Everyone" group to the folder security tab AND the sharing tab with "modify" or R/W
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27 Dec 2010   #4
jimadler

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks, guys, but I'm getting very frustrated. I've "left the homegroup" as suggested, there was already a workgroup so I've used that, and I've removed sharing from the user folder USER--->JIM (my user account is JIM) but to no avail. When I do a "connect to server" from my iMac, I can still get into pretty much everything under USER. I just don't understand it.

I even have file sharing turned off, show on network turned off, but nothing works. Do you think it might be because I'm accessing it via the "connect to server" from my iMac? I don't think that would be it because I still have to log in using my userid and password for the PC, but who knows. And even then, that might explain why I can connect, but certainly permissions would apply would it not? Or do you think by me logging in with my administrator password and and ID, that it is allowing me to see everything? I just don't know.

I guess in the overall scheme of things it doesn't matter since they are all my computers and I'm not really trying to hide anything from my family (but someday I might want to hide something financial from my up-and-coming snooping teenagers), but what I'm most worried about is someone else getting in from the outside. Do you think that is likely? I don't have another PC to test it PC --> PC, just the iMac.

I'm pretty close to giving up although giving up is not in my nature. I just don't want to keep on changing permissions and lock eventually lock myself out of something and it doesn't look like the "advanced sharing options" are working for me in this case.

If anyone has any further suggestions, I'd appreciate it. For now I'm stuck.

Thanks.

Jim
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28 Dec 2010   #5
jimadler

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Okay, I've come up with a workaround, but it certainly isn't what I expected I would have to do. Since both Public and my one and only main account, "JIM" are under USER, I could not find a way to hide JIM but leave PUBLIC "unhid". No matter what I did, sharing did not cooperate with me at all. Now, maybe its because I'm still learning my way around Windows 7, but the sharing behavior is not at all like how I'm used to it working in XP. And to add to that, a web search reveals dozens of posted complaints about how USER sharing in 7 typically produces unpredictable results.

My workaround is to simply go to Windows Explorer, click on Network, and unshare USER from there (not from the local presentation of USER under Windows 7 OS, it does not work for me from there). That hides the entire USER folder from my iMac. Then I simply created a Test Public folder outside of USER path and shared it. My iMac can only see the Test Public folder now.

This will work for my purposes, but it does defeat the purpose of having Public folders under USER if sharing/unsharing USER is an all or nothing situation. Maybe there is a way and if anyone here knows, please let me know, but the web search would seem to indicate a larger issue than just a guy who is learning Window 7.

Anyway, many thanks to those who offered advice. This forum is really useful and I'm sure I'll be posting more as I continue to learn.

Happy New Year!

Jim
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28 Dec 2010   #6
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimadler View Post
Okay, I've come up with a workaround, but it certainly isn't what I expected I would have to do. Since both Public and my one and only main account, "JIM" are under USER, I could not find a way to hide JIM but leave PUBLIC "unhid". No matter what I did, sharing did not cooperate with me at all. Now, maybe its because I'm still learning my way around Windows 7, but the sharing behavior is not at all like how I'm used to it working in XP. And to add to that, a web search reveals dozens of posted complaints about how USER sharing in 7 typically produces unpredictable results.

My workaround is to simply go to Windows Explorer, click on Network, and unshare USER from there (not from the local presentation of USER under Windows 7 OS, it does not work for me from there). That hides the entire USER folder from my iMac. Then I simply created a Test Public folder outside of USER path and shared it. My iMac can only see the Test Public folder now.

This will work for my purposes, but it does defeat the purpose of having Public folders under USER if sharing/unsharing USER is an all or nothing situation. Maybe there is a way and if anyone here knows, please let me know, but the web search would seem to indicate a larger issue than just a guy who is learning Window 7.

Anyway, many thanks to those who offered advice. This forum is really useful and I'm sure I'll be posting more as I continue to learn.

Happy New Year!

Jim
To unshare a file simply choose "nobody" after you click on the file sharing options. Works for me everytime.

The other problem was setting up a Homegroup in a mixed Op system network although there are ways to make that work as well.

The .XPS file in the link below explains the process of using Homegroups with other Op systems. You need to download the file to see it.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/e...displaylang=en
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28 Dec 2010   #7
jimadler

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

"To unshare a file simply choose "nobody" after you click on the file sharing options. Works for me everytime."

Chev65, I'm glad it works for you everytime, and I appreciate the knowing wink emoticon, but having worked in the IT field for over 20 years now I know that the behavior of software can vary from one installation to another, based on environmental variables and individual configuration. I will read through the link you provided with eagerness. I know you are trying to help, and I appreciate it. It may very well be because I am mixing Snow Leopard and Win 7. If I come across a "normal" way of making this work, I will be sure to post. Obviously not everyone is having this issue, but for those of us that are (I apparently am not the only one) it is very frustrating. Not sure if your statement was a typo or not, as I'm more concerned with sharing/unsharing folders, not files, but I have been through all the scenarios from "nobody" to "everyone" and no matter how much I tell it to unshare folders (nobody, only specific...etc.) it does not work when going through what I consider the local folder presentations (under Windows 7 OS --> USERS --> JIM).

As stated, I was able to hide the entire USERS folder by getting to it via the Network presentation (NETWORK --> USERS) and unsharing that way. However, whenever I unhide the Public folders that way, it pops the USERS back to shared. Therefore the notion of JUST sharing the Public folders is defeated.

There are several forum threads with folks describing similar issues. Just to show everyone I'm not nuts here is one, albeit a year old --> "Users" folder shared without restrictions?. There are some very creative suggestions in this thread that I'm not yet ready to try, but it is an interesting read.

Until a better suggestion comes along, I'll be happy with my workaround.

Cheers!

Jim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2010   #8
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimadler View Post
"To unshare a file simply choose "nobody" after you click on the file sharing options. Works for me everytime."

Chev65, I'm glad it works for you everytime, and I appreciate the knowing wink emoticon, but having worked in the IT field for over 20 years now I know that the behavior of software can vary from one installation to another, based on environmental variables and individual configuration. I will read through the link you provided with eagerness. I know you are trying to help, and I appreciate it. It may very well be because I am mixing Snow Leopard and Win 7. If I come across a "normal" way of making this work, I will be sure to post. Obviously not everyone is having this issue, but for those of us that are (I apparently am not the only one) it is very frustrating. Not sure if your statement was a typo or not, as I'm more concerned with sharing/unsharing folders, not files, but I have been through all the scenarios from "nobody" to "everyone" and no matter how much I tell it to unshare folders (nobody, only specific...etc.) it does not work when going through what I consider the local folder presentations (under Windows 7 OS --> USERS --> JIM).

As stated, I was able to hide the entire USERS folder by getting to it via the Network presentation (NETWORK --> USERS) and unsharing that way. However, whenever I unhide the Public folders that way, it pops the USERS back to shared. Therefore the notion of JUST sharing the Public folders is defeated.

There are several forum threads with folks describing similar issues. Just to show everyone I'm not nuts here is one, albeit a year old --> "Users" folder shared without restrictions?. There are some very creative suggestions in this thread that I'm not yet ready to try, but it is an interesting read.

Until a better suggestion comes along, I'll be happy with my workaround.

Cheers!

Jim
Yep which is why I posted the offical Msoft way of doing this correctly with macs and other Op systems.

The good thing about that link is it shows you how to keep the Homegroup intact for in case you have other Win7 machines in the network but it allows you to securely share with other Op systems even when the Homegroup is set up.

It looks like it needs to be followed closely step by step in order to get it all working right but I haven't tested this myself as all my machines are Win7.

If you scroll down about 1/3 of the way you can see a section there just for sharing Win7 Homegroups with macs.
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28 Dec 2010   #9
jimadler

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Chev65,

Thanks so much for the article you referred me to, but I've already followed that course using similiar instructions and while it certainly works to connect to the Win 7 machine, it does nothing to prevent the viewing of all the USER accounts when I just want the public folders visible.

Thanks for trying though!

Jim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2010   #10
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimadler View Post
Chev65,

Thanks so much for the article you referred me to, but I've already followed that course using similiar instructions and while it certainly works to connect to the Win 7 machine, it does nothing to prevent the viewing of all the USER accounts when I just want the public folders visible.

Thanks for trying though!

Jim
It seems like with SMB sharing enabled using User names and passwords that you should have some control over what gets shared. You may need to enable using User names and passwords in the Advanced sharing settings on the Win 7 machine. Maybe this link shows how to get this set up right.

How to Share OS X Folders with Windows 7 | Windows 7 Tutorials
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