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Windows Networking/Windows XP Folder Security


QUESTION: I have several computers that are networked together, all running Windows XP.  Currently, I have folders on one "file server", set to share to "everyone", with all permissions granted, and this works well.
I want to specify what permissions certain users or networked computers have to certain folders, but can't seem to do this.  I've gone to the folder's security settings, but when I try to add the user name or computer name to the list (instead of specifying everyone), I'm told that "An object named "whatever" cannot be found. Check the selected object types and location for accuracy and ensure that you typed the object name correctly, or remove this object from the selection."

Any help would be appreciated,


ANSWER: Hi Matthew

Depending on your environment, you may or may not have these features enabled due to your workstations being on a DOMAIN or WORKGROUP environment and also if you have Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional.

In a domain, it is very easy to setup folders/security rights that prevent users access to certain folders.  However, in a workgroup setting, it is more so an open concept in that it's ALLOWED or NOT ALLOWED.

If your file server is WINDOWS SERVER then typically this would be easy.  But if you are using Windows XP Home Edition as your file server, some security options are limited.  Windows XP Professional typically will work for what you are trying to do.

If you can get back to me with your environment, I can give you better information on this.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your quick reply.  All of the computers are using XP Professional, including the file server, and are members of a common workgroup.
Since we do not have a proper Server OS, am I stuck using the workgroup sharing?


Hi Matthew.

The Domain has pros/cons.  One of the cons is that you have to invest in Server software with licences.  But if you have had this setup for a while, you can get by.

I haven't actually tested having one dedicated XP Professional machine and setting up restrictions for individuals/PCs.  

However, what you can do is, if, let's say you have 10 computers (users) in your environment.  Make a note of all their userids/passwords.

If you setup each of their userids and the same password that they use on their normal PC, you can create this restricted scenario.  So, you will be able to restrict a folder to say 9 of the 10 users by picking the users from the local profiles you just created.

Does this make sense?

I don't know if this would be feasible for you...but test it with one or two userids, and let's see if it works.


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Hrire Mikaelian


Windows 95/98/2000/XP/Vista/7 workstation and Windows 2000/2003/2008 server networking, Group Policy and wireless configurations. Have knowledge about workstation Ghosting, and also the ins and outs of hardware troubleshooting.


15 years of experience as a hobbyist and Senior Systems Administrator

BA, BCom in Information Technology Management. No IT certifications. However, I have taken several Windows, Novell and Networking courses.

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