File and Printer Sharing XP HOME EDITION




A quick question surrounding file and printer sharing for my home pcs
(printer is hard connected to a Dell Inspirion 2400 XP Home Edition / SP3).

Home Networking Environment:

3 pcs-->two desktops and one laptop (all running XP Home w/SP2 or SP3).
Wireless Home Network
Everyone Group is enabled on all boxes.
Logging on as Administrator on all boxes.
Firewalls disabled.

The problem is that the two remote pcs cannot see file or printer shares on
the pc with the connected printer. Let's call that pc "home_pc." "Home_pc,"
however, is able to see file shares on the remote pcs. The printer and other
directories are "shared" on "home_pc."

After conducting several days of research, I think the problem comes down to
XP SP2 or SP3 authenticating network access as "everyone," but the source pc
doesn't allow for blank passwords. This is further validated when I attempt
to add a printer on one of the remote pcs. When adding the printer, I can
see the workgroup when browsing for a printer, and I can see the pc
(e.g.,"home_pc"). However, that's all it sees. None of the shared drives or
printers show up in the GUI.

If i try to add the printer by manually entering the path on the remote
systems (e.g., \\home_pc\sharename), I receive a logon dialogue with
home_pc\everyone as the user and a blank password field. Needless to say,
I've tried administrative logon passwords, as well as blank--none of them do
the trick. I believe in other XP editions, Group Policy could be tweaked to
allow for blank password authentication, but as you know, the home edition
does not include a group policy editor.

Thanks for any advice...



Steven L Umbach

A properly configured with default security settings XP Home computer should
allow access to a shared printer without any problem. However malware and
possibly internet protection packages can change that to not allow access.
Of course the Windows Firewall needs to allow file and print sharing for
access to the shared printer. If you are trying to access the shared printer
from an XP Pro computer and you get prompted for a password try entering
guest as username and leave password blank and verify that the XP Home
computer does not have a password configured for the guest account.
Unfortunate you can not view security settings such as user rights on an XP
Home computer like you can with XP Pro and to changed any user rights you
would need the NTrights utility from the Resource Kit. If you can access
the secedit file from an XP Pro/XP Media Center computer you can then used
secedit to reset security settings to default defined levels as described in
the link below. The registry key under
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa for forceguest
should be set to 1 if seen in an XP Home computer.


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