Unable to connect to anonymous network share



Good afternoon. I have a Windows 2003 Server with SP2 and latest patches
installed on a network (no domain, just WORKGROUP). I also have several
Windows XP Pro workstations as well (most are SP3 but a couple are SP2) –
these also are not domain members, they are all WORKGROUP. Except for SP3,
the XP systems are up to date as far as patching. It is a small network
(single subnet, single switch, etc.).

I am setting up an anonymous share on the server. I’ve set up the share,
permissions, GP, etc. and I am able to connect to and read files from the
share without any real problems. Well, let me rephrase that, I have no
problem except for one of my Windows XP Pro workstations (one of the SP3
systems). From the command prompt, whenever I try to connect to
“\\server\share†from this one Windows XP workstation (connecting to the
server without credentials), I receive a “Logon failure: unknown user name or
bad password†message. If I use credentials, I have no problem connecting to
the server share. If I use the GUI and browse the network, I see the shares
on the server but when I try to connect to the anonymous share, I am
presented with a login dialog box to enter my credentials. This also occurs
when I try to connect to other shares on the server (which is proper
operation and is expected). Also, if I use any other Windows XP workstation
(either XP with SP2 or SP3 installed), I can browse, copy, etc. files from
the anonymous network share. There are no problems at all from the other XP
systems, just the one.

From the problematic workstation, if I browse to the share on the server and
enter in credentials when prompted, I can access the share successfully. It
is the same thing if I try to connect with the “NET USE†command, I can enter
the credentials and connect to the share successfully. I’ve made sure that
my time on both systems is correct. There are no errors in either event log.

I also have virtualization software on this workstation. When I bring up an
XP VM (with SP3 installed), I have no problem connecting to the anonymous
network share on the server from the VM. This at least tells me that it
isn’t a switch port configuration or something like that.

I am using third-party software for my firewall and AV, all of which has
been disabled (services disabled, startup removed, rebooted, etc.). But
prior to disabling I made sure that there was no entry for my one problematic
computer or IP address anywhere in the configuration. Even with the firewall
enabled, there are no settings configured that would block my computer or IP
from access the server. And connections work fine if I provide credentials
and work fine from every other XP system (which uses the same firewall and AV
software). Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any assistance,




There may be special reasons for wanting an anonymous share, but in general
it isn't necessary. I find that anonymous access works in Samba, but it never
seems to work for me with Windows servers.

If you don't want to go the domain route (and I agree it is a LOT of work
setting it up where small LANs are concerned, especially as users lose their
profiles) then MyLogon is a good alternative. This way the users log-on
properly so there is no need for anonymous shares.


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