XP network users authenticate against guest password

Jul 9, 2005
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I am running an XP Pro SP2 machine, which has a networking problem that extends to further problems.
It started, of course, with some user error: I was attempting to tighten security using the security options in the Local Security Policy. I changed most things to the "default" setting as listed in the Help. I also changed some permissions around after disabling Simple File Sharing. When I was satisfied with the settings, I did some testing with another computer connected directly by a crossover cable. My security "tightening" introduced a big hole instead. Toggling Simple File Sharing seems to produce very different effects now.

Simple File Sharing Enabled:
- I am no longer able to logon with any Authenticated Users' credentials.
- ONLY the guest can successfully logon BUT I can use any username, even just a random sequence of letters as long as I use the Guest password. username:adsfasdf password:**** will work even though there is no account name with asdfasdf.
- I looked through the Event Security log and compared the current entries with those before I messed with the settings. Logging on as an authenticated user with SFS enabled used to do a mapping with the Guest account. Now it is impossible to even log on. I get a bad username or password error.

Simple File Sharing Disabled:
- I AM able to logon with any Authenticated Users' credentials.
- Any username other than authenticated user with the guest password is also valid

Disabling the Guest account does work at removing the any username can logon problem. But I was hoping I could fix it so the authenticated users could map to the guest account the way they used to. I have since looked through the settings of another XP machine and changed the settings back, but still no success in reverting back to its previous behavior. I have gone through a lot of searches but the following post was the closest in description, but his solution the way I understand it, does not fix my problem.

If anyone has any suggestions/solutions that I can try at this point, it will be much appreciated

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