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Restricting File Access to Certain Users....

Last response: in Networking
October 4, 2007 5:23:08 PM


I am hoping something is possible as I have been put in charge of sorting it out for my office and need some assisstance with it

The situation... 3 PC's which I have set up on a wireless network. They are successfully sharing 2 printers and files between each.

PC's 1 + 2 are on XP Pro
PC 3 is on XP Home

I need PC's 1 + 2 to be able to share files with each other, and be able to access all files on PC 3
PC 3 is the problem - we dont want PC 3 to be able to access any files on 1 + 2 (but as stated before, 1 + 2 need to be able to get at 3 - otherwise i'd just remove it from the network)

I had assumed it would be nice and easy to password protect the shared folders and just not tell worker from PC 3 the password - however it seems this seemingly obvious and desirable feature isn't present on Windows.

I then thought I'd be able to restrict access based on network IP... but can't find out how to get that working (2 PC's with XP Pro need to restrict access to just each other)

Now I am hoping that someone can either a) instruct me on how to do either of the above options or b) give me an alternative which would be just as functional.

Would really appreciate your help,



PS - I am aware I can compress the shared folders into a ZIP file and then put a password the zip file... this results in the users of 1 + 2 having to input the password for every file they want to open any file within the zip file (of which there are a couple of hundred) so this particular solution is a bit awkward as the files are accessed all the time every day.
October 4, 2007 9:07:21 PM

It sounds like you are using Windows XP Simple File Sharing. To check, open My Computer, Click Tools, Folder Options. Click View and see if there is a check in Use Simple File Sharing at the bottom of the list. If so, then uncheck it on all 3 computers.

Now is where it gets a little complicated. You will need to assign password to both the Administrator and any user accounts on the 2 computers you want to protect. The easiest way to make it work is to only have 1 user account and the usernamen and password should be the same for both computers. If you want differnet usernames, then both user accounts with the correct password will need to be added to both computers. The best way to do all this is to right-click My Computer and click manage. Click users on the left and it gives you a nice little list. You can create users, change passwords from here. You might also want to give the user accounts administrator rights. Just right click the user name, click properties, then Member Of. Click Add and type Administrators in the empty space and click OK.

Just make sure the user account that is logged in on the 3rd PC is not the same as the ones on the other 2 and PC #3 will not have access to any files or printers on PC1 or 2. Now, for PC1 and 2 to have access to PC3, you will need to create User accounts on PC3 that match PC1 and 2. Just don't give the passwords to whoever uses PC3.
October 4, 2007 10:59:02 PM

Hi, thanks for the reply. You've lost me slightly, if you have time can you go through it a bit more step by step.

I already had Simple File Sharing unchecked.

I went into the folder sharing tab and clicked on permission. It allows me to add permissions specific for certain users

On PC2, for example, I went to add users but it only gave me a list of user accounts from PC2 itself for whom I could restrict access. How do I restrict access for someone from PC3 (so that they can't see/open) ?
October 5, 2007 2:35:41 PM

You can assign permissions to specific users for specific folders on a PC but the computer has to know who the users are. In other words, you can't assign rights to a user that is not in THAT computers user list. All folders are shared to all users of that computer by default so the easiest way to make sure certain users have access to certain folders, is to have both computers logged in with the same username and password. If you want to restrict a certain PC, then that PC should be logged in with a different username than the other 2 and the username that PC3 is logged in with should not reside in the user list of either PC1 or PC2. If you want PC1 and PC2 to be able to access files and printers on PC3, then PC3 must have the username being used as the default login on PC1 and PC2 in it's user list, but just don't give the password to the user of PC3.