Windows XP Professional, inaccessible shared network folder

by on March 10, 2008

Some time ago, should be about two years, I was trying to access my laptop’s shared network folders or “administrative shares” and I would get a message that it is not accessible. I got upset and I started researching that problem. I did not search the net, I just looked into “group policy” to see what could be the setting that would hinder me from accessing my shared folder on the laptop. For the arguments sake lets say that you would need to do the same thing, access your shared folder from your Desktop to your Laptop. The “group policy” only works in XP professional from my experience. So if you have the home or other edition just run “gpedit.msc”. If it pops up it should work, if not then you can use Simple sharing offered with XP home.

I found two settings that can affect your ability to connect to your shared folders. One is a setting that allows network access users only to be authenticated as the “Guest” user and the user name area in the prompt window is grayed out and therefore unchangeable. So the network share defaults to guest.


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Remember that the Guest user account it self has to have access to that folder, and usually is disabled by default. (you would not need to enable it because we will learn a different way to access your network share)

The other one is the limitation of interactive blank passwords, this means that if you are trying to connect from your Desktop machine to your Laptop machine and your account on the laptop does not have a password the system will not allow you to connect.

Due to these two hindrances we have to edit the “group policy” to do that you need to go to Start button and select “run” in there type gpedit.msc you have to type the extension .msc otherwise it will not work.

After the group policy editor has popped up you need to alter the two settings. On the left panel you have to navigate trough: Computer configuration/windows Settings/Security Settings/Local Policies/ Security Options. After you have selected Security options you just need to go on the right panel and under Network Access find “Sharing and security Models for local Accounts”.

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Left Panel


Right Panel

GPedit Local users autheticate as themselves, gpedit security

Double click the option and change it from Guest Only – User Authenticate as Guest to Classic – Users Authenticate as themselves.

Now you just disable the Accounts – Limit local account use of blank passwords to console login only.

After this if you login from your desktop to your laptop you should be able to provide a local account from the Laptop.
If you want to have access w/h putting in a password, you have to give permissions to the everyone group on the particulars folder. To do that you have to right click on the particular folder and go to proprieties. There go to the security settings and add the everyone group with at least modify permission to that folder. If the folder is already shared go to the sharing tab and click on the permissions and add the everyone group with the change permission. That should do it.

To all witty users out here, I know that many of you knew that but hey this is for all the guys that didn’t.

Leave a comment if you find this useful.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sivananda Reddy March 24, 2011 at 2:41 am

Your solution has worked in my case. it helped me a lot. Thank you very much.

Sivananda Reddy.

vlakov March 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Beautiful, thank you

Snuggy May 4, 2011 at 10:56 am

I searched long and hard for this solution! Thank-you for sharing.

hdb August 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Worked for me, too. Thanks for sharing!!!

raden November 27, 2012 at 2:54 am

Thanks a lot,
you have been very helpful

Anonymous June 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Thank you very much

raj. February 1, 2015 at 4:22 am

Thank you Thank you very much

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