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Old 02-27-2016, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default Workgroup help

First of all I am a student in networking and computers. I am aware of homegroup and how it works. I am trying to explore the workgroup feature. My understanding is that with workgroup you can control who has access and also control exactly what files they have access to. I have attempted to set this up on 3 PCs (Vista, 7, and 8.1). Apparently I am missing something and need help.

I have done the following:

Network Discovery ON
File and Printer Sharing ON
Public Folder Sharing OFF
Media Streaming OFF
File Sharing Connections use 128bit encryption
Password Protected Sharing ON


Each PC has one user account (admin)
WORKGROUP is named WORKGROUPTEST for all PCs
Network name is the same for all PCs
Network type is Private for Vista/8.1 and Work for 7

Cannot find full instructions so I came here in hopes someone can help me get this going.
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Workgroup help

Are the admin accounts password protected with the same password on each of the 3 PCs? The workgroup makes it easier for the machines to identify each other as members of a logical group but it is not a security feature. Each PC relies on it's local user accounts to authenticate PCs attempting to connect to shares.

That said, I have seen strange issues with sharing across different versions of Windows even though they are supposed to be compatible.

What issue are you seeing exactly? Is it access denied when accessing a share? A couple things to check are your my SHARE permissions, and also your NTFS permissions. Both must permit the connecting user.

Also, check Credential Manager on each PC, ensure that no incorrect user credentials are stored there. If they are, windows will attempt to use them and give access denied if they're incorrect. Clear them and try again.
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Workgroup help

The admin accounts password are different on each PC. When I select the PC I want to access, I am asked for username and password. I'm not sure what username and password to use. However on the 8.1, when I try to access the 7 PC, I get access denied. All others have username and password request box.

Not familiar with Credential Manager. Could you elaborate on how to make sure they are cleared?

What I am attempting to do right now is take one folder and a file (not in the folder) and share both on each PC to allow the other two PCs to access. I am trying to gain experience.

Thank you for responding. I have searched for information on Microsoft and the net and cannot find all the answers I need to successfully set this up.
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Old 02-28-2016, 03:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Workgroup help

I don't believe you can share an individual file. You'll need to put it into a shared folder.

On the Win 7 PC, search the start menu or control panel for Credential Manager. When you check the "save credentials" box on any password prompt in Windows, they are saved in there, and are used the next time you try to access the resource, and if they are wrong you will get "access denied" instead of being prompted.

Anytime you are connecting to a share on a PC and are asked for username/password, you should be using the credentials of a user account stored on the computer you are connecting to, not from.


Another thing to check on the Windows 7 computer: Under Network and Sharing Center > Advanced Sharing Settings > Password Protected Sharing

Is this setting turned on or off? Try it both ways and see if there is any change. But I think it should be "on" for what you are trying to do.
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Workgroup help

Thanks again. I will do this tomorrow sometime and will post back. I have a paper to write for my Music class by tomorrow night. Why I have to take music to be a computer/network tech I'll never know. Anyway, I will post back as soon as I can. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Workgroup help

You might want to use google docs or MS cloud to share a single file to any device with access.
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Workgroup help

I have come to the conclusion that using workgroups is too much of a hassle. One minute it starts to work and the next minute everything goes to pot. Not to mention if I'm having this much trouble I can only imagine what an end user would endure. Having said that, how would three computers share only what each computer wants to share with the other computers. For instance computer 1 wants to share something with computer 2 and not computer 3 but also not give them access to see everything on my drive. Basically I need to be able to share info on the network but have control over who sees what. I know a server would work but that cost way to much and just doesn't seem practice. What do most small businesses do in situations like this?
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Workgroup help

Many businesses, even smaller ones, will run at least one windows active directory server to centralize management of accounts, permissions, and resources. But yes, it does cost money. (If you are non profit or student you can get discounts.)

Others are doing what you are trying to do, and there are issues with it like you are experiencing. One thing you might do, is to create 3 standard accounts- one for each user, on each of the machines. You as the Administrator would then use your own account to setup varying degrees of access for these users on each PC. When the users log in to their own computer and attempts to access a shared folder, Windows will automatically supply their login credentials to authenticate access to share. Since you will have created an identical account on the PC with the shared folder, they will be allowed or denied based on your settings. Getting all of the computers running the same OS version would be helpful too.

Option number 3, which might be the best- use one central computer as a file server. It doesn't have to run the Windows Server OS. Create 3 local accounts on this 'server', one for each user that will connect to it. Then do as I said above, and configure access to files/folders for each of these users. When people connect to the shares on this machine, their computer will automatically supply their username/password, which, since you created an identical account on the 'server', they will match, and your permissions will be effective for them. The same as above, but you only have to make changes on one computer instead of 3. Obviously, the users will all have to connect to this central machine to get shared files.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Workgroup help

Better option. Use the cloud. Upload the files to be shared and access from any device, amend it and put it back. Just have your devices sync with the cloud. Been doing it that way for years now and its great, you get access across platforms and OSs.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: Workgroup help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technician View Post
Better option. Use the cloud. Upload the files to be shared and access from any device, amend it and put it back. Just have your devices sync with the cloud. Been doing it that way for years now and its great, you get access across platforms and OSs.
But he wants to centrally manage permissions. Can't really do that with a cloud application. But while we're on the subject of "the Cloud" There's also Microsoft Azure services. If you looking to support a few more than just 3 users, and you want the benefits of Active Directory you can host it with azure quite affordably without upfront cost.

Another option is to just get a small NAS such as a synology, load some drives in it, and setup permissions for shares there. Easier then fussing with windows permissions and easy to configure. I have one.
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