Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Controlling your network, NTFS security part 3

Today I am going to conclude (I think) this series with an overview of using NTFS to establish greater security for your data on networked machines, and greater control over what is and what isn’t shared with others. A few simple adjustments will enhance your security whether you have a home network, or just a single computer connected to the Internet.
(Click here to read part 1, and here to read part 2)

Tip of the day: [for users of Windows 2000, XP Pro, XP Media Center Edition] Gain control by turning off Simple File Sharing and using NTFS permissions. I want to start out by demonstrating how to turn off the default method Windows uses to make files available to other devices (known as “Simple File Sharing”), which is a valid move to make even if your PC is not connected [“networked”] with any other machines at this time — because the “Internet” is one big network and if you use it, you’re connected. Simple File Sharing makes everything available to everyone.

Begin by opening any folder, My Documents, whatever, and look in the top menu bar, and select Tools. Now click on the bottom choice — “Folder Options”. Select the View tab.

Deselect (uncheck) the bottom option “Use simple file sharing (Recommended)”. I understand that word “recommended” might throw you, and make you hesitate. In reply, the answer is, times have changed. Today we must be more cautious. However, realize that you can reinstall Simple File Sharing simply by ‘checking’ it again at any time.

Those of you who do not have a small network at home are done for today — class is dismissed –but if you do have machines that share a printer and/or files, keep reading to learn how to re-establish communications.

First, decide what it is you wish to share, and then decide with whom, because NTFS allows for almost total control over the what/who/when/where and how of “resource” sharing on your network. I will use my My Music folder for my demonstration, but the same steps are applied to anything you wish to make available, whether it’s a device like a printer or DVD burner, or a single file.
mm.jpgHere is the familiar My Music folder’s icon. To begin “sharing” access, right-click on it and select “Sharing and Security” option. Click on the Sharing tab.

Place a check in the box labeled “Share this folder on the network” and either accept the “share name” (not the same as renaming) Windows gives it, or create your own name, and then click “Apply” and then “OK”.
Now the icon has changed to show that this folder is now being shared to other users and computers, and it will appear in the Network Neighborbood area of all the machines on your network. Go to another PC, open Network Neighborhood (or, “My Network Places”), double-click on it and it will look and function as if it were actually a part of that computer’s files. This allows you to play songs on one machine while they are actually stored on another (so you don’t have to have copies stored on each machine — wasting hard drive space).

I’m out of time, so tune in again tomorrow for a discussion on Permissions.

Today’s free link: Sorry folks, I’ve run out of time today.

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

July 19, 2007 - Posted by | advice, computers, converting to NTFS, file system, how to, network shares, networking, PC, permissions, security, Simple File Sharing, tech, Windows, XP


  1. I don’t have this option … the tab “use simple file sharing” doesn’t exist on my computer.


    Comment by Bill | December 26, 2007 | Reply

  2. Bill–
    Windows XP (and older versions) use Simple File and Folder Sharing… which is a security weakness and it is recommended that it be turned off.
    If you cannot see this checkbox — as in the screenshot — you are either using Vista, or are at work.. and the network admin has not only disabled SFS, but hidden it through Group Policy. Right?


    Comment by techpaul | December 27, 2007 | Reply

  3. I am running Windows XP Home and I too am missing the “Use Simple File Sharing” Option in the Advanced Settings Window of the View Tab. The last option listed for me is “Show Pop-up . . . “


    Comment by Britt | December 31, 2007 | Reply

  4. Britt (and probably Bill, too)–
    I must apologize. It has been a very, very long time since I have spent any time on XP Home, and the following fact slipped my mind (I am deeply shamed to confess) — XP Home Edition does not allow you turn off Simple File and Folder Sharing.
    It is already disabled in Vista, so this article really only applies to Pro and MCE, and I will modify it to reflect this.


    Comment by techpaul | December 31, 2007 | Reply

  5. Heyy i had the same problem as Britt and I cannot seem to find any help towards this problem. If anyone has any ideas please help.


    Comment by James | February 10, 2008 | Reply

  6. –For those of you using XP Home Edition–
    Microsoft says there is no way to turn off Simple File Sharing.
    So my best advice is [short of upgrading] to run a 3rd-party firewall (such as ZoneAlarm). Also, consider encrypting your important files, and limit the time you spend websurfing at Internet Cafe’s and other public hotspots.


    Comment by techpaul | February 10, 2008 | Reply

  7. Hey is there anyone who can give me a better Ideas I restored my computer and I lost access to some of my old files so, can get them. However, I knew about the simple sharing and now I dont know how to get the files back because XP home edition does not have that feature which can give me those files back. Please help!!


    Comment by Juan | June 22, 2008 | Reply

  8. Jaun–
    I’ll try to help, but I’m confused.
    1) File sharing refers to making files and folders accessible to other computers.. so that I could, say, store my music collection on one machine, yet access it from another machine(s) and play the songs.
    2) “restoring” your computer can mean a couple of different things.. depending on what kind of restore method you used.
    3) You say you need to “get the files back”.. I assume that to mean you no longer see them in your folders, which leads me to believe that you “reinstalled” Windows. Depending on the choices made during the install, you may be able to locate your old files in a folder labelled c:\Windows.old. They will be in your User folder inside the Documents and Settings folder.
    Your file path will look like c:\Windows.old\Documents and Settings\Jaun\My Documents (if your user account was named “Juan”).

    * If you deleted your old files, an undelete utility may be able to recover them. And, if reinstalling Windows also formatted your drive first (re-Format-ed, actually), you may be able to unformat, and recover your files that way.

    This is why you make back up copies folks.


    Comment by techpaul | June 22, 2008 | Reply

  9. Hey,

    Im also running on windows XP home.

    I reinstalled the OS and now have ‘access denied’ to certain files, as im on XP home I cant disbale the simple file sharing. But any other ides on how a may be able to ain access back to these files???



    Comment by Edd | June 25, 2008 | Reply

  10. Edd–
    Log on as an Administrator, and give your new User Account “Full Control” permissions to the folders and files you need to access.


    Comment by techpaul | June 25, 2008 | Reply

  11. great post

    thank for the tutorial


    Comment by geniv | August 16, 2008 | Reply

  12. i have to delete one movie file, at that time display destination folder access denied. but i have to run the file, i have to copy,but i cant move and delete.plz solve my pbm


    Comment by anbu | April 5, 2011 | Reply

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