Sharing Files, Disks, and Printers

So far in this chapter, you've been reading from the point of view of the person accessing other computers on the network. This section details how to make the components of your computer available to other people on the network.

You share something the same way whether it's a drive, a folder, or printer: You highlight its icon, turn on sharing, type a name for the share, and adjust its settings. Thereafter, anyone else on the network can see icons for the resources you've shared by double-clicking My Network Places on their own desktops.

Step 1: Finding the Icon to Share

The first step in making a resource available to the network is to locate its icon. For example:

  • Disk drives. To locate the icon of the disk you want to share, double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop. You'll see icons for all the drives on your system. (When you make a drive available to the network, you also make every folder on it available.)

  • Folders. Sharing folders has distinct advantages over sharing an entire drive. By sharing only a folder or two, you can keep most of the files on your hard drive out of view from curious network comrades. Furthermore, sharing only a folder or two makes it easier for them to find files you've made available, because they don't have to root through your drive looking for the appropriate folder.

    To specify the folder you want to share, locate its icon using either Windows Explorer or the My Computer icon (Section 5.1.1).

  • Printer Shares ...

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