Doesn't share well with others.
February 16, 2004 7:58 PM   Subscribe

I have a home network with 3 XP Pro machines which can all share files perfectly with one another - and a Windows 98 SE machine which refuses. Help I'm desperate {more inside}

It can go on the internet fine, ping the other computers, and even see them in my network neighborhood. But when I try to browse any of my other computers from the 98 machine, it tries to connect as \\Computername\IPC$ and asks for a password. I have tried leaving it blank, typing in all the admin passwords for the other machines, hitting cancel, but nothing works. I have also tried changing all the security and sharing settings on the XP machines, it doesn't help. I know the username and password that will give me access to them, but Windows only lets me be "IPC$" and no passwords work. I want to browse my XP files from the 98 machine. Thanks!
posted by ac to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
It's been a while since I've worked with Win98, but I remember its notoriety for networking hassles. The solution, if I recall correctly, is as follows:

1. On the XP machine, create a new user with the same name as the logged in Win98 user. Assign the new user a password (i.e. don't leave it blank) and set that password to never expire.

2. Make sure the XP machine is in "advanced sharing" mode. AFAIK, the "simple" mode won't work. Right-click on the folder(s) you wish to share, bring up the Properties panel, go to the "Sharing" tab and add the user you've just created with the appropriate read/write permissions. Go to the "Security" tab and add the same user once again. If XP asks you whether you want to propagate the changes to all files and subfolders, say yes.

3. Reboot the Win98 machine. (Win98 has a bad habit of caching network logon information.)

4. Once the Win98 machine has booted, go through Network Neighborhood and try accessing the XP machine with the username and password you've just configured.

5. If it works properly, repeat this procedure on each of the remaining XP machines. If not, as a last-ditch effort, you may try going to a command prompt (Start > Run > and typing the following, hitting enter after each line:

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /renew

Good luck. If this doesn't work, hopefully someone else (majick, I'm looking in your direction!) can provide more worthwhile assistance.
posted by Danelope at 8:16 PM on February 16, 2004

Dan's advice is sound. The problem you're having is that there needs to be an account on the "servers" -- the systems sharing files -- named and passworded identically to what's on the Windows 98 box. Step 1 is the key here: the Win98 box will only try to connect as the current logged in user, and for convenience more than anything else, the passwords for that account ought to be the same across the board.

If you do that and it still plagues you, you're more or less up against the tremendous wall of SMB bugs in Windows 9x, where you get to do all kinds of voodoo candle-and-chicken-blood stuff like removing "Client for Microsoft Networking" from the Network control panel and adding it back in. Unfortunately, these shennanegans are par for the course when you're trying to wedge Windows 9x clients in with NT boxes.
posted by majick at 10:53 PM on February 16, 2004

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