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File and Printer Sharing on Win10

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Optiker, Mar 2, 2019.

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  1. Optiker

    Optiker Thread Starter

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    I have a new laptop computer (Acer Predator Helios 300) running Windows 10. With my previous laptop, I shared files and connected to a printer by way of a wireless LAN. Files were accessed from a very old Dell desktop computer configured as a file server, running a small Linux server OS. I've tried to connect my new laptop to the server, but so far have not been able to do so. See the thread on this forum at: http://tinyurl.com/y2bcjfrb.

    As an alternative and better approach, I'd like to eliminate the server (it's old enough that I don't trust its reliability) and share files by way of a workgroup consisting of the desktop and laptop computers.

    I found a step-by-step set of instructions to do that at "tom'sHARDWARE," but when what I was seeing on my computer didn't match what the tutorial said, I searched the Windows Help site. The first article that turned up said that the latest Win10 has done away with workgroups and talked through an alternate means of sharing files directly from File Explorer (http://tinyurl.com/yxn93a4x). So far I haven't been able to make that work...maybe because I don't seem to be able, so far, to see the laptop from the desktop, or vice-versa.

    When I right-click a file to share, I then click "give access to" in the drop down menu, then clicking that, in the list is included "Homegroup (view)." When I click that, nothing happens. I suppose that's because Win10 doesn't support homegroups/workgroups, but if so, why am I given that option?

    I guess for starters, any suggestions of how I can get the two computers to share files, preferably without the server. Both are on the same wireless router, though the desktop connects to the router by hardwire instead of wireless.

    I'm not a total newbie, but really don't know much about networking.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Optiker
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  2. MMKnight

    MMKnight

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  3. Optiker

    Optiker Thread Starter

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    First, let me ask if I'm going about this wrong. Two computers, a desktop and a laptop. Desktop connected to the router by wire, laptop connected wireless. Currently, a third computer is connected to the router by wire, an ancient Dell dimension 4600 used as a file server as in the original post. With a previous laptop, we routinely accessed a drive on the Dell from either the desktop or the laptop without having to firsts transfer them to the computer we were using. That's what I want to set up, but eliminating the Dell server. I thought that mapping a drive (across the LAN) was the way to go, but haven't been able to do that.

    Is "file sharing" the correct way to do it, or does that term mean transferring files, not opening and modifying them?

    The link you sent was good and I think I might have been able to do that but found that my Win version (1803) on the laptop apparently doesn't match the Win version on the desktop. I don't know how to find the version since when I open the control panel (or whatever it's now called) on the desktop, I don't find a way to get the Windows version...I'm sure it mu.st be there, but I'm not finding it. That computer is probably around 4-5 years old - maybe less. How do I find the version of Windows? I thought it was Win10, but could be wrong.

    So, first question...is it really "file sharing" that gets what I want, or "map a network drive" or something else. If something else, what?

    Sorry to be so long-winded and so thick! :(

    Thanks!
    Optiker
     
  4. MMKnight

    MMKnight

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    Versions don't need to match. You can connect any device on a network, regardless of operating system. And no, you're not thick.

    There are many ways you can share files. This article is step by step: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/111783-share-files-folders-over-network-windows-10-a.html

    You can use OneDrive and share a folder or a person can share their OneDrive Folder with you, and for security you can invite someone via email, so only that person has access, or you can share it with anyone who has the link. You can add their folders or they can add yours to their or your own Onedrive too, so they are always there. You can then create a shortcut to that folder by pressing Windows Key + R and typing Shell:sendto and click OK. Open a new File Explorer window and find the folder on OneDrive you're sharing, right click it and drag the folder to the Send To window and let go. Or right click in the send to window and select New > Shortcut and fin the drive you want to share things in.

    You can now share any file or folder by right clicking it and selecting Send To > and then the folder you added. I use this method a lot and to send things to different folders, even on the network.

    Anyway, I hope these help.
     
  5. dlipman

    dlipman

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    @Optiker :

    You previously stated...
    Since you have a Router with a USB Port where you can hang a USB Hard Disk or large Flash Drive and the Router will share the data, this is the easiest path to go. Let's take full advantage of that capability.

    All the complicated steps in the URLs from TenForums and WindowsCentral will be bypassed as the Router will do all the work for you. It will act like a Server and the USB Hard Disk or large Flash Drive becomes the data share. All setup and ready to go by the Router.

    As I stated in Post #15...
    What is the Linksys Router Model.
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Some routers have a feature ("wireless exclusion"?) that prevents devices connected by Wi-Fi from "seeing" devices connected by ethernet. Make sure that your router does not have that feature or that it is disabled.

    I cannot help with Windows 10, but here is my

    Short description for Windows 7 and 8/8.1 file and printer sharing:

    Go into the Network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel or from the Network icon in the Notification Area. Your network must be designated 'Private' (or 'Home' or 'Work'). Click on Change advanced sharing settings. In the Private or Home or Work section you can configure File and printer sharing, Public folder sharing, and Password protected sharing.

    You may want to change the Workgroup name. To check it or change it right click on "Computer" and select "Properties."

    You must uninstall or properly configure any non-windows firewall (security suite).
     
  7. Optiker

    Optiker Thread Starter

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    mmKnight...I choose to not use OneDrive - don't trust it! Also, as I mentioned in my first reply after the original post, I don't want to simply transfer files, but to open them on either computer and modify them. I guess I didn't see the answer to that
    dlipman...I've tried using the router's [router is Linksys EA6350] USB port, first just trying a flash drive with a couple of simple text files on it so if I screwed up I wouldn't lose anything important. I finally got it to work, ie, accessible to both computers. However, it is very cumbersome to connect and disconnect unless I plan to leave it always connected. That's a possibility, so is a fallback if nothing else works. I have to go into the router setup to add it or remove it, so is pretty cumbersome. There is no "safely remove" in mt system tray as I've always seen in the past.

    TerryNet...as mentioned elsewhere, Win10/1803 no longer includes workgroup/homegroup.

    ALL...my preference is still to have both computers able to access each other's files, as in mapping the relevant drives on each to the other, so I'm still trying to get there. Both computers see each other across the LAN, but so far unable to access folders and files.

    Still trying and open to get there, but the router USB port will be the fallback.

    Thanks!
    Optiker
     
  8. dlipman

    dlipman

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    Yes, the objective is to keep the USB Drive on the Router. The only time to remove it is when you want to make a backup ( albeit it is possible to backup the data over-the-wire ).

    All computers behind the Router have Read/Write access to the data.

    Think about the security concerns about creating a Data Share on a notebook that leaves the enclave ( your home and from behind that Router ) and it goes to some other network. If the security of the Data Share is not setup properly, and the laptop is on another network, that data being shared could be shared with the wrong people.

    The Router and the USB Drive is fixed in one location. A laptop by nature is mobile.

    The Linksys EA6350, is that a Version 1, Version 2 or is it a Version 3 hardware revision ?
     
  9. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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  10. Optiker

    Optiker Thread Starter

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    dlipman...I'm sure you're right. But, I'd still prefer to have the drives mapped to each other. If I go with the Linksys USB port, I'll need to get a two port adapter...if that's even allowed since I have a second drive on the server that I'd like to have available, though that one is a lower priority.

    I have no idea what version the router is. Tell me how to find out and I'll check it.

    Thanks!

    managed...Yep! Should be easy...but I guess at my level of expertise, there's not much that is easy! :) I'll take a look at the link, but I'd be surprised if it's not one I've already seen during this "adventure."

    Thanks!
    Optiker
     
  11. dlipman

    dlipman

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    The version is printed on a label on the appliance.

    I don't know if you can have more than one device connect to the USB port of the Router. The port can be used as a Print Server or or as a Data Share with a USB drive. I didn't see that it can be both. It would be a phun try with a USB Hub if it can do both. I doubt though that two drives could be used. I don't know why you would need two Data Shares instead of one Data Share divided into Logical Folders.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  12. Optiker

    Optiker Thread Starter

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    dlipman...Don't see a version number, just model, S/N, etc. I suppose that means version 1?

    It's true. I could do just one physical USB drive divided into two logical drives or folders. However, what I have available is the one 30 GB USB drive currently connected to my server, a second 30 GB USB drive that has data on it but would be available to transfer stuff from the HD in my server to, and a 1 TB USB drive that's acting funky, that I really need to try to transfer elsewhere, then try reformatting the drive to see if it's still usable. If the 1 TB drive is usable, then that solves the problem without having to buy a new, large USB drive...just use it for both the current 30 GB USB HD and the internal HD of the server.

    While I was able to connect to a USB flash drive in the router USB port from both computers and it reads fine, I'm still not convinced that it will work with the USB HD. I will be trying that tomorrow after I backup what's on my second 30 GB HD so I can play with it without losing stuff.

    Worst case, I can make it work if my testing tomorrow with the USB HD works out.

    Thank!
    Optiker
     
  13. Optiker

    Optiker Thread Starter

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    dlipman...

    Testing done. It looks like I can access the router USB port from both computers. As I said, it's a little cumbersome now while I'm trying to test various things since I'm needing to connect and disconnect more than I will once I get it set up, but should be OK once I get the "final" configuration in place.

    In addition, I bought a four port USB hub and tested with a USB HD on one port and a flash drive in the other. It works just fine and from the Linksys user device management page, it looks like I can even select whichever USB device is plugged into the hub to remove without it affecting the other.

    So, my plan for now will be to transfer data from the HD currently in my server to the larger of my two USB drives and plug it into one hub port, and plug the smaller USB drive that is currently plugged into the server into another of the hub ports. That will give me access to both from both computers.

    As I think I mentioned, I also have a 1 TB USB HD, but it's been acting up. If I can verify that it's OK and not going to cause a problem, I may transfer both of the other two smaller USB drives to it, plug it direction into the router and eliminate the hub.

    I think I'd still rather have both computers in a workgroup since I'd like to access the hard drives currently in my desktop from my laptop, but since that doesn't seem to be a possibility, I'll go with the router solution for now as described above.

    All...Thanks for your help and advice.

    Optiker
     
  14. dlipman

    dlipman

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    That is way cool about the hub. Just realize that if you hook up a hard disk, that hard disk must have its own power supply.

    Once you can access the Router as a Data Share you can Map a Drive Letter as I mentioned in Post #15. If it is mapped as a Permanent Drive the Drive Letter will be available if you logoff and then login or reboot.

    Another neat concept is the Router USB port can act as a Print Server. Thus a Printer with a USB Port ( there is a list of supported printers ) can also be shared over the network connected to that USB hub.

    Now about that 1TB hard disk. What is the Make and Model of the hard disk ?
     
  15. Optiker

    Optiker Thread Starter

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    dlipman...The small USB hard disks get their power through the USB connection...apparently because they work. The large TB drive has its own power connection.

    I'll have to think about that and try it once I get everything connected. I was concerned about how to set up shortcuts since the small USB drive is my wife's and she is even less computer literate than I am. :)

    As for printers, I currently have my laser printer on the LAN by ethernet plugged directly into the router. My inkjet, however, isn't on the LAN so I will look into doing that.

    The 1TB USB drive is A LaCie and I don't see a model number on it. There are a couple of numbers, other than the S/N but I don't know if either is a model: N2870 and ABY35. Actually, both of the other USB drives that I will connect to the hub are also LaCie drives, one is 30 GB (my wife's drive) and one is 60 GB. I talked to the computer repair guy today and he will diagnose the 1TB drive for no cost, but if it's bad and he has to recover the data, it will be around $150. Guess it will be worth it since I used to use it as a backup drive and there will be stuff on it that may or may not be saved elsewhere.

    I have transferred the data from the server HD to the available 60 GB LaCie USB drive, and the 30 GB LaCie will just be unplugged from the server and plugged into the hub. Tomorrow is the big day to try to get it all reconnected and checked out. If all works, I can shutdown my server for the last time.

    Thanks again!
    Optiker
     
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