Solved: Windows 7 can see but not access files on XP Home SP3 and Vista Home Premium

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Grumpsabout7

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Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.1
HP s3240uk Pavilion Slimline
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional , Service Pack 1, 64 bit
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+, AMD64 Family 15 Model 107 Stepping 2
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 4094 Mb
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 2400 , 256 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 469293 MB, Free - 374406 MB; J: Total - 381549 MB, Free - 202607 MB;
Motherboard: ASUSTek Computer INC., Acacia, 1.00, MS1C79R82004688
Antivirus: avast! Antivirus, Updated and Enabled

I have found many well meaning suggestions aimed at helping others like me to resolve this annoying aspect of networking between Windows 7, Vista and XP but it seems like we are all banging our heads against a brick wall. I have tried every suggestion I can find on other forums but still my Windows 7 computer cannot access my XP Home or Vista machines. The message I see each time I try is as follows:- "\\WINXP (or \\VISTA) is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have permissions. The account is not authorised to log in from this station." You will of course appreciate that the 'administrator' is myself. I can access files and a printer on Windows 7 from the other two computers providing I place shared files in the public folder ... no problem with this.

Before you ask ... Yes, I have checked that all three computers have the same Workgroup Name. Yes, I have got Network Discovery turned on. Yes, I have turned on file and printer sharing. Yes, I have turned off Password protected sharing (and tried it turned on). Yes, I have set my network location to Work network. Yes, the computers I am trying to access do show in my network window ... each and everyone of them can be pinged from each other. I even have a little utility called Wireless Network Watcher that shows that the IP addresses, MAC addresses and each computer by name can be seen on the network. I think I have exhausted all channels now but if there is something you think I've missed do let me know. Incidentally, I even forked out some of my hard earned pocket money on a downloadable manual on the subject. The author gave me 30 days to prove his manual wouldn't help and after many emails containing screenshots of all the pings and error messages, he conceded that he was baffled and couldn't be of further assistance. He graciously refunded my money. Phew!!!

Please someone, spare me from tearing out what hair I have left!
 

TerryNet

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Not the same systems, but maybe this solution still applies. I've never encountered that problem before, so won't be of any help.
 

Grumpsabout7

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Thanks for the suggestion TerryNet, I'm willing to try anything. Sorry to report, this didn't work either. What I cannot understand is that when I ping the Windows XP computer from Windows 7 it returns the following unexpected result, which to me indicates it has proven absolutely nothing, with the exception that it identifies the IP address:-

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
C:\Users\Terry>ping WinXP
Pinging WinXP [192.168.0.2] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.0.2: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.0.2: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.0.2: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.0.2: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Ping statistics for 192.168.0.2:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms
C:\Users\Terry>

The same ping test applies when I try it with the Vista computer, with the exception of the IP address which returns 192.168.0.5. I would normally expect at least some time variation in milli-seconds. Am I wrong?
 

TerryNet

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I would normally expect at least some time variation in milli-seconds. Am I wrong?
I'd say neither right nor wrong. Ping on a LAN by ethernet will usually be <1ms. I just tried 3 times pinging my router using wireless. First time was <1ms, 1 ms twice and then 56 ms; second time was 1, 2, 1 and 1 ms; third time was 1 ms all four replies.

Make sure that none of the computers are connected twice (e.g., by ethernet and wireless) to the router. While I haven't seen your error message before, file sharing does sometimes give disappointing and unexpected results when there are two possible paths between computers.

File sharing between the Vista and XP works OK, right?

On Windows 7 sometimes file sharing has not worked properly when "Media streaming" is turned on. I think you know how to find it, but just in case, Network and Sharing Center - Change advanced sharing settings - Home or Work.
 

Grumpsabout7

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Thanks for getting back to me. Media streaming is turned off so it's not that. However, an interesting development has occurred, I now have access to the Vista computer from Windows 7! I have no idea how this has come about although it may be something to do with changing the following then changing back to the original settings again when that failed.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanworkstation\parameters

enablesecuritysignature [REG_DWORD] = 0x0 (By the way, it wasn't possible to enter the value 0x0 so I guess the guy meant 0!)

I have no trouble accessing Windows 7 from the XP and Vista computers and those two machines have no conflict with each other. I am now left with trying to get Windows 7 to access files and a printer on XP. At least it seems I'm a step closer to what I want to do so let's hope someone has an idea of what the problem might be.
 

Grumpsabout7

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I am now satisfied that Windows 7 can access Vista files so there is no problem here. I have tried all ways to access Windows XP Home, set the share to everyone, logged into my personal account on XP, tried the Guest account all with 'shared with everyone' but I still get 'Access denied' etc. See attachments!
 

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TerryNet

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Perhaps my last idea (grasp at straw) ...

Do you, or did you ever, have a non-Windows firewall or security suite on the XP? If so, which one(s)?
 

Grumpsabout7

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No, I have only ever used the Windows built-in firewall, however, I am running Avast free antivirus on the computer as with the others.
 
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Have you disabled the UAC? Search 'UAC' on Win7 system > Change Settings >Move to Never notify > OK. Restart & you should be good to go. I have used it several times.
 

Grumpsabout7

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Have you disabled the UAC? Search 'UAC' on Win7 system > Change Settings >Move to Never notify > OK. Restart & you should be good to go. I have used it several times.
I'm willing to try anything but yet again this hasn't solved the problem. For anyone reading this post, I have now intoduced to the network another PC running Windows XP Home SP3 and again, Windows 7 refuses to budge on this one. It seems happy to engage with a laptop and another PC running Vista, and the other members of the network including XP are happy to engage with each other and Windows 7 which is weird. The only system in the network that is uncooperative is Windows 7 - I'm now pondering the possibility of downgrading the Windows 7 computer to Vista so that they all work in harmony. Problem is, I have then wasted my money on Windows 7 but worse still, I have to finally admit defeat.
 

Grumpsabout7

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Here's another interesting development. I have just installed Windows 7 to dual boot my HP dv9000 laptop and guess what? It has no problem with XP and I hadn't even changed the Workgroup name when it was first tested. Doesn't this blow a hole through the firm suggestion that all Workgroups should share the same user name. It also works if I set the laptop up in Homegroup and leave the other computers in the network as a Workgroup which also blows a hole in the theory that a Windows 7 PC networking with earlier OS's won't work unless they are all in the same workgroup? It now seems to me that Windows 7 on my HP laptop doesn't care what the setup is, it can share file and printers on any computer that happens to be in the network. I now suspect that perhaps the only way I shall get my HP Pavilion Slimline to play ball is to do a clean install and try my luck again. As it stands at present I gather from the lack of follow ups since my last post that no-one else has an answer. IF my experiment with the clean install works I'll update this post ... give me time!
 

TerryNet

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Workgroups are not necessary for file sharing, but with Windows XP it is very convenient to use My Network Places and do 'view workgroup computers,' so most people (including me) advise to make the workgroup the same. As you discovered Windows 7 mostly or totally ignores workgroups. You may still want the workgroup name to be the same if accessing the Windows 7 from the XP.

If you do an "Upgrade" install of the Windows 7 over top of itself it works as an XP "Repair" install--data and applications are preserved. You may want to attempt that before doing a clean ("custom") install.
 

Grumpsabout7

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Workgroups are not necessary for file sharing, but with Windows XP it is very convenient to use My Network Places and do 'view workgroup computers,' so most people (including me) advise to make the workgroup the same. As you discovered Windows 7 mostly or totally ignores workgroups. You may still want the workgroup name to be the same if accessing the Windows 7 from the XP.

If you do an "Upgrade" install of the Windows 7 over top of itself it works as an XP "Repair" install--data and applications are preserved. You may want to attempt that before doing a clean ("custom") install.
Changing the workgroup name has made no difference but have done this anyway to comply.

Can't agree on the "Upgrade" suggestion though. The files and folders were OK but after I performed this operation it prompted for activation then told me I had an illegal copy of Windows 7. This I dispute, the copy I have is genuine as was acknowledged first time around. Another way to get cash from us I guess!

Anyway, it was fortunate I had created an image (True Image) of the drive before I tried the upgrade option so at least I have the system back up and running. I'm back to square one where Windows 7 just won't cooperate, at least on this machine.

By way of experiment, I have tried a laptop with Windows 7 installed and that has no trouble with networking between the different operating systems.
 

TerryNet

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Haven't seen too many reports of people doing the "repair" install, and this is the first instance I've heard where activation failed. What are the specifics--such as, pre-installed or upgraded from XP or Vista or retail version and whether you used the Product key from the pre-install or the retail or sticker on the PC, etc.? After the failure did you try changing the Product Key?
 
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