To this day, I still find that the way Microsoft implements network folder sharing is full of mysteries.
In this case, I had an office setup with about 4 PCs (all running XP)
One PC was acting as a “file server”, and it was sharing a folder for everyones common use… so far, its all straightforward.
I’m asked to get a 5th PC (also XP) working and using the shared drive.
Hey, I’ve done this lots of times, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
I make sure the new PC is part of the same workgroup, restart, then in win explorer, I go to:
My Network Places -> Entire Network -> Microsoft Windows Network -> WorkgroupName -> ServerName
But as soon as I click on ServerName, I get the error: ServerName is not accessible. Access is denied.
OK, I go through the usual range of troubleshooting options:
- disable firewalls
- create a new share
- check user permissions on the share
- create an “everyone” user and give it full access
- make sure the “computer browser” and “server” services are running
- ipconfig /flushdns
After a while, I decide to look at a PC that is able to see the shared drive… but it also gives the “access is denied” error… yet it is able to read and write files on the shared Z: drive…
Weird, yet that gives me a clue on how to fix it:
On the new PC, I open a command prompt and type:
net use z: \ServerNameShareName /persistent:yes
And that works!
Z: allows the user to access the shared drive just like everyone else.
Why? I’m really not sure, but its good to know there is a “back door” to fixing this!