Yale University Library


Workstation and Technology Services

Quick Links
Secure File and Printer Sharing

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Creating Shares

How to Share a Folder:
The computer where the files are contained is the computer sharing them. The computer using the files remotely is connecting to the share. You actually share folders, not files.

To share folders safely, we will share an example folder titled "documents".

Locate the folder you want to share, in this example, the "documents" folder. Right click on the folder and select "sharing". A window should appear, looking very similar to the one below.

The sharing default will be set to "Do not share this folder". Click on the radio button to the left of "Share this folder", and give your share another name(if you do not wish to use the default). In this case, the share name is "documents".

Next to "User limit" you can designate how many users are allowed to access the shared folder at one time. The default is 10 on a workstation. These are simultaneous connections. You can have more users connecting, just not at the same time.

Set Share Permissions:
Next, click on the "Permissions" button. This is CRITICAL! If you do not set permissions, your files will be available to everyone, thus leaving your computer vulnerable to virus and worm attacks. Even though Norton AntiVirus will probably pick up most of them, you will be vulnerable to new attacks. If you must have shares, set the permissions!

Share permissions in Windows 2000 defaults to the group "Everyone" with full control, which means that everyone has access to your files and also can write into your shared folder. If you want to remove the everyone group select Everyone and click remove.

To select who can have permissions, click on the "Add" button. What appears is a list of all the registered users in the Yale Domain. You can cancel this.

Type in the Yale\NetId or first.last@yale.edu. Highlight the user you want to give access to and then click on "Add". When finished selecting users, click on "OK". The users you have selected will then appear in the window to the right alphabetically. After you have added users, remove the group "everyone" so that access is limited to only the users you have selected.
When finished, click "ok" and your files will be safely protected from unwelcome users and viruses. In the example below, I have selected one user and one Group. The group I gave change permissions and the single user I gave read permission.


Set File Permissions:
Think about what you'd like the user to do with the file. Are they just going to read it? Are they going to copy it and use it on their own workstation? Will they need to edit the shared copy? Be very careful when setting file permissions and only do so when absolutely necessary. Be careful not to accidentally lock yourself out of the directory.

Use Hidden Shares:
Using a $ after the share name hides it from people browsing the network. You still need to follow the same recommendations for secure file sharing because worms and viruses can still find hidden shares.

Only use shares when absolutely necessary:
Consider other options when sharing data such as putting it on a webpage. If a document is for one-time use then it can be sent as an E-mail attachment.

Using Computer Management to Create Shares:
An alternate method of setting up and managing your shares is Computer Management.

Open Computer Management by right clicking My Computer and selecting "Manage".

Open "Shared Folders".
Right Click "Shares".
Select "New file share"

Name the share
Set the permissions by selecting the appropriate level of control. (You should never select All users have full control). Then click Finish.

Click No. Do not create another share.

Review Shares on your Workstation Regularly:
Regularly go through your shared folders and remove the shares that are no longer needed.

To remove a share
1. Right click the folder.
2. Select Sharing.
3. Select "Do not share this Folder".

You can also use "Computer Management", "Shared Folders" section to view and manage all of your shares.

Connecting and Disconnecting Mapped Folders:
To connect to a shared folder you can open Windows Explorer and select "Tools", "Map a Network Drive". In the Folder box type the name of the path to the share in this format:


In this case \\mothra\software$. This is a hidden share so it is not browsable. Don't rely on browsing. Since it's recommended that your shares be hidden, you won't be able to see them by browsing.

If you would like a persistent connection to this resource then check the "Reconnect at Logon" box. If you have a drive mapped to e:\ for example then each time you log in e:\ will be automatically connected to that resource. Users of Cataloger's Desktop have a persistent connection to \\werewolf\catdt.

Printer Sharing:

Creating a Shared Printer:

1. Click the Start Button, click settings, click printers.
2. Right click the printer you want to share.
3. Select "Sharing".
4. Select "Shared As".
5. Give the printer a name that it will be know on the network as.
6. The default security is Everyone Print. That should be adequate security since all anyone can do is print and not change printer parameters.

Connecting to a Shared Printer:

1. Be sure that you have access to the printer you want to connect you.
2. Click the Start Button, click Settings, click Printers.
3. Double click Add Printer to open the Add Printer Wizard.
4. Click Next.
5. Click the "Network Printer" radio button.
6. Click "Next".
7. Click the "Type the printer name, or click Next to browse for a printer" radio button.
8. In the Name box enter the host computer name (name of the computer the printer is connected to) and the printer share name in the following format: \\hostname\printersharename
9. Click Next .

To connect to a shared printer and have all users access the printer in their profile:

1. Be sure that you have access to the printer you want to connect you.
2. Click the Start Button, click Settings, click Printers.

3. Double click Add Printer to open the Add Printer Wizard.
4. Click Next

5. Click the "Local Printer" radio button.
6. Click Next.

7. Click "Create a new port" and choose "Local Port" from the drop down menu.

8. In the "Enter a Port Name" box type \\hostname\printersharename.

9. Choose the Manufacturer and Printer from the list.

10. Create a name for the printer in the "Printer Name" box.

11. Leave the default "Do not share this Printer".

12. Print a test page.
13. Finish