Necessity of Sharing Drives
Most people have a large amount of media files like music, movies, pictures, etc. which are stored in the local hard drives. This leads to the necessity of accessing the hard drives from other computers other than the one to which they are connected. A good example is that if all the hard drives are at the main desktop PC, but you have a PC which is attached to your home theatre, then you need to access the media files from the PC connected to the home theatre. This leads to the necessity to access the hard drive from another computer on the network.
Steps to Share a Hard Disk Drive via Windows 7 Network
The first basic step is to open Windows Explorer and search for the hard disk that one wants to share. Then right-click on the selected disk and choose the Share With option and then select Advanced Sharing. The dialog box called Local Disk Properties appears on your screen. Next, under the Sharing Tab, click the Advanced Sharing button under the Advanced Sharing heading. Now the Advanced Sharing dialog box will appear on your screen.
Select the option Share This Folder and then give a name to the share. One can also put a limit to the number of users who can simultaneously connect to the disk by clicking on the Permissions button. By default, the name of the share is the same as the drive letter that is being shared. An important point to remember is that one is sharing an entire disk and not just any folder on the disk. The maximum number of users who can use the share disk is limited to 20.
One can change the default permissions to the Everyone group by choosing the desired permissions which are Change, Read and Full Control under the column entitled Allow or Deny. Windows automatically selects the check boxes which are appropriate for ensuring that one does not assign any conflicting permissions to a group or any user. A good example of this would be that you cannot allow any user to have the permission to Change but can deny that particular user the permission to Read.
To add more groups or users, one must choose the Add button by clicking where the dialog box entitled Select Users or Group appears. Under the ‘Enter the object names to select’ title, type the person’s account name that you wish to add and then select the Check names option. If the name of the account is found, then Windows will underline your account name entry and also add the computer name to the start of the name on the account. Select the OK option and you are then returned to the dialog box called Permissions.
Now, select the account name of the added user and then modify the given permissions as you desire and then select OK. By doing this, Windows 7 assigns permissions which you have specified for the selected hard disk.
Sharing Drives on a Network
The first step involved is the selection of the drives on the computer that one wishes to share and then expose the selected drives to the network by using the Windows Advanced Sharing option. Connect the shared drives with your other computers by using the Windows function called ‘Map Network Drive’. Then in the Windows Internet options, add an exception for preventing Windows from warning the user which is you when your data is moved to and from the network drives. The method also requires that the computer must have a Windows account that should be an administrative account and should also be password protected. If the account is not protected by a password, then one may still receive prompts for entering a password while connecting to the shared drive on the network. Since one cannot enter a password that is blank, they are prevented from effectively being connected to the shared drive. Though it is possible to share a hard drive without a password, it may be finicky; therefore, it is essential that one have a password protected account on the shared drive’s host computer.
On the PC that holds the shared drive, the first step is to right click on the selected drive to be shared and then choose “Give access to” and then select the “Advanced Sharing” option. Next, enter a particular name to help in the identification of the drive over any network. If one wishes to be able to both read as well as write to the drive from other PCs belonging to you, choose ‘Permissions’ and click the ‘Allow’ for ‘Full Control’.
The next step in this process is to map a particular network drive by utilizing an IP address for referencing the computer that the shared drive is attached to. Most of the time, the computers on the network will automatically appear under the device name. Device names may be used in the mapping of network drives, but using an IP address is less risky, especially while doing network map Windows 7 and network map Windows 10.
On the computer through which one wishes to access the drive, select the ‘Map network drive’ under the ribbon menu and then for the ‘Drive’ select the particular letter that you wish to give the shared drive and for the ‘Folder’ enter the IP address of the PC to which the shared drive is connected to and the drive name which refers to the name of the drive entered to identify it in the format ‘\\IP-address\drive-name’. Next, share the drive via the Windows Advanced Sharing option while ensuring that “Reconnect at sign in” and the “Connect using different credentials” option is selected.
Then, the user is prompted to enter the login credentials of the PC system to which the drive required to be shared is attached. For the username, enter in the format ‘IP-address\username’ where the IP address is that of the PC to which the shared drive is connected and the username is the login for the PC system of the drive required to be shared. For the password, one needs to enter the password used for the login of the PC system to which the drive required to be shared is attached.
Next, the user must add an exception to the Windows Internet Options. When the user maps a network via an IP address, he or she may receive the prompt that the files may be harmful to the computer when one tries to move data to and from the drive on the network. For removing this particular prompt, one can add an exception on the Windows Internet Options by the following steps.
On the PC system which has the network shared drive mapped, access Control Panel and choose Internet Options. The next step is to enter the ‘Security’ tab and choose ‘Sites’. Next, select ‘Advanced’ and enter the IP address of the PC to which the shared drive is connected and then choose ‘Add’ option for creating an exception for all the network drives to the PC system of that particular IP address.
For removing the shared access to a particular network drive on a specific computer system, on that PC system, right click on the shared network drive and then select the ‘Disconnect option’. For stopping the sharing of a drive to all the computer systems that may have access to it currently, on the PC system that the shared network drive is connected to, right click on the shared drive and choose the ‘Properties’ title. Next, under the ‘Sharing’ tab, choose the option titled ‘Advanced Sharing’. The next step is unchecking the box which is labelled as ‘Share this folder’.
For modification of login credentials on the PC system to which the shared drive is connected to, one may require new login credentials for logging on the shared drive through other computers. A prompt may occur when the user logs in and Windows finds out that it no longer has access to the shared network drive. One can manually change the login credentials through the PC system which has the network drive mapped to it by accessing the Control Panel and visiting the Credential Manager. Choose ‘Windows Credentials’ for viewing the login credentials of all of the Windows systems on the user’s network. Expand the option for entry of the IP address of the PC to which the shared drive is connected and choose the ‘Edit’ option for updating the login credentials. Alternatively, one can also disconnect the shared network drive and use fresh credentials by remapping it.
Thus, the sharing of a hard drive over a network is extremely helpful as it helps in accessing media files remotely from another PC system to which the drive may or may not be connected. In this manner, one can easily access media files stored in a particular system from any other system not connected to that particular hard drive.
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