Re: 'Share' options missing

Susan wrote:

I am trying to help someone running Vista Home Premium setup his network
to share files and folders with his XP Home laptop.

Oddly enough, there are no share options AT ALL. No share buttons or no
share options in the context menus -- NOTHING.

We've named the network and simply went out to share a printer (which we
DO have the option to share) -- but when we share it, sharing simply turns
itself off. Same in Network and
Sharing Center. We turn the options ON and then they turn themselves OFF.
done all the rebooting, etc. and still no go.

I have gone through all the disabling of the UAC and ownership and
permissions, et. al. but, can't get anywhere without the SHARE OPTION
being available. Is his install of Windows Vista Home Premium broken or
needing to be reinstalled? Could that be the problem? Could it have been
set up improperly? Not even sure if that's a valid question.

I have successfully done this before on my Vista Business computer and my
XP Pro laptop and although i did have a few 'permission' problems, they
were at least workable and i worked them out, but this one has me stumped.

You don't need to disable UAC. Turn it on again. Sounds like you've got his
network set as Public and/or have a misconfigured firewall. Although you've
spent quite a bit of time on this already, please take a moment to read
through the following troubleshooting. If you follow the suggestions, it
will take approximately 5-8 minutes to set up networking between only two

Excellent, thorough, yet easy to understand article about File/Printer
Sharing in Vista. Includes details about sharing printers as well as files
and folders:

For XP, start by running the Network Setup Wizard on all machines (see
caveat in Item A below).

Problems sharing files between computers on a network are generally caused
by 1) a misconfigured firewall; or 2) inadvertently running two firewalls
such as the built-in Windows Firewall and a third-party firewall; and/or 3)
not having identical user accounts and passwords on all Workgroup machines;
4) trying to create shares where the operating system does not permit it.

A. Configure firewalls on all machines to allow the Local Area Network (LAN)
traffic as trusted. With Windows Firewall, this means allowing File/Printer
Sharing on the Exceptions tab. Normally running the Network Setup Wizard on
XP will take care of this for those machines.The only "gotcha" is that this
will turn on the XPSP2 Windows Firewall. If you aren't running a
third-party firewall or have an antivirus with "Internet Worm
Protection" (like Norton 2006/07) which acts as a firewall, then you're
fine. With third-party firewalls, I usually configure the LAN allowance
with an IP range. Ex. would be Obviously you
would substitute your correct subnet. Do not run more than one firewall.


B. For ease of organization, put all computers in the same Workgroup. This
is done from the System applet in Control Panel, Computer Name tab.

C. Create matching user accounts and passwords on all machines. You do not
need to be logged into the same account on all machines and the passwords
assigned to each user account can be different; the accounts/passwords just
need to exist and match on all machines. DO NOT NEGLECT TO CREATE A
PASSWORD, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY A SIMPLE ONE. If you wish a machine to boot
directly to the Desktop (into one particular user's account) for
convenience, you can do this. The instructions at this link work for both
XP and Vista:

Configure Windows to Automatically Login (MVP Ramesh) -

D. If one or more of the computers is XP Pro or Media Center turn off Simple
File Sharing.

E. Share out resources as desired.

Elephant Boy Computers
Don't Panic!