Enabling File and Printer Sharing on Windows XP SP2

As of 1/2008, please see this shorter document first.

Enabling File and Printer Sharing on Windows XP SP2. 1

Check the Computer Name and Workgroup. 1

Using the Network Setup Wizard. 2

Sharing a Hard Drive. 5

Sharing a printer 14

Firewall considerations. 22

Windows Firewall 23

Other Firewalls. 30

Check the Computer Name and Workgroup

  1. Click Start/Control Panel/System.
  2. Switch to Classic View.
  3. Click on Computer Name:

  1. Click on Change if you want to change either the Computer Name or the Workgroup:

Using the Network Setup Wizard

The easiest way to enable file and printer sharing on Windows XP SP2 is to use the Network Setup wizard, as follows::

1)      Click Start/Control Panel

2)      Switch to Classic View

3)      Start the Network Setup Wizard:

4)      Click Next:

5)      Click Next:

6)      Select “This compuer connects … through …” etc., and click on Next:

7)      Check the information, and click Next:

8)      Turn on File and Printer Sharing:

9)      Verify the data:

10)  Click on Next. The wizard runs:

11)   Generally speaking, select “Just finish the wizard”:

Sharing a Hard Drive

1)      Go to My Computer.

2)      Select the resource that you want to share (in this case Drive C). Right mouse click and select “Sharing and Security”:

3)      Select “..click here” on the window that pops up:


4)      You see this window:

5)      Check “Share this folder on the network”:

6)      Enter the share name you want.  We recommend using “computer name + drive letter”, as shown, where the computer name is “XENA” and the drive letter is “C”:

7)      You can also check “Allow network users to change my files” if you like:


8)      Click on “Apply”, then “OK”.

9)      Go to “My Network Places” and check that the share now appears on the local network  (this computer).

10)  Perform the same check on other computers in your Windows network.  You may need to turn off or adjust firewall settings.

Sharing a printer

1)      Go to Start/Control Panel/Printers and Faxes:

2)      Select the printer you want, right-mouse click, then select “Sharing”:

3)      Make the settings as above.

You may need to install printer drivers on other computers.

The resource should show up under the host computer if you “View Workgroup Computers” from “My Network Places”.  The networked printer is then selectable as a target using the Print dialog of most applications having that option.

Firewall considerations

Windows Firewall

 Note that, in the above example, the Windows Firewall was previously turned off.  To turn off the Windows Firewall:

1)      Click on Start/Control Panel/Network Connections.

2)      Right mouse click on the connection icon to be used.

3)      Select Properties.

4)      Click on “Advanced”.

5)      If you are behind a firewall (as may be provided by a router), turn the Windows Firewall off. Otherwise, configure the firewall to permit file and printer sharing.

Other Firewalls

If you are behind a router, permit UDP ports 137, 138, and TCP ports 139, and 445 on the Local Area Network only (for example subnet 192.168.*.*).


This document Enabling File and Printer Sharing on Windows XP SP2.htm last updated by Michael Cook at 2005-02-05 01:32.
Annotated at the beginning 13 Jan 2008.

[End of Document].