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access denied to an external backup drive on a workgroup

by corvetteblue02 / September 27, 2010 10:19 AM PDT

I have 4 PC's all running WinXP/SP3 on a workgroup using simple sharing. All PC's had access to all other PC's shared folders and external backup drives. Norton Ghost worked successfully from each PC, writing to either of two external backup hd (one ea on two of the four PC's). Life was good. Then I moved two PC's and changed the Computer Name on each. Now I am able to access the My Documents shared folder from/to any computer, but I'm unable to access the external backup harddrives. I have admin privledges on all machines. Win Firewall is OFF. I have spend two days searching and reading various forums and microsoft knowledgebase with none of the solutions working. What effect did changing the computer names and locations have to a perfectly working system? How do I fix it? Any help, would be greatly appreciated.

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Try "Taking Ownership" of those drives.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 27, 2010 8:34 PM PDT

Changing settings and names is always problematical when it comes to networking and it looks like you have lost ownership of these drives, despite being an Admin.

Have a look at How to take ownership of files and folders, and apply that to these drives.

I hope that helps.


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Still not able to access
by corvetteblue02 / September 27, 2010 11:50 PM PDT

Thanks for your suggestion.
Ownership was "everyone". I added administrator to both computers with ext HD's. I can't add the other computers to permissions. When I look at locations, only the main machine is shown. I assume this is because I'm on a workgroup and not a domain. Do I change back to simple sharing after changing ownership? I didn't mention before that I'm using Norton Internet Security 2010 and disabled antivirus and smart firewall (temporarily)when initially setting up the shares. When I changed computer names and locations, I also assigned static address on all 4 PC's. Only one of the Pc's has a static address previously. I was told that if I use one PC to forward ports and apply a static IP adr, I should use assign IP to all PC's. Any other suggestions?

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Ahh that's a shame.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 28, 2010 7:27 PM PDT

I was hoping for an easy fix.

1] I'm no expert on networking but changing the IP addresses to static is interesting If all PCs are connected via a router, is it not best to let the router assign IPs? Are all PCs still able to access the internet?

2] I think you should re-enable Simple File Sharing.

3] What is the error message when you try to access these external drives?

4] Which computers did you move/rename? What I mean is, if, (for example), the PC's are 1, 2, 3, and 4, and the external drives are connected to 1 and 3, which computers did you move and rename? Are the external drives still attached to the same computers after the move?

5] Did you reboot the router after this move?

6] Have you tried returning the 're-named' computers back to their original names? Were the other two computers that have not been moved rebooted afterwards?

7] Any other changes during this move, eg deleting Admin accounts? I know with XP in particular that to set up a home network each computer in the network must have the same account. If one has user name Fred, and password Frederick, then all the other 3 must have accounts with user name Fred and password Frederick, and the network setup whilst logged in to those accounts.

Cool Once the network is set up, then the user is free to use whichever account they choose.

9] May be try to set the network up again?

As you can see I am struggling with this, but we do have a Networking forum, Networking and wireless, and besides a Sticky thread with networking tips, there may be better experts there. If this discussion fails to resolve the issue, feel free to post there, and provide a link to this discussion for background.


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Nearly fixed!
by corvetteblue02 / September 29, 2010 2:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Ahh that's a shame.

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your additional suggestions. I have everything working except one external HD sharing and believe it has to do with permissions. What I did:

Up until now, I had been disabling smart firewall and anti-virus on Norton Internet securing 2010, but decided to unplug the DSL cable to the router and removed Norton Internet Security 2010, Norton Utilities and Spysweeper from all four computers. I plugged BUSINESS PC (now named SPARE)and ANN (no name change) into the router. I re-named the SPARE back to the original name (BUSINESS) and rebooted; then removed all shares from that computer, rebooted; and then renamed SPARE, rebooted and then (with Simple File Sharing still unchecked), I confirmed ownership, as you had suggested and then set permissions and rebooted. SPARE external HD and My Docs now share with ANN properly and vice versa. I added RADIO (no changes) and confirmed sharing works with all 3 computers properly. I added the final computer MAIN (originally BACKUP2ME)and went thru the same renaming process back to BACKUP2ME and then back to MAIN after setting permissions, etc as above. Everything worked!
Then I reinstalled Norton Internet Security 2010 (NIS)and found that SpySweeper is not compatible with NIS so removed it from all PCs. I added Norton Utilities, rebooting after each change. I plugged the DSL cable back into the router and did the updates and scans. Now everything shares except the external HD on MAIN! I have not re-enable Simple File Sharing, yet on any PCs. The error msg I get is: "\\Main\External HD is not accessible. You might not have permission to access this resource. Contact the admin of this server to find out if you have access permissions. Not enough server storage is available to process this command." ANN, SPARE and RADIO all have the same message. Note that I am on a WORKGROUP and not a SERVER domain.

Originally I had a static IP address on BUSINESS (now MAIN) but used dynamic addressing on the other 3, I did this for port forwarding that I have on the modem and router for other applications. When I made the name changes, I put static addresses on each PC as I was told that they should all have static or all dynamic, but with port forwarding, to a specific PC, I should assign unique IPs to each PC. In addition to the 4 PCs, I have a ZOOM wireless adapter connected to my DirecTV Tivo. This device is on the workgroup addressed to the the MAIN PC. This continues to work fine.

The only remaining issue is the External HD on MAIN. It is visible from all the PCs but not accessible from any, except MAIN. I don't know why the External HD on SPARE works fine, but not the one on MAIN.

I notice that when I access MY Documents/Properties/Security/Advanced I have a box checked "Inherit from Parent the permissions entries that apply to child objects..." and an unchecked box: "Inherit permission entries on all child objects with entires shown here...". However, when I access either External HD/Properties/Security/Advanced I only have an unchecked box "Replace permission entries on all child objects with entries shown here that apply to child objects". I don't know if this is related to the problem since External HD on SPARE works and External HD on Main does not.

I haven't tried to setup the network again.

What next?

Thanks again.


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When you changed the computer's names.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 29, 2010 1:07 AM PDT

Did you remember to?

Put the Network Neighborhood icon on the desktop and right click on that and find the item that un-maps the drive and un-map. The reasons are far too long to explain why but it has to do with security.

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Closer, but not quiet there.
by corvetteblue02 / September 29, 2010 3:04 AM PDT

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your comments.

I am on a WORKGROUP (WIN XP/SP3). I share the MY Docs folder between all four PCs and an external hd on each of two PCs. I have never mapped the shared external drives.

Please see my reply to Mark, above for the latest changes. In Summary:
SPARE has MY DOCS and External HD shared and working properly
MAIN has MY DOCS shared and working proplery but External HD only accessible from MAIN
Radio has MY DOCS shared (no external hd) and works properly
ANN has MY DOCS shared (no external hd)and works properly.

Simple File Sharing is unchecked on all PCs.

Any suggestions on fixing the share for the external HD on MAIN?



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