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This should be easier!

(both computers can see the internet etc so I know the network it’s self is working)

I have a normal home network with a Windows XP machine on it and the new Windows 7 (64 bit) machine. So I can transfer the files to the new Windows 7 machine, I wish to share the complete disk (and all files) from the Windows XP machine and access them from the Windows 7 machine.

Is there a step by step set of instructions for doing this anywhere?

So fare I have:

  • put both computers into the same workgroup
  • put the windows 7 machine into work network mode so it can see the XP machine in the work group
  • shared the XP disk as read only

But when I try to access a lot of the folders on the XP disks, I am told I am not allowed to access them.

(I was not asked for any passwords by the windows 7 machine when I accessed the XP machine. The XP machine just has its default account with no password set on it)

The XP machine runs XP home and hence has "simple file shairing" turn on. So it seems that even if I create a admin account (with password) and connect with that account, it still comes in as "guest" on the XP machine.

Chooseing to share the folder I want access to rather then the top of the disk drive seems to work, but is a pain as I need to share each user's folder with a different share name.

If the new computer was not a laptop, I would just plug the hard disk from the old machine into it, but being a laptop I don't have that option.

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You could always buy an external enclosure to put the old hard disk in. Connect the enclosure to the new computer and copy the files. – firedfly May 30 '10 at 18:16
@firedfly, using an external enclosue would have been a very good solution and if I did not need to keep MS Money running on the XP machine (until we find another package) I would be ording an external exclosur today – Ian Ringrose Jun 1 '10 at 8:20
an external enclosure isn't required; you could also use one of those inexpensive IDE/SATA-to-USB drive adapters. – quack quixote Jun 1 '10 at 8:38

That is because Windows respects the NTFS permissions on those folders that you are getting Access Denied on. You need to either add everyone with Read permission to those folders, map the drive as the local admin account of the target machine, or copy the files to an accessible location.

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Thanks, the problem is I can't even see the permission tab when I do file props on a folder on the XP machine. – Ian Ringrose May 30 '10 at 16:30
You need to turn off "simple file sharing" to see the Security tab. One of the idiosyncrasies of Windows. – Hello71 May 30 '10 at 17:16
@Hello71, as it is a XP home machine, I don't think it is possible to turn off simple file shairing – Ian Ringrose May 30 '10 at 19:49

I am in a similar position regards machines.

What I have found is that it takes a long time for Windows 7 to be able to access the XP shares, for several minutes clicking on the XP computer in Windows Explorer just gives the credentials box, even though the shares are meant to be world viewable. Eventually it seems like Windows 7 gives up asking for credentials and just connects.

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Here is a method to enable administrative shares on XP Home Edition. With that enabled you should be able to access all the files on the drive like you wanted. Kind of a messy trick, you will need to borrow files from an XP pro installation and have to edit the registry. Not a simple/easy fix but that should make it work.

share|improve this answer
Does the XP home licence allow you to do that? – Ian Ringrose Jun 1 '10 at 8:17
@Ian: we aren't lawyers here. this kind of hack may have consequences to your license; i for one am not in a position to judge. that said, the method looks reasonable from a technical point of view. as with most hacks, if you choose to use this method, and something breaks, you get to keep the pieces. – quack quixote Jun 1 '10 at 8:34
i will point this out: the hack seems to require giving the Guest account Administrator-level access ... which, as should be obvious, is a gigantic huge security hole. use a really good password. – quack quixote Jun 1 '10 at 8:36
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I used Windows Easy Transfer in the end, it did the job of transfareing all the files.

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A pity you didn't try out all the answers and comment upon them. Also, it would have been better to include this answer in the post, since as you shouldn't accept your own answer this just causes confusion. – harrymc May 31 '10 at 13:10
@Harrymc It is normal on Stack Overflow to accept your own answer when it is the answer that the question poster found to be most useful. Also spending time on a dying XP box to try out hacks including coping files for another version of XP, is not a good use of my time and is just an unnecessary risk, as we need the XP machine to keep working until we move away from Microsoft Money. – Ian Ringrose Jun 1 '10 at 8:16
@harrymc: posting and accepting one's own answer is perfectly acceptable. posting as an answer allows the community to vote on the answer and question separately. please don't continue giving that bad advice. – quack quixote Jun 1 '10 at 8:26

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