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I'm having the same problem I've seen many people post on here and elsewhere on the web, sometimes resulting in dead-ends or very obvious answers.

Mine is one of those dead ends - every time I try to enable file and printer sharing in my Windows 7 Professional 64 bit PC, I click apply, it closes, and then I click on the advanced settings to check and see, and sure enough, it's disabled again.

All the correct services are running, I even went as far as resetting the firewall to default, and ensuring nothing was tampered with in msconfig and services.msc, as I mentioned before. In other words, I've tried everything I can think of, and everything everyone else seems to be able to think of, but file and printer sharing will stay turned off under any type of network setting or homegroup setting.

I've been able to use file and printer sharing on my other Windows 7 Professional installs that have mostly the same software installed as on that is being "difficult."

I'm stumped. I don't think I've ever been so lost that I had to myself post a question on a forum for a windows related issues, and I've been working in this field 15 years! (that's how baffled I am, :)

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do you have a homegroup established? what network profile type do you have active? – Frank Thomas Feb 12 '13 at 13:26
Is this computer on a domain where sharing policies could be overriding your changes? – CharlieRB Feb 12 '13 at 16:04
Yes, Ive tried it on a homegroup, and off as well -- I've put it back to having a homegroup setup -- I've been dealing with windows networks for 15 years as I said -- and there's nothing special about this install of windows 7 pro 64bit. It just refuses to leave the advanced setting "share files and printers" on after applying it. There's no domain on this network -- this is an internal home wired network, and since the option to share any folder under the properties list is grayed out, my windows XP machine also cannot see it (it can access other windows 7 machines' shared folders. – roadie Feb 13 '13 at 9:12
Also, just to be clear, this is a home network profile type. There's only one windows 7 machine active on this homegroup, and there's a windows xp machine I would like to be able to see files on the windows 7 machine with. This is something that is easy to do if you can turn on File and Printer Sharing, BUT I CAN'T KEEP IT ON!!! – roadie Feb 19 '13 at 2:07

I had the same issue.

The only thing I found that worked was going into services.msc and disabling windows firewall.

This may not be the best solution or it may not work for you but after weeks of trying everything this is the only thing I have found that works. Hope it helps.

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protected by Community Dec 18 '13 at 21:53

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