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I'm sharing some files between two Windows 7 computers but, even though I checked the "Turn on password protected sharing". At the same time turned off the "Homegroup" function and checked the "use user accounts and passwords" option.

However I never get prompted for a password when trying to access the shared folder.

I explain what I tried with a few examples (only unidirectional because they show the same behavior):

1) UserA on PC2 tries to access share on PC1 on which only UserA of PC1 should have access. The two users (PC1\UserA and PC2\UserA) possess the same password. No login prompt is shown and the user can directly access (read & write) the shared folder.

Strangely the share isn't accessible from "Map network drive" with \\PC1\SharedFolder and login PC1\UserA.

2) UserB on PC2 tries to access share on PC1 on which only UserA of PC1 should have access. No login prompt is shown. A permissions error message is shown with an option to diagnose the situation.

Strangely the share isn't (yet again) accessible from "Map network drive" with \\PC1\SharedFolder and login PC1\UserA.

I can't understand how the remote account used matters when the network file sharing configuration clearly states that it's the local account that needs permissions. Why aren't any login popups showing up asking for password?

Even more disturbing: why doesn't Network mapping work (with the right user credentials!!)?

Additional informations: if I set "Everyone" to "Deny all" in sharing configuration even the authorised user cannot access the share anymore. This is understandable because windows states that if a user belongs to 2 groups, the deny action takes priority over the allow one.

Additionnal details: I'm not really sure to go the Homegroup route to share files and folders. In my network there are also several LINUX/UNIX computers which may pose a problem (but thanks to the arrival of samba4, maybe that's not a problem anymore). I also have some legacy Windows XP computers that would need the legacy network sharing mode. I guess you can't just have both Homegroup ON and Windows XP / LINUX / UNIX support available.

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I can't answer the whole question so I will leave as a comment. When faced with a network connection that needs to be authenticated using a form of windows authentication (NTLM, Kerbos, ect...) windows will attempt to use the local credentials first, then if they fail prompt the user for a username and password. –  Scott Chamberlain Apr 2 '13 at 18:18
    
The fact is that it doesn't ask for other credentials if the local ones fail ... –  user51166 Apr 2 '13 at 18:20
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But the credentials succeeds, PC2 finds a UserA on PC1 that matches it's password. You have a permissions issue, are you sure PC1\UserA can access the share on PC1? –  Scott Chamberlain Apr 2 '13 at 18:22
    
>> PC2 finds a UserA on PC1 that matches it's password -> I can understand this. However if UserB from PC2 tries to connect to a share on PC1 over which he has no permissions, no prompt is shown. If a prompt had been shown I could use the UserA login ... –  user51166 Apr 2 '13 at 18:32
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the credentials are being cached. Once you authenticate once, windows stores it during your "session" log out or reboot and it will "forget" your credentials... given that you have set everything else up as you said.

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Tried again by logging out and the in again using UserB. When trying to access SharedFolder (over whichonly UserA has permissions) an error message is displayed: "You don't have the necessary permissions [to access this folder]. Contact the network administrator ...". I suppose Win7 to Win7 shares aren't quite the same way as mounted folders from a Win2003-8 / UNIX / Linux server (which you can access using a different username than the one of your current Win7 user), because the username & password have to be the same (that's what "Error message -> Help" told anyway). –  user51166 Apr 2 '13 at 19:39
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