Grad Students: Sharing Directories on Office PCs

If you are a grad student and have an office here in the AE department, then why not create a network share on your office computer? This will allow you to access your data from any computer in the department, as well as off campus using the VPN client, and the only limitation of space is the size of your disk drive! Wow!! Lets see how it's done...

This page will assume you are using Windows XP in your office, so let's start first by enabling file sharing on your PC. Go to Start --> Control Panel --> Network Connections, then right-click the connection you use to access the internet, most likely it's called "Local Area Connection". This connection will also be enabled, connected, and active, as shown here:

<blockquote>Windows Explorer:Network Connections

[Heading] LAN or High-Speed Internet
[Right-Clicked] Name: Local Area Connection | Type: LAN or High-Speed Internet | Status: Connected

Context Menu:
Bridge Connections
Create Shortcut

Go into the connection's properties and verify the option is checked to enable "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks". Also highlight the "TCP/IP" selection and check it's properties, you'll need to take note of your office computer's IP address. Write it down or remember it for future reference. Then click OK and close all network-related windows.

<blockquote>Windows Properties box: Local Area Connection Properties

General Tab

This connection uses the following items:
[checked] File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
[checked] Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)</blockquote>

Next, create a folder on your computer's hard drive, name it something like "share" so you know what it is exactly, then right click the folder and click "Sharing and Security". Click on the "Sharing" tab and you should see something like this:

<blockquote>Windows Properties box: share Properties

Sharing tab

You can share this folder with other uses on your network.  To enable sharing for this folder, click Share this folder.</blockquote>

You'll want to enable sharing of this folder, so click the "Share this Folder" radio button. I would recommend keeping the same name for the share as you used for the folder, but you will want to change the permissions a bit. Click the permissions button and you will get a window similar to this:

Windows Dialog box: Permissions for share

Group or user names:
[list of users]


Permissions for [selected user] Allow Deny
Full Control

By default, you will be sharing it out to "Everyone", but we don't want to do that, so remove "Everyone" and click add and put in your PSUAE account name, for example, I used "cew176". Then click OK to add your account to the list allowed. While your adding your account, you will want also to grant yourself full control of the share so you can write to it from other computers as well. Once finished, click "Apply" and OK, and close all windows.

So you created a network drive, now you need to be able to access it. What you'll need here is a different computer in the department where you can log on using the same user name, or a computer outside of our network all together; it's unfortunate, but if your are logged onto the network using a different user name, you won't be able to access your network share using a different user name unless you log into the computer with that user name, so keep this in mind if you plan to allow access to other student or professors, you will first need to add them into the permissions.

I would recomment using a windows-based computer for accessing your shared folder, but if you prefer Mac or Linux, feel free to use them, but this tutorial will only show how to access the shared folder using Windows Explorer. 

Scenario 1:
On the computer you want to use to access the shared folder (A lab computer for example), log on using the same user name as you would on your office computer, then open up an Explorer window (My Computer) and enter "//". Of course the last two numbers in your IP address will be different, but if you checked your PC as stated earlier in this document, you know what it is. If all goes well, the window should show a printer icon, as well as your shared folder. Open the folder and make sure you can create and delete items as you normally would on your P: drive.

Scenario 2:
If you are at home using the VPN to access your share, you are likely not logged into your home PC using the same user account. When this happens, you will be prompted to give a user name and password. The User name you supply should be in this format:\abc123 and your password will be your PSU password. After that, you should be in good shape! 

If while logging on from home your computer doesn't accept your password, you probably need to install the MapUDrive program. Click here for more information. 

If any of the document is unclear or if you need further help, please email me at Thanks!