Mapping a Drive or Printer in Windows 2000

Mapping a Drive or Printer in Windows 2000

This problem resolution is directed towards those using small networks, such as those found at home or in small office environments, where a peer-to-peer relationship exists rather than the presence of a network server. More importantly, those environments where a mix of machines exists such as Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows 2000 and you need to share the resources on the Windows 2000 machine.

Mapping of resources, drives and printers, can be handled in one of two ways depending upon the configuration of the 98 machine and your environment. We’ll provide you with both ways, thereby enabling you to choose which is best for your particular circumstances.

The first method, which is the easiest, but yet less secure, is to enable the guest account on the Windows 2000 machine. The second would be to create a user account on the Windows 2000 machine for each user who would be accessing the shared resources. This would require that each Windows 9x machine use the “Client for Microsoft Networks” and have a logon and password. This identical user name and password would then be used on the Windows 2000 machine when the user names are created.

Method I – Enabling the Guest Logon in Windows 2000

Note: This must be done while logged on from an administrative logon.

  1. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel
  2. Double click Administrative Tools
  3. Double click Computer Management
  4. On the left side (left window), expand Local Users & Groups by clicking the “+” sign and click once on “Users” to highlight.
  5. In the right window, right click on the guest account and select properties.
  6. Uncheck “Account is Disabled”, and then click Apply, then click OK. This account is set to “disabled” by default during the original installation of Windows 2000.
  7. Now right click on the Guest account again, this time select “Set Password”.
  8. Set the password to something you will remember and click OK. Close each of the Windows.
  9. Now click “My Computer”.
  10. Right click on the drives or directories to be shared and then select sharing.
  11. Create the sharing criteria suitable to your situation, including giving the share a name.
  12. Repeat the process for any printers to be shared in the same fashion.

Note: As mentioned above, this is the least desirable method. Not for performance and usability, but rather from a security standpoint. By using the Guest Account to share resources, you are opening the door to security vulnerabilities, especially if any of the connected machines have an Internet connection of some type. Security issues in any of the Windows operating systems are a concern, but usually most Windows 2000 based machines are not a concern as you can restrict the “rights” of the various Users. That topic, however, is both expansive and beyond the scope of what is being done here. We recommend that, if you perceive that their may be a threat, you should examine closely the many ways to tighten security on your small network.

Method II – Using the Client for Microsoft Networks

While this method may appear easy enough, it is recommended that if you are not already using the “Client for Microsoft Networks”, that you spend some time learning its intricacies.

  1. Make sure that each Windows 9x machine is using the “Client for Microsoft Networks”.
  2. You will need to assign an IP address to each machine in your small network if you are not using a server of any type.
  3. You will need to assign a logon and password to each of the Windows 9x machines and record what they are.
  4. Next, you will need to add a “User account” to the Windows 2000 machine for each Windows 9x machine, using the identical logon name and password you assigned in Step 3 above. Remember to include that user in any special group so that you will have adequate rights to the share and be able to control security issues. When you map the drive from the Win98 box, the logon and passwords will now be the same.

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