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How to share files in a Microsoft Windows Enviroment


share files


With all the computers, desktops, laptop, smart phones and tablets around these days it is sometimes hard to keep track of all your information and files.

On one device you might have all your emails, on your phone you might have all your photos and on your computer might be all your school or work stuff.

Wouldn’t it be good to save all your information in one spot, so you can back it all up at once, access what you need and save all your information conveniently and know where to find it?


Don’t throw out that old Windows computer

Considering most people buy a new computer every couple of years due to, wear and tare, things slowing down or they just want the new latest and greatest, there always seems to be a old computer lying around.

Most people just discard them or leave them in a corner somewhere doing nothing. But with a little bit of work that old computer, even one that is 15 years old can still be a good place to store and achieve all your information.

Whether you have the latest Microsoft Windows 10 or and old version of Windows XP you can turn that old computer in to a file server.


How to turn an old Windows computer into a file server/network storage device

There are many ways to do and heaps of different options depending on what you hope to achieve. You can password protect your shared directories or even prioritise who can access them and what they can do such as read, write and delete etc.

But for simplicity and to get started we are just going to set up a share that anyone who is already on your network, probably wirelessly and already password protected, can access.

So lets get started, it should only take a couple of minutes.

  1. Make sure you are an administrator on the computer in which you want to set are share on.
  2. Decide where you want to create the share.
  3. Right click on an empty bit of white space and select Create new.
  4. Right click on your new share and select rename to rename it whatever you want. Eg. Ross’s Shares.
  5. Right click again on your new share and select “Properties” down the bottom.
  6. When in Properties select “Sharing”.
  7. Click Share again and in the fielding with the blinking cursor type the word “Everyone” and select add, with permission to read/write.
  8. Click on “Advanced sharing”.
  9. Click on “Share this Folder”.
  10. Click on “Permissions”.
  11. Select “Everyone” and “Full Control”.
  12. Select “Ok” and save when asked.

How to access your share

If you are on another computer, you must be connected to the same network/router etc, go to your web browser, or explorer.

You will need to know either the name of your computer the share is on or it’s IP address.

To find out the shared computer name, right click on the computer icon on the desktop and select “Advanced System Settings” on the left hand side. Select computer name and you will have it.

Back on your computer (the one without the share) type in \\computername and you should see your share where you can copy and paste on your files.

If you cant see or access your new shared server make sure your firewall is not interfering by turning it on and off and trying to copy into it again.


Back up

Its all good and well and convenient to have all your files accessible and in one spot, but it could also be a problem due to it is a single point of failure, all your eggs in one basket.

Don’t forget to back up, even if you only do it once a month.

There are all these fancy ways and devices and software to use to back up but if you are not sure just stick and external hard drive into your shared server and cope all your files from your shared directory to your external drive.

When your finished don’t forget to unplug your external drive incase something happens to the computer and takes your back up with it.

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