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How to Share Windows 7 Files With OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

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File Sharing: Win 7 and Snow Leopard: Enable File Sharing on Your Windows 7 PC
File Sharing: Win 7 and Snow Leopard: Enable File Sharing on Your Windows 7 PC

The Advanced sharing settings area is where you configure Win 7's file sharing options.

There are many file sharing options with Windows 7. We are going to show you how to connect, using basic guest access, to special Public folders that Windows 7 uses. You can change these settings later to meet your specific needs, but this is a good place to start.

Here is a list of what each option does.

Password Protection

Enabling password protection will force you to supply a username and password each time you access folders on the Windows 7 PC. The username and password must match a user account that is resident on the Windows 7 PC.

Connecting with a Windows 7 PC account grants you the same type of access as if you sat down at the Windows PC and logged in.

Disabling password protection will allow anyone on your local network access to the Windows 7 folders you will later assign for sharing. You can still assign specific rights to a folder, such as read only or read/write, but they will be applied to anyone who connects to your PC.

Public Folders

Public folders are special library folders on Windows 7. Each user account on a Windows 7 PC has a group of Public folders, one for each library (Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos), that you can use for sharing with others on your network.

Enabling Public folders allows access to these special locations by network users. You can still set the permission levels (read or read/write) for each one.

Disabling Public folders makes these special locations unavailable to anyone who is not logged into the Windows 7 PC.

File Sharing Connection

This setting determines the encryption level used during file sharing. You can choose 128-bit encryption (the default), which will work fine with OS X 10.6, or you can reduce the encryption level to 40- or 56-bit encryption.

If you're connecting with Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6), there is no reason to change from the default 128-bit encryption level.

Enable Basic File Sharing on Your Windows 7 PC

  1. Select Start, Control Panel.
  2. Click the 'View network status and tasks' link under Network and Internet.
  3. In the left-hand sidebar, click the 'Change advanced sharing settings' link.
  4. The Advanced sharing settings window will open.
  5. Enable the following options by clicking on the appropriate radio button:
  • File and Printer sharing: 'Turn on file and printer sharing.'
  • Public folder sharing: 'Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can read and write files in the Public folders.'
  • File sharing connections: 'Use 128-bit encryption to help protect file sharing connections (recommended).'
  • Password protected sharing: 'Turn off password protected sharing.'
  • Click the 'Save Changes' button when you're done.
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