> Hi Malke,
> At the moment, the Vista laptop is the only computer with a user account
> password and I have just bought it for my business (I'm self-employed working
> both from home and from clients' premises). Of the two original Windows XP
> PCs one belongs to me personally (I just switch it on and it starts without
> asking for a user name or password) and the other PC is my husband's and
> starts the same way. My husband's PC can access my laptop Public folders
> without being prompted for a password, but my PC is prompted for the laptop's
> username and password. Even if we have to give all 3 computers the the same
> username and password (I'd rather not) I'd still like to know why one PC has
> access to the laptop and the other doesn't when their settings would appear
> to be the same.
The answer is that you are misunderstanding how multi-user operating
systems (XP, Vista, Linux, Unix, OS X) really work. You *do* have a user
account on your personal computers - you just don't realize it. Your
home machine is probably XP Home and you are using the generic "Owner"
type of user account set up by the OEM (Dell, HP, etc.). Either that or
someone set it up to automatically log into your user account with the
same process I already gave you in my first post.
Go to the User Accounts applet on each computer and you will see the
user accounts on the systems. If you have XP Home and only one user
account (such as "Owner" or the like), you will not see the built-in
Administrator account there because it is hidden by design.
There is no reason not to create identical user accounts/passwords on
all three machines. You only have three machines so this is not an
onerous task and your network sharing will now work. You do not need to
be logged into the same accounts on all three machines; the accounts
simply need to exist.
In a peer-to-peer network (as opposed to a domain with a server), called
a "Workgroup" in the Windows world, authentication is done on the local
computer. In simplistic metaphorical terms, this means that:
1. Computer A requests access to a shared network resource from Computer B.
2. Computer B looks at its list of user accounts and passwords (rather
like someone at the door checking your invitation to an exclusive
party). If there is a match, then Computer B allows access. If there is
no match, then Computer B asks Computer A to provide the name and
password of a user who *does* have access.
Hope this helped,
Elephant Boy Computers
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User