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A share is the resource (CD-ROM, floppy, printer, etc) or information (file or folder) that is available to other computers on the network. The "share name" is a descriptive name assigned to the share. This name appears in Network Neighborhood. Microsoft defines a share as "An item such as a folder, file or printer that another computer has made available to use on the network."

Before an item can be shared, the workstation must be configured to allow for the creation of shares. This feature must be enabled only on those computers that will share items. Workstations that access shares through the network, but do not share any devices of their own do not need this option configured.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Double-click on the Network icon to open the Network Configuration window.
  3. Click on the "File and Print Sharing" button.
    1. To allow the creation of file and device sharing, place a check in the box next to "I want to be able to give others access to my files"
    2. To allow the printer to be shared, place a check in the box next to "I want to be able to allow others to print to my printer(s)".
  4. Click on the OK button when done. The computer will need to be rebooted for this change to take effect.

After the ability to share resources has been established, the following steps are used to create the share.

  1. Open My Computer or the Windows Explorer.
  2. Highlight the device (hard drive, CD-ROM drive, printer) or file/folder that is to be shared.
  3. Click once on the right mouse button. A small pop-up menu will open.
  4. Select the "Sharing" option.
  5. Click on the "Shared as:" radio button. The sharing options will become available for editing.
    1. The "Share name" is the name by which the device/file/folder will appear on the network.
    2. The "Access type" controls whether a network user can modify this device/file/folder.
    3. Click on the OK button when done. The icon of the newly shared item will now have a blue arm/hand holding it - indicating that the item is shared.

The process of sharing a printer is similar.