File Sharing, Client Connectivity
In Windows, you can share a folder by right-clicking on it, selecting the Sharing option, clicking the Share this Folder radio button, and filling in the appropriate details such as the name this resource will be identified by, to network users, and the description of what is found there.
A Windows client can access the folder by browsing for it in Network Neighborhood (My Network Places on Windows 2000), which is found on the desktop. Alternately, a shared folder can be accessed from the command line, via the net use command. To do this, you need to know the name of the shared folder and the server on which it is located. Once you know these things, you can map a local drive to the location of the shared folder, so that you can access that folder as if it was a local disk drive. To do this, use a command of the form:
NET USE X: \\ servername\sharename
Where X: is an unused drive letter youd like to map the resource to, servername is the name of the server containing the resource, and sharename is the shared folders sharename. The \\ servername\sharename syntax is called a UNC (Universal Naming Convention) path. The UNC path begins with two backslashes \\. Following that is the name of the server and then a slash \ and the shared folder name. Youll see that a similar UNC syntax is also used for mapping to network printers from the command line.
Client computers running other operating systems may be able to access files shared by a Windows computer if the operating system understands the Windows File Sharing protocol. (The most famous example of another client operating system that can access files shared by a Windows system is Linux, whose Samba utility allows it to do so. Of course, in Linux, its not a point-and-click GUI feature, but rather a facility that must be accessed by command line).
An interesting feature of some client versions of Windows is that they include the AppleTalk protocols for accessing Macintosh files and printers on the network. On some versions, such as Windows 2000 Professional, AppleTalk is installed by default.
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