In this article I will show you how users can set up some share points of their own in Windows Vista.
In almost every office, it eventually becomes necessary for users to collaborate on documents. In the past, this has often meant that the administrator has to set up a special location for the shared documents and create a special security group made up of the users who will need access to the shared documents. In Windows Vista though, it is possible for users to set up some share points of their own, but in a controlled manner that is unlikely to cause administrative headaches. In this article, I will show you how it works.
Although I've always liked Windows XP on the whole, I've always found it to be a bit lacking in collaboration features. For example, what happens when a group of users in your company need to collaborate on a document? Assuming that you haven't set up a special shared folder on a file server, and you don't have a SharePoint portal set up, the users probably just end up E-mailing the document back and forth. Windows XP does allow you to share folders with other users, but doing so opens a can of worms, so most administrators prevent users from creating file shares on their computers.
In Windows Vista though, the entire file and print sharing mechanism has been completely redesigned in a way that allows users to collaborate on projects, while still allowing administrators to preserve at least some degree of security.
In order to appreciate the way that file sharing works in Windows Vista, you need to understand a little bit about the way that user's files are stored in Windows XP. Most of you probably already know all about user folders in Windows XP, but I want to briefly discuss them for the benefit of anyone who might not have much Windows XP administration experience.
Windows XP is designed to support multiple users. Any time a user logs into a computer that's running Windows XP, Windows does a quick check to see if that user has logged in before. If the user has never logged into the machine before, then Windows creates a profile for that user, directly on the local hard drive (assuming that folder redirection isn't being used). By default, user profiles are stored in the C:\Documents and Settings folder. Windows creates a separate folder for each user, with the folder bearing the user's name. If the user is logging in via a domain account, then the folder's name is made up of the user's name, a period, and the domain name. You can see an example of this folder structure in Figure A.
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