Setting up User Access in Windows NT

With a computer on your network running Windows NT, all of the users on other computers on the network will not necessarily be able to access the shared drives on the NT computer. NT also requires that each user requiring access ave a valid logon on the NT computer as well.

One way to resolve this is to allow Guest access to the NT computer and Windows XP Home sets up this access by default so as to make everything appear as similar as possible to what you have with Windows 95-ME. This may be all that you need to do with a home network of two computers but if that's all that you have then you're unlikely to be running NT. With NT you are probably looking for more security across the network than this in the first place.

What you need to do is to sign on to the NT computer with Administrator access and then go into Administrative Tools and open the User Manager. You can now define user names and passwords for each of the users that you expect will want to access this computer from the other computers on the network. You do this by selecting New User from the User menu and then entering the username that they will use to log in, their full name and description are optional to help you keep track of who the username belongs to but you must enter a password. You can also decide whether the user must change the password the first time they access the NT computer, may never change the password, and whether the password will expire after a period of time.

If the user needs more than ordinary user access to the shared drives on the NT computer then you can use the Groups option to assign their username to all of the necessary groups. If they need to be able to access the computer from a remote location then you can also grant them dial-in access (but don't do this unless it is absolutely necessary).

To access the network, users on the other computers on the network have to enter a network username. Depending on the operating system that they are using, they may or may not need to enter a password as well. They will need to have the same username defined on the NT computer in order to be able to access the shared drives. The password may be the same or it may not, in either case they will have to enter the password for the NT computer in order to gain access to the NT shared drives. They will need to do this the first time that they attempt to access a shared drive on the NT computer after starting their networked session.

Windows 95-ME allows the user to select a checkbox when entering this password requesting that their computer remember this password for them so that they wont need to enter it on future occasions. There is nothing that you can do to stop them from selecting this option but what they will find on future occasions is that they will always need to access the drives first through Network Neighborhood before accessing the drives from the network option in any of the drive lists in Open or Save As dialogs as the drive lists will not pick up the saved password when requesting access and they will not ask for the password either so they will get an access denied message. The only way to correct this is for them to log off and log back on then access a drive on the NT computer via Network Neighborhood before trying to access it via a drive list.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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