I T S Banner
spacer image
spacer image
Search the Help Desk
search image
spacer image
spacer image
Help Desk Home Contacting Send Email IT Security Connecting to UH UH Accounts Support Software Hardware
spacer image
Friday, 12/19/2008
spacer image
Help Desk Home > Support
spacer image

File Sharing and Printer Sharing for Windows 95/98

Level of expertise:   Easy..........Intermediate..........Hard

Always backup your data prior to making any configuration changes. ITS is not responsible for loss of data.

This procedure requires some technical knowledge as it changes the network settings. If a computer person is available, please consult with him or her before proceeding.

Caution: Always use strong passwords when activating file or print sharing. (For the password, use a mixture of upper and lower case letters plus numbers.) Recently released software finds exposed shares and sends the IPs of vulnerable computers to newsgroups. If you use file sharing without password protection, you're giving anyone on the Internet access to all your shared files as if he/she was sitting at your computer.

File and printer sharing allows users to share folders and printers over a network.

Setting up

First you need:

These 4 network components are required for Microsoft Networks:

  1. Client for Microsoft Networks
  2. the network card adapter
  3. NetBEUI
  4. TCP/IP

(IPX/SPX required if using Novell NetWare)

The Windows 95/98 CD-ROM maybe required for network component installation. PDCS machines maybe able to access backed-up Windows 95/98 CD-ROM cab files from C:\windows\option(s)\cabs when asked for CD-ROM.

Enabling File Sharing and Printer Sharing

To enable file sharing and printer sharing, go to Control Panel and Network, and click on the "File and Print sharing" button. Check off the first box to enable file sharing. Check off the second box to enable printer sharing. Click OK to save the file/printer sharing option window and click OK again in Network to save settings. Push Cancel to cancel any changes.

Users who wish to share files and printers with each other should be on the same workgroup and the same subnet.

To check your workgroup, go to Control Panel and Network, and select the Identification tab. Computer name is the unique name of the computer on the network. Workgroup is the name of the workgroup the computer will connect with to share files and data.

To check what subnet you are under, go to Control Panel and Network. Double-click on TCP/IP in installed network components box. Click on the IP Address tab. Your subnet is the 3rd set of digits in the IP address. (e.g. 111.222.xxx.111, subnet is xxx) IP addresses are assigned, with subnets usually assigned by what building on campus.

How to share drives/folders

Now that you have the computer setup for file sharing, you will need to determine the drives and/or folders that you would like to share over the workgroup. Once determined, open My Computer by double-clicking the icon on the desktop. The available drives should be visible in the My Computer window you just opened. Either right click on the drive that you would like to setup for file sharing, or double click the drive to find the folder that you would like to file share from, and right click on that folder. You should see a menu appear. Look for Sharing... in the menu list and select it. A window will appear with the button labelled Not Shared selected. Click on the button next to the Shared As: option to activate the text boxes. Type in the name you want your drive/folder to be shared as in the Share Name: text box. Under the Access Type: section, select Depends on Password. In the Passwords: section, type in a password for others to use when trying to access your shared drive/folder. Click OK.

NOTE: Not specifying a password will allow anyone on your network, including those in other departments, to view your shared files! Always use a password when setting up file sharing.

If you look in the My Computer window (which should still be open), the drive/folder that you just setup for file sharing should now appear with a little hand as part of the icon. This distinguishes the shared drives/folders from other drives/folders.

How to share printer

All of the computers that need to participate on the network should have their network components and settings setup and installed properly. Network Neighborhood, when double-clicked, should display all the computers and printers on your computer’s workgroup. There are two types of computers when printer sharing.

Whenever an error occurs or when troubleshooting, both printer server and printer clients should be checked to narrow down and find the source of the error.

Printer Server

  1. First setup the network components on the computer and enable printer sharing.
  2. Second, install the printer.
  3. Go to "My Computer" and double-click the "Printers" folder. Select the printer to share and single-right mouse click the printer and select "Sharing". Click on "Share as…" to share the printer.
  4. Name is the name of the printer that will appear on the network.

    Comments is an area where you can add comments about the printer.

    Password allows only those with the password to print. When a password in inputted in the text field, then the password is enabled; leaving it blank disables it.

    Click OK to confirm settings.

  5. Test printer

The shared printer should now appear in Network Neighborhood connected to the printer server.


  1. First setup the network components on the computer and enable printer sharing.
  2. Double-click on Network Neighborhood and look for the printer server computer icon.
  3. Double-clicking the printer server should show the attached, shared printer.
  4. Right-click on the shared printer and click on Install to install the printer. A general printer installation wizard will come up.

  5. Install printer and test print.


Print Control window

The Print Control window is the same as Print Manager in Windows 3.11. It is a small utility in Windows that monitors the status of documents during printing and the status of the printer. Print Control windows is automatically activated and appears when printing. Print Control window is very useful and helpful when troubleshooting. During printing, the Print Control window will appear or appear in the lower right-hand corner of the taskbar near the clock. Double-clicking on the printer icon will maximize the Print Control window. It will display the following:

Status will display one of the following:

Documents that are not printing but are still in the Print Control window are bad print jobs. If status reports any errors or if print job is locked-up or not working, delete or purge the job and try again. Try to find out the source of the error. Sometimes one bad print job can hold up the printing and print jobs pile up. The Print Control window should be purged, printer shutdown and restarted again to clear the memory.


General Troubleshooting

This checklist corrects common errors related to printer sharing.


Only I cannot print, but others can.

Client side:

Server side:

Everyone cannot print.

Server side:

Client side:

I am connected online but cannot print and cannot see workgroup in Network Neighborhood

Client side:

Troubleshooting for file sharing

This is the same as printer sharing, except with files instead of printers.

The folder has full-access sharing properties but I cannot save a file.

I cannot copy a file from a shared computer to my local computer.

Information Technology Services
Maintained by: ITS Help Desk
©2002 University of Hawaii
Updated: November 22, 2002