Information Technology Services: University of Hawaii

File Sharing and Printer Sharing

Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (WFW 3.11)

(Not supported for Windows 3.1)

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


First you need:

These 3 network components are required for Microsoft Networks:

  1. Microsoft network drivers
  2. Network card adapter
  3. Microsoft TCP/IP-32

(IPX/SPX required if using Novell NetWare)

The Windows for Workgroups 3.11 diskettes maybe required for network component installation

Enabling File Sharing and Printer Sharing

To enable file sharing and printer sharing, go to Program Manager and drop-down the Window menu from the menu bar and select Network. The Network window should appear.

Double-click on the "Network Setup" icon. Click on Sharing…. 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 must be on the same workgroup and the same subnet.

To check your workgroup, go to Program Manager, then double-click on Main, and then double-click on Control Panel. Double-click on Network. The Microsoft Window Network window should appear.

Computer name is the unique name of each computer on the workgroup. Workgroup is the name of the workgroup the computers will connect with to share files and data.

To check what subnet you are under, go to Program Manager and Network, and double-click on Network Setup. Double-click on Microsoft TCP/IP-32 in installed network drivers box. In IP addresses, it should display your assigned IP address. Your subnet is the 3rd set of digits in the IP address. (e.g., subnet is 47) IP addresses are assigned, with subnets usually corresponding with each building on campus.

How to share printer

All of the computers that will be file and printer sharing should have their network components and settings setup and installed properly. 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 Program Manager and double-click Main folder. Double-click on Print Manager. Click on the Printers menu in the menu bar and select Share printer as…. Select the installed printer to be shared.
  4. Share as: is the name of the printer that will appear in the workgroup.

    Comment: 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.

    Re-share at Startup must be checked on to activate printer sharing at startup. Click OK to confirm settings.

  5. Test print printer.


  1. First setup the network components on the computer and enable printer sharing.
  2. Go to Program Manager and double-click Main folder. Double-click on Print Manager.
  3. Click on Printer in the menu bar and select Connect Network Printer…
  4. It will now display shared printers on the network. Under Show Shared Printers, select the workgroup and computer where the shared printer is. Shared printers will be displayed below. When the printer is selected, it will display its location at Device Name and Path. Make sure Reconnect at Startup is checked on. Click on OK to confirm.

  5. Test printer.

Print Control window

The Print Manager is the same as the Print Control windows in Windows 95/98. It is a small utility in Windows that monitors the status of documents printing, also known as print jobs, during printing and the status of the printer. Print Manager is automatically activated and appears when printing. Print Manager is very useful and helpful when troubleshooting. During printing, the Print Manager 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 Manager. It will display the following:

Status will display one of the following:

Documents that are not printing but are still in the Print Manager 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 and flood the printer. The Print Control window should be purged, printer shutdown and restarted again to clear the memory.

File Sharing

In file sharing, files aren’t really shared, only folders. Files are placed in a shared folder, allowing them to be shared files. Since files are going to be shared among different computers in the workgroup, installing virus scanning software with passive background scanning is highly recommended.

  1. First, install and setup network components and activate File Sharing.
  2. Create or select the folder/directory you wish to be shared in File Manager.
  3. In File Manager, single-click on that folder, then click on Disk in the menubar, and select Share As. To select more than one folder, hold down shift and drag the mouse to select or deselect folders in groups, or hold down control to individually select or deselect folders.
  4. Type in a name in the Share Name box or leave the default folder name.
  1. To test to see if file sharing is working properly, go to another computer in the same workgroup and double-click on Main and File Manager on the desktop. Look for your computer drive and for the shared folder. If it is there, then file sharing is enabled. To further test, copy a file from the shared folder and vise versa.


Troubleshooting for Print Sharing

This checklist corrects common errors related to printer sharing.


1.  Only I cannot print, but others can.

Client side:

Server side:

2.  Everyone cannot print.

Server side:

Client side:


3.  I am connected online but cannot print.

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 setup for shared printer and shared files, but after I restarted, they are not there anymore.

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

Maintained by:
Copyright 1999 University of Hawaii
Last Reviewed: July 26, 1999