Use the Steps Recorder tool to help solve problems remotely

By Ed Bott

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to help someone solve a problem from a distance, especially when the person suffering through the problem is technically unsophisticated. Remote assistance software is an excellent tool, but it’s not always practical for solving intermittent issues.

Instead of listening to vague descriptions of error messages and buttons, introduce your remote contact to the Problem Steps Recorder. To start the program, type PSR in the search box (Windows 10) or in the Run box (Windows 7) and press Enter.

The Steps Recorder has just three buttons: Start Record, Stop Record, and Add Comment. Clicking Start Record captures the exact contents of the screen and adds an annotation each time your remote contact performs an action like clicking a mouse button. Teach them to use the Add Comment button if they want to explain what’s happening in their own words.

Armed with that detailed report, you’re likely to have a much more productive support session next time.

How to Stop Windows 10 Upgrade

What I did was uninstall updates KB3035583, KB2990214, and KB2952664. The first two were mentioned by other users as connected with the Windows 10 upgrade. The third was installed on my computer on 7/31/2015 which is the day the upgrade takeover of my computer began.

——————————————————

THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO ENSURE THAT THESE UPDATES ARE NEVER INSTALLED AGAIN!

Turn off automatic updates. The first and third update are listed as “Important” updates, yet are NOT automatically selected. There is an “Optional” update ‘Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro’ (no KB number) which IS automatically selected—this may be the middle update listed above.

——————————————————

I still find TrustedInstaller.exe running on my computer when I power up, yet it disappears after a while. This process can NOT be ended via Windows Task Manager. There are also files installed on my computer that cannot be deleted without permission from TrustedInstaller which is above any Administrator and System privileges. These files are in the hidden C:\$Windows.~BT folder.

I hope this info is helpful to you.

Another user states:

I had the exact same issue as all of you.  Once the Windows 10 install files were downloaded, there was no way to change your mind, you’re in the clutches of Windows Update!   Completely ridiculous if you ask me!

Luckily I came up with a solution that worked perfectly for me.  I performed a system restore to the first available date prior to July 29th.  Once my system was restored, I searched for the above installed updates (KB3035583, KB2990214, and KB2952664) and uninstalled them.  After uninstalling, I went back in and “hid” those updates so that they wouldn’t show up when Windows Update would run.
I did all this 2 days ago and my PC is running like a champ as nothing had ever happened!
Hope this helps.

Select the KB3035583 update with a click or a tap and then press the Uninstall button found at the top of the updates list. Confirm that you want to uninstall this update and wait for the process to finish. Then, reboot your device. Now, the “Get Windows 10” app is completely removed from your system.

From Microsoft:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351

How to Stop Windows 7 or 8 From Downloading Windows 10 Automatically

Screenshot_9_10_15__10_02_PM

Microsoft hasn’t exactly been endearing themselves to tech geeks everywhere lately, with all the privacy concerns and other issues. And now they are automatically downloading all of Windows 10 to your Windows 7 or 8 PC, whether you asked for it or not.

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To be clear, they aren’t automatically installing Windows 10, but they are downloading the entire installer, which is at least 3 GB, which takes up a lot of drive space, and also wastes your network bandwidth. For people who don’t have unlimited bandwidth, this can seriously cost you a lot of money.

According to a statement provided to The Register by Microsoft, their explanation is that they think this is a better experience:

“For those who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help customers prepare their devices for Windows 10 by downloading the files necessary for future installation. This results in a better upgrade experience and ensures the customer’s device has the latest software.” 

So this only affects people who have automatic updates enabled, but that’s almost everybody since automatic updates are on by default and are rather important for security reasons — the flood of critical security patches in the last year has shown that it’s probably a good idea to leave automatic updates enabled.

RELATED ARTICLE

But downloading an entire operating system “just in case” you might want to upgrade to it instead of simply waiting for people to decide to opt in — that isn’t the type of behavior that we want.

Make Windows 10 Stop Downloading the Easy Way

If you want a really simple and easy way to get rid of the “Get Windows 10” icon and stop your PC from downloading Windows 10, you can download a little piece of freeware called GWX Control Panel from a developer that isn’t happy with this nonsense either.

Download it, run it, and then click the “Disable Get Windows 10 App (permanently remove icon)” button. And then click the “Disable Operating System Upgrades in Windows Update” button too for good measure.

Screenshot_11_2_15__9_03_PM

You’ll have to reboot, but at the end, the icon will be gone and your computer shouldn’t get the upgrade. And luckily you can click those buttons again to put things back the way they were.

How to Block Windows 10 from Downloading (Hopefully)

Unfortunately, there’s no magic button to click to stop Windows 10 from downloading. In fact, you’re going to have to install a special patch from Microsoft to keep them from making you download something else. And that’s if you believe Microsoft’s support documentation, which says that you can block the Windows 10 upgrade this way.

We haven’t been able to absolutely prove that this will stop Windows 10 from downloading because it’s hard to say that this is working just because Microsoft hasn’t forced us to download 3GB of files we didn’t ask for.

This is one of those instances where we normally would avoid writing on the topic, since too much is up in the air and we like to be accurate at all times. So please excuse us if this doesn’t work for you.

Step 1

You’ll need to install this patch from Microsoft’s website (from what we can tell you’ll need to be on Windows 8.1 and not 8 to install the patch), so pick the version for your OS, install it, and reboot.

Step 2

Open up your registry editor using the Start Menu search or by pressing WIN + R and typing regedit and hitting enter, and then navigate down to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\
Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

You’ll probably have to create the WindowsUpdate key on the left-hand side, which you can do by right-clicking the Windows node. Click on that new key, and then create a new 32-bit DWORD called DisableOSUpgrade on the right-hand side, and give it a value of 1.

Screenshot_9_10_15__10_19_PM

Don’t want to bother with all that? You can simply download our registry hack file, unzip, and double-click on the file to install it.

And you should probably reboot after you do this.

Alternative Option: Set Windows Update to Not Download Things

If you set Windows Update to notify you but don’t download anything, Microsoft won’t automatically send the updates down.

Please note that this is a bad idea for security reasons, so unless you have a metered connection and don’t have the bandwidth to download updates, you probably shouldn’t do this.

You can simply go into Windows Update and click on Change settings, and then change the drop-down to “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them”.

Screenshot_9_11_15__8_23_AM

If you do this, please make sure that you keep up with installing updates.

When You Do Want to Upgrade in the Future

The one side effect of going through all of this is that you won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 10 in the future until you remove that registry key.

Luckily you can simply use the uninstall registry key provided in the download.

So You Already Have the $WINDOWS.~BT Folder?

If you already have the folder, which is hidden on the root of your system drive, you’re going to want to follow these instructions over on AddictiveTips to remove it. We haven’t verified these instructions, as we already upgraded most of our computers to Windows 10, and we don’t have the folder on any of our test VMs.

How To Determine What Is Causing The Issue After A Clean Boot

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8
  1. Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
  2. From Start, search for msconfig. (In Windows 10, use the Search box from the Start menu. In Windows 8 or 8.1, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)
  3. Select msconfig or System Configuration from the search results.
  4. Tap or click the Services tab, and then tap or click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box.
  5. Tap or click to select the upper half of the check boxes in the Service list.
  6. Tap or click OK, and then tap or click Restart.
  7. After the computer finishes restarting, determine whether the problem still occurs.
    • If the problem still occurs, repeat steps 1 through 6, but clear the lower half of the check boxes in the Service list that you originally selected.
    • If the problem does not occur, repeat steps 1 through 6, and select only the upper half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Service list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
    • If you still experience the problem when only one service is selected in the Service list, this means that the selected service causes the problem, and you should go to step 11. If no service causes the problem, go to step 8.
  8. Repeat steps 1 and 3 in this section.
  9. Tap or click the Startup tab, and then tap or click to select the upper half of the check boxes in the Startup Item list.
  10. Click OK, and then click Restart.
    • If the problem still occurs, repeat steps 8 and 9, but clear the lower half of the checked boxes in the Startup Item list that you originally selected.
    • If the problem does not occur, repeat steps 8 and 9, and select only the upper half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Startup Item list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
    • If you still experience the problem after only one Startup Item is selected in the Startup Item list, this means that the selected Startup Item causes the problem, and you should go to step 11. If no Startup Item causes this problem, a Microsoft service probably causes the problem. To determine which Microsoft service may be causing the problem, repeat steps 1 through 7 without selecting the Hide all Microsoft services check box in each step.
  11. After you determine the startup item or the service that causes the problem, contact the program manufacturer to determine whether the problem can be resolved. Or, run the System Configuration utility, and then tap or click to clear the check box for the problem item.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
  2. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter to start the System Configuration utility.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or provide confirmation.
    A screenshot for this step.
  3. Click the Services tab, and then click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box.
  4. Click to select the upper half of the check boxes in the Service list.
  5. Click OK, and then click Restart.
  6. After the computer finishes restarting, determine whether the problem still occurs.
    • If the problem still occurs, repeat steps 1 through 5, but clear the lower half of the checked boxes in the Service list that you originally selected.
    • If the problem does not occur, repeat steps 1 through 5, and select only the upper half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Service list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
    • If you still experience the problem after only one service is selected in the Service list, this means that the selected service causes the problem. Go to step 10. If no service causes this problem, go to step 7.
  7. Perform a clean boot by repeating steps 1 and 2.
  8. Click the Startup tab, and then click to select the upper half of the check boxes in the Startup Item list. A screenshot for this step.
  9. Click OK, and then click Restart.
    • If the problem still occurs, repeat steps 7 and 8, but clear the lower half of the checked boxes in the Startup Item list that you originally selected.
    • If the problem does not occur, repeat steps 7 and 8, and select only the upper half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Startup Item list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
    • If you still experience the problem after only one Startup Item is selected in the Startup Item list, this means that the selected Startup Item causes the problem. Go to Step 10. If no Startup Item causes this problem, a Microsoft service probably causes the problem. To determine which Microsoft service may be causing the problem, repeat steps 1 through 6 without selecting the Hide all Microsoft services check box in either step.
  10. After you determine the startup item or the service that causes the problem, contact the program manufacturer to determine whether the problem can be resolved. Or, run the System Configuration utility, and then click to clear the check box for the problem item.

How To Restart Windows Normally After Clean Boot

After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to reset the computer to start normally.

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8
  1. From Start, search for msconfig. (In Windows 10, use the Search box from the Start menu. In Windows 8 or 8.1, wipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)
  2. Select msconfig or System Configuration from the search results.
  3. On the General tab, tap or click the Normal Startup option.
  4. Tap or click the Services tab, clear the check box beside Hide all Microsoft services, and then tap or click Enable all.
  5. ap or click the Startup tab, and then tap or click Open Task Manager.
  6. In task manager, enable all of your startup programs, and then tap or click OK.
  7. When you are prompted to restart the computer, tap or click Restart.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or click Continue.
  2. On the General tab, click the Normal Startup option, and then click OK.
  3. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.

How To Perform A Clean Boot In Windows

A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update or when you run a program in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista. You may also troubleshoot or determine what conflict is causing the problem by performing a clean boot.
Why software conflicts occur?

When you start Windows by using a normal startup operation, several applications and services start automatically, and then run in the background. These programs include basic system processes, antivirus software, system utility applications, and other software that has been previously installed. These applications and services can cause software conflicts.
How to perform a clean boot

Notes

  • You must log on to the computer as an administrator to be able to perform a clean boot.
  • Your computer may temporarily lose some functionality when you perform a clean boot. When you start the computer normally, the functionality returns. However, you may receive the original error message, or experience the original behavior if the problem still exists.
  • If the computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from following these steps. We strongly recommend that you do not use the System Configuration utility to change the advanced boot options on the computer unless a Microsoft support engineer directs you to do this. Doing this may make the computer unusable.

Use the following steps to perform a clean boot:

Windows 10
  1. From Start, search for msconfig.
  2. Select System Configuration from the search results.
  3. On the Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then tap or click Disable all.
  4. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click Open Task Manager.
  5. On the Startup tab in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then click Disable.
  6. Close Task Manager.
  7. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click OK, and then restart the computer.
Windows 8.1 and Windows 8
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  2. Type msconfig in the search box, and then tap or click msconfig. A screenshot for this step.
  3. On the Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then tap or click Disable all.
    A screenshot for this step.
  4. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click Open Task Manager. A screenshot for this step.
  5. On the Startup tab in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then click Disable. A screenshot for this step.
  6. Close Task Manager.
  7. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click OK, and then restart the computer. A screenshot for this step.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
  2. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter to start the System Configuration utility.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or provide confirmation.
    A screenshot for this step.
  3. On the General tab, click the Selective startup option, and then click to clear the Load startup items check box. (The Use Original Boot.ini check box is unavailable.)
    A screenshot for this step.
  4. On the Services tab, click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then click Disable all.A screenshot for this step.
    Note This step lets Microsoft services continue to run. These services include Networking, Plug and Play, Event Logging, Error Reporting, and other services. If you disable these services, you may permanently delete all restore points. Do not do this if you want to use the System Restore utility together with existing restore points.
  5. Click OK, and then click Restart.
What is next when I have a clean boot environment?

After the computer is restarted, you will have a clean boot environment. Then, do one of the following, as appropriate for your situation:

  • If you could not install or uninstall a program or an update before you performed the clean boot, try to install or uninstall the program or update again.Note If you receive the “The Windows Installer service could not be accessed” error during the installation or uninstallation, follow How to start the Windows Installer service when system services are not loaded, and then install or uninstall the program or update again.
    • If the installation or uninstallation is successful, you have resolved your issue. Follow How to reset the computer to start as usual to reset your computer to the normal startup.
    • If the installation or uninstallation still fails, that means this issue is not caused by application or service interference. You may have to go to Microsoft Support for more specific support.
  • If you could not run a program before you performed the clean boot, try to run the program again.
How to reset the computer to start normally after clean boot troubleshooting

After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to reset the computer to start normally.

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8
  1. From Start, search for msconfig. (In Windows 10, use the Search box from the Start menu. In Windows 8 or 8.1, wipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)
  2. Select msconfig or System Configuration from the search results.
  3. On the General tab, tap or click the Normal Startup option.
  4. Tap or click the Services tab, clear the check box beside Hide all Microsoft services, and then tap or click Enable all.
  5. ap or click the Startup tab, and then tap or click Open Task Manager.
  6. In task manager, enable all of your startup programs, and then tap or click OK.
  7. When you are prompted to restart the computer, tap or click Restart.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or click Continue.
  2. On the General tab, click the Normal Startup option, and then click OK.
  3. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.

7 Windows Apps You Didn’t Know You Needed

Where to start? We know the feeling. The Windows Store has so many great apps, it can be hard to know where to begin and what you need. That’s where we come in. Below you’ll find 7 highly-rated apps that you may not have discovered yet.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

Khan Academy allows you to learn almost anything for free. Our Windows app is the best way to view Khan Academy’s complete library of over 6000 videos on your Windows device. We cover a massive number of topics, including K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even the humanities with tutorials on finance and history.

Get the Khan Academy app

Aerize Optimizer

Aerize Optimizer

Get peak performance from with this advanced memory cleaner and performance optimizer. Built with proven and tested optimization techniques from the most effective and best selling system optimizer, Aerize Optimizer will ensure optimum device performance.

Get the Aerize Optimizer app

Duolingo

Duolingo

Learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Danish, and English. Totally fun and 100% free.

Get the Duolingo app

PicsArt

PicsArt

Creativity is more than just a photo filter—PicsArt provides you with everything you need to make amazing photo edits, artistic camera shoots, photo collages, create digital drawings, and communicate with other creatives who have joined our mission to beautify the world. 250 million people have already downloaded this free app for powerful image editing and photo montages, using hundreds of tools and effects that you can find only in professional photo editing programs. PicsArt inspires you to create beautiful images anytime, anywhere. Transform your photos into works of art and let the world discover them!

Get the PicsArt app

Seven – 7 Minute Workout Challenge

Seven – 7 Minute Workout Challenge

No workout equipment & just minutes a day.  Fun achievements and rewards to keep you motivated.  Based on the 7-minute workout featured in NY Times Magazine. Using nothing more than a chair, a wall, and your own body weight, the 7-minute workout is based on scientific studies to provide the maximum benefit of working out regularly in the shortest time possible.

Get the Seven – 7 Minute Workout Challenge app

WiFi Analyzer

WiFi Analyzer

WiFi Analyzer can help you to identify Wi-Fi problems, find the best channel or the best place for your router/access-point by turning your PC/laptop, tablet or mobile device into an analyzer for your wireless network.

Get the WiFi Analyzer app

Sticky Notes 8

Sticky Notes 8

With Sticky Notes 8 you can write notes and view them quickly on smartphones, tablets and PCs. You can pin notes like tiles on the Start screen, search notes, and add images.

Get the Sticky Notes 8 app

Share XP Files With Windows 10

Summary

With Windows XP, you can share files and documents with other users on your computer and with other users on a network. There is a new user interface (UI) named Simple File Sharing and a new Shared Documents feature. This article describes the new file sharing UI and discusses the following topics:

  • How to turn Simple File Sharing on and off
  • How to manage and configure levels of access to shares and files
  • Guidelines for file sharing in Windows XP
  • Advanced troubleshoot file sharing problems
INTRODUCTION

On a Windows XP-based computer, you can share files among both local and remote users. Local users log on to your computer directly through their own accounts or through a Guest account. Remote users connect to your computer over the network and access the files that are shared on your computer.

You can access the Simple File Sharing UI by viewing a folder’s properties. Through the Simple File Sharing UI, you can configure both share and NTFS file system permissions at the folder level. These permissions apply to the folder, all the files in that folder, subfolders, and all the files in the subfolders. Files and folders that are created in or copied to a folder inherit the permissions that are defined for their parent folder. This article describes how to configure access to your files, depending on permission levels. Some information that this article contains about these permission levels is not documented in the operating system files or in the Help file.

More information

With file sharing in Windows XP, you can configure five levels of permissions. You can configure Levels 1, 2, 4, and 5 by using the Simple File Sharing UI. To do this, right-click the folder, and then click Sharing and Security to open the Simple File Sharing UI. To configure Level 3, copy a file or a folder into the “Shared Documents” folder under “My Computer.” This configuration does not change when you turn on or turn off Simple File Sharing. Level 1 is the most private and secure setting, while Level 5 is the most public and the most changeable (nonsecure) setting.

Turning on and turning off Simple File Sharing

Note Windows XP Home Edition-based computers always have Simple File Sharing enabled.

By default, the Simple File Sharing UI is turned on in Windows XP Professional-based computers that are joined to a workgroup. Windows XP Professional-based computers that are joined to a domain use only the classic file sharing and security interface. When you use the Simple File Sharing UI (that is located in the folder’s properties), both share and file permissions are configured.

If you turn off Simple File Sharing, you have more control over the permissions to individual users. However, you must have advanced knowledge of NTFS and share permissions to help keep your folders and files more secure. If you turn off Simple File Sharing, the Shared Documents feature is not turned off.

To turn Simple File Sharing on or off in Windows XP Professional, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer on the desktop.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
  3. Click the View tab, and then select the Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended) check box to turn on Simple File Sharing. (Clear this check box to turn off this feature.)

Managing levels of access to shares and to files

You can use Simple File Sharing to configure five levels of access to shares and files:

  • Level 1: My Documents (Private)
  • Level 2: My Documents (Default)
  • Level 3: Files in shared documents available to local users
  • Level 4: Shared Files on the Network (Readable by Everyone)
  • Level 5: Shared Files on the Network (Readable and Writable by Everyone)

Notes

  • By default, files that are stored in “My Documents” are at Level 2.
  • Levels 1, 2, and 3 folders are available only to a user who is logging on locally. Users who log on locally include a user who logs on to a Windows XP Professional-based computer from a Remote Desktop (RDP) session.
  • Levels 4 and 5 folders are available to users who log on locally and remote users from the network.

The following table describes the permissions:

Access Level Everyone (NTFS/File) Owner System Administrators Everyone (Share)
Level 1 Not available Full Control Full Control Not available Not available
Level 2 Not available Full Control Full Control Full Control Not available
Level 3 Read Full Control Full Control Full Control Not available
Level 4 Read Full Control Full Control Full Control Read
Level 5 Change Full Control Full Control Full Control Full Control
 Level 1: My Documents (Private)

The owner of the file or folder has read and write permission to the file or folder. Nobody else may read or write to the folder or the files in it. All subfolders that are contained in a folder that is marked as private remain private unless you change the parent folder permissions.

If you are a Computer Administrator and create a user password for your account by using the User Accounts Control Panel tool, you are prompted to make your files and folder private.

Note The option to make a folder private (Level 1) is available only to a user account in its own My Documents folder.

To configure a folder and all the files in it to Level 1, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the folder, and then click Sharing and Security.
  2. Select the Make this Folder Private check box, and then click OK.

Local NTFS Permissions:

  • Owner: Full Control
  • System: Full Control

Network Share Permissions:

  • Not Shared

Level 2 (Default): My Documents (Default)

The owner of the file or folder and local Computer Administrators have read and write permission to the file or folder. Nobody else may read or write to the folder or the files in it. This is the default setting for all the folders and files in each user’s My Documents folder.
To configure a folder and all the files in it to Level 2, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the folder, and then click Sharing and Security.
  2. Make sure that both the Make this Folder Private and the Share this folder on the network check boxes are cleared, and then click OK.

Local NTFS Permissions:

  • Owner: Full Control
  • Administrators: Full Control
  • System: Full Control

Network Share Permissions:

  • Not Shared

Level 3: Files in shared documents available to local users

Files are shared with users who log on to the computer locally. Local Computer Administrators can read, write, and delete the files in the Shared Documents folder. Restricted Users can only read the files in the Shared Documents folder. In Windows XP Professional, Power Users may also read, write, or delete any files in the Shared Documents Folder. The Power Users group is available only in Windows XP Professional. Remote users cannot access folders or files at Level 3. To allow remote users to access files, you must share them out on the network (Level 4 or 5).

To configure a file or a folder and all the files in it to Level 3, start Microsoft Windows Explorer, and then copy or move the file or folder to the Shared Documents folder under My Computer.

Local NTFS Permissions:

  • Owner: Full Control
  • Administrators: Full Control
  • Power Users: Change
  • Restricted Users: Read
  • System: Full Control

Network Share Permissions:

  • Not Shared

Level 4: Shared on the Network (Read-Only)

Files are shared for everyone to read on the network. All local users, including the Guest account, can read the files. But they cannot modify the contents. Any user can read and change your files.

To configure a folder and all the files in it to Level 4, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the folder, and then click Sharing and Security.
  2. Click to select the Share this folder on the network check box, click to clear the Allow network users to change my files check box, and then click OK.

Local NTFS Permissions:

  • Owner: Full Control
  • Administrators: Full Control
  • System: Full Control
  • Everyone: Read

Network Share Permissions:

  • Everyone: Read

Level 5: Shared on the network (Read and Write)

This level is the most available and least secure access level. Any user (local or remote) can read, write, change, or delete a file in a folder shared at this access level. We recommend that this level be used only for a closed network that has a firewall configured. All local users including the Guest account can also read and modify the files.

To configure a folder and all the files in it to Level 5, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the folder, and then click Sharing and Security.
  2. Click to select the Share this folder on the network check box, click to select the Allow network users to change my files check box, and then click OK.

Local NTFS Permissions:

  • Owner: Full Control
  • Administrators: Full Control
  • System: Full Control
  • Everyone: Change

Network Share Permissions:

  • Everyone: Full Control

Note All NTFS permissions that refer to Everyone include the Guest account.

All the levels that this article describes are mutually exclusive. Private folders (Level 1) cannot be shared unless they are no longer private. Shared folders (Level 4 and 5) cannot be made private until they are unshared.

If you create a folder in the Shared Documents folder (Level 3), share it on the network, and then allow network users to change your files (Level 5), the permissions for Level 5 are effective for the folder, the files in that folder, and the subfolders. The other files and folders in the Shared Documents folder remain configured at Level 3.

Note The only exception is if you have a folder (SampleSubFolder) that is shared at Level 4 inside a folder (SampleFolder) that is shared at Level 5. Remote users have the correct access level to each shared folder. Locally logged-on users have writable (Level 5) permissions to the parent (SampleFolder) and child (SampleSubFolder) folders.

Note If you are not comfortable with the information that is presented in this section, ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to contact support, visit the Microsoft Help and Support contact information Web site:

Guidelines

We recommend that you only share folders on the network that remote users on other computers must access. We recommend that you do not share the root of the system drive. When you do this, your computer is more vulnerable to malicious remote users. The Sharing tab of the drive’s Properties dialog box contains a warning when you try to share a root folder (for example, C:\). To continue, you must click the If you understand the risk but still want to share the root of the drive, click here link. Only computer administrators can share the root of the drive.

Files on a read-only device such as a CD-ROM shared at Level 4 or 5 are available only if the CD-ROM is in the CD drive. Any CD-ROM that is in the CD drive is available to all users on the network.

A file’s permission may differ from the parent folder if one of the following conditions is true:

  • You use the move command at a command prompt to move a file into the folder from a folder on the same drive that has different permissions.
  • You use a script to move the file into the folder from a folder on the same drive that has different permissions.
  • You run Cacls.exe at a command prompt or a script to change file permissions.
  • Files existed on the hard disk before you installed Windows XP.
  • You changed a file’s permissions while Simple File Sharing was turned off on Windows XP Professional.

Note NTFS permissions are not maintained on file move operations when you use Windows Explorer with Simple File Sharing turned on.

If you turn on and turn off Simple File Sharing, the permissions on files are not changed. The NTFS and share permissions do not change until you change the permissions in the interface. If you set the permissions with Simple File Sharing enabled, only Access Control Entries (ACEs) on files that are used for Simple File Sharing are affected. The following ACEs in the Discretionary Access Control List (DACL) of the files or folders are affected by the Simple File Sharing interface:

  • Owner
  • Administrators
  • Everyone
  • System

Advanced troubleshooting for configuring file sharing in Windows XP

Note This section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to contact support, see the Microsoft Help and Support contact information Web site:

Expected upgrade behavior

A Windows 2000 Professional-based or a Windows NT 4.0-based computer that is joined to a domain or a workgroup that is upgraded to Windows XP Professional maintains its domain or workgroup membership respectively and has the classic file sharing and security UI turned on. NTFS and share permissions are not changed with the upgrade.

By default, if you upgrade a computer that is running Microsoft Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Millennium Edition that has “per share” sharing permissions to Windows XP, Simple File Sharing is always turned on. Shares that have passwords assigned to them are removed, and shares that have blank passwords remain shared after the upgrade.

If you upgrade a computer that is running Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Millennium Edition to Windows XP Professional and that computer is logged on to a domain, if that computer has share level access turned on and joins the domain while the Setup program is running, the computer starts with Simple File Sharing turned off.
By default, a Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Millennium Edition-based computer that is upgraded to Windows XP Home has Simple File Sharing turned on.

Known issues

For remote users to access files from the network (Levels 4 and 5), the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) must be disabled on the network interface that the remote users connect through.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

298804 Internet firewalls can prevent browsing and file sharing

When Simple File Sharing is turned on, remote administration and remote registry editing does not work as expected from a remote computer, and connections to administrative shares (such as C$) do not work because all remote users authenticate as Guest. Guest accounts do not have administrative rights. When Simple File Sharing is turned on, if you configure specific user ACEs, remote users are not affected when Simple File Sharing is turned on because all remote users authenticate as Guest when Simple File Sharing is turned on.

Remote users may receive an “Access Denied” message on a share that they had connected to successfully before. This behavior occurs after the hard disk is converted to NTFS. This behavior occurs on Windows XP-based computers that have Simple File Sharing turned on that were upgraded from Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Millennium Edition. This behavior occurs because the default permissions of a hard disk that is converted to NTFS do not contain the Everyone group. The Everyone group is required for remote users who are using the Guest account to access the files To reset the permissions, stop sharing, and reshare the affected folders.

Behavior that is affected when Simple File Sharing is turned on

  • The Simple File Sharing UI in the properties of a folder configures both share and file permissions.
  • Remote users always authenticate as the Guest account.For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    302927 Computer Management displays user account names when logged on as Guest
  • Windows Explorer does not keep permissions on files that are moved in the same NTFS drive. The permissions are always inherited from the parent folder.
  • On Windows XP Professional-based computers that have Simple File Sharing turned on and Windows XP Home Edition-based computers, the Shared Folders (Fsmgmt.msc) and Computer Management (Compmgmt.msc) tools reflect a simpler sharing and security UI.
  • In the Computer Management and Shared Folders consoles, the New File Share command is unavailable when you right-click the Shares icon. Also, if you right-click any listed share, the Properties and Stop Share commands are unavailable.

Behavior that is not caused by turning on Simple File Sharing

  • In Windows XP Home Edition, the Computer Management snap-in does not display the Local Users and Groups node. The Local Users and Groups snap-in cannot be added to a custom snap-in. This behavior is a limitation of Windows XP Home Edition. It is not caused by Simple File Sharing.
  • If you turn off the Guest account in the User Accounts Control Panel tool, only the guest’s ability to log on locally is affected. The account is not disabled.
  • Remote users cannot authenticate by using an account that has a blank password. This authentication is configured separately.
  • Windows XP Home Edition cannot join a domain. It can only be configured as a member of a workgroup.For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    303606 Can log on without password by using Guest account after upgrade from Windows 2000
References

For information about how to configure file sharing in Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Properties

Article ID: 304040 – Last Review: 06/19/2014 13:14:00 – Revision: 19.0

    • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Instagram For Windows 10 Mobile Beta Arrives

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing social network owned by Facebook, has finally released an app built for Windows 10 Mobile. The absence of a recently updated Instagram app has been a serious sore point in Microsoft’s mobile ecosystem, but that looks set to change soon as a beta version of a new app hit the Windows Store on Monday.
Instagram has an older app for Windows Phone 8, which is supported on Windows 10, but it has languished in perpetual beta since its launch in 2013. The review section is full of complaints that the app has not been updated. The old version is missing crucial features like user-to-user direct messaging and the ability to upload non-square photos.
This new version for Windows 10 Mobile more closely resembles the existing iOS app, upgrading the interface and adding in missing features. In particular, users can now direct message both photos and videos to each other.
The company is asking users to report any problems they find in the beta version. To report issues, users have to physically shake their phones, which brings up the feedback interface.
As a beta, there are some teething issues. Instagram notes that Facebook logins may not work as expected, nor does the “share to” function. The workflow to create and edit an image is also not too stable for the moment: Instagram is telling users to expect app crashes.
Nonetheless, it’s an exciting development for a platform that it seemed like Instagram had given up on. It remains to be seen whether the company decides to expand out the app into a “universal app,” running on desktop as well as mobile. That seems to be unlikely for now, though, as Instagram still doesn’t offer an iPad app, instead focusing specifically on phones.