Configuring the File Permissions
As Part I explained, there are two separate but important permissions you must be concerned with when sharing folders and files among the network. Sharing permissions, which we just configured, only deals with the network access. NTFS file permissions apply no matter how you access a folder or file, whether from another account on the same PC or from a different computer on the network.
Thus, we must also at least review these file permissions to make sure they don't contradict the sharing permissions.
To access these file permissions from Windows XP or Vista, right-click a folder or file and click Properties. Then on the dialog box, select the Security tab.
As you see in Figure 4, similar to the sharing settings, you can add/remove users and groups to the list, and then set the desired permissions.
- Read: This allows the user or group to open, but not modify, the file or the folder's files and subfolders. They will also be able to view the folder's ownership, permissions, and attributes of that folder.
- Write: This gives them the ability to make changes to the file or folder or create new ones, but not delete any.
- List Folder
Contents: For folders only; this allows
the user or group to view the list of files and subfolders contained within the
folder. This could be unchecked for a user or group to prevent them from seeing
the other files in the folder while still being able to directly open files in
Instead of browsing the folder to find the file, they would enter the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path (for example, \\computername\sharedfolder\file.doc) into a Windows window or Internet Explorer to directly access the file.
- Read & Execute: This allows them to run and execute the application file(s).
- Modify: A step up from Write, this gives them the ability to also delete the file or folder, in addition to the Write and Read & Execute NTFS folder permissions.
- Full Control: In addition to gaining the privileges of all the other permissions, they could modify the file permissions.
File permissions for folders and files are inherited from the folder they are created within. For example, if you create a new folder on your desktop, it will likely only have permissions for you, the administrators, and the system, whereas if you created a folder on the root C drive, it would include the other users. This is because your account files, including your desktop, are private among you and the administrators.
The problem with these inherited permissions is that Windows doesn't let you edit them without first disabling the inherited option. If you receive an alert about inherited permissions while modifying the permissions of a file or folder, don't worry.
To get around this, click the Advanced button on the Properties dialog box of the file or folder; if in Vista, click the Edit button on the Advanced Security Settings dialog box.
Then uncheck the Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent option in Vista or the Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child object option in XP.
On the prompt, click Copy so the existing permissions will stay, and then you can get back to modifying them.
Stay tuned—in the final part of this tutorial series, you'll discover more sharing settings provided by Vista, and discover a few tips and tricks.