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Network Backup - more

The problem seems to stem from the fact that, since the network share is listed as \\Vegas\My Music\a, you need to have share-level "Full Control" Permission of both the "a" folder and the "My Music" folder. If you have Sharing Permission to the parent folder, "My Music" in this case, it will carry over to the sub-folder, but not the other way around. If you just wanted to back up directly to a without giving permission for "My Music", you would have to make "a" shared seperately.

This may run contrary to the logic of "Well I can read and write to the folder to my heart's content. So why can't I make a backup there?" I believe the restriction is somehow linked to the way password protection works in Vista.

You'll notice that, once you've selected the network location for your backup, the first thing Vista does before attempting a backup is to ask you for your username and password. But there shouldn't be a user name or password since it's an open share on an XP machine which doesn't require it.

So maybe the restriction is that someone with administrative priveleges should have access to the folder. Well, our user had administrative privileges and still couldn't access the folder. I believe Vista checks the user name and password against the list of users in that folder's sharing permissions. Then, regardless of what the user's other rights may be, he is granted or denied access.

As I stated previously, all shared folders are now password-protected by default. I actually see this as a positive thing, as it helps to close one of the original back doors into XP. But the implementation is rather quirky. Unlike Windows 98 and earlier Windows versions where you could password protect individual files simply by right-clicking on them, going into the sharing options, and selecting "Full Access By password", what do you suppose the password is for the password protected files in Vista?

If you're logging in from a remote computer under a guest account, or if you're like the majority of Vista users who haven't even set a password (so that, when the machine boots up, it goes straight into windows without logon), there might not be a password to the remote shared folder! Simply entering a blank, if you don't have a password, will get you nowhere.

Remember that the Public folder takes the place of the Shared Documents folder from Windows XP. This would seem to be the most ideal location for a network share, because all local users (people logging in on the same machine) and everyone in the same Workgroup have access to it. Unfortunately, for networked computers, this access is not enabled by default because file sharing is not enabled by default.

Furthermore, since each folder is password protected by default, the only way you'll have access is if you have an user account with a password set up on the machine you're trying to access. This is more restrictive than In Windows XP where there was no password required to access the Shared Documents folder as "Everyone" was allowed access under default permissions.

Conclusion

So most of the networking benefits you'll receive from upgrading to Vista will only be effective if every other computer, gateway, client and server on your network is also running Vista. From IPv6 to simple file sharing, the entire system seems to be set up so that you need to be a member of the Vista club (or a client connecting to a Windows 2008 server) to have hassle-free access to networked shares.

On the other hand, the benefits you'll see in a mixed Vista/XP environment are minimal. In fact, you're going to run into quite a few annoyances because of the way security and permissions are handled in Vista vs. XP.

In a future article, I'll be networking from a Vista machine to another Vista machine so we can talk a bit more about IPv6 and its benefits. We'll also discuss Wireless networking under Vista and the new Wireless Zero Configuration as well as VPN. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you have your own pet peeves (or kudos) about the Vista networking "experience", just post 'em in the Comments below!

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