HOW TO SHARE FILES AND PRINTERS BETWEN WINDOWS 7 AND VISTA
With three different versions of Windows being used now, you’ll
probably find yourself trying to share files or printers between them.
Today we take a look at how to share files and printers between Vista
and Windows 7 machines.
In this example we are on a basic home network using Windows 7
Ultimate (64-bit version) and Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 (32-bit
Set Windows 7 Share Settings
On the Windows 7 machine we need to set up a few things in Advanced
Sharing Settings. First type network and sharing center
the search box in the Start Menu and hit Enter.
Then click on Change advanced sharing settings…
Now in Advanced Sharing Settings, make sure to turn on network
discovery, file and printer sharing, and public folder sharing. Make
sure these are enabled in both the Home or work and Public profiles.
Depending on your setup, you might want to turn off password
protected sharing. Other wise you’ll need to enter the password for each
machine in, which isn’t that big of a deal. Turning it off while you’re
setting it up makes things a bit easier though by saving a step.
Set Vista Share Settings
On the Vista machine we need to double check and make sure it’s
sharing settings are ready to go. Right-click on Network and choose
The Network and Sharing Center opens up. Under Sharing and Discovery
we need to turn on File Sharing, Public Folder Sharing, and Network
Also on the Vista machine you might want to turn off password
protected sharing … but it’s completely up to you.
Share Files Windows 7 View
Now that we have the correct Settings On
each machine, it’s time to
put it to the test. Open up Network on the Windows 7 machine, and you
should see all of the machines on the network. The Vista machine in this
example is VISTAGEEK
There was no need to enter a password to access the Vista machine
because password protection is turned off. But now you can go through
and see the User Shared folders. In this example both public and Users
directories are shared.
Share Files Vista View
Now on the Vista computer, double click on Network and you should see
the Windows 7 machine (where in this instance it’s MYSTICGEEK-PC).
I enabled password protection on the Windows 7 machine so we can take
a look at the login
screen that will be displayed before connecting.
Then you’ll see the folders and devices that are shared. Here you can
see the HP printer connected to the Windows 7 machine is available.
And you can continue browsing through all available shared folders
As we showed above, you can see the printer connected to Windows 7.
Let’s make sure we can connect to it and print a test document. In Vista
click on the Start menu and type printers into the search box and hit
Right-click on the shared printer and select Properties.
Under the General tab click on the Print Test Page button.
The following message is displayed while the test page prints out on
the printer connected to your Windows 7 machine.
Another test you might want to perform is opening a test document and
making sure you can print that to the Windows 7 printer.
Provided everything prints out successfully you might want to make it
the default printer.
If your machines aren’t able to see each other or the printer isn’t
working…here are a few steps you might want to use to determine where
the problem is.
Double check to make sure Network Discovery and File and Print
Sharing is enabled on both machines as shown above.
In this example both machines are connected to a Belkin
router and IP addresses are dynamically assigned. If you are using
Static addresses make sure you can ping the IP address of each computer.
If not, double check the assigned IP Address and cabling of each
If the printer isn’t working, double check to make sure you have the
latest drivers for each OS installed.