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ZXnet http server: Note N00032: Networking Windows 7 and Windows 95

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Number: N00032
Created: 13 April 2010
Revised: 14 April 2010

Networking Windows 7 and Windows 95

By default Windows 7 seems entirely unwilling to network with anything other than Windows 7. Or, rather, it seems entirely unwilling to accept incoming connections from anything other than Windows 7 (it will happily make them to older systems). This note provides a method for fixing this issue.

Problem

My windows 7 box (Windows 7 professional, 64bit) will happily connect to other hosts just fine. I can easily browse windows 95, NT4 and XP shares. No problem. However, those systems can't even see my windows 7 box. Trying to map a drive manually (by IP address or name) always fails under 95 and NT. Under Windows XP it results in a username/password prompt that never seems to be accepted - fails every time, even with a valid username/password.

Solution

From what I've read this will only work on Windows 7 Professional or higher - lower editions apparently lack the local security policy thing. Additionally, I have no idea how much this compromises security - my machines are never directly on the internet and only truested users have access to my network so its probably not a major issue. Just make sure your wireless is secured, etc.

First, open the Local Security Policy MMC snap-in (Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Local Security Policy). Navigate to Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options. Find the policy "Network Security: LAN Manager authentication level" and open its properties. From the combo box select "Send LM & NTLM - use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated".

Doing that makes the windows 7 box suddenly appear to older hosts. It even lets you see all the shares. But I get access denied - supplying a username and password should fix that. Or, you can give the guest user access to the shared directory.