Microsoft Network Setup


Pocah

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I recently needed to enable one shared folder on my network.
I went to the folder, set it as shared and accessed it from the other PC's no problem.
However, at some point, during the setting up, one PC insisted that I enable Network Discovery. The other did not. Both insisted that I switch File Sharing on. That all seemed odd to me, since they did not have anything to share.
Once I got it all working, then the only way I use to access these shared files is a link on my desktop and a similar link in an application. Something like \\PC1\....
Since it's all working at the moment, I am a bit afraid to touch it, but I do not want to expose PC's to my network and create an unnecessary security problem. Or, at least, the inconsistency here is killing me!
I think I can safely disable Network Discovery on all PC's. Further, I only need to enable File Sharing on the PC that has this folder set to shared.
Is that correct?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    12700
    Memory
    32gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    3070ti
    Sound Card
    -
    Screen Resolution
    3840x1600, 2560x1080

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home x64 Version 23H2 Build 22631.3447
Only one folder on one PC is shared.

Well, I will keep that in mind. I have disabled file sharing on the PC's that are not sharing anything. In other words, all of them except one.

Network Discovery was already disabled on one PC, and I took a risk(!!) and disabled it on all of them. It all still worked. But I have taken your advice and enabled it on them all. Are you sure it needs to be enabled?

I suppose you could be right, in that the only reason it is working now is because nothing has changed on the network. But if something did, without Discovery, it would mysteriously stop working?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    12700
    Memory
    32gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    3070ti
    Sound Card
    -
    Screen Resolution
    3840x1600, 2560x1080
Network Discovery
Are you sure it needs to be enabled?
If Network discovery is off then that computer cannot be seen by other computers [as explained in its tutorial] so a folder shared on that computer cannot be seen.
I have no idea whether or not direct addressing would still work with Network Discovery off e.g. \\ComputerName\FolderShereName


Denis
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home x64 Version 23H2 Build 22631.3447
Hello!
I am not bothered whether it can be seen, I just need it to be addressable.
However, I am going to take your advice and enable Discovery. I am guessing that if anything changes on my network, then access might be lost if Network Discovery is off.
Thank you for your replies!
I have one more question that I will ask in a new thread. :D
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    12700
    Memory
    32gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    3070ti
    Sound Card
    -
    Screen Resolution
    3840x1600, 2560x1080
Network discovery is typically off on corporate networks that I’ve seen, and addressing PCs by UNC path works just fine.

That being said, if you’re on a private home network behind a firewall, it’s probably fine to leave it on.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 [rev. 3593]
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Intel NUC12WSHi7
    CPU
    12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P, 2100 MHz
    Motherboard
    NUC12WSBi7
    Memory
    64 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    built-in Realtek HD audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3219Q
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160 @ 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 990 PRO 1TB
    Keyboard
    CODE 104-Key Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Clears
  • Operating System
    Linux Mint 21.2 (Cinnamon)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Intel NUC8i5BEH
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8259U CPU @ 2.30GHz
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Iris Plus 655
    Keyboard
    CODE 104-Key Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX Clear
That's what I meant.

Denis

Oh it is addressable, even with Network Discovery off and even if the PC is not listed in the devices found on the network. But as I said, I have enabled discovery as you suggested.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    12700
    Memory
    32gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    3070ti
    Sound Card
    -
    Screen Resolution
    3840x1600, 2560x1080
Since the File explorer, Network section has now been unreliable for six years I find that I am always using direct addressing anyway.
So I could leave Network discovery off, it seems.
And, since I always use the same folder paths on all my computers, I would not even need to turn it on for new computers - I would already know how to address its shared folders.

I have never experimented with this. I will do so and revise my checklist.
I have just revised A consolidated network setup checklist for Windows 10 and 11 - my post #4 - TenForums to incorporate these discoveries about Network discovery.

Thanks to you both,
Denis
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home x64 Version 23H2 Build 22631.3447
Oh, right, I will switch it off then. LOL! This is fun. :-)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    12700
    Memory
    32gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    3070ti
    Sound Card
    -
    Screen Resolution
    3840x1600, 2560x1080

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