How to enable File and Print sharing between Windows 7 and older Windows versions ?
Follow the steps below to troubleshoot and set Windows File and Print sharing between different versions of Windows:
1. Make sure all computers belong to the same Workgroup and have unique computer names - right-click Computer > Properties > Computer Name > edit as necessary, make sure all clients belong to the same workgroup.
Alternatively: Control Panel > System and Security > System > Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings
2. Set Windows 7 to allow for sharing with older OSes - navigate to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Advanced Sharing Settings (side panel) > turn on Network Discovery, File and Printer Sharing, and Public Folder Sharing, and turn off "Password Protected Sharing"
3. Turn on File sharing for the folders you want to share - right-click on a folder > Properties > Sharing tab > Advanced Sharing > tick box to Share folder > Apply > OK
Note: sharing a folder will share all its subfolders. The folder icon changes to indicate that fhe folder is shared.
4. Allow "Everyone" access to the shared folders - security permissions of the shared folders may have to be changed to allow "Everyone" access. Right-click the shared folder > Properties > Security Tab > Edit > Add > type: "Everyone" (without the quotes) into the box and select OK. Tick the boxes next to the permissions you want to allow (e.g. read, write, etc.) then apply the changes.
Note: Windows firewall is normally set to allow file and printer sharing, but if you are running third-party firewall software you may have to reconfigure it to make sure file and print sharing is allowed for each machine. You should leave the Windows firewall turned on.