Access denied on shared computer/drive

Like any other geek, I have more than one computer for personal use. I have an old ThinkCentre desktop (running Vista Business) as a file and media server and it does its job well. I have another desktop that I built for regular use and gaming (running Windows 7 Professional) and a ThinkPad laptop (running Windows 7 Professional) for portability.

Now the problem I encounter was the laptop could not access the ThinkCentre. In fact, I couldn’t even access the laptop’s own shared folder either! I was accessing the shared folders via the “Network” tree in “My Computer”. I kept getting an error from Windows saying “\\THINKCENTRE is not accessible” and “The specified provider name is invalid.”

What narrowed down my scope to just the laptop was the other desktop was able to access the shared folders just fine so that ruled out the ThinkCentre being the issue. To the interwebz!!! Let me save you a few hours of searching: don’t try to modify the registry or admin tools off the bat. This is the solution I found that worked for me:

http://www.vistax64.com/vista-networking-sharing/205026-specified-network-provider-name-invalid.html#post1268663

Sure enough, “Client for Microsoft Networks” was not installed on my laptop. I have no idea why, but I installed it. Go to Network and Sharing Center” > “Change Adapter Settings” > Right-click on network adapter (Wi-Fi in my case) > “Install” > “Client” > “Client for Microsoft Networks”. Press “OK” for the dialogs and restart the computer. Presto! I could now access the shared drive on the ThinkCentre!

  1. That’s a handy tip you give there. I had something similar at a customers this week whereby I couldn’t access a printer that was installed locally on an XP computer using a windows 7 laptop. I disabled the firewall and still couldn’t do it. I looked it up and it turns out it was because they were in different workgroups. I think one was workgroup (xp computer) and the windows 7 laptop was in homegroup. Once I chaged the pc to match the workgroup of the laptop it all worked fine. Of course I had to add a rule to the firewall but that I expected

  1. September 24th, 2012

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