Sharing a second hard drive among all users on WinXP Home.

I’ve done a search on this, but i can’t seem to find exactly what i need.

I recently installed a second hard drive on my XP Home system, doubing my hard drive capacity. This is the first time i’ve ever had a computer with two hard drives.

I have Windows set up with three users—one admin and two restricted— and what i want to do is make the second hard drive accessible to all users on my system. At the moment i can access it from the Admin account, but not from either of the other accounts.

Now, i’ve looked up stuff on file and folder sharing, and Windows tells me that if i want to share stuff then the thing to do is drag it to the Shared Documents folder. At first i thought that this folder might not be a physical location, but simply a sort of “short cut” that tells the operating system which files can be accessed by all users.

But it seems that the Shard Documents folder is, in fact, located on the C: drive, and when i drag a file from the new hard drive (G) to Shared Documents, it starts to copy the files to this folder on the C: drive. So it seems to me that dragging the whole new hard drive to the shared documents folder would, in effect, simply copy the G: drive to the C: drive—not exactly what i want to do.

Am i missing something, or misunderstanding something, here? Any help would be most appreciated.

Yes. You simply need to set the security on the new drive such that Users have Change permissions at the file level.

It will copy it but that isn’t the way to do it. In the “Shared Documents” folder, just right-click “Create Shortcut” and type in the path as G: That is it.

That is the way to create a shortcut to the whole drive. I can’t verify if that will actually share it although I think it will.


Forgive me if i’m thick, but i can’t see where to do this. I looked in Control Panel, and i tried right-clicking on the drive itself and going to the Sharing and Security section.

Could you point me in the right direction?

Sorry, that response was to Quartz.

Are you both suggesting essentially the same thing, or are these two different procedures?

They are different. I merely told you how to create a shortcut to the new drive in the Shared folder. I have never really tried that although it may work and is worth a try. It only takes a few seconds.

Well, the shortcut method seemed to do the trick, so unless someone tells me that there’s some inherent problem with doing it this way, i think my problem is solved.

Thanks for the help.

That’s odd - I’d have bet $$$ it wouldn’t have. Good thing I’m a slow poster. :smiley:
Here’s my input, in case someone has the same problem but that doesn’t fix it:
The thing with XP Home is that you don’t have access to advanced security settings (as easily) as you would normally with XP Pro (or Win2k).

XP Home is supposed to do everything such that you don’t need to access it (though I have seen it screw up once on a friend’s laptop). Personally, I’d re-format the drive and see if the problem goes away. If you don’t want to do that, then there are three ways of accessing file permissions in XP Home.

I’d recommend the second from this page (safe mode/admin access), though my friend ended up using the third. (command line CACLS).

I don’t know much more at this point, but I can tell you that on my 2k box, the 2nd drive has ‘Everyone’ listed with full access, and my brother’s XP Home machine has a CACLS list for his secondary drive of

Q:\>cacls q:
Q:\ BUILTIN\Administrators:F
    BUILTIN\Users:(OI)(CI)(IO)(special access:)

    BUILTIN\Users:(CI)(special access:)

    BUILTIN\Users:(CI)(IO)(special access:)


Go to My Computer and find the icon for the drive (G:). Right-click it and select Properties. Click on the Security tab. You want Administrators to have the Full Control permission and Users to have Change permision. Once you’ve put some data there, you can refine this: for instance, you might have seperate directories for each user and restrict those folders to the particular user and the Administrator account. Always ensure and administrator-level account has Full Control.

Windows has two types of security: share level and file level. Share level security is applies when connected over the network - or internet - and caps file level security. Shares provide a link point to resources on a machine, and you can have more than one share pointing to a particular directory. File level security does what it says on the box: it defines who can do what to a particular file or folder. Subfolders inherit the permissions of their parent folder.

There are four basic levels of security, both at file and at share level. They are Full Control, Change, Read-only, and No Access. These are fairly self-explanatory: if you don’t want little Jimmy to be able to browse your porn collection, you give Jimmy’s account No Access to the relevant folders. You can fine-tune security beyond these levels (e.g. directories can have List access) but that is beyond the scope of this thread.

Thanks for the advice, but there’s a minor problem. When i right-click on G and open the Properties bopx, there is no Security tab.

There are five tabs: General, Tools, Hardware, Sharing, and Quota.

None of them seem to offer the sort of functions you are describing. Is it possible that your solution works for XP Pro, but not for XP Home?

What Quartz mentions is indeed one of the main differences with XP Pro vs. Home.

If the link I posted is correct (didn’t test it though) you should be able to see it in Safe mode.


I think that as long as the shortcut method recommended by Shagnasty continues to work, i’ll stick with that rather than rummage around in safe mode.