This tip is part 1 in a series of 5 on living with Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Windows XP SP2 is undoubtedly a great upgrade to WinXP, but it does introduce a few complications in any environment. Reader Aaron Spurlock writes in with this issue:
"It appears that WinXP SP2 turns simple file sharing back on for all computers, including those in a domain environment. It has caused me to rip my hair out several times wondering why I can't push anti-virus updates, why group policies aren't functioning, and why I cannot remotely administer computers."
After some back-and-forth and some virtual machine-based testing, we determined that adding XP to a domain turns Simple File Sharing (SFS) off, as it should; adding SP2 left SFS off. Just adding SP2 left SFS in its default state of on, and joining to the domain turned SFS off. Perfect. However, one of Aaron’s clients had just installed a computer from SP2-slipstreamed media and joined the computer to the domain—and SFS was left on. Weird.
Aaron’s solution was to deploy a batch file logon script that imports a registry file. Here’s the file he used:
Ironically, you can control this setting from within a Group Policy object (GPO), but with SFS turned on, GPOs can’t download and apply properly. Oh, well. If you’ve got more insight on the SFS on-or-off problem, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
. In the meantime, hopefully Aaron’s reg hack will help anyone who’s been dealing with this.