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I'm on Windows XP Pro SP2. I shared a directory by right-clicking the directory and choosing Properties, going to the Sharing tab, marking the "Share this folder" radio button, entering "share" as the "Share name", and clicking OK.

Now other users can see that folder at \mycomputer\share, and can download files from that folder. They can also see files in the sub-directories, but when they try to download a file from a sub-directory, they see an error like this:

Cannot copy SMART_Data_Loader-Build_1: Access is denied.

Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

I also tried to change the security settings of the top-level ("share") directory, giving Everyone read-access, but the issue didn't change. This is a company computer with IT security settings and applications I know little about, but I'm hoping the problem is in the way I tried to set it up.

An interesting thing to note is that the file is called, but the error message dropped the .zip extension. I'm not sure if that's meaningful.

A friend of mine at a different company followed the exact same steps I did and other people were able to download files from sub-directories just fine.

How can I allow downloading of files from a sub-directory of a shared parent directory in Windows XP SP2?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

It would appear upon first glance that the sub-directory's permissions are not getting inherited by the parent directory. Check the permissions of that sub directory and check if they are getting inherited.

*EDIT: Also check the permissions of that child ".zip" file. In the advanced settings, there are options for permission inheritance that you might want to take a look at.

Also, to prevent any odd not-making-any-sense problems, make sure the share permissions are set to Everyone. That way, Windows will only rely upon the file-system permissions exclusively to determine rights of the objects.

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You got it right, Phanto. The problem was the permissions on the file itself. I never touched the file permissions to begin with, so it surprises me that I have to fiddle with it now, after sharing the parent folder. Thanks. – Mike M. Lin Aug 6 '10 at 17:19
After some tests, here's how it works: If you share a folder and/or change permissions, then all of it's sub-directories and files automatically inherit the new settings. If you create a file within a shared folder, then the file permissions are inherited from that folder. However, if you copy an existing file to that shared folder, then the file permissions don't change, and will likely remain in a restricted state if coming from a non-shared folder. Hope this helps the next guy. – Mike M. Lin Aug 6 '10 at 17:46

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