How to configure Windows Server 2003 Shares and Security to allow Windows XP Home to access a network share.

Windows XP Home does not have the ability to join a domain like Windows XP Professional does.  However, Windows XP Home can still join a work group and work in a peer to peer mode and have access to a share on the server.  To create a share on a folder on the server, use the properties window.  First, a share must be created by toggling the “Share this folder” radio button.  Then assign a name to the share or accept the default and add a comment.  Set any user limits that are required.  This will create the share.  To be able to access the share on Windows Server, you have to set permissions for users who access the folder over the network.  To do this click on the Permissions button in the Sharing tab of the folder properties.  Under Share Permissions you will see all the group or user names that are allowed to view the share.  Click on Add to add the security principle called Everyone to the Share Permissions and give it the appropriate permissions by setting the allow or deny settings for each type of permission.  Usually, you want to allow Full Control.

It is also necessary to set up the security for the folder under folder properties.  Under group or user names in the Security tab of the folder properties you will see all the security principles that are allowed to access to the folder.  Click on Add to add the security principle called Everyone to the Security for the folder and give it the appropriate permissions by setting the allow or deny settings for each type of permission.  Usually, you want to allow Full Control.
Once this is done, Windows XP Home should be able to map to the network share and have access to it.  It is not necessary to have a user account on the Windows Server with the same name as the user on Windows XP Home to be able to access the share.