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Windows XP: Disable Print and File Sharing

By KarlM
If you suspect that your computer has been infected with a virus (or various other forms of malicious code), the first step to prevent further infiltration would be to ‘quarantine’ said computer. Doing so protects other computers within your home or immediate network from succumbing to these programs.

However, do not disconnect the computer entirely from the Internet, as this will prevent you from access to updates for your anti-virus/anti-spyware software. Disabling print and file sharing through the Windows Vista Network and Sharing Center is fairly uncomplicated, although the disabling procedure for Windows XP may necessitate a bit of work.

Here are the steps for the aforementioned process:

To Disable Print and File Sharing:

• Point your cursor to the System Tray’s network icon, and right-click. Select ‘Open Network Connections’.
• Go to ‘Local Area Connection’, right-click with the cursor, and click on the Properties tab.
• Look for the ‘General’ button, and click to un-check the ‘File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks’ feature.

To Deactivate Network Discovery and Simple Sharing:

• Access ‘My Computer’, and select the ‘Tools’ menu. Activate ‘Folder Options’.
• Go to the ‘View’ tab and click to un-check the ‘Automatically search for network folders and printers’ and ‘Use simple file sharing’ features.

These procedures do not equate to a foolproof solution, but augments your system security and protection by placing additional stopgaps in between any potentially damaging malicious code and your computer system.

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