WorkgroupShare and the Microsoft Firewall installed with Windows XP Service Pack 2

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Symptoms

WorkgroupShare clients cannot connect to the WorkgroupShare server. The server is running on Windows XP and service pack 2 may have recently been installed

More Info

What ports does WorkgroupShare use?
WorkgroupShare is a Client-Server application. The Clients connect to the server over a network to exchange data. In WorkgroupShare the clients initiate all the connections.

WorkgroupShare uses the following ports:
TCP 8100, WorkgroupShare protocol, user configurable in the Administrator.
TCP 8101, WorkgroupShare SSL protocol, user configurable in the Administrator (WorkgroupShare v2 only)
TCP 8109, Free/Busy protocol.
UDP 8101, Used for the Server process to send messages to the WorkgroupShare administrator program.

Summary

Microsoft has released SP2 (Service Pack 2) for Windows XP. This contains several updates to Windows XP including new functionality, such as the Windows firewall. The default settings of the Windows Firewall contained in this update may need to be changed to ensure that your WorkgroupShare systems continue to operate correctly.

The main feature of Windows XP SP2 that affects WorkgroupShare is that the Windows Firewall is now switched on by default. This means that it may block connections to network resources such as WorkgroupShare.

Detail

If you run the WorkgroupShare Server on a Windows XP machine you need to make sure that the firewall is not blocking access to WorkgroupShare. The setup for WorkgroupShare v2 server and client will offer to setup the windows firewall for you. If it is not set up and you run WorkgroupShare as an application then when you first start the WorkgroupShare server the Windows firewall should ask if you want to allow WorkgroupShare to access the network. You should allow WorkgroupShare to access the network.

If you run WorkgroupShare as a Windows Service you will not be prompted to allow WorkgroupShare. You must configure your firewall to allow this:
Go to your Control Panel, Windows Firewall, Exceptions, Add Program, Browse to the WorkgroupShare folder and select WSService.exe (or WSSvc.exe) and select Open and Click OK. WorkgroupShare should now appear in your allowed applications list.

You can also enter the following into a command prompt. You may need to customise this to match your system.


netsh firewall add allowedprogram program=”c:Program FilesWorkgroupShareWSService.exe” name=”WorkgroupShare Server”

Generally the client requires no more configuration other than allowing Outlook to access the network.

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