> I have joined my two vista computers to the same network but i am unable to
> add my windows xp conmputer - any suggestions?
Since we don't have any details about your network or your computers
(versions of XP?) or network hardware, here are general network
troubleshooting steps. Not everything may be applicable to your
situation, so just take the bits that are. It may look daunting, but if
you follow the steps at the links and suggestions below systematically
and calmly, you will have no difficulty in setting up your sharing.
Excellent, thorough, yet easy to understand article about File/Printer
Sharing in Vista. Includes details about sharing printers as well as
files and folders.
For XP, start by running the Network Setup Wizard on all machines (see
caveat in Item A below).
Problems sharing files between computers on a network are generally
caused by 1) a misconfigured firewall; or 2) inadvertently running two
firewalls such as the built-in Windows Firewall and a third-party
firewall; and/or 3) not having identical user accounts and passwords on
all Workgroup machines; 4) trying to create shares where the operating
system does not permit it. Read through the general networking tips
below and if you still are having difficulties, MVP Hans-Georg Michna
has an excellent small network troubleshooter here:
Taking the time to go through his troubleshooter will usually pinpoint
the source of the problem(s).
Here are some general networking tips for home/small networks:
A. Configure firewalls on all machines to allow the Local Area Network
(LAN) traffic as trusted. With Windows Firewall, this means allowing
File/Printer Sharing on the Exceptions tab. Normally running the Network
Setup Wizard on XP will take care of this for those machines.The only
"gotcha" is that this will turn on the XPSP2 Windows Firewall. If you
aren't running a third-party firewall or have an antivirus with
"Internet Worm Protection" (like Norton 2006/07) which acts as a
firewall, then you're fine. With third-party firewalls, I usually
configure the LAN allowance with an IP range. Ex. would be
192.168.1.0-192.168.1.254. Obviously you would substitute your correct
subnet. Do not run more than one firewall.
B. With earlier Microsoft operating systems, the name of the Workgroup
didn't matter. Apparently it does with Vista, so put all computers in
the same Workgroup. This is done from the System applet in Control
Panel, Computer Name tab.
C. Create identical user accounts and passwords on all machines. If you
wish a machine to boot directly to the Desktop (into one particular
user's account) for convenience, you can do this. The instructions at
this link work for both XP and Vista:
Configure Windows to Automatically Login (MVP Ramesh) -
D. If one or more of the computers is XP Pro or Media Center:
1. If you need Pro's ability to set fine-grained permissions, turn off
Simple File Sharing (Folder Options>View tab) and create identical user
accounts/passwords on all computers.
2. If you don't care about using Pro's advanced features, leave the
Simple File Sharing enabled.
Simple File Sharing means that Guest (network) is enabled. This means
that anyone without a user account on the target system can use its
resources. This is a security hole but only you can decide if it matters
in your situation.
I think it is a good idea to create the identical user
accounts/passwords in any case when Vista machines are involved and it
isn't an onerous task with home/small networks.
E. Create shares as desired. XP Home does not permit sharing of users'
home directories (My Documents) or Program Files, but you can share
folders inside those directories. A better choice is to simply use the
Shared Documents folder. See the first link above for details about
Elephant Boy Computers
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User