> I have benefited greatly from discussions in this forum around issues
> concerning networks that combine Vista and XP machines. Thank you very
> much. But I still need help.
> I am setting up an inhouse network that links together three machines,
> which I will call Vista, XP1 and XP2.
> Vista is connected to local printer. My hope is to have all three
> machines capable of accessing the printer, which is an HP LJ 2420. An
> excellent printer.
> Following advice given in this forum I was careful to set up the
> network in this way, in Vista Network and Sharing -- Firewalls are
> turned off in all three machines, which have different names but are all
> members of the same workgroup. On Vista I set network discovery to ON
> and Network to Private. File sharing is ON. I selected Public Folder
> Sharing, but turned off Password.
> When I went to XP1 and ran the Network Wizard everything was perfect: I
> have printer sharing, and created the disk (actually flashdrive) needed
> to bring XP2 into the network.
> But it doesn't work. I ran the disk a few times; XP2 was clearly not
> connecting to Vista. I have tried connecting manually, no result. Why is
> it that one XP machine responds perfectly and the other refuses?
> The only difference betrween XP1 and XP2 is that 1 is a laptop, and
> connects wirelessly to Vista, which connects wirelessly to a Linksys
> router. 2 is a Compaq desktop that is wired to the router.
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
Excellent, thorough, yet easy to understand article about File/Printer
Sharing in Vista. Includes details about sharing printers as well as files
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 overlooked firewall (including stateful
firewalls in a VPN); 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.
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. DO
NOT TURN OFF FIREWALLS; CONFIGURE THEM CORRECTLY.
B. For ease of organization, put all computers in the same Workgroup. This
is done from the System applet in Control Panel, Computer Name tab.
C. Create matching user accounts and passwords on all machines. You do not
need to be logged into the same account on all machines and the passwords
assigned to each user account can be different; the accounts/passwords just
need to exist and match on all machines. DO NOT NEGLECT TO CREATE
PASSWORDS, EVEN IF ONLY SIMPLE ONES. 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, turn off
Simple File Sharing (Folder Options>View tab).
E. Create shares as desired. XP Home does not permit sharing of users' home
directories 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 Vista sharing.
F. After you have file sharing working (and have tested this by exchanging a
file between all machines), if you want to share a printer connected
locally to one of your computers, share it out from that machine. Then go
to the printer mftr.'s website and download the latest drivers for the
correct operating system(s). Install them on the target machine(s). The
printer should be seen during the installation routine. If it is not,
install the drivers and then use the Add Printer Wizard. In some instances,
certain printers need to be installed as Local printers but that is outside
of this response.
Elephant Boy Computers