> We have tried to set-up a home network based around our new Windows Vista
> desktop machine but have run into some problems.
> All the machines are wirelessly connected to a Belkin router and can
> access the internet fine. We have a desktop with Windows Vista that is
> connected to a printer which works fine, however after running the Network
> set-up wizard we cannot file share or print between the Vista desktop and
> a couple of XP laptops.
> Any one know of any good simple online guides for creating a file / print
> sharing network with mixed O.S. machines, especially id they deal with the
> 'print server' machine being Vista, and the others being XP.
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 a stateful
firewall 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 - Don't Panic!
FAQ - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ