> I have a Netgear wireless network with a desktop computer and a laptop
> computer. The desktop is the host computer using Windows 2000 Pro, and
> the laptop is wireless using Windows Vista Home Premium SP2. The laptop
> can see the desktop and access shared files. The desktop cannot see the
> laptop. In My Network Places on the desktop computer, only the desktop
> computer shows in the Workgroup. On the laptop computer both laptop and
> desktop computers show in the Workgroup. What can I do to be able to see
> the laptop on the desktop computer so that I can access the shared
> laptop files on the desktop computer?
There is no "host computer" in your network. Since the laptop can access
shared files on the Win2k desktop, you know the problem is with Win2k.
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. There is no built-in firewall in Win2k so you
must be using a third-party one. DO NOT TURN OFF FIREWALLS; CONFIGURE THEM
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. In Vista, turn Password Protected Sharing ON. 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:
I believe the process is the same in Win2 as for XP but I don't know for
For your Vista laptop:
Start Orb>Search box>type: netplwiz [enter]
Click on Continue (or supply an administrator's password) when prompted by
UAC. Uncheck the option "Users must enter a user name and password to use
this computer". Select a user account to automatically log on by clicking on
the desired account to highlight it and then hit OK. Enter the correct
password for that user account when prompted.
Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!