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Home networks #161175 03/31/07 04:19 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 233
Kenbo Offline OP
I have just networked my PC and laptop together.

It works because I can use the laptop to access the Internet through the PC.
But I can not work out how I can use the laptop to access file on the PC and vice versa.
Where should I be looking?

Both are using windows XP and connected using a cat 5 cable

der Großvater
Tools for Electricians:
Re: Home networks [Re: Kenbo] #161192 03/31/07 11:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,721
Scott35 Offline
Broom Pusher and
First thing to do is enable File Sharing, on one or both Machines.
Do this through the Control Panel, or Explorer.

Select the parameters of Directories to be shared.

Try a test, by attempting to either:
* view a certain Graphic file on the remote Machine;
* "Copy/Paste" a certain file or directory, from one Machine to another.

If you want to get slick, include shared folders in the "Send To" function's list (send copies of files or directories, via "Right-Click" / "Send To").

If you want to enable the Desktop's Printer (Local, LAN or whatever else is available), to be shared with the Laptop - so Print jobs may be sent from the Laptop to the Desktop Printer (or other Printer), enable Print Sharing too.

It's not too difficult to enable these functions in XP.

Oh, almost forgot... Make sure each Machine has compatible Protocols available.
Generally, make sure each Machine has TCP/IP enabled, and each has File + Printer Sharing enabled.

Feel free to reply if you have more questions.


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Re: Home networks [Re: Scott35] #161194 03/31/07 11:37 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,575
gfretwell Online Content
If you are connecting via a braodband connection you should get a router. This provides a bit of security by hiding your PCs behind a dummy address. It also guves you a hub to connect up to 4 machines together. The warning is once you start networking things together it gets addictive. I have them all (8-10 machines at times) going now with a stand alone print server, router, a hub and a switch. It does make it easy to move files around. I can plug my car MP3 players into the network and manage them too.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Home networks [Re: gfretwell] #161259 04/01/07 01:32 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
noderaser Offline
One thing I've found that seems to make networking between Windows XP computers a lot smoother, is to install the "NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol". It's supposed to be a protocol to support Novell Netware-based networks, but for some reason it makes basic home networking work much better.

To do this, go to "Network Connections", right-click on your LAN connection and select "Properties". Then, click the "Install" button, and find "NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol" under "Protocols".

You will also need to make sure that there is a directory that is shared on the network; you can do this in the folder/directory properties. It will not allow you to share directories that are within your "account", but you can use the "Shared Documents" folder, or another folder on the root or your hard drive.

Re: Home networks [Re: noderaser] #161379 04/02/07 01:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 349
Radar Offline
To add to what Scott says, after making sure I have file and printer sharing enabled on both machines, I pick certain directories or folders on one or both machines and mark them "sharable" with a share name. This can be done in the folder properties (share tab). This will make the sharable folder(s) viewable from the other maching in Windows Explorer, under MS Network, and you can then map a network drive letter to it if you want.

I'm a little confused about your connections, Kenny. How do you have your PC connected to the Internet and to the laptop? Can your laptop do wireless? I like Greg's idea about a router, but speaking personally I'd stay away from wireless routers - I feel there's better security if the wireless and the router are in separate boxes connected via ethernet.


There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.
Re: Home networks [Re: Radar] #161383 04/02/07 02:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 233
Kenbo Offline OP

I know little about computers so I went into my local shop (Silicon Concepts) and told them what I wanted to do. They gave me a “Cat5” cable so plugged one end in the PC and the other in the laptop.
I opened the local network on both computers and followed the instructions.
My PC is connected to broadband from a USB connection through a “Thingy” to the telephone line.
Now I can access the broad band with the laptop without having to load any drivers onto it when connected in this manor.

I have clicked to enable file sharing on some files on both the PC and the laptop (so hand symbol appears on the folder) but I do not know how to make the other computer see these files.
I was expecting the computers to show up as an external drive to each other but this has not happened.

Mind you just looking at Scots instructions again. I did the file sharing but I don’t think I did the TCP/IP. So how do I do that?

der Großvater
Re: Home networks [Re: Kenbo] #161394 04/02/07 04:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 349
Radar Offline
Kenny - if you're communicating and accessing the internet on the laptop via the PC, then it's probably working OK. However, the sharable folders won't just show up as network drives.

Open Windows Explorer. Ignore My Documents and My Computer, open up My Network Places. Then open Entire Network, then Microsoft Windows Network. You might now see the folders marked sharable. If so, you can click on them and read the contents, and you can right click, then map a drive letter, which will then show up under My Computer as a network drive.

If you don't see the folders listed, you likely have no (or mismatching) workgroup names. We can tackle that later depending on your findings.


There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.
Re: Home networks [Re: Radar] #161398 04/02/07 05:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 233
Kenbo Offline OP

Laptop in my office at work will prob bring it home this weekend and try that.

der Großvater
Re: Home networks [Re: Kenbo] #161405 04/02/07 08:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
noderaser Offline
Connecting the two computers together using a Cat5 network cable only works if the cable is a crossover cable, not a standard patch cable. But, since the Internet is working on the laptop, I assume you have the correct type of cable.

If the folders don't show up in "My Network Places", simply click the "View Workgroup Computers" link in the left-hand column. Another thing you may want to check, is that both computers are on the same "workgroup". The default is "MSHome" or some silly thing like that, but it could also be possible that it was changed by someone, or a different install (like an OEM install from a computer manufacturer). To do this, simply right-click on "My Computer", select "Properties", click the "Computer Name" tab and check the settings there. If both comptuers do not have the same Workgroup listed, then click the "Change" button and fix the problem. Also, make sure that the computers themselves do not have the same name.


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