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Creating a network with multiple OS


Steve8's Avatar
Steve8 Steve8 is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Experience: Beginner
20-May-2011, 09:45 AM #1
Creating a network with multiple OS
Hi all

I'm trying to set up a network for a friends small office so we can share files between each of the computers.

i have tried to do it through the workgroup but with no luck as some can see the other machines and some cant so it driving me nuts.


Thompson wireless Router

laptop with Windows 7
laptop with Windows Vista
laptop with Windows XP SP2

Can anyone help me set them up so they can see each of the other 3 computers and i can click that computer name and see its shared folders/files.

I have set the network discovery to on in W7 & Vista and and ran the network wizard in XP

At the moment the vista and W7 machine can see each other but i get and error saying cannot access //(computer name)

with the W7 and XP machines i can send a file when i type in the ip address (//192.168.1.?) into the W7 search bar but the XP computer is not shown in the network folder

And i didn't try with the mac as dunno anything about them that much

Any help would be appreciated

centauricw's Avatar
centauricw centauricw is offline
Member with 444 posts.
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Atlanta GA
Experience: Advanced
20-May-2011, 06:12 PM #2
Make sure all your Windows computers use the same named for the Workgroup. Also, you may need to turn on some legacy file sharing for the XP computer name to be found.
TerryNet's Avatar
Computer Specs
Moderator with 69,186 posts.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ottawa, IL
20-May-2011, 08:31 PM #3
Set Up Your Home Network, Windows 7 Edition covers all those systems.

Short description for Windows 7 file sharing:

Go into the Network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel or from the Network icon in the Notification Area. Your network must be designated 'Home' (or 'Work'). Click on Change advanced sharing settings. In the Home or Work section you can configure File and printer sharing, Public folder sharing, and Password protected sharing.

You must uninstall or properly configure any non-windows firewall (security suite).

Short description for Vista file sharing.

Go into the network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel or from the Network icon in the Notification Area. Your network must be designated 'Private.' In the Sharing and Discovery section you can configure File sharing, Public folder sharing (similar to Shared Documents in previous Windows), Printer sharing and Password protected sharing.

Vista requires that a user account be password protected before it will permit file sharing.

You must uninstall or properly configure any non-windows firewall (security suite).

XP file sharing

The following will set up a Microsoft Workgroup for File and Printer Sharing assuming the PCs are already networked via router, ad-hoc wireless or Ethernet (directly or using switch or hub).

In Network and Dial-up Connections (Win 2k Pro) or Network Connections (XP) right click on your connection and select ‘Properties.’ If not already there, install or add a check mark for “Client for Microsoft Networks, “File and Printer sharing …” and “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).”

Right click on My Computer, select Properties, and on the Computer Name tab make sure you have a unique computer name and the workgroup name that you want to use for all computers. Change if necessary.

Restart the PC.

You must uninstall or properly configure any non-Windows firewalls (security suites) on each machine.

If using the XP SP3 firewall: Control Panel – Windows Firewall – on the General tab it should be “On” and on the Exceptions tab “File and Printer Sharing” should be selected. (When using this PC on a public network set it to “No Exceptions.”)

The Shared Documents folder is automatically shared. Any other folders or printers you want to share, just right click on them and sharing ... . When sharing a printer, accept the offer to load other drivers if your other PCs have different Operating System(s).

When you first go into My Network Places there will be nothing there. The first time you click on 'View Workgroup computers' will probably result in great disappointment. It takes awhile (up to 15 minutes) before all the computers in the workgroup get up-to-date and accurate lists of the other computers. Often you can speed up this process via Search for other computers.

When computers show up in My Network Places, double click on one to see its shares. If that includes a printer, you can right click on the printer to connect to it.
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