Solved: File sharing question for 2 computers sharing DSL

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Dr. Holly

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Hi all,

I have a client who would like 2 computers already connected to a router for a shared DSL connection to be able to share files. My problem is this: This is an office and the 2 computers are quite a distance from each other. I am trying to figure out the most cost effective and efficient way to link these two together for enabling file sharing? What kind of cables would I need and what are the steps I should take on each PC to set them up properly? They are both fairly new Dell computers with Windows XP. (I'm thinking Pro edition)

Please help me with this. Detailed steps and information would be much appreciated. My usual method of NIC cards and connecting cables just won't work here. I'm puzzled what the best way would be. Thank you so much in advance for your reply!
 

Dr. Holly

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I worked on this office network today, and it didn't go as planned. I followed the above link's instructions word for word. Please advise as to what could be wrong & what I need to do next. Here's what happened....


Lets call PC 1 "Office" and PC 2 "Maximo" because that's how they had them named. After getting all the settings for TCP/IP networking straightened out, and making sure they were both in the same workgroup, I put a document in the shared folder. PC Maximo easily read the document shared from PC Office. However, the LAN connection on PC Maximo would not connect. PC Office was connected to LAN but could not read files from PC Maximo. I could tell that the network was linked in some way because the file names from PC Maximo were listed on "PC Office," but they were not viewable folders. They had the same icon you'd see as if the file name has an unknown extension, and obviously could not be clicked on. I'm guessing this all has something to do with the fact that PC Maximo is not connected to LAN? No matter what I did or how I fiddled with it, nothing happened.

Another problem is that ever since configuring this network, the computers are really slow and keep locking up out of the blue. I disabled the Windows firewall, and didn't see anything else that could cause a problem. Both computers have Norton installed which in my experience has always caused problems. I have a suspicion that Norton could possibly be causing a conflict somewhere, but I'm not sure how or where. I also turned the Guest account on for both PCs. What do you think? I know this is somewhat complex, but I really appreciate any thoughts/ideas you could give me.

If you need any other information as to what was done or how the office is set up, please let me know.

Edit: I also want to say that when viewing each computer's files individually, they had the hand that shows they're being shared. The same goes for printers. However, for the printers...you can see they're supposed to be shared, but they aren't listed on the other PC in the network.
 

TerryNet

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What Norton (anti-virus? firewall? security suite?)?

Before talking about all that file viewing how about a few basic communication tests, as follows.

To open a Command Window: Start - Run – cmd (command in 98SE) - OK

To determine a computer's IP address: open a Command Window and type
ipconfig /all

Now for some troubleshooting:

1. On each PC open a Command window and type
ping IPofOther (where IPofOther is the IP address of the other PC)

Do you get Replies, or do you get packets lost?

If you got Replies,

2. Do the same ping except use the Computer Name of the other computer:
ping NameOfOtherPC

Replies or lost packets?

If you got Replies to either or both,

3. Then
Start - Run - \\IPofOther - OK

With luck after about a minute you should get an explorer window showing the other PC's shares. If not, what is the error message?
 

Dr. Holly

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Hi TerryNet,

Thank you for responding.

To answer your question: One PC has the whole Norton suite installed and the other seems to only have anti-virus, internet security & firewall installed. The first PC with the suite installed has Norton GoBack, etc. It seemed to have about 4 Norton programs running in the taskbar.

Since this whole networking issue is a job I took on for an office, I don't have access to the computers right now. I do plan to go back either Wednesday or Friday of this week however. Sorry that I can't give you the results at this time. I will however print this page off and then come back to record what I found. I hope, if you don't mind, that you'd come back and let me know what you think once all of that is done?

One question: What would have caused the PC's to dramtiacally slow down in performance? I also noticed that the CPU % usage was ranging from the 80s and 90s. Could a network connection flaw cause them to do this? I tried to go back and change everything to the default settings, but that did not seem to correct the problem. I am extremely puzzled by this.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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I'm kinda slow myself, but I'm no expert on slow computers. :)

I start with getting rid of unneeded files (uninstalls for Windows updates, temporary files, whatever Disk Cleanup can find, etc.), see if Disk Defrag can do anything, ditch unneeded programs (e.g., Windows Office "fast start" if I don't use Office much), and then start worrying about malware.

If you have multiple firewalls (e.g., Norton's and Windows XP's) or multiple anti-virus programs running I think (that's "think," not "know") they can interfere with each other and impact performance.
 

Dr. Holly

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LOL TerryNet. Thanks for cracking me up with your first comment. :)

I have actually run the cleaning programs & tried to ditch anything that wasn't needed on the PC's. The slow down didn't seem to occur until I began to mess around with the network settings. That's why I have a feeling that it has something to do with what I changed. However, I have no idea why. :confused: I just took a guess that it could be because the two computers were trying to link up and recognize each other, but couldn't quite connect. This favor I'm doing for this office has turned in to quite the nightmare. Figures!

I will however run the diagnostic tests and see how the network is responding. Perhaps from there the reason for the slow down will show itself. That's what I'm hoping for anyhow. I did notice though that on Windows shut down, several programs were non responsive and had errors. I'm not sure if this was something that occured prior to the network changes or not. It was some sort of .dll file I believe. My memory fails me on what the actual file name was.

Thanks again for your help. Hopefully this gets straightened away soon. I'll let you know what the ping shows and if any errors come back. IF there aren't any errors -- shouldn't that mean the network is up & running properly?
 

Dr. Holly

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Question: Can a firewall be enabled and still allow an office network to connect properly?

As a side note, you can disregard what I asked about the computers being slow. I spoke with the office today, and both PC users said their computers had been painfully slow for some time now. One said that it took 15+ minutes to just boot up. (And this is a rather new computer) I narrowed this down to mostly Norton and a few minor other things, so through that I have convinced both to ditch Norton completely. I am either going to get them set up with AVG or Panda. So that's the reason I asked the firewall question. Can I get software with an included firewall and still be successful in having these 2 PC's linked?

Thanks again! I'm planning to do those diagnostic tests on Friday. So I'll let you know what happens with that.
 
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Dr:I think the answer to your firewall question is Yes.
For instance if you have f/w's running on all pcs and you want to share resources between all pc's,you will need to tell the individual f/w's to"allow" access to that pc's resources. On your f/w setup it will probably be listed as "exceptions" or something similar.
You would list the other pc's ip addresses there,thus telling your f/w that it is ok for these addresses only to have access to it's resources.
 

Dr. Holly

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Thanks pedroguy for your reply. I figured that there had to be some way to configure the firewalls to allow access within the local network. I did not like the idea of having an office without any firewall protection whatsoever.
 

Dr. Holly

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I just wanted to say that I got the job done! :)

For an update, the pings for both IP addresses and computer names all came back as replies on both PC's.

However, PC 1 could access PC 2's shares, but PC 2 could not access PC 1's shares. It came back as a network path error. I figured it out though and everything is operational. So...thanks to all of you who responded & helped me throughout this process. I really appreciated it. Another TechGuy job well done! (y)
 
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Dr:Great news:Thanks for the feedback and glad we could all help.
Please use the thread tools option at the top of the page to mark this thread solved.

Happy networking
 
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Sorry:It's late here.I see you have already marked the thread solved.

Thanks again for the feedback
 

Dr. Holly

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pedroguy said:
Sorry:It's late here.I see you have already marked the thread solved.

Thanks again for the feedback
No worries, pedroguy. I know how the brain works (or lack thereof) when it's late. ;)

You're welcome for the feedback. I always think it's a good idea to let someone know when you appreciate what they've done to help. And I certainly did...so thanks again! It was indeed good news to have this job done.
 
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