Win 2k Network.. A little complicated

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Thread Starter
Oct 6, 2004
I need some advice....Im great with computers but not as experienced as I would like to be in networking. Im a technician for a company and have been asked to setup a network at a workplace and I would like some advice on how to set this up ASAP in a way thats fair to the customer (time and price)

7 Windows 2000 pro and 1 Win98SE machines.
3 printers...2 regualr deskjet...1 Plotter by HP

Everything is already hard wired...hub..ethernet cords..etc. All computers are able to get on the net... However they cannot see each other. When trying to navigate to other computers I get the connect as...and password field. When trying to use username and passwords that the client is giving does not validate. I can print locally. From researching a bit..all comps have NETBUIE (sp?) installed and file and print sharing enabled. From what I see, there are four separate workgroups within the office...some having multiple comps on the workgroup. The client has no information on username/passwords...only is guessing. He also has no Network Setup Disk. All these comps were throw together and had an ethernet cord thrown in.

I get the concept of workgroups....user access rights...etc...But from my exp in the past and by reading tutorials on I never really was ever able to get anything to work the way it says it should.

Now..should I start with comp 1 and work my way around to comp 8 running a new network setup disk on each machine to put on the same workgroup? Should i setup one username and password for all users?... How can I find out what the current username/passwords are on each machine?

I know Im asking a lot but Im trying to just get the basics down here and the normal procedure or policy way of setting up this type of network. I dont want to spend a whole day in the office wasting my time and the clients time..and then charging them too much money.

I can worry about the printer issues later..I just want to get to the poiont where all computers see each other.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to help.
May 30, 2003
hi cantholdmd,
Should not have too much of a problem with this.
Firstly, i would put all computers on same workgroup. Unless you are running any programs that require NETBUIE i would uninstall and run with TCP/IP only. Enabling 'File & Print Sharing', physically share a folder on each computer.
This should have all computers seeing each other !
Then, each Windows 2000 computer requires all Clients to have 'GUEST' Accounts setup to allow them to access the computer i.e. Client1 would have all other 'Clients' Usernames and passwords setup in its own 'Userlist'.
Windows 98 does not require the above configured !

If above does not work - assign addresses and subnet mask to all computers.
Once you have the computers seeing each other, dependant on method of Internet connection, you might have to drop the assigned IP addresses and switch to Dynamic. The above is required just to access Network properly to ensure all is working.



Retired Moderator
Oct 19, 2002
Rather than using the GUEST account, which is a significant security risk, why not just create accounts for all the users on the machines they connect to...
Nov 2, 2002
Is the problem that the computers don't see each other or that you are getting prompted for a password. Both things are mentioned in the first post.

Unless you need it, you might consider having just a single workgroup rather than four.

The basics for troubleshooting are:

1. Make sure you have the same IP scheme (e.g. 192.168.0.x).

2. Make sure you have the same Subnet Mask, Gateway, and DNS IP addresses.

3. Make sure you can ping the other computer's IP address. If this fails, just for testing, make sure you turn off XP's as well as any other firewall.

4. Make sure you can ping the other computers by name.

5. Make sure you have the same workgroup name (watch for trailing spaces)

6. For troubleshooting purposes, turn off XP's and completely uninstall any other firewall software. You can always add more complexity after you get it working.

7. With XP, make sure you have the same username and password as the person logging onto the other computers. The default setting for XP Pro is to require a password for network access.

8. More details about how to network XP can be found at:

9. More details about how to troubleshoot TCP/IP networks can be found at:

10. Apply the registry edit to fix the browsing delay from XP to Win9x computers

There continues to be a lot of misinformation about needing NetBEUI or to changing the NetBIOS setting. You can ignore both. Installing NetBEUI to solve a networking problem will just mask a some underlying and potentially important misconfiguration with TCP/IP. The default NetBIOS setting works fine so there is no need to change that either. Just don't disable it.
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