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XP and Vista Print/File Sharing

Discussion in 'Networking' started by golfer21, Oct 5, 2008.

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  1. golfer21

    golfer21 Thread Starter

    Oct 5, 2008
    I have a desktop computer running windows xp pro sp3 on a workgroup with a wireless laptop running vista home premium. I have gotten the vista network map to recognize the desktop but I can't get the laptop to see files on the desktop or the printers that I want to share. Interrestingly enough, I can see the files and printers from the vista laptop from the desktop but not the other way around. My goal is to be able to turn on my laptop and have it print to the printer that is attached to the desktop that is hard wired through ethernet to the router. I have verison fios which has a combined modem and wireless router.
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    This is most likely a firewall issue.

    Turn off any firewalls for debugging. If the firewall is the problem, you'll have to configure it to allow access to "trusted zone" addresses. Note that some firewalls must be completely uninstalled to stop them from affecting your networking.

    Hold the Windows key and press R, then type CMD to open a command prompt.

    In the command prompt window that opens, type type the following commands:

    PING each remote computer by IP address, and if successful, PING by name. Open a command prompt as described above and type.

    PING <ip address>
    PING <computer name>

    <ip address> - is the x.x.x.x IP address
    <computer name> - is the computer name

    A failure to PING is almost always a firewall configuration issue. Any failure to PING needs to be corrected before you go any farther.

    Note: You can obtain the IP address and computer name of a computer by opening a command prompt (DOS window) and typing IPCONFIG /ALL. This should work for any Windows version. The IPCONFIG /ALL display will provide a wealth of useful information for debugging your network connection.

    Check your Services are Started on all PCs:
    • COM+ Event System (for WZC issues)
    • Computer Browser
    • DHCP Client
    • DNS Client
    • Network Connections
    • Network Location Awareness
    • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    • Server
    • TCP/IP Netbios helper
    • Windows Zero Configuration (wireless configurations)
    • Workstation

    Note: You can check the services in Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services.

    All of these services should be started, and their startup type should be automatic.

    All computers should be in the same workgroup for computer browsing to function properly. File & Print Sharing has to be enabled on any computer you wish to share files or printers from. You also need to actually share the resource in question from My Computer, right click on the drive/printer/folder, and select sharing.

    If you encounter difficulties accessing computers that are visible in Network Neighborhood, make sure the computer being accessed has an account with the same name/password as the system connecting to it uses to login.

    While the default NetBIOS setting is correct for normal network configurations, it's possible for it to be altered, and it costs nothing to make sure it's correct. NETBIOS over TCP/IP must be enabled for normal network browsing.
  3. golfer21

    golfer21 Thread Starter

    Oct 5, 2008
    Thanks for the thorough reply JohnWill. I have looked at everything you suggested and the only service not running is windows zero configuration on my wireless laptop. Not sure how to start that running.

    I will say, at this point, I can ping both ways from my laptop vista to the desktop xp pro and vice versa, I see the desktop in the network map on my vista laptop and can even access shared files on my laptop from my desktop.

    I just can't see shared files on the desktop from my laptop and I can't install shared printers from the desktop to my laptop.
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    If you're using a 3rd party wireless client, you don't need WZC. The fact that you're running wirelessly seems to suggest that. :)

    What is the exact symptoms of not being able to access the desktop shared resources?
  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    First Name:
    On the laptop in a Run box type


    where "desktop" is the computer name of the Desktop computer. If you do not get a Windows Explorer window showing the shares tell us the exact error message and try the \\desktop again but use "desktop" = the IP address of the Desktop PC. Again, exactly what happens? Note the back slashes (\\) are different than forward slashes (//).
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