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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

Getting Vista to "see" shared files on XP

 11:23 pm on Jun 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ok, this may have been talked about before but I couldn't find a thread on point, so here goes (i'm sorry about the length but I'm trying to thorough): How the heck do I get Vista to "see" the shared files on my XP computer on my home network?
I have a homeoffice network that WAS running two XP computers through a Linksys WRT54GS router to a DSL to the internet. the router came with a networking software called "EasyLink Adviser", which i used to set up the network. the printer was shared through one of the two computers.
I bought a new computer with Vista on it, and tried to network it to the XP. I downloaded the new IP protocol to the XP and changed the network group to WORKGROUP on both computers. I made the network on the Vista "private" and set the public and file share options without passwords. I also set some of the files on the XP to "shared", and ran the network wizard.
XP can now see all the public files on Vista and access the printer through Vista. BUT Vista cannot see the shared files on XP (under "network" using Vista's version of Windows Explorer) and does not display XP on "Network and sharing". However, Vista DOES display XP on "View full Map" and will give me the XP details when i run the mouse over its icon. Also, the "Easylink Adviser" software on both computers shows both computers. I've tried mapping the shared files on the XP from the Vista but I get an error messages saying the XP is not set up right or something.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



 5:02 am on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here are a few URLs that have been mentioned when discussing this topic:

  • File and Printer Sharing in Windows Vista [technet.microsoft.com]
  • Windows XP And Vista On The LAN Together [networking.nitecruzr.net]

    I don't have any Vista and XP PCs set up the way you do, so I can't say I've dealt with this personally. I remember when XP had a terrible time working on my Windows 2000 network. Back then I used NetBEUI to solve the connection issues.

  • neophite

     6:07 am on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Thanks for the reply. I didn't think my network would be that unusual since vista is fairly new and a lot of people must still have both systems on various computers. I'll look at the URLs. Thanks again.


     8:33 am on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Here's a very similar thread that I started last week, [webmasterworld.com...]

    The bad news is that I tried the information in the links that Bill provided and I have still not been able to make it work properly. I still have the problem, which is essentially the same as yours.

    My problem is made even more irritating by the fact that I had this working before I replaced my XP computer. My new system is exactly the same as the old with regard to the relative operating systems. What is really frustrating to me is that I am directly connecting two computers together using a Cat 5E cable. How difficult do they have to make this?

    *^*$%^ Windows!


     9:22 am on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

    XP was a bear to network with older versions of Windows too. I thought Vista would be easier. It works seamlessly within a Windows domain. That would be overkill for a home LAN though.

    Here are some random ideas you might try:

  • Turn off DHCP on your router, and give all your PCs static IPs
  • Map the local drives in Windows Explorer using the IP address
  • Use Hamachi to create a VPN
  • BeeDeeDubbleU

     2:05 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I am beginning to think that this may be an XP issue. Before I changed my computer, when I explored my PC I could see the laptop and the PC shares in "My Network Places".

    On my new PC I can only see the Vista laptop share. On the laptop I can only see the laptop share. In other words both machines are seeing the laptop as being shared but not the PC. (I hope I have explained that properly.)


     4:46 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

    What is really frustrating to me is that I am directly connecting two computers together using a Cat 5E cable.

    I have done this many times and it is always troublesome. If you use static IP addresses, have the right protocols installed (Client for Microsoft Networks, File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks, TCP/IP) and no firewalls, it should work but in my experience is usually flaky. (Also ensure that there is at least one shared resource on each computer.) If you get it working without firewalls, you can then experiment with firewall settings.



     5:52 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I've tried just about everything I can think of. The problem is still the same.. . the Vista PC can't see the XP shared files. The XP Pc CAN see the Vista PC public files. I haven't tried the static IP idea yet, but the XP address is and the Vista is and that's static (I believe).

    Why would the XP PC show up on the Vista PC's "view full network map" if the Vista PC was having trouble finding the XP PC's IP address? If there was a problem with DHCP wouldn't the Vista simply not "see" the XP PC? Remember, I already downloaded and installed the Vista IP protocol on the XP. Before that the Vista couldn't even see the XP. After that the Vista could see the XP but couldn't see the shared files on the XP.

    It seems to me that the Vista DHCP is finding the XP PC (whose IP address doesn't change anyway) but Vista can't see the shared files on the XP. That indicates to me that the problem must have something to do with the way XP designates Shared files and Vista designates Public files. Does that make any sense?


     5:59 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

    i forgot to mention: I've shut off the Windows firewall (did not fix the problem), but I also have Norton 360. I haven't tried turning Norton off yet. I guess that's next.


     2:41 am on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Norton would be the first thing I'd turn off. I find Symantec products very disruptive and have removed them from all my networks.


     7:30 am on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I now seem to have deleted my public folder on my PC. Is there any way to create a new one?


     8:40 am on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I now seem to have deleted my public folder on my PC.

    Do you have a System Restore point you could revert to?


     3:03 pm on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I just tried a couple of restore points Bill but it did not restore the folder.


     5:28 pm on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Ok . . . newest entry in the ongoing saga: this is what I've tried so far:
    1. I spent literally 4 hours with Norton tech support (they even elevated me to a superviser, oh boy) who tried all sorts of things with norton - no result.
    2. I then removed Norton from all my puters - no difference.
    3. I disabled all firewalls,
    4. named the network on all puters the same,
    5. downloaded the Vista protocol to the XP,
    6. Set files on the XP to share
    7. Set the network on Vista to public with file and printer sharing
    8. ran the network wizard on XP (several times). However, I never made a Network setup disk to run on the other computer as suggested by the Wizard.
    9. tried mapping a drive to the XP on the Vista using the XP user name and password, (I even tried mapping with the XP's ip address). I get an error message saying the XP is not set up properly - error 53
    10. created a guest account on the XP
    11. I can ping the XP from the Vista, but "net view" returns an error message, so does "traceroute".
    12. the IP addresses are static so I haven't fooled around with that, besides the Vista can locate the XP ip it just can't communicate with it, if that makes sense.

    The problem remains: the XP can access the Vista public files, even load files into the public dir. on Vista and share the printer which is on the Vista, but Vista cannot see the XP files at all.

    It seems that the problem must lie in how XP is sharing its files. Vista doesn't seem to recognize the protocol XP is using. I have a vague recollection of setting the protocol to something different when I first set up the network with the XP puters - something to do with using an older protocol that's not used on the internet so I could improve security. But for the life of me I can't remember what I did! If anyone has any ideas I'm all ears.


     6:07 pm on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I'm either really stupid or too clever for my own good. I found the problem at long last. When I set up the network about a year ago I dissabled tcp/ip for file sharing. The idea was to make the lan more secure from internet because the lan wouldn't use the internet protocol. Unfortunately, Vista defaults to tcp/ip for file sharing and I forgot that I had dissabled it on the XP.
    So, I reset tcp/ip on the XP and now everything works just fine.

    Like I said: I'm sooooooo clever ;-)


     6:08 pm on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    1) Right-click XP\Control Panel\Network Connections\Adapter Name
    2) Select "Properties" from the popup menu.
    Precisely what boxes are ticked on the "General" tab?

    Repeat for Vista (but I think access to the dialog has changed). Refer to my earlier post for what is normally needed. I don't remember having a problem connecting XP to Vista but I don't remember trying either!

    This article it might be relevant


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