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XP Home's only 'problem with networking' seems to be that it can't join a Domain. With a home network you're probably just dealing with a Workgroup. XP Home can handle that fine.
I've had good luck on my home networks using the NetBEUI protocol on all machines. Using that I haven't had any trouble seeing all the machines.
What is the $160 upgrade to allow XP Home to run on a domain?
XP Pro. That's what I've seen it cost. Haven't looked today, but I know it's enough to make me mad.
I installed XP pro on my laptop and it made a few things not work... like the mute button built into the case. I guess XP Pro doesn't support all the custom hardware that the OEM versions do that ship with the computer.
Wonder what won't work on my desktop if I upgrade...
You've said: "I've had good luck on my home networks using the NetBEUI protocol on all machines. Using that I haven't had any trouble seeing all the machines".
I understand that on your net you can communicate between computers and share resources like printers and other devices when you say you can see every machine. But with this NetBui protocol are you able to connect to your system a dsl connection and share it as well without problems?
But with this NetBui protocol are you able to connect to your system a dsl connection and share it as well without problems?It's NetBEUI, and yes I've used this protocol to share my connection using modem dial-up, and ISDN. I currently use it with a router on a fiber-optic connection. The type of connection doesn't really matter as you're really talking about the protocol the machines on your network use to talk to one another.
Here's Microsoft's page on using NetBEUI with XP:
How to install NetBEUI on Windows XP [support.microsoft.com]
Have you tried to put both machines in the same "workgroup" with both of them in the same workgroup, and a user ID on both machines that match, you 'should' be able to network them together. Works for me.
To check your workgroup, from the control panel, go into the System, and click on the change button for the domain. Make the workgroup the same for both machines, and try to connect them that way.