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Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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.
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?
Here are some random ideas you might try:
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.)
What is really frustrating to me is that I am directly connecting two computers together using a Cat 5E cable.
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?
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.
Like I said: I'm sooooooo clever ;-)
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