1. Make sure both computers are in the same workgroup. Presumably you have shared the XP folders!
2. In Vista, go to Control Panel > Classic View > Network and Sharing Center and make sure you have Network Discovery, File Sharing and Public Folder Sharing all set to ‘On’ and, if you‘re not using passwords set Password Protected Sharing to ‘Off’, unless you want to set up identical usernames and passwords on all computers in your network. If you have it on, you will be asked for a username and password when you try to access a Vista computer from an XP computer.
To share a Vista folder, click it > Share on the Toolbar > Advanced Sharing, click ‘Share this folder’ > Apply > OK, etc.
As you don’t have Password Protected Sharing turned on, you have to change the security permissions on your folder to allow 'Everyone' access. Right-click the folder > Properties > Security Tab > Edit > Add and type Everyone (not the quotes) into the box and OK. Tick the boxes next to the permissions you want to allow, then Apply > OK, etc. You may see some screens coming up with message 'Error Applying ……..'. These is normal and can be ignored by clicking Continue.
Two little people should appear on the icons of those that are shared. An alternative way of sharing is to drag the folders you want to share to the Public folder.
3. Windows firewall is normally set to allow file and printer sharing but if you have a third-party firewall make sure file and printer sharing is enabled so that each machine can talk to the other(s). Don’t disable the Windows firewall if it’s the only one you’re running.
To see or copy files, click Start > My Network Places (Network in Vista) and the computers/folders/files should appear. Using Windows Explorer, drag them from one PC to the other.
have managed to change the network and sharing centre detail on my section but not on my daughters .when I try and change network discovery it says "windows needs your permission to contiunue and asks for a password, we have never used passwords on the computer.