Networking vista laptop to xp desktop

  michaelw 10:18 18 Apr 2010

I have a Vista laptop and an xp home desktop. I have a wired router. I don't necessarily need both to connect to router at the same time as I can easily take out the router cable and plug into either.

I've read loads of different methods and most of the instructions are above my tech knowledge. I followed some instructions and ended up with an error saying the Vista machine couldn't access the xp machine (although I can see it in the network section) because the name of the xp machine isn't a proper name (?). But I can share the printer for some reason but not files.

Can someone (without pointing me to more tech instructions) give me a simplified step by step method. I have a crossover cable which I can connect to both machines.


  fishmad pete 10:32 18 Apr 2010

Which computer is the printer connected to.
Have you set up the network work group name on both computers?

  michaelw 11:26 18 Apr 2010

The printer is set up on the xp desktop (Dell). The network name has been changed to be the same; MSHOME. Both machines have Network sharing boxes ticked, including 'Private'.

  lister_infiji 11:42 18 Apr 2010

When you say you can't share files, do you mean that the XP machine will not allow you to share them, or that they are shared from the XP machine, but the Vista machine cannot access them?

Also, are you using the same network port on the PCs to connect the two PCs together, as you are using when you connect either machine to the router?

If you are then I suspect you may be running into an IP range issue. Can you perform a quick test on this fact?

On XP goto start -> run. Type 'cmd.' In the black box that appears type 'ipconfig' and press enter. For the local area connection, note down the 'IP address' and the 'subnet mask.'

On the Vista machine, same instructions except you type 'cmd' into the text field at the bottom of the start menu.

What are the IP address and subnet mask of each PC?

  lister_infiji 11:43 18 Apr 2010

Oh btw please do that when the two PCs are connected together, and don't do it while you are reading this and still connected to the router.

  michaelw 14:10 18 Apr 2010

...When you say you can't share files, do you mean that the XP machine will not allow you to share them, or that they are shared from the XP machine, but the Vista machine cannot access them?...

I'm not sure, but I think the Vista can't access them.

Both network ports are the one's used for router.

These are the readings:

From XP:

From Vista:

  lister_infiji 16:25 18 Apr 2010

Well they both have APIPA addresses, so should theoretically be able to communicate. You can test this by trying to ping one from the other. Again, in the cmd window, just ping one from the other so for example from the XP box, start -> run -> cmd.. In the cmd box type:


Double check the IP on the Vista box first with ipconfig again because if you have disconnected the cable it may have configured itself to a slightly different address. If you get ping replies you have basic network communication.

I suspect your problem might be because the PCs have no way of resolving the network name of the other back to an IP address.

You can test this theory by trying to connect to shares via IP address. On the XP goto start -> run.. In here type:

(or whatever IP address the Vista box currently has)

If you can connect to the shares this way, then it's a name resolution issue.

If that works I'd suggest just connecting via IP address cos otherwise you'll have to mess with manual IPs and the Windows hosts file, and it will get messy and you might get stuck not beingh able to get back onto the Internet.

  michaelw 13:45 19 Apr 2010

I've been doing a lot of pinging and still no luck. So I decided to go through the network wizard on both machines again. This time I disabled Zonealarm as an error sayng port 445 was blocked. Instead of choosing network I chose file transfer.

Then the Vista machine showed files from My Docs on the Xp machine were being transfered and the XP machine wizard said files were being sent. As I've got a few large files I left them transfering for a few hours and when I looked again both machines said there had been an error so no files had been transfered and to check connections.

I'm close to giving it up.

  michaelw 16:30 19 Apr 2010

I've been troubleshooting for a while longer and still nothing. Judging from the many others with the same problem it seems to be some perversity between the two os's.

I've now gone the other route and copied the files to my external hd from xp and then to vista.

Thanks for your patience.

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