I have finally set up printing and sharing files on both my laptop and desktop and adjusted the firewall. The problem I have is that when both the compiters are on I can see the files and printer and can get into them. But when I come to switch off my desktop computer and try to access the shared folders I can see them in my network places but cannot open them. If I switch on the desktop I can open them and use the printer. Something is wrong somewhere. Can anyone advise me.
When the desktop computer is switched off I can't get the shared files/folders to open on my laptop, neither can I print from the laptop. Surely this is not right. It defeats the object of having shared files/printer for the laptop if you have to have the desktop on as well.
No, that IS right. How can you access shares that are on a desktop if that desktop is switched off? How can you use a printer whose host PC is switched off? This is how it works. If you want to print with the printer's host switched off, you'll need to buy a printer server. If you want to access shares on a client that is switched off, well, you physically cannot. It is just as physically impossible as trying to use a PC that is switched off.
Example: I'm sat in the kitchen with my laptop right now, typing this. While I'm reading this forum I'm also accessing some client files from my desktop in my office. That's the point of file sharing. Not only that, but if you run a commercial office space (I don't, I'm glad to say) with a number of PCs, you want all - or most - of your staff to access most of the files.
If you really want to access the files on your dekstop when it's switched off, then you're going to have to do what everyone else does and copy them to your laptop, perhaps by using the Briefcase system or MS Synctoy.
I was orignally going to just copy over the files to my desktop for printing but someone said I should do it this way. Sorry to have been stupid I must have been misinformed. I'm new to this networking.
That's okay. Personally, I'm happy to leave my desktop and printer on whenever they might be needed. Don't forget that files can go in both directions; I often send files to the Shared Docs folder of another PC if they are likely to be needed on that PC in the immediate future.