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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

How to Share a Folder on XP Pro with Vista

If you have an XP Pro computer that you want to share with your Vista computer, the steps are a little different from those on XP Home that I outlined previously. Let's this time call the folder Duran Duran Hits.

  1. Locate the Duran Duran Hits folder using My Computer or Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the Duran Duran Hits folder and choose Properties.
  3. In the Properties window of the folder you want to share, click the Sharing tab.
  4. Click on the Share This Folder button (see Figure 11.16). Assign a Share Name, and enter whatever you like in the Comment field. This gives the shared folder a moniker on the network, and the comment will help you better understand its contents when you click on it on another computer (if it's not obvious).
    Figure 11.16

    Figure 11.16 On the Sharing tab, click the Share This Folder radio button and name it.

  5. Next, click the Permissions button. Everyone will be the default group. Later, in the Permissions section, you can customize your preferences.
  6. If you want to be cautious, check off Allow next to Read and uncheck all other options. If you want to be able to add and delete files in the folder from any machine on the network, click Allow next to Full Control, which auto-selects all the Allow boxes.
  7. After you have decided on the share permissions, click Apply; then click OK and close out all the windows.

Access a Shared XP Folder with Vista

After your XP Pro or XP Home machine is configured using the steps in the previous two sections, flip over to your Vista computer so I can show you how to set it up to access the shared folder(s) on XP:

  1. On the Vista machine, click the Windows button, type Network, and then choose Network and Sharing Center.
  2. In the Network section (with the Access and Connection subheads), look for the word Customize and click it (see Figure 11.17).
    Figure 11.17

    Figure 11.17 Click Customize in the Vista Network settings and set it to Private.

  3. In the Set Network Location window, click the button next to Private and click Next.
  4. When UAC kicks in, click Continue to approve, and then click Close.

This turns on Network discovery on the Vista machine so that other machines on the network (including your XP computer) can detect it.

Now you'll want test whether you can access the XP computer over the network. Here's how:

  1. On your Vista computer, click the Windows button and then click Network on the right side of the Start menu.
  2. You'll see a window with a list of all the computers on your network, including the XP computer you just configured (see Figure 11.18).
    Figure 11.18

    Figure 11.18 When I browse my home network, I can see all the computers connected, including my G5 iMac, a Dell PC running Vista (Vista1), and my Windows XP computer.

  3. Double-click the XP computer's icon and wait for the login challenge.
  4. Enter the name of the XP user account and password you configured earlier (see Figure 11.19).
    Figure 11.19

    Figure 11.19 Enter the XP user account you password-protected earlier to access the shared folder on the XP machine from your Vista computer.

  5. This gives you access to the XP machine and all the folders you have shared on it.

Congratulations! And I mean that sincerely. You just achieved one of the most complicated procedures you can do on your home network.

File-Sharing Troubleshooting Tips

If you can't access the shared folder after all these steps, here's a checklist of a few more file-sharing troubleshooting tips that might help:

  • Check that you are using the correct user account and the associated password exactly as it was typed.
  • Turn off any third-party firewall or security software to see whether it is interrupting the process—on both Vista and XP.
  • The Windows firewall should not be a problem; however, turn it off or tweak it if in doubt.
  • Ensure that both computers are connected to the network.
  • If one or both computers are wireless, ensure they are tuned to your wireless network (that is, your network's SSID) and not your neighbor's.
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