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Windows Vista can't access my XP PC and vice versa

By jcroot · 19 replies
Jun 10, 2008
  1. Hello everyone!

    I found this forum while searching in google for some answers and I'm having aproblem with my wireless network. One day when I came from school (still in high school) I decided to buy a Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router Model: WRT54G2 so my father can have internet access. I setup my wireless correctly and everything seems to be working fine, but what I would like to learn is how to setup a wireless network in order to share files and folders (including my printer). I tried to start with this but for some reason is not working.

    This is the situation, i have a desktop PC with Windows Vista, my printer is connected via wired to my desktop PC and this PC is also connected via wired to my wireless router. My dad has a laptop with Windows XP SP3 that is connected via wireless to my wireless router and I would to be able to share files and folders with his laptop, also I want him to be able to use my printer with his laptop. Can this be possible?

    Both computers are currently connected to the Internet, both have Internet and are in the same workgroup called "Home".

    Here are 3 images of all the errors that I'm getting.




    Thanks for any help!
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,309

  3. gabbana

    gabbana TS Rookie

    I had exactly the same problem. In my case it was down to the differing anti-virus/firewall software I was using. (AVG on one, and Avast! on the other.)
    In order to solve the issue I unistalled both temporarily, got the network working correctly, then re-installed the same software on both machines.
  4. jcroot

    jcroot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Thanks for the replies.

    This is what I tried so far:

    1: CMD and then ipconfig /all

    Subnet mask: for both computers
    DHCP Servers: for both computers

    2: I created a home network on my father’s laptop with the network setup wizard (which is XP and is connected to the internet via wireless), after I tried this I restart the laptop and somehow I was able to see my father’s laptop from my vista desktop PC. To test it I move a image file from my desktop PC to my dad’s PC and I was able to see the image in the laptop.

    However, after a few minutes I wasn’t able to see my father’s laptop any more, I didn’t make any other changes at all and I’m not even able to see my father’s laptop in the network, my desktop PC is the one who I’m able to see.

    I went back to the laptop and open the network workgroups and this time I only see my father’s laptop and not my desktop.

    I have AVG 8.0 antivirus on both computers but I just uninstalled them and not changes, same thing.

    What else can I try guys?
  5. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,832   +191

    Is your dad the admin for the laptop? I've seen this problem when I tried to get the Vista laptop to see the rest of the house. The problem is with the discovery on the vista laptop. Also the firewall you use should have a trust zone where you have bla, bla IP address range you setup in the router to match the firewall software.

    Open the Network of workgroups then click on view network (discovery does the system shown your network layout. Once you open the network work on vista laptop is should see the network? If not then look in the services.msc and make sure Computer Browser service is started and set to auto and Network Connections. Otherwise you won't see your XP in Vista. To see the Vista in XP do the same thing.

    I got this to work on XP Pro SP2 and Vista Business SP1.
  6. jcroot

    jcroot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Thanks for your reply but I'm not an expert user, can you or sombody else please expalin these steps with details?

    Also, my desktop pc is the one with vista, my dad's laptop have xp and yes my dad is admin for this laptop.
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,832   +191

    I am on my Vista Business SP1 laptop.. Okay let's make this happen!

    1. click on flag
    2. click on network

    Do you see any of the listed XP computers listed here?

    3. click on network and sharing center

    4. Sharing and Discovery

    make it these settings...


    See the workgroup name it should say Private (network)

    Change default:
    Tipstir (Public Network)

    Change to:
    Tipstir (Private Network)

    Make sure you give your network a Name in this example I call it Tipstir.

    Note: SSID - Tipstir for the main wireless router and any access points WAP or bridge SSID- tipstir
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    A few things i can add:

    1. You didn't indicate if you're running XP Home or XP Pro? XP Home can be a much bigger pain to get working and has some issues different then Pro
    2. One of the often unrecognized properties of the Windows Network is "change" can often take 10-12 minutes before being reflected in the Windows network. Some changes can actually take up to 45 minutes or so!
    3. How do you go looking for and determine missing computers? To get a consistent (and correct view) you gotta use My Network Places in XP. Called something similiar but a bit different under Vista (don't recall it's Vista name)
    4. There's ALOT of things that might be involved if you need troubleshoot the problem into the Computer Browser Service

    As it happens, i just published the first 2 parts out of a 3 part Troubleshooting Guide for File and Printer Sharing problems I've been working on. It does explain alot about common problems and explain things like the Computer Browser Service. However, all its detail is focused on XP. But it does explain how many of the pieces to the puzzle fit together (just the shape of some of the pieces are a bit different under Vista).

    Try these links for Part1 and Part2. Can get into your specifics more here in this thread.
  9. jcroot

    jcroot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Hi and thanks for your reply.

    I'm running Windows XP SP3 PRO (this is my father's laptop) and I made all the changes to mentioned above, here is an image of what I currenly have in my desktop vista PC:

  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,832   +191

    Looking good! Now what's the next image look like when you click on view full map?

    That network icon can be changed to a house image very easy to do and plus you should give the workgroup a name: So instead of NETWORK it could be called what ever your have for SSID.

    On mine the full map shows

    computer name of the PC I am on
    Wireless Access Point
    plugin play unmanaged 8-port switch
    Wireless Router

    Is everything working now?
  11. jcroot

    jcroot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56


    Thanks again for your help, now the problem seems to get better...

    I changed my network name for the same name that I have for my SSID in my wireless router.

    I'm now able to see my dad's PC from my desktop vista PC. I'm also able able to see my desktop vista PC from my dad's xp laptop but I'm not able to open my PC.

    Here are some images of the error message when trying to view my desktop vista pc from my dad's laptop XP. Here is also an image of my full network map.

    Few more questions... do I need the same settings that I made in my desktop vista PCif I want to connect another laptop to my network that has vista on it?
    I tried the same settings for my sister's laptop and everything seems to be working OK but when ever she tries to open my desktop vista PC from her vista laptop she will be asking for a user and pass...


    Windows XP SP3 Pro error when trying to open my desktop vista PC:


    Network full map:

  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    1. You must have XP Simple File Sharing turned OFF (because you have Vista Password Protected turned ON) To check: Control Panel-> Folder Options -> View. Scroll towards the bottom of Advanced Settings and check Simple File Sharing is NOT checked.
    2. To solve authentication issues, make sure each computer has the same user account created where userid AND password are identical on each computer for each of the user accounts
    3. Not sure if you've checked to make sure no firewalls are blocking required network ports. (No need if things start working but otherwise be sure to check port usage and firewalls). You can do as similar as described for XP computers in that guide: i.e. test after first turning firewalls off, and test using LANspy to view open UDP and TCP ports on your LAN
  13. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,832   +191

    Thanks for the pictures it really helps to fix your problem.. The wireless router seems to have on ANT is that correct? The Picture will show you what your router will look like. If it has Vista support or plugin play you can get the real picture of it. Example DLINK DIR-655 shows up like the model it looks like.

    Now you have www.blabla.com what's that.. Could be the name of the wireless router. They have names too beside the SSID. I would call it WR000 or something else. I'll leave that up to you.

    Now something else I should have mention to you is how do each one of you connect?

    Limited users

    To fix that problem each person should be able to login and have full access to each system. If they don't then you get that error. So say you share drive, folder, or printer and you give it permission for each member or by admin. Sometimes you'll see:



    read only

    So you and your sister should have full access to all the files and folders you select. I can right now open from XP box the Vista laptop and access it's shares or printers or files.

    Do this..

    click on start from xp
    click on run
    type: \\computername\C$

    if you get something that reads computername\Guest then you know something is not setup correctly on that PC. Permissions or the Guest account is running and needs to be disabled and asking you for a password. If you have rights you won't get this prompt and should be able to access the share folders or the drive in this case C:\ which is not shared out.

    Give it a try and see what you come up with. I am glad you're making head-way with your mixed network Vista and XP.
  14. jcroot

    jcroot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56


    Thanks for your reply and all your help. Sorry for replying kind of late but I was kind of busy with some school work and also sad because I still can't get my wireless network to work the way I want it.

    I Turned OFF "XP Simple File sharing". My sister is the admin for her windows vista laptop, my father is the admin for his windows xp pro sp3 laptop and I'm also the admin for my windows vista desktop. None of us are using password in order to log in into windows.

    This is what is happening now... in my windows vista desktop pc when I go to network I only see my sister's pc and my own desktop pc. I'm not able to open my sister's pc because of some permission issues. I'm not able to see my dad's laptop even that his laptop is turned on.

    When I go to my father's laptop and click on network I'm not able to see my desktop pc neither my sister's pc, I'm only able to see my dad's PC.

    What could be wrong?
  15. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    You have a mix of computers, users, operating systems and network connections all a part of your “File and Printer Sharing” problem. (I’ll call it F&PS for brevity). Getting the F&PS puzzle to work can sometimes be a challenge even when having a much more homogeneous set of variables to deal with.

    I suggest you stick to a more methodical approach to the puzzle (i.e. start with a smaller number of variables we can control, get those to work and then start adding the remaining variables back in).

    Step one:
    Let’s inventory your current setup. I may have missed some things when I skimmed through the thread so if you could please help fill in the blanks. As I understand it, you have 3 computers and your router. For the 3 computers (and please be careful to assure the Computer and Workgroup Names listed below are identical to those on your network (including upper/lower case and use of special characters)

    Who’s it for:......................jcroot.....................Dad.......................Sister
    Computer Name:
    Operating System.............Vista (vers?)..........XP Pro SP3...........Vista ?
    Current Connection..........Wired.....................Wireless
    Attached Devices..............Printer...................None
    (for sharing)

    All of these computers are connected using a Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router Model: WRT54G2

    Step 2
    I’d like to remove “wireless” from the picture for now (it’s a variable that can add it’s own layer of issues so let’s start without it.) Sounds like Dad is the only wireless device? Can we test all 3 computers using only the wired LAN connection? To do, this disable the Wireless connection on each

    If sounds reasonable, supply the remaining info in step1. Stop wireless per Step2. Next, shutdown all 3 computers. Restart one computer. Once you see windows desktop you can start the next computer. Likewise to start the 3rd.

    How;s it look? And wait and retest about 15 minutes to re-verify it still looks the same.

    If problems, you should retest with all computer firewalls turned off. Shut them all down. disconnect from your ISP. now start them up as before. and test.

    And tipstr: sounds like you;ve had more hands on with vista. Would be a help if you could also verify the right Vista settings / indicate ways for a controlled approach for the Vista integration testing into this F&PS puzzle.
  16. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,832   +191

    Do this...

    Add your user name to all the PCs as the admin
    Login to all these PCs using the same login name with admin rights.

    Now does each PC see each other?
    Now does each PC can access each other shared files, folders, printers?
    Can you map network share drives?

    You might have to fix the NetBIOS on each PC
    If you go under Connect To (show connections
    Right click on the NIC or wireless card
    Click on properties
    Click on TCP/IP Internet Connections then on properties
    Click on Advanced
    Under Metric add your router IP address.
    Under WINS tap make sure that NetBIOS is set to default.

    Reboot all PCs
    Login to all of them and see if you can access the data, shares, printers and be able to see the PCs.

    If so, then login one at a time each use and make sure the same is sure.
  17. jcroot

    jcroot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    So you want me to add my username as a new user account to my sister and dad's PC? right? then you want me to log in to my sister's pc and dad's pc with the username that I just added?
  18. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,832   +191

    Pretty much.. You need to test out what would happen if you use your ID as the admin on all the PCs yours, sister, and dad. Now test out everything I've mentioned above. If all works out correctly. Then you have to login as your sister and see and then your dads login and see what happens. Some sort of permission error in folders and mapped (if you use mapped driver or shared folders)

    One thing I use in my network, and it's really up to you to give it a shot.

    One PC is assigned as the MY DOCUMENTS folder.. Everything from pictures, documents and music would be downloaded to that PC.

    Each PC would have to be setup to point towards that PC as the MY DOCUMENTS FOLDER.

    \\computername\jcroot documents

    Something like that you could do. .This way if your C gets hit with a trojan or anything else on the other PCs used by your dad and sister. You all don't have to worry about lost data.

    Then on that PC with MY DOCUMENTS on it you can schedule backups to image or DVDRW for safe keeping. Now with this type of setup you can give permission to everyone on your network or on certain shared folders or files. This is what is done in most companies.
  19. insoman

    insoman TS Booster Posts: 101

    dont you need to set your user accounts with a password to do all this?
  20. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,832   +191

    Not going to work otherwise.. Just like we do here in corp company with the admin password. One user who can login to all PCs with admin rights. Good test bed to see if all the PCs under the same user password and login ID.
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