Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Home computer network setup ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Home computer network setup
Category: Computers > Wireless and Mobile
Asked by: jim12345-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 15 May 2003 14:22 PDT
Expires: 14 Jun 2003 14:22 PDT
Question ID: 204276
I am trying to setup a home network. I have a wireless router
connected to a cable modem that provides access to the internet. I
have a desktop computer running windows 2000 professional conected to
the router via an ethernet connection cable. I have a laptop running
windows xp professional connected to the wireless router via a pcia
wireless adapter. The desktop has a floppy drive and a cd rom drive.
The laptop has cd r/w drive and no floppy.
both computers can access the internet via router/cable modem
connection. How do I get the two computers sharing their files and the
printer that is connected to the desktop.? I need a sep by step

Request for Question Clarification by cynthia-ga on 15 May 2003 14:38 PDT
From your desktop, when you click the Network Neighborhood (or My
Network Places), are you able to get to the other computer's hard

I've used this really cool "Network Setup Wizard" that is downloadable
for free that does all configuring for you. I'll locate it for you if
you'd like to try it.

Clarification of Question by jim12345-ga on 17 May 2003 11:36 PDT
No, I cannot get to the hard drives. Yes, I would like to try wizard

Request for Question Clarification by cynthia-ga on 21 May 2003 09:44 PDT
Hi again, XP actually makes this fairly easy. Here's the step by step
instructions for using the Network Setup Wizard that comes with XP...

Steps for creating a home or small office network

I can assist you with any questions you have while you are setting up
the network, I am in the Pacific Time Zone and am available from 10am
to 4pm.

Although the Wizard is for XP, you can use it for the Windows 2000
Basically, what you will be doing is using the Wizard on each machine.

Subject: Re: Home computer network setup
Answered By: funkywizard-ga on 22 May 2003 07:09 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
First, some preparation:

Before anything else is done, you should have your windows
installation disk in the CD Rom drive, as windows may ask for it
during several of these steps. Furthermore, to change many or all of
these settings, you will need to be logged in as an Administrator on
the computers you are working on. Also, I will assume that the desktop
computer is the one with the printer attached. If it is not, please
let me know and I will modify my answer.

Now, on to what is being done. You state you have 2 objectives: Get
file sharing working between the computers, and get printer sharing
working as well.

From your description of the situation, both computers already have
the necessary hardware installed, and can access the internet. That
makes these two tasks easier to accomplish.

In order to get these two things working, a few things will need to be

1 Make sure each computer has a network name and is on the same
2 Make sure each computer has "file and printer sharing" installed
3 make sure each computer has "client for Microsoft networks"
4 choosing which folders to share on each computer, and setting the
5 choosing which printers to share, setting the permissions, and
installing the printer on the remote computer.
6 Actually access the shares between the computers.

I will go over how to do each of these steps. Most steps should be
similar in both windows 2000 and Windows XP. I will try to make note
of where they differ.

The following steps should be done to the windows 2000 computer:

For the first step, choosing a network name and workgroup name, 

Go to Start-Settings-Control panel. Once the control panel is open,
double click "System". At the system properties window, click the
Network Identification tab.

Now click Properties, next to where it says "to rename this computer
or join a domain click properties".

Up comes a window labeled "identification changes". At this point,
fill in whatever you want for the computer name, if nothing is already
entered or if you would like to change the name.

Then, where it says "member of", click workgroup, and then type the
workgroup name of your choice. It does not matter what the workgroup
name is, so long as both computers use the same name. It is preferable
not to use spaces in either the workgroup or computer names.

At this point, you should click "ok" on the top window, and then also
click ok on the window below it. It is likely the computer will ask
you to restart at this point. Do so.

Steps 2 and 3

After your computer restarts, it will be time to make sure the correct
network protocols and clients are installed. To do this, click
start->settings->network and dial up connections. You should see a
list of connections. One may be a modem, on Windows XP, some may be
grayed out. Connections that are not active may have an X through
them, and are not likely to be the ones you want. The one you want
will probably be labeled "local area connection". It is possible,
especially on the Windows XP computer that the name of your connection
has the name of your network card as part of the name, either before,
after, or instead of the name "local area connection", or if you use
DSL, it may have the name of your DSL provider or DSL modem in it.
Regardless, this is the connection used to get you on your local area
network, and the internet.

Once you double click this connection, it opens the local area
connection properties window. This window has a scrolling pane with
the names of services with checkboxes next to them. Look in this
window and make sure the following are listed and have a checkbox next
to them: "Client for Microsoft networks", "File and printer sharing
for Microsoft networks", "internet protocol (tcp/ip)".

If any of these are present but not checked, click the empty box to
the left of the name to turn them on.

If "client for Microsoft networks" is not listed click install, then
double click "client". A window should come up with a list of possible
clients to install. The correct one is "client for Microsoft
networks". Select it and click ok.

If "file and printer sharing for Microsoft networks" is not listed,
click install, then double click "service" A list of available
services should be listed. Double click the one named "file and
printer sharing for Microsoft networks" to install it.

I find it doubtful that "internet protocol (tcp/ip)" would be
disabled, because then you couldn’t use the internet, so we will skip
that for now.

Make note of if the additional protocols "IPX/SPX" or "Netbeui" are
present and enabled. If file and printer sharing does not work after
completing all of the following instructions, you may have to go back
to this part, click each of these two protocols and click uninstall to
get rid of them. Usually it does no harm to have these installed, but
occasionally there can be conflicts.

One last thing to do, is look in the list of installed things for this
connection, and check to make sure there *is not* "QoS packet
scheduler" listed. If this *is* listed, click on it, then click
uninstall. The reason for this is that QoS packet scheduler will slow
down your internet connection, basically by deciding that the
information you are sending is less important than what everyone else
is sending.

Now on to step 4: choosing which folders to share. First, get to the
folders that you use and would like to share. You can do this through
my computer, shortcuts, or whatever it is that you currently use. Now,
select the drive or folder that you would like to share. Right click
this folder or drive and click "sharing". Now you should see a window
that currently says "do not share this folder" (or drive). Click
"share this folder" (or drive). At this point it will allow you to
change the share name (which is the name of the folder or drive by
default), to allow a certain number of people to connect (leave this
alone, it will work fine as default) and to change the permissions for
accessing the folder. Click permissions.

Now opens a window that should initially list the name "everyone"
under the people allowed to use this folder, along with the
permissions listed as "full control allow", "change allow" and "read

There are a couple things with this to consider. If you do not have a
guest account on your computer, or you are feeling particularly
"safe", you can leave this the way it is. However, I would recommend
changing "full control" to deny, and also set "change" to deny as
well. Then make sure that only "read" is set to "allow". You should
make the settings look like this for any folder with important things
in it you don’t want strangers to delete or alter, especially since
you are using wireless networking. What these settings do is allow
anyone who can login to your computer (anyone with an account that is
not disabled) access to the folders you specify. This is probably what
you want, but if desired you can set permissions for individual users
by clicking "add" then double clicking a user name that you wish to
add, and modifying their access privileges in the same way as you did
with the "everyone" group. You can also remove any user that has
access rights by clicking the user and clicking remove.

It is best to remove the "everyone" group from the allowed users if
you are not sure if the Guest account is disabled or not and you find
the information you are sharing on the network to be of a sensitive
nature. In this case, you should add individual users.

After you have set the permissions for all the folders you want to be
able to access, you should create an "uploads" folder. This is simply
a folder named whatever you want, that does not have anything
important in it, and has its sharing permissions set to allow full
control by the "everyone" group (or whichever users you feel
comfortable allowing full access to the folder). This will allow you
to send files to this computer without allowing people to delete the
files already on your computer.

After you've done all this, your windows 2000 computer should be set
up to allow your other computer to access its files, and to allow it
to send files to a specified folder on the hard drive.

Now its time for step 5: sharing the printer.

First of all, make sure your printer is properly installed on the host

Now, click start->settings->printers. You should see the name of the
printer you wish to share. It is probably your default printer, and
would have a check mark on it. Right click this printer, and click
sharing. It should open a properties window with the sharing tab
showing. Make sure this screen has the "shared as" button filled in,
and type a name for your printer to be shared as. Then click the
security tab, and add or remove permissions as you did earlier for
files. The user group "creator owner" should have the permission
"manage documents" enabled, so that anyone who started a print job may
later cancel it. "Manage printers" can be enabled for anyone you trust
to change the printer settings, and "print" should be enabled for
anyone who should be able to print from the printer. Again, it is not
recommended to allow the "everyone" group full access (or in most
cases, any access) to the printer.

At this point, the windows 2000 machine is ready for file and printer
We'll get to step 6 after we've gone over setting up the Windows XP

Now, on to setting up the Windows XP machine for file and printer
sharing: For the first step, you should be able to follow the same
directions as given above for the windows 2000 computer.

For steps 2 and 3, the steps given above are for the most part what
should be done, but one must keep the following additional things in

Firstly, the control panel to find your available network connections
is usually called "network connections" instead of "network and dial
up connections". Also, Windows XP organizes these connections a little
more than windows 2000. Windows XP will organize these connections by
type. The connection you want is almost certainly listed under the
heading "LAN or high speed internet".

Lastly, in addition to disabling "QOS packet scheduler", one should
disable both "802.1x security" and the "Internet Connection Firewall"
both of which have caused problems on the networks I have worked on.
In order to disable these things, stay at the "local area connection
properties" window. There should be additional tabs on the windows xp
machine that the windows 2000 computer did not have.

The first is labeled "Authentication". Click this tab and then make
sure that the box labeled "Enable network access control using IEEE
802.1x" is disabled (not checked). The rest of the window should grey
out at this point.

The next tab is labeled "Advanced". Click this tab and then make sure
that "internet connection firewall" is disabled (not checked), as in
addition to providing additional security as stated, having it enabled
will disrupt file and printer sharing. Windows will ask if you really
want to do this. Click yes. If your wireless internet gateway is
configured the way most are, it performs the same function as the
internet connection firewall without interfering with file and printer
sharing anyway, so there is no reason to leave it enabled.

For step 4 with the windows XP machine, most of step 4 from before is
followed, but with some important changes due to the way Windows XP
file sharing is installed by default.

By default, windows XP file sharing is in what is known as "simple
file sharing" mode. This means any network share you create will be
accessible by anyone on the network without first asking for a
password or a login. If you really want to have this be the case, you
can do so, but honestly, this is asking for disaster, particularly on
a wireless network. Anyone within a few blocks of your house with the
right equipment would be in the position of being able to delete any
files you had shared in this case. has an
article titled "Windows XP Professional File Sharing"
that goes over how to disable simple file sharing and set up all the
specifics of the less simple file sharing.

To disable simple file sharing: 

Click Start->My Computer->Tools->Folder Options->View. 
Scroll to the bottom of the list of advanced settings and un-check Use
Simple File Sharing (Recommended).
Click OK. 
(These instructions were taken from practically networked at

Windows XP requires you to create user accounts when it is installed.
You will use the logon information (user name and password) to access
the files you have shared. However, windows xp allows user accounts to
be created without a password. If your accounts have no passwords, you
will either be required to add a password to an account, or change
file sharing settings to allow sharing files with an account that does
not have a password. If this is the case, practically networked has
detailed instructions for doing either of these things here:

The instructions for actually sharing specific folders is the same,
except when right clicking the folder, click "sharing and security"
and then navigate to the "sharing" tab.

The method used to add new users to the share list is also slightly
different. After you click add, you must click the "advanced" button
and then click "find now". It will then show a list of users and
groups available to add or remove permissions for. You can click a
name (control click to add more than one) and then click ok to add
them to the list of users that may access the folder you are sharing.

That should do it for the xp machine for step 4.

Now, on to accessing the shared printer: First, get to the printers
control panel from by clicking start->printers and faxes. Now, where
it says "Printer Tasks", click the "Add a Printer" button. Click next,
and then select "a network printer, or a printer attached to another
computer" and then click next. Now click where it says "connect to
this printer..." and fill in the name in the following way:


At this point click next. The computer may ask if you want to make
this your default printer. You will want to click yes, unless you
usually will be printing to another printer.

Now click finish.

In the previous steps, you may be asked to login to the windows 2000
computer. Simply provide the user name and password of an account that
you have set up to be allowed access to the printer. If you are not
asked this now, you may be asked this when you choose to print, or you
may have the same login name and password on both computers.

In the process of adding the network printer, windows will try to
download the printer drivers from the remote computer. Usually this
works, but since the printer is installed on a windows 2000 computer,
the drivers sent to the remote computer will probably be windows 2000
drivers. Again, this is not likely to be a problem, but it is possible
that these drivers will be compatible with windows 2000 and not with
windows xp. If this is the case, or if you don't want to take the
chance, you should install the correct windows xp drivers for your
printer onto the windows xp computer prior to adding the network
printer to that computer. These drivers should be on the installation
disk that came with your printer.

Now that all that is over with, it's time to be able to access your
shared files.

The easiest way (for me anyway) to do this is simply to click start,
then run and up comes a box allowing me to type in a command. At this
point you would type \\ then the name of the computer. It may ask you
to login, at which point you provide a valid user name and password,
and it will show you a window with all the shared folders and drives
listed, which you can use. If it did not ask you to login, it will do
so when you try to access a folder. If it still doesn't ask you, it is
because the computer you are using has the same user name and password
of an account on the other computer that is allowed to access the
files you are accessing.

Another way to access the shared files if you do not want to remember
the computer names verbatim is as follows. On the windows 2000
computer, click "my network places", and then click "computers near
me". This will show all computers on your local network that have the
same workgroup name (which you set earlier). Then double click the
name of the computer you would like to access and proceed as outlined
earlier. On the windows xp computer, this is done similarly, by
clicking "My Network Places", at which point it may show your
workgroup computers, or the folders and computers you have recently
accessed. If it does not, click the button "view workgroup computers".
You should now see the same computers as you did in windows 2000 and
can proceed in the same way.

One thing I should mention about share names is that if you end a
share name with a $, then it will not show up when listing what shares
a computer currently has available. For sharing documents that you
don’t want others to access, you may do this, but it means you will
have to type the name of the shared folder in manually.

I hope this is everything you need to know to install printer and file
sharing on the two computers you have and get everything working
properly. In the event that these steps do not lead to file and
printer sharing working between the two computers, I feel confident
that by getting some more information from you, I can give you the
additional steps needed to get it working properly. The instructions
given thus far are expected to work for the majority of setups similar
to yours, but there may be some details that would make your situation
different. If anything doesn't work, or I overlooked something
important, please ask for a clarification and I will be happy to get
back to you as soon as possible with a solution.

Search strategy:

file and printer sharing in windows xp

authentication security tab windows xp networking

adding a network printer in windows xp

Links and resources used:

Windows XP Professional File Sharing

Adding Windows XP to an Existing Network

A first view of Windows XP Networking

Adding Network Printers to Windows XP

File and Printer Sharing With Windows XP

Request for Answer Clarification by jim12345-ga on 26 May 2003 11:04 PDT
Your step by step instructions are very good and I am able to share
files between the two computers. I am still having trouble with the
printer. I have tried several times to carry out your instructions
using the printer install wizard. I get up to the laptop asking about
signing on the the desktop in which I put the user name and password
for the desktop. The next message is that it cannot install the
printer. I am a little confused about your expanation about printer
drivers. I am trying to remotely access a printer on the desktop that
is running windows 2000 professional. I am trying to access it on my
laptop which is running windows XP professional. The printer is an HP
Deskjet 895Cse. Do I need a driver for this printer for xp installed
on my laptop? or do I need the xp driver installed on the desktop? or
do I need a windows 2000 professional driver installed on my laptop? I
am close to solving my problems
Thanks, Jim

Clarification of Answer by funkywizard-ga on 26 May 2003 16:24 PDT
This is unfortunately what I had hoped would not happen. What is
happening is that the computer with the printer on it is running
windows 2000, and is saying to your windows xp machine basically "hey
you don't have any drivers use these" at which point your windows xp
machine is saying "hey i cant use these silly, im running windows xp".

So, the solution to this is to get the drivers disk, or download the
drivers off of hp's website, and install the windows xp version of
these drivers onto the windows xp computer that you are using, before
adding the printer using the instructions that you have been

Quickly checking the hp website, I found a document that relates to
your situation:

"HP Deskjet Printers - Installing the Printer with the Driver Included
in Microsoft(R) Windows XP";jsessionid=ZZJ2MIJRCWTLTQEXGRMENZQ?reg=nam&cc=us&docName=bpd09005&lc=en

I'm thinking that the best way to get this to work is to temporarily
hook up your printer to your laptop, follow the instructions on the
website I just linked to (just to get the correct drivers installed),
and then afterwards, hook the printer back up to the desktop, and
follow the instructions I gave you earlier for adding the network
printer. At this point, since the printer already has the correct
drivers installed, it should use those instead of trying to download
the incompatible windows 2000 ones.

I believe that this will solve the problem you are having, but if it
doesn't, please let me know and I'll look into how to get it working
for certain.

Best of luck
jim12345-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
The anwer from Funkywizard was very thorough and complete. I had some
problems but they were mostly my own lack of understanding. It was
well worth the price.
Thanks Funky,Jim

Subject: Re: Home computer network setup
From: maller-ga on 18 May 2003 21:48 PDT
Before you do anything, you should make sure both computers are in the

1) right click the "My Computer" icon on each of them, and choose
"Properties" from the menu that pops up.

2) choose the tab called "Computer Name" on the windows XP machine (i
think it's called the same on windows 2000)

3) you should see a WORKGROUP name.

If these names don't match, change one of them to match the other by
clicking on the "Change..." button

Once you've restarted, bring up your "My Network Places" icon, and
browse your local network. The two computers should be there.

Steve Maller
Subject: Re: Home computer network setup
From: beckybob-ga on 21 May 2003 05:23 PDT
I am anxious to find the answer to this question myself. I have a
Windows98 computer which does see my wireless network, and a Windows
XP Pro computer which does not (although it sees the internet just
fine). All computers are members of the same workgroup.

I had to install NETBUI for the Windows98 computer to work for file
sharing, but I do not see any way to install it on a Windows XP

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy