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I have a laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium and a desk top with Winows XP Professional...can I set up a home network between the two. Will they be able to "see" each other and how? The desk top is connected to my DSL router with a cable and the laptop is wireless.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, they will be able to see each other, and share files and printers.

I am assuming you got your network basics right, so I'll just state the common requirements for painless Windows networking.

  1. Both computers must be on the same workgroup (e.g Home, or Workgroup).
  2. Firewalls must be configured to allow File and Printer Sharing.
  3. Both computers must be on the same IP subnet (e.g 192.168.1.x)

To change your Workgroup name in XP :

  1. Close all applications and ensure that you are logged in with Administrator privileges
  2. Click Start then select the Control Panel
  3. Click Performance And Maintenance
  4. Click System
  5. Click on the Computer Name tab. Here the current Computer Name and Workgroup are displayed
  6. To change the Computer Name or the Workgroup, click Change
  7. Enter a name for your computer in the Computer Name field
  8. Enter a name for your Workgroup in the Workgroup field
  9. Click OK
  10. If you changed your Workgroup name, a window will welcome you to the new Workgroup
  11. Click OK
  12. When a window prompts you to restart the computer, click OK

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To change your Workgroup name in Vista :

  1. Open the Control Panel, open System, and then click Advanced System Settings in the left column.
  2. Click the Computer Name tab in the System Properties window and then click Change.
  3. By default your computer is set to the workgroup named workgroup. Simply erase workgroup and name your workgroup whatever you like.
  4. Click OK. You’ll have to restart your computer now.

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Potential issues to watch out for:

  1. Make sure "Simple File Sharing" is turned on for effortless networking.
  2. If you get a logon display when you try to access the other PC's files, try typing "Guest" in the username box, with no password.
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What do you want them to be able to "see?" For file and print sharing, yes. You can configure file and print sharing between XP and Vista.

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For XP to participate in Vista's new network protocol, the driver for Vista's protocol must be installed.
See Microsoft Support for "Network Map in Windows Vista does not display computers that are running Windows XP". This protocol driver should be installed on the XP computer.

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