I have three computers:

  • Windows XP Desktop
  • Windows 7 Desktop
  • Windows XP Laptop

And have set up a LAN between them. Sharing files works fine, except the Windows XP Laptop cannot access the Windows 7 Desktop; It asks for login credientals. So:

  • Windows XP Desktop can access both Windows 7 Desktop and Windows XP Laptop
  • Windows 7 Desktop can access both Windows XP Desktop and Windows XP Laptop
  • Windows XP Laptop can access Windows XP Desktop but not Windows 7 Desktop

As far as I can tell all systems have identical and correct network settings. I don't understand why the Win7 machine can access the laptop but not the other way around. Or why the desktop can but the laptop cannot.

One difference between the XP laptop and desktop is that the desktop is XP Professional where the laptop is Home, I believe. Could it simply lack Pro's "anonymous" network access capability? Or is there something I'm missing? Am I forced to create a login on the Win7 to grant access to the laptop?


By "access" do you mean network shares? (The "desktop" usually means what you see on the monitor.) And which version of Windows 7?

It probably won't help, but check first what you have done against :
Share Files and Printers between Windows 7 and XP

With XP Home, the only way to share is through the guest account, which should be enabled on Windows 7 and have the permissions to access the shares. It is the same as using Simple File Sharing in XP Pro.

So question: Do you have Simple File Sharing on?

  • The XP Pro desktop can access Win7's files without login, so I assume this simple file sharing thing is on, yes. All computers are part of the same work group, and all file sharing works fine except from XP Home to Win7 (asks for login). Win7 is Professional. – Core Xii Mar 28 '11 at 12:17
  • Which login do you use XP->Win7 and does it work and is it remembered ? What happens when it doesn't work ? Is guest account enabled and do the shares have permissions for guest and "everyone" ? – harrymc Mar 28 '11 at 12:58
  • I don't need login on the XP Pro to access shared files on the 7 Pro. Guest account isn't enabled on any machine and permissions are set to full access to Everyone. But the XP Home doesn't show the shared files in network and when I double-click the computer in the work group, a login dialog pops up. – Core Xii Mar 28 '11 at 13:59
  • That's because XP Home tries to login to Win7 as guest. Since guest isn't enabled, one needs to supply another valid login. In addition, under Win7 the Everyone group does NOT include Guest. – harrymc Mar 28 '11 at 14:30
  • Enabling and logging in as Guest solved it (which you might want to edit into your answer), thanks. – Core Xii Mar 29 '11 at 6:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.