Win98/WinXP Networking

JPawlak used Ask the Experts™
I am trying to network my two computers either through TCP/IP or IPX/SPX. One comp is running Win98 and the other has WinXP Home. The comps are connected through a router to connect to the net.

I can get the Win98 client to see/browse itself and the XP machine, I just can't get the XP client to browse files on the 98 client.

I can see the 98 comp in Network Places on the XP machine, but when I click on the 98 icon it says it cannot be accessed.

If anyone can help me solve this problem, or knows of a better solution (besides using a switch), it would be greatly appreciated.
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Ok have you enabled sharing folders and printrs sharing in the win98 computer ,just try to enable it .


First thing is remove the IPX protocal if you have it loaded.  TCP is all the windows file/print sharing needs.  Make sure that the Win98 machine has file & printer sharing enabled, and that something (a folder, a printer) is shared without restriction.


The 98 machine has file and print sharing enabled, and there is something to be shared on both machines.

Why remove the IPX protocal? TCP doesn't work either, and it is less secure. If you can tell how to get TCP to work them I will remove IPX.
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Top Expert 2004

On the xp box, enable Netbios over tcp from the tcp properties, advanced, wins tab (it is not enabled by default), while there, enable lmhosts lookup and create an lmhosts file
put it in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc (this may be hidden, and youwill have to show all files, and unhide system and protected files in windows explorer)

Why remove the IPX protocal? TCP doesn't work either, and it is less secure
don't know where you got that.

first can you ping each machine from the other?
same workgroup?
You could use NetBEUI (the router will protect you, as NetBEUI is non-routable)


I just tried accessing the Win98 machine from another Win98 and I get the same message: \\CompName is not accessible. The computer or sharename could not be found.
Top Expert 2004

from a prompt on both 98 boxes type
ipconfig /all |more
and post the results from both here please
The following instructions can be followed for both Win95 and 98/98se ... I provided this response for an ME to XP peer to peer configuration. Note ... if attepting to network these machines over the internet, the TCP/IP protocol will only be required / used ...

If the following few things are true then the following steps can be followed to allow complete "two" way network communications between ME and XP.

If the following is true:

1. XP ICP (Internet connection firewall) is disabled
2. The following network protocols must be installed on both the XP and ME box (Client for MS networks, file and printer sharing - enabled, TCP/IP and NetBEUI). note NetBEUI is no longer supported on XP and is to be loaded off XP CD.
3. Both PCs are connected via X-Over cable or Hub (NIC's required obviously)
4. if 3rd party firewalls running on either box, ensure a rule is defined to allow access to each machine respectively using IP addresses of each machine. (note: you cannot get ME box to see XP box if using XP firewall, so you may need to buy 3rd party firewall (ie. norton firewall or freeware)
5. A shared directory exists on the ME box, with password recommended!)
6. XP shared documents folder contains the files and folders you wish to share with ME box. XP shares only folders and directories under this root folder. Unless you share the full drive (not recommended).
7. Box ME and XP box have unique computer names, but share the SAME workgroup name (WORKGROUP is standard for windows)


Do the following for the ME box ... Create a user account and assign a password (XP forces a password, you can workaround, but that is another topic). Reboot and login using that account and password (must do this).

Do the following on the XP box ... Create the SAME account as you did on the ME box, using the exact same user name and password, case and all. Grant this account limited access (your choice if you allow admin). Via contorl panel->system->Computer Name tab, select Network Identification and follow through the wizard prompts respectively.

You should now be able to see both machines respectively via explorer under my network places (give the machines some time to negotiate).

Note: You will not be prompt for a password when accessing the XP box via ME, since this information is exchanged dynamically. However, you will need to supply one going the other way.

Good luck ...

P.S. This has been tested on XP Corp at SP1 Level and ME with all service packs. However, there should be no issues with respect to patch levels. The key is having the correct / same protocols, same workgroup names and initializing the network identification on XP box (as connection to network not through a business network). Lastly, you must have the same user accounts (and passwords) on both machines.

I've ran into this problem a couple of times setting up some home networks several months back.  I found a fix for this issue on the Linksys website the first time I ran into it.  There is apparently an entry you can add to the XP machine under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TCPIP\Parameters that works magic.  However, like a fool, I didn't document the fix for myself.  Naturally, the problem has manifested itself again and I can't find the fix anymore...  Anybody out there know what I am talking about... You can mess with all the settings and protocols you want it doesn't help. DC

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