Simple file sharing on a WAN

Posted on 2003-03-05
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Granted, I'm a network newbie, so bear with me...

We have a frame relay system.  Site A has its router IP address set to; Site B is;; etc.  Site A users log on to a Novell Server ( but Microsoft Networking is still available.  Site B is simply a peer-to-peer network using Microsoft Networking.  Most machines are Windows 98 SE, but some, like mine, are XP Pro.

Workstations at Site A are configured 10.10.3.x, at Site B 10.11.3.x, etc.

I can ping machines both ways (e.g., I can ping from my workstation,, and vice versa), but I cant access the machine in any other way, e.g., to transfer the files.

The machines all have distinct names (e.g., "SiteAUnit101") and all are on the same workgroup, "Workgroup".  Each machine has a "shared" folder, with unconditional sharing.

How can I access files in the shared directory at site B from site A?
Question by:kmoloney
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LVL 79

Accepted Solution

lrmoore earned 1500 total points
ID: 8080298
You should be able to access the Win98 systems at least as long as you can ping them.

try: net use M: \\<ipaddress>\share

If that works, then you simply need netbios name resolution. Unless you have a WINS server, LMHOSTS will help you:

Expert Comment

ID: 8083197
I assume you have these files shared! Now try this- go to the command prompt from your xp machine log on as administrator, and type this:

net view \\share name of PC

- this will tell you what is shared on that PC. If you can see a file or folder, you should be able to access it from where you are! If you cant see anything - your problem is with sharing, if you can see what you want, and still cant access it, then it is with permissions.


Author Comment

ID: 8086632
Okay, both of you are right, and I am able to communicate from one machine to the other; but there's only one problem...how do I have all machines visible to all users on both sides of the pond?  Ideally, I would want all the machines from both locations to appear in Network Neighborhood (in Windows 98).  The LMHOSTS reading is a little thick for me...but I'm not seeing how to write the LMHOSTS file so that it is simply picked up, even if the workgroups are the same.  I can find it, map it, etc., and add it as a network place in XP.  It just doesn't show up in "Workgroup" -

I really don't want my users having to type UNC paths or TCP\IP addresses; nor do I want them to have to get into DOS prompts.  I don't want to have to map the share, because the share could change frequently.  

I would just like them to be able to see the computers and access them quickly and easily if necessary. This is mostly for quick file transferring.

So I'm probably missing something obvious, but I haven't made the leap in understanding quite yet.

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LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 8087790
Then you really need to setup WINS servers, one at each end, with push/pull partnership. Point each users PC to the local one as primary and the remote one as secondary. Viola, everyone is in Network neighborhood.

In XP, you need to enable NETBIOS over TCP/IP also.
Enable NetBios over TCP/IP in WIndows XP
Step 1: Turn On NetBIOS over TCP/IP
Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network and Internet Connections.
Click Network Connections.
Right-click Local Area Connection, and then click Properties.
Click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click Properties.
Click the General tab, and then click Advanced.
Click the WINS tab.
Under NetBIOS setting, click Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP, and then click OK two times.
Click Close to close the Local Area Connection Properties dialog box.
Close the Network Connections window.

Expert Comment

ID: 8090021
Remember, if you enable NetBios over TCP/IP, you will increase your vulnerability. Are these IP addresses, all sites, Static? It looks like you have a subnet set up, check your gateway and your subnet mask!!

Author Comment

ID: 8091992
lrmoore...when you say "set up WINS servers," I'm lost.  Is this a particular machine, and if so, how is it configured.  Maybe you have some references.  I'll check it out myself.

Dawber...how does it increase my vulnerability?  One thing that I definately can't do is that.  I work for a non-profit mental health agency, so you can imagine the lawsuits waiting to happen there.

Yes, all IP addresses, all sites, are static.  We're small enough (100-125 machines at six different sites) to manage that.  Also, I can check my gateway and my subnet mask, but I'm not sure what I'm checking for.  The gateway is in all cases being set to the Site A server ( and the subnet mask is  In my WAG (Wild Ass Guess) thinking, I was thinking that the 240 would allow users from site A (10.10.x.x), B (10.11.x.x), C, (10.12.x.x), D (10.13.x.x), E (10.14.x.x), and F (10.15.x.x).

I will research this over the weekend; I won't be there to implement anything until middle of next week.

Being a newbie, your help is greatly appreciated.  Thankfully, I can't see the eye-rolling, but the world of the business I'm in doesn't allow me much leeway to hire anyone who knows this stuff, and I'm forced to figure it out myself.  Your patience is greatly appreciated.


Author Comment

ID: 8212451
I'm going to end this; the net view and net use both worked will; sorry I can't split the points between you.

Lrmoore, yours helped more because he started straight from pinging the IP address.  I could net [use or view] first only based on the IP address.  Then after I got a response, I could then net [use or view] on the computer name that was returned with the original net command issued on the IP address.

WINS server?  LMHosts?  It's still a mystery - you're skipping a grade on me -- but I think it's been long enough, and one of you deserves the points.  I will follow up, probably, with another topic.  For now, my question has been answered.  Net use \\tcpipaddress.


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