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Both PC's can get on the net, but can't share files

Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Here's my setup:  
2 computers (1 with XP Home and other with XP Pro) connected to a router to a cable modem with AOL broadband.  Both PC's can get online just fine.  However they can't see each other on the network, so i can't share files.  Both are on MSHOME workgroup, each has a different name, and both have Internet Connection Firewall's turned on.  

I have tried PING'ing the computers by way of their IP addresses and it fails both ways.  How come the network allows both computers online, but won't connect to each other?  Thanks for the help in advance!
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Hi howland,

have you turned file sharing on under networking or the device manager (you can get to both from the control panel).


What ip address's and subnet mask have you given each PC ? What router do you have ?

This one is on us!
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Top Expert 2004

In addition to the good advice above, is NetBIOS over tcp enabled on both?
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.
also make sure the computer browser service is started on both
start -->run type services.msc
find the computer browser service, and if not started, right click, properties,  start and set to auto
Another test you can try if all the other suggestions fail is install IPX/SPX on both PCs and see if they can see each other.  That may also show there was a NetBIOS problem if IPX/SPX works.

Also, I used to have two seperate IP addresses for my cable modem connection.  One for each PC.  While they were both on the Internet, and plugged into the same hub, they could not see each other because they were being masked from each other by the ISP.  If you install IPX/SPX and can see each other, it is likely that the ISP is doing something to shield their customers from other customers, thus, not allowing you to see the other PC.  You mentioned you are going through a router, so I'm GUESSING that your router is getting an IP address and you are using NAT or some other connection sharing method to utilize that single address, but if you have seperate IPs for each PC assigned directly, then this could be an issue.


I will start trying some of those tips.  I must also add that this problem just started like 2 or 3 weeks ago.  My network was working great for about 6 months, then I had AOL problems and my service was really slow.  In the process of trying to fix it I may have changed a setting or 2.  Now Internet works great, but no file sharing.  Yes, File and Printer Sharing is check marked under "This connection Uses the following items" in the Local Area Connection Properties on both PC's.  Two quick question:

1.)  I have XP firewalls turn on (check box is checked) on both computers.  Are they supposed to be or not?
2.) On the main computer with XPHome, there's an option for INterenet Connection Sharing.  I have this UNCHECKED, is it supposed to be?
Remember I can get online with both computers, but can't see them in the network.  

I still can't ping the computers.
PS:  My router is a Belkin (I used to use a D-Link)
Top Expert 2004

>> I have XP firewalls turn on (check box is checked) on both computers.  Are they supposed to be or not?

No, turn them off, this si probably why you can't share files

Top Expert 2004

I don't suggest going with out a firewall (even though your router should have one built in) so check out zonealarm
free, and more configurable than the built in one
SP2 is supposed to address the firewall issue (make it more configurable) but SP2 is still in beta


Thanks for the help everyone, I figured it out.  Of course it was the firewalls.  I had to turn them off.  So now i have to find a program to firewall my PC's.  Should I get Norton Firewall?  I'll check out that website Stevenlewis.  Thanks.  
Top Expert 2004

howland, glad we could help!
You must have misssed chicagoan's post about the firewall?

chicagoan see here
gee - LOL
Comment from chicagoan
Date: 02/14/2004 03:30PM EST
 Your Comment  

and turned offthe XP firewalls?
'sto bene

he's got his answer, I never do anything if stevenlewis doesn't agree it is the correct course of action!

Top Expert 2004

OK, we'll go this route then :-)
Top Expert 2004

Nah, just like to be fair :-)


Sorry about the error.  I couldnt tell from chicagoan's comment if the firewall should be on or off, so i went with what i thought it should be, which was on.  Sorry for the error, my bad chicagoan.  Thanks for the correction stevenlewis.
we usually agree... it's just who click's submit first...

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