Connect Two WinXP Pro Laptops To Each Other w/Crossover & It Doesn't Work

Posted on 2004-10-30
Last Modified: 2010-04-17
Help!  I two Laptops and a crossover Ethernet cable.  Both Laptops have NICs with RJ-45 jacks.

Windows XP Pro is on BOTH laptops.  Here's what I did:

1) Plugged one end of the crossover cable into the network jack of Laptop #1 and then the other end of the crossover into the network jack of Laptop #2.
2) ON LAPTOP #1: Clicked Start>Connect To>Show All Connections>Local Area Connection>Properties ditto for LAPTOP #2
3) I have in the list in Properties: Client for Microsoft Networks, File and Print Sharing, and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).  Ditto for LAPTOP #2
4) I click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)>Properties>General tab, same for Laptop #2
5) Here are the settings:

LAPTOP #1: Use the following IP address:
LAPTOP #2: Use the following IP address:
LAPTOP #1: Subnet Mask:  -- same for Laptop #2
LAPTOP #1: Default Gateway: -- same for Laptop #2
LAPTOP #1: Preferred DNS Server: -- same for Laptop #2
LAPTOP #1: Alternate DNS Server: blank -- same for Laptop #2

YES, I have "Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP" (on the "WINS" tab under Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)>General Tab>Advanced>WINS Tab) checked on BOTH LAPTOP #1 and #2.

YES, I have the "Computer Browser" service started on Laptop #2.  When I try to start the service on Laptop #1, the Services panel says to me, " The Computer Browser service on Local Computer started and then stopped..." etc etc., and the service stopped.  The service refuses to be started, either in Automatic or Manual mode...

THEN I go on both laptops to "My Network Places" and click "View Workgroup Computers" on the left side-bar on both laptops -- and Windows yells at me: "Workgroup is not accessible..." etc etc.  YES, I have set the "Computer Names" so that both computers are in the "WORKGROUP" work-group -- to no avail.

I am trying to transfer the files and settings from an "old" laptop to a "new" one -- but the problem is there's 4 GB of stuff to transfer... not trivial to do with floppies :)  So I thought using the crossover and file sharing would be a neat solution.
Question by:bhart919191
    LVL 49

    Expert Comment

    Two other suggestions you can try

    a) Create the same username and password in both the laptops and login to that account. Make them both as administrators

    b) Make sure there is no inbuilt ICF firewall running on both of them nor any other firewall

    c) go to start --> run and type in
     NOTEPAD %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\lmhosts

    Notepad should open and will ask you if you want to create a new LMHOSTS file if it is not there.
    Say "yes" and create one

    in that give the IP address and computer names of all the computers involved

    ip address of C1         computer name of C1
    ip address of C2         computer name of C2

    Save the file. Give a DOT (.) at the end of file name and after saving make sure it is saved as
    LMHOSTS and not LMHOSTS.txt

    Now copy this file to the same location in both of the machines.
    now restart all the computers using the same useraccount and check if that would help

    More info on LMHOSTS:

    Post back how it goes

    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    by:Lieven Embrechts
    Did you try to ping ?
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Do you see a link light at each end when you connect the cable?  Perhaps the Computer Browser service on Comp1 is dying because it sees no love connection?

    (What happens if you reverse the ends of the cable?  Does the problem with Computer Browser move to Comp2?)


    Author Comment

    None of these solutions worked, sorry.  I figured it out -- you have to install NetBEUI, provided in the \ValueAdd\MSFT\NET\NETBEUI folder on the Windows XP Professional CD.  The correct procedure, step by step, is listed below, for reference:

    These steps assume you have already enabled File and Print Sharing on both computers.
    OS Ver: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP 2 on Both
    Equipment: 2 Laptops, Crossover Ethernet cable connected to both

    1. Turn both computers on.
    2. Add the same user account (same name, password, and type) on both, and log into said account.  Both accounts must be Computer Administrators.
    3. Connect the crossover cable to each computer's Ethernet port.
    4. Click Start, point to Connect To, and then click View Network Connections.
    5. Disable ALL connections listed (Wireless, 1394 etc etc) EXCEPT the Local Area Connection.
    6. On BOTH computers, right-click Local Area Connection, click Properties, click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), click Properties, click Obtain IP Address automatically so it's selected, and ditto for DNS.  On both computers.
    7. Click OK, click OK, and then click Close.
    8. Close the Network Connections window.
    9. Insert the Windows XP Professional CD-ROM in the drive, and do the following, for each computer in turn:
        1. Open the \ValueAdd\MSFT\NET\NETBEUI folder.
        2. Follow the steps listed at
        3. Do the same on the other computer.  It does not matter the order.
    10. Restart each computer in turn, and login back to the same user account on each.
    11. Right-click on My Computer, click Properties, click the Computer Name tab, assign the computer a name and then click Workgroup, and type a workgroup name.  Ditto for the computer #2.  The Workgroup name must be the same for both.
    12. Click OK on both, click Apply and then Close, and then restart each computer.
    13. Login back to the same user account on each machine.
    14. Open My Network Places, and then click View Workgroup Computers on both computers.  You should see each computer.
    15. Knock yourself out!

    Brian Hart
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    PAQed with points (250) refunded

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