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Networking wired and wireless xp machines to share documents

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-16
I am trying to help a friend network 10 computers in his office.  3 wired and 7 wireless.  So far this is what I have.  The DSL modem is connected to a Linksys 4 port router.  The Linksys router is connected to is has connected to it a 8 port TrendNet router and a Linksys wireless-g (WRT454GS) router.  All machines can connect to the internet.  

MY PROBLEM:  I cannot share documents between PC's.  All machines are running xp professional except for one which is running xp home.  I have disabled widows firewall on all machines and used windows to create a workgroup.  When I view computers in workgroup, only one pc shows another pc in the workgroup but I cannot access it.  A couple of the machines have Norton.  I have setup Norton to allow a range of IP addresses to access those machines but that didnt help either.

Where am I going wrong? Please help....    
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Have you made sure to disable simple file sharing in the explorer options? Also, make sure the settings are correct in both routers. If it's not plugged into the DSL modem, but plugged into another router it has to be setup as a gateway, or else the data isn't replicated across the network, hence not seing other computers. Then you have to verify the permisisons are correct on each machine, and you have generic user id's or gueast accounts activated and setup to allow access.

I would however suggest getting a unused computer and setting it up as a server, this will solve lots of problems, espically if you create your own domain. The best part is you can use Linux(Free) and OpenLDAP(Free), and Samba(Free) and your end users will never know the diffrence, there XP machines will never notice there not using a Windows Server.

share at least one Folder on each PC.
tick on share files and folders on the tcp/ip settings.

Without a server it is very hard to veiw through the network neighborhood etc.

Share a directory on a machine....give complete access for now.  Go to your internet explorer on another computer and type in the ip address of the machine you just shared out.

Like this... \\ip address

Then you should see the share.
1 - Turning off Simple File Sharing

---1. Double-click My Computer on the desktop.
---2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
---3. Click the View tab, and then clear option to Use Simple File Sharing.
---4. Then share the folder or drive by right clicking it and selecting SHARING and SECURITY.
---5. Click Share this folder. Give it a name and set permissions for everyone or specific people. If it is a drive.. click new share and give it a name and the permissions. (You wont "SEE" a drive or folder ending in $ it will be hidden)

2 - Disable firewall. Click Start, click Run, type wscui.cpl and then click OK. Turn firewall off.

3 - Access the share by either going to Network Neighborhood and the workgroup. Or by entering FQDN name/IP in the browser window like this:




the ip is the ip of the PC your accessing.


   Let me explaine what Im trying to do.  This is a lawyers office and he wants to have access to everyone's files because they are working on different cases for him.  A couple of other people need access to each others files to do their job.  Do you still suggest using and unused computer (which he doesnt have, but can get) as a server or can it be done without.  Im on my way to his office to check on "simple file sharing"

A seperate server would have the added benefit of NOT requiring all machines be POWERED ON to access the shares.. having a "network server" house the files is not a bad idea, but you CAN setup filesharing the otherway, but have to have the machines ON to get at em.


i have attempted to disable simple file sharing followig instuctions provided but there is no Use Simple File Sharing box to uncheck.  All machines at SP2 installed.  I just tried it on my home computer and that option is not available either.

clarification on kamichie's first response:  Do I need to create a guest account on each machine?

From your description, you have three different routers.  File sharing is not enabled between routers by default.  You need to get them all on the same lan segment so they can share files.

I, also, recommend a file server.  It will allow you to share documents and will make it easy to back them up.  For the cheap solution, I would also use Linux.  If he wants to start restricting certain people to certain documents, you may want to recommend a Windows small business server
simple file sharing :

1- double click my computer

2- Click tools / folder options

3- Click View

4- In advanced settings its the LAST option (scroll down)
regarding the routers :. if they are on the different SUBNETS you are right, if they are on the same subnet it doesnt matter it will work.
The routers need to be configured as gateways, this makes them foward all data to the main router and vice versa.
Also, I suggest setting up a domain/file server. Then the lawyer can access all case files whenever he wants in one simple directory, not to metion easy backups and etc. This will cost you as much as the hardware you are willing to run this on, and i'll tell you from personal experience I have had a domain/ file sever with 100 gigs of space serving 200 users run without a problem, and it was a 1 Ghz 512 MB machine. Not to metion you could install OpenVPN and he could setup his users with access from home, all for the cost of one decent computer. Its a wondeful idea, I would highly recommend it.

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to say how the routers need to be configured you need to know the ip and subnets being used. routers can be configured without gateways if they are on the same subnet.

@Amjor- what schema for ip and subnetmasks is being used.

In order to avoid using the server option you would have to have all machines on the same subnet.

if you plan on using the server, you will need to either same subnet everything.. or configure gateways.
You can spend days getting this to work with just TCP/IP protocol.  If you are in a hurry and need a quick fix, install IPX with netbios over IPX on all systems (a protocol) and share all drives on each computer, and you will be running on all 10 systems within 1 hour, guaranteed.  Some people terrified of IPX, but it is the most robust local networking protocol there is, better than TCP/IP, which is for internet access.
The purpose of a router is to transfer data between subnets.  Some routers allow you to "bridge" connections instead of route connections, but not all routers have this feature.  It's actually easier to bridge two segments by putting another nic card in one of the desktop running XP.  Connect one NIC to the trendnet and one NIC to one of the ports on the wireless router.  Getting all three routers working to allow MS file sharing is not a task for the faint of heart.  

I looked on the trendnet website and could not find an 8 port router, so I would guess that the trendnet is a switch and not a router.  I also am going to guess that the wireless router is the linksys wrt54gs, not a wrt454gs.  If you only have two routers and a switch, you can get everything working by removing the wired Linksys and replacing it with the wireless wrt54gs.  Plug the trendnet into the wrt64gs and then your wireless and wired PC's will all be on the same subnet.  It should be easy getting file sharing to work from that point.

If you post the model numbers of the both linksys routers and the trendnet and tell us what the IP configuration is currently on the PC's I could tell you for certain how to accomplish what you want.  Right now I can only guess based on the limited information I received.
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