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Unable to see all shares, but can go directly to a share

I have a laptop and a desktop on a windows network just using a workgroup.  So from the desktop i can just go \\laptop to see the list of shares on the laptop, but from the laptop this does not work, although i can go like \\desktop\Sharename to go directly to the share.  \\desktop just returns an error message saying i may not have permissions to view this.  When i do this though, even though it doesnt let me in, if i got to computer manager and look at 'sessions' i can see that sessions were started on the laptop to the desktop.

Its just handy to not have to always remember what share names are up there, so could anyone tell me how to fix the permissions?  I was looking at the user's permissions and the share's permissions (im not even sure which its talking about to be honest...) and they looked ok, but obviously im missing something.

Thanks in advance,
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2 Solutions
from the laptop command prompt, if you run   net view \\desktop      do you get a list of shares?
are both on xp - hm or pro - sp1 or sp2?

Set WINS to Enable Netbios over TCP/IP
        right click network icon in systray by time (or control panel - network connections
        - local area connection) - click status - click properties button - scroll down in the
        box & select tcp/ip - click properties button - click advanced button - click wins tab
        - select enable netbios over tcp/ip - click ok all the way out (last one click close)

Cntl Panel - Folder Opt's - View tab - Adv Settings box (scroll to bottom) & chk use Simple File Sharing
     open Windows Explorer, right click a folder to share, click sharing, & enter the share name
     - click Permissions - select Everyone - check Full Control

now there is also a security tab in xp pro which will indicate local access to the folder (if you can't get it by doing the above, then try adding the user + pwd from the other computer here)
DarzAuthor Commented:
Oops, meant to come back to this question, I was asking on behalf of my dad and when I phoned to pass on the messages he kept putting off trying the stuff, so Ive just split the points between both of the contributors since you did try to help.

Thank you.
cheers mate
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