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Peer to peer network with Windows XP

I've got a buddy that wants to setup a peer to peer network for his small business.  He's got 2 xp laptops and 1 xp desktop, 1 printer/scaner/fax and one printer/scanner.

I'd like to set up his 1 desktop to share the 2 printers and I'd also like to share faxing.

So from any computer I'd like them to be able to print, share files between each other and send and receive faxes from any machine.

How can I do this?

Also, for sharing folders, I plan on having individual mapped drives and putting all their my documents on there and then having one shared mapped drive for them.  Is there a better way to setup file sharing?  I'd like it to be as simple for the end users as possible.

Also, I'm guessing that all I'd need to do is join all the workstations to the same workgroup and then create user accounts exactly the same on each workstation with the proper permissions, so that they can access shared folders without having to enter in a username and password each time.  Is that correct?

I've setup peer to peer networks before, but I'm wondering what the "best practice" is for these scenarios.  Also ultimately I'd like it to be as user friendly as possible.

I'm open to any all all suggestions.

Thanks
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vITComputing
Asked:
vITComputing
3 Solutions
 
Jay_Jay70Commented:
i dont like P2P but from what you have there you have a pretty good grasp on things
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vITComputingAuthor Commented:
I don't like them either, but some people are working with limited budgets.  :(

I'm still looking for a "best practice" solution for p2p network for small businesses with less than 10 workstations.

I can find best practice setups for client server networks, but none for p2p.

Step-by-step or how to articles would be preferred.  I'm sure there out there, my goolge search skills are just coming up empty.  Or a lot of the information relates to older systems, win200 and win98 workstations. :(

Thanks!
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vITComputingAuthor Commented:
this link, http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Q_20942174.html, provided me with the sort of information I'm looking for.  But it was rather incomplete.
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Jay_Jay70Commented:
couple of sites,

this one from FE, who will hopefulyl come along and clarify anything i miss
http://24.160.178.164/KipSolutions/P2PNetworks/TroubleshootingP2P.htm

and this straight from the horses mouth
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/deploy/p2pintro.mspx

there are also stacks of guides on google, just have to find the best wording!
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vITComputingAuthor Commented:
Wow, by looking at the link that I referenced and the link you referenced from FE...it sounds like that's the answer.  they both had the same suggestions.

I'm still looking to go a bit more into detail when it comes to a "best practice" for configuring shared folders between workstations.  Should I use the default "shared folder" or should I create a mapped drive?  What's better? Also, as long as the user has an identical username and password on both machines, they shouldn't be prompted to enter their crediential when they try and access a share...correct?

And also shared printers.  I've got problems before when sharing printers.  Whenever I share a printer to everyone and then I add the printer to another computer, then the shared printer will show up automatically...as a duplicate.  With organizations that have lots of printers, scanners, and faxes, this can become a problem.

So I understand the network topology and I understand the NetBIOS, Username/password, and advanced file sharing controls.....but I'd like to learn the trade secrets that really take these setups and make them reliable and user friendly.

Thanks for any input that can be added.  Maybe this question should be broken down into 3 or 4 seperate ones.  I'm going to attempt the p2p network configuration tomorrow and I'll eventually post my own "how to".

thanks!
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vITComputingAuthor Commented:
I thought I'd also post this information, it seems like a good place for beginners to start:  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/setup/intro.mspx
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FriarTukCommented:
(how to setup home network in xp hm step 1-8)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/813936/
(how to configure sharing in xp)        
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304040/en-us
(How To Share Files and Folders Over a Network for Workgroups)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/filesharing.mspx (XP)
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I see that this question was still open and perhaps wasn't answered satisfactorily?  

FYI, Microsost has published guidance for setting up a peer-to-peer network that can be downloaded from here:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=99EFD3D5-0DBD-481D-B150-ADD8C221A29B&displaylang=en

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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