Win 2000/XP peer-to-peer networking components

Posted on 2009-04-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am setting up peer to peer networking on a small network of computers.  Of the optional networking components available in windows XP & 2000; what are the necessary options?  (all computers on the network are Win XP or 2000Pro)  I want to be reliable and secure, so I do not want to enable anything that is unnecessary.

I have disabled all IIS, since no computer is acting as a server.  I have enabled UPnP and Internet Gateway detection; there is a router acting as the internet gateway.  (this is strange -when I [right-click] enable the gateway in the Network Connections, there is a lot of chatter between the devices, internet service works whether or not I enable the gateway router; what is the purpose of enable on the gateway?  What is all the chatter about?)

Are any other options necessary to simply view the other computers in the workgroup?  If I go to Computers Near Me, I get an error indicating "Workgroup is not available.  A list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available."

I have Identical users and passwords on all machines.  I can ping computers and devices on the network, I can even access web pages on the network printers (by typing the IP address in ie7).

The newest machine (Win XP) on the network got me looking into this - this is really strange - as administrator, I see nothing in My Network Places; as limited user, I see the PnP devices on the network.  What could be different about the admin and the user in this case?
Question by:TxTur
    LVL 89

    Assisted Solution

    by:John Hurst
    Given what you have said, I would condsider the following:
    1. Make doubly certain all computers are set up for WORKGROUP.
    2. Make sure all computers have userid's and strong passwords.
    3. Make sure in Windows XP that simple file sharing is disabled (let us hope it is not XP Home)
    4. Make sure firewalls on all machines allow all the other machines.
    5. Then try Map Network Drive (Windows Explorer -> Tools -> Map Network Drive) and answer all the prompts.

    That usually works, but let us know if you have continued difficulties.
    ... Thinkpads_User

    Author Comment

    1. I have double-checked the workgroup name
    2. UserIDs and strong passwords are on all computers
    3. this is XPPro; where is "simple" file sharing option?
    4. currently using windows firewall, don't believe I am specifically blocking the necessary port(s); but I am not sure which port or protocol would be used.  Another strange thing is internet explorer identifies local (intranet) pages (on printers and router) as internet; of course, I could manually enter the IP addresses into internet options/security to change this, but it seems to me that on the same subnet, it should be easy to determine that the address is intranet.
    5. I can map a network drive by using the IP and full path; but I would like to see a list of computers in the workgroup, so I can select the directory using GUI.
    LVL 89

    Assisted Solution

    by:John Hurst
    Re: Number 3 - Open Windows Explorer in XP Pro -> Tools -> Options -> View and look down near the bottom of the option list.

    Since you can map by IP address, you know connection and mapping is generally OK. You should have File and Print Sharing installed in the Network Icon, but that is default, and is probably already installed.

    ... Thinkpads_User

    Accepted Solution

    Thank you for the info on turning off simple file sharing - odd that MS groups this in Folder View Options.

    I still have the same problem, though.  My network communications work fine.  I can map network drives if I know the full path.  However, I have no workgroup listed.  This only affects my ability to connect to a couple of network printers, but I would like to know why.  If I could turn the feature on to establish the connection, and off again, that would be great.  It seems more secure to me that any computer cannot just pull up a list of computers on the network, but it is complicating the setup of the newest computer.  Computers that were on the network when the workgroup could be viewed still have connectivity, though you can no longer view the workgroup.

    Also, I don't understand the purpose of the internet gateway function for the UPnP router, if enabling and disabling seems to only add an extra icon in the systray that shows when communication with the internet is taking place; however, it does not allow and restrict access to the internet.

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