XP Pro can't connect to XP Home shared folders

Posted on 2012-09-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-09-16

I seem to have upset the Gods of networking at the moment :(

I've just added an XP Home PC into small office LAN (3 machines, file & printer sharing, internet access).

On the XP Home machine, there's some folders that need to be shared.

These folders are set to share, the hand icon appears. The 'set up network' wizard was run. Even Guest account has been turned on. There is just a single user on the XP Home machine with no password set.

Everything is on a workgroup, the XPh PC is able to access Internet & shared printers hung off an XPP machine.

On the XP Pro machine (PC3), the XP Home PC is visible in the network but attempting to double click on it brings up a username/password box.

The username is greyed out but visible as PC3/Guest. Clicking connect/ok (blank password) doesn't let you in.

What have I missed please? :)

I just need the files/folders shared on the XPh PC to be accessible from PC3, the XP Pro machine.

Question by:TheSEOGuy
  • 2
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 38399061
Make sure that hte browser service and Netbios over tcp/ip is enabled on each system. Also make sure that any firewall is not blocking file and printer sharing on the home system.

Take a look here:

LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Jim-R earned 2000 total points
ID: 38400242
On the Home XP computer,  add a password to the Guest account.  I don't believe "blank" passwords are allowed.  (See this link).  On the XP Pro "PC3" machine, you should now be able to log in with the password placed on the Home computer.  The Home XP computer and the ones sharing files from it should also have the same Workgroup name.

In a administrator command prompt, you can use the

net view

command for a list of computers, which should return a list of computers on the network for example:

C:\Windows\system32>net view
Server name        Remark
The command completed successfully.

Then in the address bar of Windows file explorer, you can enter the name of the computer you want to get data from.  For example:


Author Closing Comment

ID: 38403578
Many thanks Jim, adding a password to the guest account worked a treat.

For any reader's benefit, you can't modify/add a guest account password via the control panel but you can by bringing up a command prompt and using the command "net user guest *" and then ebntering the password twice.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 38403641
Glad I could help.  

From your closing comment, I can see that you're more familiar than most question "askers" here with the command line.  

My purpose in telling you about the net view command and the Windows explorer method of accessing other machines is because the other machines on the network don't always "just show up" immediately in the Network window (start->Network).  It takes the browsing service and network some time to refresh and show them in that Network window, but using the \\ComputerName will bypass any of this delay giving immediate access.

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