Windows

Add Windows XP systems to Vista's Network Map with the LLTD Responder

Vista's new networking interface, the Network and Sharing Center, allows you to check your connection status, troubleshoot connection problems, and see a graphical view of how the computers and devices on your network connect via the Network Map -- but normally, it can only see Vista systems and devices. Here's how to add Windows XP to the network and have Vista recognize it using LLTD Responder.

Vista's new networking interface, the Network and Sharing Center, allows you to check your connection status, troubleshoot connection problems, and see a graphical view of how the computers and devices on your network connect via the Network Map. It's handy to have a visual of your network, especially when troubleshooting connection problems.

The heart of the Network Map is a discovery protocol called Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD). This protocol allows Vista systems to query the other devices on the network so it can determine how the network is organized. While Vista does a good job of creating the Network Map, including switches and gateways, it only places computers running Vista -- not Windows XP or any other operating system -- on the map. The reason for this discrepancy is that LLTD is a new feature in Vista and isn't present in Windows XP.

To help users deal with this, Microsoft has released the LLTD Responder for Windows XP systems. Once you install the LLTD Responder, it will allow Vista to query Windows XP systems and place them in the appropriate locations on the Network Map.

In this issue of the Windows Vista Report, I'll take a look at the Network and Sharing Center and the Network Map. I'll then show you how to download and install the LLTD Responder for Windows XP systems.

Before you install the LLTD Responder

When you first launch the Network and Sharing Center (which you do by accessing the Network and Internet category in the Control Panel), you'll see that it's a very well organized tool (Figure A). At the very top is a condensed view of the Network Map showing icons for the current system, the network, and the Internet. Beneath that image, you'll find information about the current network connection, as well as information about resources that the system sees or shares on the network.

Figure A

Figure A

At the very top of the Network and Sharing Center, you'll find a condensed view of the Network Map.

The Tasks pane at the left provides access to common networking tasks, such as viewing computers and devices, connecting to a network, and diagnosing and repairing problems.

If you click the View Full Map link just above the Internet icon, you'll see a more detailed map of the network (Figure B). However, this map only shows the Vista systems, along with the switches and gateway, with the icons for the Windows XP systems clumped together down at the bottom of the screen with this caption: The following discovered device(s) can not be placed in the map. Click here to see all other devices.

Figure B

Figure B

By default, the Network Map will show only Vista systems, along with switches and gateways.

Installing the LLTD Responder

Downloading and installing the LLTD Responder is a snap in Windows XP. You'll have to go through the Windows Genuine Advantage formalities before you can download the LLTD Responder, but then you can simply click the Run button and begin the Software Update Installation Wizard (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

The wizard makes installing the LLTD Responder a quick four-step procedure.
Once the installation is complete, confirm that the LLTD Responder is running by right-clicking the My Network Places icon and selecting the Properties command. When you see the Network Connections folder, right-click the Local Area Network Connection and select the Properties command. Then, in the Local Area Network Connection Properties dialog box, make sure that the Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder is present and that the check box is selected (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

To verify that the LLTD Responder is installed on your Windows XP system, simply check the Local Area Connection Properties dialog box.
Now you can return to your Vista system and access the Network and Sharing Center. When you click the View Full Map link, Vista will build a new Network Map that includes all of your Windows XP systems (Figure E).

Figure E

Figure E

Once the LLTD Responder is in place, Vista can build a complete Network Map.

Is this useful to you?

Do you have a mixed network of Vista and Windows XP systems? If so, will you install the LLTD Responder on your Windows XP systems? Do you think that the Network and Sharing Center's Network Map is a valuable feature? Sound off in this article's discussion.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

35 comments
jet1959mo
jet1959mo

Ok, I think I figured it out. The XP machine I was trying to install LLTD has XP SP3 and wont install. The XP machine that has XP SP2 did install. Vista now can see the SP2 machine and said the SP3 machine domaine name is incorrect.

jet1959mo
jet1959mo

The update for LLTD says I have a newer version but when I go to my local network to make sure it's installed, it isn't even in the add protocol.

boydo
boydo

Well, it hasn't ever worked for me.

johnfar2
johnfar2

Hi, I can now see all the xp computers as you say BUT I cannot access any of the shared resources on my xp computers (i.e., printers ). Any suggestions as to how to connect to these resources would be really welcome :) ... yes they all have the same workgroup and yes I have shared certains folders and printers in the original xp boxes. Cheers and thanks.

michael.howard1
michael.howard1

What about adding networks that only have windows 2000 - Seems that has been forgottens and we all spent a fortune on just a few years ago !!!

rickearley
rickearley

I don't get it. I can see my Win 98 & Win 95 boxes and read and write to their disk drives from my Vista Ult. laptop with Windows Explorer. I'm not sure why anyone that wasn't born yesterday even needs an N&SC.

bus66vw
bus66vw

I have a mixed network, win98, XP, and Vista. Seems to me that KB922120 should have been a WU release from their web site as a high priority update. I'm not sure I will install it, but it would have made the Vista Network and Sharing Center???s Network Map a valuable feature. I had to use other mapping software to see what was going on in my network. Believe it or not I was using McAfee's network map. This seems like another way to lock out older OSs, not sure it makes Microsoft look good to bash their own older OSs by promoting incompatibility in the network environment. Maybe it would lead to security holes?

miket
miket

I get this message when I click view full map. "Network mapping is disabled on domain networks. Your network administrator can use Group Policy to enable mapping." I can't find anywhere in Group Policy to enable mapping.

amj2010
amj2010

when we tried to install on our vista ultimate system this entity we got a failure message that we had (see above) how is this possible? our c:/ is 87.6 gb, 35.7 gb free... tell us what the matter is..

amj2010
amj2010

when we tried to install on our vista ultimate system this entity we got a failure message that we had (see above) how is this possible? our c:/ is 87.6 gb, 35.7 gb free... tell us what the matter is..

David Lengel
David Lengel

That is good for you, but for those of us that HAVE a problem, it is no answer.

Crash84
Crash84

Like everyone else here I have a mixed network at home and no matter what I tried I could not get my machines to talk or even see my Vista machine or my Vista to see my XP machines. Through a contact of mine I got and installed Network Magic and now every machine is playing nicely with each other. The free version is one license and the pro is 3 licenses which is what I got because it has to be on each machine on your network. I know this sounds like I'm advertising for these people but when software works the way they claim I'm going to tell people about it. It sure has saved me a bunch of headaches. www.networkmagic.com

jeffro in Berkshire
jeffro in Berkshire

If this had been made a WU release then there would be another thread moaning about that unneccesary update were being thrust upon already overstreached IT Pros (being one I do know). And if MS was really trying to bash their older software would they really have gone to the effort of creating this program? ANYWAY the bigger point is being missed. We as Sysadmins / IT Pros should already have proper network pictures in place and not be relying on small addons like this. OR have a grown-up solution for this type of issue in which case you would be using Group policy to prevent rogue devices being connected!

David Lengel
David Lengel

I just got a laptop with Vista home premium installed on it. I downloaded the KB922120 fix for my main computer, running XP pro. I can't see the Vista machine on the network. I can see the XP machine now from the Vista computer, but I still can't get them to communicate with each other. I have them both setup using the same network group. Still looking for answers on how to network the two OS systems.

Robin.Baril
Robin.Baril

It appears to be a bit of a mystery searching for the correct entry to edit.

jjdetroit
jjdetroit

The LLTD software goes on XP machines, so that the Vista machine can "see" it.

jet1959mo
jet1959mo

There is no LLTD for service pack 3 in the local network protocol. The link for the download wont install because it says a newer version is already installed.

Xwindowsjunkie
Xwindowsjunkie

I tested Vista in Beta. I couldn't stand the User Interface and trashed the Beta. Glad I didn't go through more testing now. Looks like Microsoft has found a way to dump even Netbios and piss off more of its customers. This LLTD is networking through obscurity probably with a dash of cryptography and transaction control thrown in. Yes its another cycle stealing service that has been added to the heap. Its also a nice way to abstract the network to the point where users haven't a clue as to where certain resources are located. It also means that net admins will have to deal with a layer of abstraction that obscures the system from view. It's also a way of forcing customers to buy nothing but Vista and locking out non-compatible systems. WINS was a non-standard way of dealing with Netbios to IP resolution. Active Directory was a non-standard implementation of LDAP. So it goes. Glad I decided to get off the Microsoft bandwagon. Nobody needs Vista.

george.jenkins
george.jenkins

I'm sorry but when I buy a car and it becomes 5 years old, the manufacturer doesn't start bashing my existing car and forcing me to purchase a new one. The manufacturers are happy I'm having a good experience with their car and proud that I use their product. They don't try stealthing their new cars so I have to retrofit a device to use the same road as the new cars. If fact they can't since the road is a standard -- and does NOT belong to them. In the case of having to add another layer of network junk in order to "see" the Vista PC's is yet another M$ manipulation tactic. Just how long are we going to let M$ keep altering standards and twisting everything their direction? We all know that neither XP or Vista is the greatest OS in the world and even my cell phone that's based on Windows randomly reboots and/or locks up. Could you imagine what will happen when there's a M$ OS controlling your car or managing the airline you're using -- in actual critical systems where failures or lockups are not acceptable (literally a BSOD)? Please fellow IT people don't let M$ keep manipulating standards without forcing them to go through the appropriate bodies for approval. We all know they use their monopoly to twist IT standards their way -- thus bypassing approval by simply saturating the market with their product and sneaking their "new" design on enough machines so it becomes the de facto just by sheer numbers. Since the development of Vista I have read no literature or article by Microsoft stating they were stopping network communications with their previous OSes. Now their fix is to add another cycle-robbing service to the already aging machines -- making the user dissatisfied with the now slower existing machine and recommending a new PC with Vista on it. Yeesh! Yet another solution for the bottom line and not the end-user -- the poor people who actually have to use M$ products and rely on IT just to perform simple operations.

jjdetroit
jjdetroit

You don't install this on Vista PC's: you install it on XP PC's so they will show up properly on Vista PC's.

nfn06144
nfn06144

The Vista machine could ping/see the folders in all XP machines but none of the XP's could ping/see the shared folders of the Vista machine. Not authorized, see administrator, network path not found etc etc. I installed the LLTD responder on an XP machine and access to the Vista machine opened right up.

tupilak
tupilak

I'm old enough to still make use of NetBEUI to connect our internal network of Vista and XP systems (and Win2k too!). Not the best overall solution perhaps to cover everybody's needs, but it still has its uses!

rlshorter
rlshorter

Non-compatible? With WHAT? Unlike the NETBIOS world, this protocol doesn't demand constant ticklers, operates BELOW IP, and tells (accurately! again unlike NETBIOS!)the user more about what is connected to what - physically and logically - than anything else that exists in networking today. "networking through obscurity" ??? "users haven't a clue as to where certain network resources are located" ??? "obscures the system from view" ??? None of those comments is even remotely accurate. I suggest you do your research more carefully, or just move to one of the plentiful MS bashing threads for your rants....

rmorain
rmorain

I am sick & tired of reading a discussion on a part of Windows only to have to read thru a ton of replys that have nothing to do with the subject. If you want to comment on the LLTD then great. If you want to bash Windows then please go elsewhere!!!!!!!

rlshorter
rlshorter

Sorry, George, but the underlying tech here doesn't steal cycles, and IS a real value - it's the first accurate network mapper to supply more than simple net addresses, with no configuration necessary. It makes network congestion easily detectable, safely characterizes nodes on the net at so small a cost that it can unobtrusively handle ACCURATELY mapping an entire MS division's network (30k+ PC's, routers, hubs, WAPs, and misc. consumer devices) in just 2-3 minutes, max, and is COMPLETELY OS agnostic (there's a version that works on Linux, that MS could release, as well, since they give it away to partners). And no, they didn't go to any extra expense to write this - it was a tool written during the dev phase of Vista, primarily for testing LLTD and the Mapper when there were no Vista PCs available, yet, to use as test targets. The only cost in this release is the cost of supporting its existence in the customer world. It's got advantages, to make up for that cost, in easing the rest of the network troubleshooting for those same customers - a win-win situation, if ever there was one! Kudos for the reversal of the original decision NOT to make it publicly available (mostly due to predicted support costs, no malign intent implied)!

Nsaf
Nsaf

Now who is forcing you to use this protocol?

jeffro in Berkshire
jeffro in Berkshire

This is a new feature which is unavailable in XP. As such MS has spent time, resources and money developing an extra program to assist integrating XP into this new area! Does your car manufacturer provide you with incremental upgrades to your 5 year old car? and for FREE? I know the 10 year old car I have just gotten rid of did not have climate control and really cannot remember Toyota ringing to offer to provide a free upgrade "cos its in the new models". This is called development and if we take your "business model" I would still be running either DOS 4 (and yes I do still have a boxed copy) or Windows 3.1 and expecting an upgrade. Whilst I would really like to just upgrade from my initial purchase this is not practical in the REAL WORLD. Neither Upgrading or ignoring this "feature" will affect your capability to integrate your machine into a network! SO WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?

randy915
randy915

I think it's easier to bash Microsoft than to praise them because there's a biased against them due to the huge spotlight. But honestly, XP is a fine OS that rarely crashes and Vista will be the same. I wouldn't go as far as panic regarding potential mechanical catastrophies caused by a MS OS because it's not fair to judge a future product based on past user desktop experience. Your anger towards MS should be directed towards bigger potential threats towards world domination such as Google or Apple's iNazism.

rlshorter
rlshorter

If the XP's couldn't ping the Vista's (extremely unlikely, AFAIK), that's likely a draconian policy setting ON THE VISTA boxes, and not likely to be changed when you install an update (the LLTD responder) on an XP box. The only exception to the above statement is that you had an (again EXTREMELY unlikely, IMO) absolutely silly firewall rule-set in your XP boxes that explicitly blocked ICMP responses ONLY FROM THE VISTA boxes, and those rules were somehow removed when you installed LLTD. It can be done, barely, but it certainly wouldn't be set up that way in a deliberate fashion. If, on the other hand, you meant to say that XP just couldn't see the shared Vista folders, that's much more likely - even commonplace, as noted elsewhere in this thread. Having it change, though, by installing LLTD on an XP box, seems unlikely, since it probably was a policy on the Vista boxes that was causing the blockage... What you did (install an LLTD responder on an XP box) is little different from plugging a DLink Media Center Extender box onto your network. That makes another LLTD client show up, but certainly shouldn't affect Vista-box policies. Was there a simultaneous update to the Vista machines?

iburton
iburton

I have just installed NetBEUI on XP and Vista to solve a nightmare of a file and printer sharing issue that has lasted several days now. I now have three PCs: Win 2000, XP and Vista networked and sharing files. The network mapping still does not work on Vista, so to map the drive you need to know the strings to get to the \\server\share_name. Just like my old UNIX days really. The LLTD protocol was installed on my XP machine early on in this trial of patience, but there are clearly many ways to foul up this fragile connection between Vista and something else. There are many explanations throughout various support sites on how to use the LLTD protocol and how to setup Vista to share files with an XP machine. But each of them works only under certain (unknown) circumstances. Since each solution works for someone, that someone seems, in each case, to believe that they have found THE solution. I solved this issue about 6 months ago. Then the solution involved copying a .dll to the Sytem32 directory on the XP machine. NetBEUI was on the XP and the WIN2000 PC but not on the Vista PC. But, one of the LLTD solutions plus several days trial and error I got the file and printer sharing working. A disk crash three months ago on the XP had me rebuilding it, but I had lost trace of the .dll to copy, and could see no use for NetBEUI, so they were not installed. Since printer sharing was working and the Win2000 - Vista file sharing was working there was no need to go further. After a power cut two days ago I could only get the network to support the Win 2000 - Vista connection and the Win 2000 - XP connection. The XP PC detected the Vista PC but could not look at anything but public files on the Vista PC. Anyway, thanks to a TechArena post and tupilak's post, all is now functional again. But it certainly seems a horrible way to cobble together a solution. After almost 45 years in IT, Vista is most definitely the most difficult OS I have come across to work with. I suppose if you've never used a computer before, Vista might be usable on a home PC connected to Internet. I am glad I'm retired from IT support now. Cheers Ian

gregweigold
gregweigold

I'm sick and tired of people bashing Windows every chance they get. Let's try to keep the responses on the topic and not get caught up in our own petty little peeves? This tool sounds like a nice add-on for the typical desktop users. Network Admins will have their own ways of identifying resources and as such, they will use the best tool for that, and the one that gives them the info they need, regardless of what OS the targets are running. LLTD sounds like something useful for small business networks where mixtures of machines are fairly common.