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Connecting PCs together for file sharing

By keith.shephard ·
I work at a charity. We have one PC running XP and have been donated a second (both XP Home Edition)- both DELL machines. I would like to connect them together so they can both see/write to each others c: drives. We have no money so can't buy server etc.
Any cheap (ideally free!) way of doing this
Thanks

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by NormH3 In reply to Connecting PCs together f ...

XP Home has file sharing built into the OS. You will just need to verify that it is enabled on both machines. Assuming that they both have network cards, the cheapest way to network them would be to use a crossover cable to connect them. You will have to configure static IP addresses to use this method.

-Norm

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by keith.shephard In reply to

Used XP file sharing but didn't need to configure static IP addresses (wouldn't have knowhn how to!)

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Connecting PCs together f ...

how far apart physically are the 2 pcs? if each has a network card, then you can go to office max or radio shack or like that and get a network 'crossover' cable. then hook both together with it and turn on the pc's. get a blank formatted floppy and go to the xp home pc and pick Control Panel/Network Setup Wizard and see if you can follow the instructions. it will make you a setup disk to use on the other pc to make a little workgroup network for you.
here is the microsoft link with instructions:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308522

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by keith.shephard In reply to

Network Setup Wizard sorted it all out - didn't need to create disc, just run from xp on both machines

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by dmiles In reply to Connecting PCs together f ...

Connect computers using CAT-5 cable

To get File and Printer Sharing to work between your Windows XP Home Edition computers:

Enable the "Guest" login account
Open the "properties" of the network connection to the other computers and be sure both "File and Printer Sharing" and "Client for Microsoft Networks" are checked.
Disable ICF (Internet Connection Firewall) on the network connection to the other computers. To do this open the "properties" of the network connection, select the [Advanced] tab, and un-check the "Protect my computer or network" box.
Ensure all your computers are members of the same "workgroup". (They probably already are as everything defaults to MSHOME.)
Understand which IP addresses your computers will use, and configure these as "trusted addresses" in all software personal firewalls.
Enable NetBIOS-over-TCP/IP for the network connection to the other computers. To do this open the "properties" of the network connection, highlight "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and click the <Properties> button [or double-click on "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)], click the <Advanced> button then the [WINS] tab, check the "Enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP" box, and back out by clicking <OK>. (Besides "Enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP" another option "Default ..." might also work, but it requires that your router/NAT box be configured correctly.) My reading suggests this should only be necessary if some of the computers are older ones not running XP, but my experience suggests it's necessary even in an XP-only Home configuration.
Use the pre-installed TCP/IP networking protocol suite for your File and Printer Sharing as well as for access to the Internet. It is apparently possible to use a different networking protocol suite for File and Printer Sharing if you have the operating system installation CD. But I don't have experience with using other networking protocol suites, and I don't see that it's necessary.

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by keith.shephard In reply to

Seemed very complicated (and afraid I didn't understand it) and much simpler suggestion from someone else to use XP network set up wizard worked fine

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by keith.shephard In reply to Connecting PCs together f ...

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