File and Printer sharing on my home network

By p_m_morris ·
Hello all,

I'm having some home network problems and could use some advice (and a stiff drink). Here's what's going on:

My home network is assigned a workgroup name of ?MYHOME? and an IP range of to I have a file server with an shared/attached printer. I also have a networked printer with an IP address of All PCs use DCHP to get their IP address.

I?ve shared a folder on the hard drive of my WinXP Pro SP2 file server on the MYHOME workgroup which can be seen and accessed by all the computers -- except my WinXP Pro office laptop.

All machines but my office laptop can see the shared drive, the shared printer, and the networked printer.

Each PC can ping another machine on the network. Even my office laptop can ping the other machines -- including the router/gateway -- but it cant access the mapped drive on the fie server, the shared printer on the file server or the networked printer.

FWIW, the office laptop is part of my company domain, not my MYHOME workgroup, but I dont have a VPN conection active, and the laptop connects to the Internet (via the wireless router) just fine. I just can't use any of the local resources in my home office -- the mapped drives, the shared or networked printer.

Can anyone tell me what I?m missing here? I?ve done what appears to be the obvious, trawled Google, and asked my networking buddies, but since it?s not a true domain (with Win2K3,AD, etc.), all the replies seem irrelevant for my lowly home office network workgroup.

Any and all advice is welcome.


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All Answers

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When you ran the Network Setup Wizard

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to File and Printer sharing ...

Did you enable File & Printer Sharing?

When you setup a Peer to Peer Workgroup it's important to have every machine on the Network in the Same Workgroup and it's generally easier to allow Auto Detection of IP Addresses so forget the Static IP Addressing except for the Network Printer.

If the other computers in this LAN are not running XP you'll need to make the floppy that is available on the XP machine when you finish the Network Setup Wizard and then move the floppy to each non XP machine and run it to setup the Networking Protocols.

What I do is start off with the computer connected to the Internet first no matter how that is connected unless it's through a Router then you need to remove all but 1 Computer to setup the Router properly. When you have the Router setup correctly you can then set about setting up the Network Setup Wizard which when doing you should allow File & Print Sharing and when you get to the section about how it connects to the Internet tell this system that it connects to another computer or Remote Gateway. If you have a Modem connecting to this computer and then a router from there it's different and you'll need to tell the computer that this Computer connects directly to the Internet and Other Computers connect to the Internet through this one.

Then depending on how the LAN is actually setup and Forget about the Companies NB here you'll either need to disconnect the working computer from the Router and then connect another one and do the same thing all over again or connect 1 computer to the router if that connects to the computer that is directly connected to the Modem.

You will need to do this for every computer on the network if everything is running through a router and then plug in all the computers and share the desired components. With Printers you need to install the software on each workstation and then tell the computer that you are installing a Network Printer click on Browse to find the location of the printer and then finish off the install. That should give you access to the printer at the very least.

Actually just post back with a description of the way that you have setup your Home Network starting with the type of Internet connection that you are using and what connects directly to the Internet then how the computers are connected from there. Forget about the Company NB as it's not important here at the moment and is just a nuisance/distraction at the moment.


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Will write it up and post it back.

by p_m_morris In reply to When you ran the Network ...

thanks HAL. More to come...

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Connecting a networked printer.

by nic.spiers In reply to When you ran the Network ...

When a printer is on the network rather than via USB, Windows NEEDS to know what address that printer is. If devices are started up in random order then, with DHCP, the printer could have a different IP address each time it is started. Generally, if the printer stays on its address remains constant and does not cause an issue.
Set the printer to a fixed IP address, say and set the router to start DHCP at Then either, install the printer on each PC, specifying the static address, or if already installed, change its port IP setting to This can be done by entering the printer properties and ADDING A PORT. You can then assign the printer this port.

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Double Post

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to File and Printer sharing ...
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user account on laptop

by kinguri In reply to File and Printer sharing ...

make sure your user account on the laptop has password. You can't access workgroup share with an account without a password.

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Did you find a solution?

by michael_schau In reply to File and Printer sharing ...

I have the exact same problem.
My work laptop which is on a domain cannot access the workgroup on my home network. However I can ping the computers on the network.

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by brian In reply to File and Printer sharing ...

As far as I know, you cant be a member of a domain and a workgroup. I think your problem lies there. Become a member of the workgroup and I recon all will work. But thats not a long term solution.

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maybe call home network same as domain?

by spiralingcrazies In reply to Domain

Windows XP HOme does not support domains so it can be made to "fake" domains by calling the domain in the workgroup. Maybe try the otehr way around - configure all your home PCs workgroup to be the same as the domain name and try that way?

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LLTD. Make sure ALL of your XP machines have this.

More info and Download here:

Please post back if you have anymore problems or questions.

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Printing to a shared windows printer

by oscarc In reply to File and Printer sharing ...

If you work laptop is not a member of the same workgroup, you WILL have a problem printing to the shared device. Add your laptop to the workgroup, and make sure that the computer that is controlling the shared equipment has it's firewall turn off.

Hope this helps!

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