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Dear Diva: I need help networking my Windows 7 & XP computers

Dear Diva,

I have a small office with one Windows XP computer, and then a new Windows 7 computer.  When both my computers were Windows XP, I could network them easily.  Now the share I have set up on the XP computer is not visible from the Windows 7 computer.  What do I do?


Dear Sandy,

Windows 7 & XP sometimes do not play well together, but it is easy to tweak and make this work.  Here is what you need to check:

  1. Make sure that both computers belong to the same Workgroup.  In the Control Panel of both computer, access the System area and check the “Workgroup” to make sure they are the same on both computers.  The default is Workgroup.  If they are not the same, change one of the computers workgroup to match the other one, and then reboot.

  2. On the Windows 7 computer, go into Control Panel, then Network and Sharing Center.    Click on Advanced Sharing.

  3. Make sure that Network Discovery is turned on.  Then make sure file and print sharing is turned on.

  4. Optionally turn on Public Folder Sharing.

You should now be able to share files and folders between the two computers.  It sounds like you already have shared a folder on the XP machine.  On the Windows 7 computer, go into My Computer and Click on Map Network Drive.  Choose the drive letter you want, and then type in the path to the XP shared folder (or click on Browse).  Make sure you check Reconnect at logon.

You should now be able to open the share and access the files on the XP computer.

If you are using the Windows Firewall, no modifications are needed there to make this work.  However, if you are using a third party firewall, such as the firewall in your AntiVirus software, you will need to check the settings to make sure that it is not blocking network file sharing.  Some firewalls do this by default.

Happy networking!

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