Windows XP Home Network Setup Guide

Windows XP Home Network Setup Guide      


When several PCs are on the same local area network, also known as a LAN, it is possible for computers to share files and even a printer. Typically, they are usually all connected through a router. It is advised not to set up file and print sharing across different operating systems as it can become complicated. Be warned that a windows XP home network opens some security holes which need to be managed. Firewall software helps, but if misconfigured it can block acess to shares. Some routers also behave this way. All security software is different and requires a some configuration to accomplish this. Check your vendor's web site or help documentation to see if they have the needed information.


Here are the step-by-step instructions for netwokring multiple Windows XP machines:


Create the Network


1.Click 'Start'.

2.Click 'Control Panel'.

3.Click 'Network and Internet Connections'.

4.Click 'Network Setup Wizard'.

5.When the 'Welcome to the Network Setup Wizard' screen appears, click the 'Next' button. This opens

 the network checklist. After reviewing it, click the 'Next' button.

6.Select the option that says 'This computer connects to the Internet through another computer on my

network or through a residential gateway.'

7.Click the 'Next' button. This opens the 'Give this computer a description and name.' screen.

8.Where it says 'Computer Description:' Enter a description for the computer such as 'Joe's PC'.

9. Where it says 'Computer Name:' enter a short name. This is the name other machines on the LAN will     use to identify this one. When finished, click the 'Next' button.

10.Where it says 'Workgroup name:' enter a name. This could be something such as 'HOME' or

                'MYNETWORK'. It should be one word and brief. All comps. will need to be in the same

 workgroup in order to recognize each other. After all of the details have been entered, click the

 'Next' button. This opens the 'Ready to apply network settings...' window.

11.Review all of the information. If everything is correct click the 'Next' button.

12.This opens up the final screen. Select the 'Just Finish The Wizard' option and click the 'Next' button.

13.Run the network setup wizard on each PC that is supposed to be networked with this one. Make sure

                they are all in the same workgroup.

14.A reboot might be required before the settings take effect.


Everything in the 'Shared Documents' folder under 'My Computer' will now be available. Run steps 1 through 15 on each PC on the LAN. Give each one a different name on step 9.




Set Up More Shares If Necessary



1.To share any other folder, right-click it to pull down a menu of options.

2.Click 'Properties'. This opens the properties for that folder.

3.Click the 'Sharing' tab.

4.Tick the box next to where it says 'Share this folder on the network'.

5.Where it says 'Share name:' enter the name that will be displayed to other users who access this


6.Click 'OK'

Note: It is possible to do this to an entire drive using the same steps, yet this poses a security threat. It is

                safest to allow only limited access.







Access Shared Files


1.Click 'Start'.

2.Click 'My Network Places'. Note: Another option is to click 'Start', then 'My Computer', then click 'My

 Network Places' from the menu on the left if it is available.

3.Click 'Add a network place'. This opens up another helpful wizard.

4.Click the 'Next' button.

5.Select the 'Choose another network location' option and click the 'Next' button.

6.Where it says 'Internet or network address:' and has a blank space, enter the name of the resource

 you are trying to access. For example, if you need to access a folder shared as 'pictures' from a

 computer called 'billy' you would enter the following: \\billy\pictures

7.Click the 'Next' button. Alternately, it is possible to click the 'Browse...' button and search for it instead

of entering the name.

To view all computers and shares available on the LAN repeat steps 1 through 3, then click 'View

 workgroup computers'.



Share a Printer


From the host PC...


1.Click 'Start'.

2.Click 'Control Panel'.

3.Click 'Printers and Other Hardware'.

4.Click 'Printers and Faxes'.

5.Right-click the printer you wish to share. This opens a menu.

6.Click 'Properties'. This opens the printer properties.

7.Click the 'Sharing' tab.

8.Select the 'Share this printer' option.

9.Where it says 'Share name:' enter a name for the printer which will be used to identify it.

10.Click 'OK'

If more than one printer needs to be shared from the same computer simply run these same steps. Make sure each one has a different name for step 9.



Access a Shared Printer Over a LAN


1.Click 'Start'.

2.Click 'Control Panel'.

3.Click 'Printers and Other Hardware'.

4.Click 'Printers and Faxes'.

5.Click' File' from the upper left corner to pull down the file menu. Click 'Add Printer'. This opens the the

                'Add Printer Wizard'. Click the 'Next' button.

6.Select the 'A network printer, or printer attached to another computer' option.

7.Click the 'Next' button.

8.Select the 'Browse for a printer' option.

9.Click the 'Next' button. This opens a list.

10.Clicking the + sign next to it the name of your workgroup to expand it.

11.Highlight the shared printer by clicking it once.

12.Click the 'Next' button. This opens a confirmation dialog box.

13.Click the 'Yes' button.

14.Click the 'Finish' button.