Q

I'm unable to share files over my wireless network. Where should I begin troubleshooting?

I have been trying to get my wireless network cards working for a while now. And I have for the most part I just cannot get into each computer but when I use the ping command they are talking. They are also sending packets to each other. I thought it might just be me so I got some help from an old lecturer of mine and he couldn't work out what it was either.
You've already verified that you have good network connectivity (packets are sent and received, and you can ping in both directions). By not being able to "get into each computer," I think you mean that you can't share files from one computer to the other. Here are some things to check.
  1. Are both computers running Windows? Using the Network Connections control panel, open the Properties panel for your wireless adapter, and make sure that the "Client For Microsoft Networks" and "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" are enabled.
  2. Are both computers in the same Workgroup? On Windows XP, open My Computer, View System Information, choose the Computer Name tab, and look at the Workgroup. For older Windows systems, you can find the Workgroup name on the Network control panel Identification tab. Your PCs should be in the same Workgroup, and each should have a different Computer Name.
  3. Is at least one computer configured to share a file or printer? For example, on Windows XP, select the folder you want to share, use the right-click menu to pick "Sharing and Security," check "Share this Folder", click "Permissions", and set permissions as desired. You can let Everyone read and/or write to the folder, or you can permit/deny access by individual Users or Groups. On older Windows systems, use the Network control panel's Access tab to select share-level access control, then use the "File and Print Sharing" button to allow File and/or Printer sharing.
  4. Now try browsing the Network Neighborhood. You may need to reboot your PCs before any changes made in steps 1-3 take effect. If you still can't browse the Network Neighborhood, try searching for a computer by name or IP address. If that fails, open a command window and try using the "NET USE" command. (Enter "NET HELP" of "NET USE /H" to learn more about using these commands.) For Windows XP, see the "Set up a Home or Small Office Network" wizard on the Network Connections page.
This was first published in January 2004

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