Configuring the Network in Windows XP Continued
- Network Setup Wizard
If your still experiencing problems, it's time to run the handy little service called, Network Setup Wizard. If your upgraded to Windows XP from an older operating system or your client PC was formerly used to connect to the Internet itself, chances are this could well be the cause of your problems.
To start the Network Setup Wizard go to you're desktop and locate "My Network Places" and then click "set up a home or small office network", this will launch the wizard. Click Next twice for both screens, now for all client computers you will need to select the second option (The computer connects to the Internet through another computer on my network or through a residential gateway) and click Next. The next screen allows us to chance the computer name, but since we've already done this we won't bother, just click Next again, then type in "WORKGROUP" for the next screen if "WORKGROUP" is the workgroup name you ended up choosing. The next screen gives a summary of what changes will be made, click Next and then Windows XP will apply the changes, the next screen asks if you want to create a Network Setup Disk. Since we are only using a small home network, this isn't needed. Simply click Just finish the Wizard and then Finish on the next screen.
This should have successfully fixed any problems you were experiencing, if not reboot and try again.
- File Sharing and Access
OK, now you may be wondering how you access the other computers on the network, well that is the simple part. Go to your desktop and locate "My Network Places" and click "View workgroup computers" on the right, this will displays all the computers that are a part of your workgroup. The first time you enter this area it may take a few seconds, give it time. Simply double click the computer you wish to access, as pictured in the screenshot below...
Once you've access the network computer, you may not be able to see any of his or her files or folders. To fix this on the network computer go to My Computer and right click on each drive and click Properties then Sharing as shown below...
Anything more need to be said? Do this for all your drives on each computer. Note, if you have enabled "Allow network users to change my files" you are giving them full access to edit these, this includes deleting, you've been warned. For those of you more versed in the ways of Windows 2000 and NT in terms of security options, you can turn off simple mode file sharing via View->Folder Options->[X]Use Simple File Sharing.
- Mapping Network Drives
Additionally you can map network drives, in the simplest terms this means adding a particular drive from a network computer to My Computer as you would a normal drive on your PC, it's even assigned it's own drive letter as a normal IDE drive partition would. This can be handy if you want to be accessing another drive on a network computer regularly. To do this locate the drive you wish to map and right click on it and click "Map Network Drive..." and you'll be given a screen as pictured below...
Simply click Finish and the drive and you're done!
- Internet Connection Status
As we are coming close to the finish line, I can hardly forget a nice little addition that allows you to monitor the Internet connection status and disconnect and reconnect as desired, as you'd normally have to do from the server if you were using anything less than Windows XP. To access this feature, click Start -> Network Connections, here you will the name of what you've called your ISP on the server, what a lovely feature indeed by the big boys at Microsoft, nice job William.
Beautiful, isn't it? If you've got this far, you can pat your self on the back, you've only got one page to go!