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How to set up a Windows network

ComTech: IT Support Stirling


Today we are going to learn how to set up a simple network using different versions of Windows.  This tutorial will use Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows XP Home Edition but works just as well on Vista.  We will share a folder from Windows XP to the Windows 7 machine but it works well the other way too.

On the XP Machine

Click on Start and locate My Computer.  Right click on My Computer and go to Properties.  Click on the Computer Name tab and find the change button which is situated next to “To rename this computer or join a workgroup, click Change”.  Click the button.  In Workgroup pick a name for your new network and click OK.

Next we want to share some files.  Best way to do this is to run the network wizard.  Locate the folder you want to share, for example My Documents, and right click.  Go to the sharing tab and locate Network sharing and Security.  Under Network Sharing and Security you will see the new network wizard.  Click on this and follow the instructions.  When completed restart the system.

Once restarted again locate the folder you want to share and right click.  Go to the sharing tab and you will see a box titled “Share this folder on the network”.  Check the box and give it a shared name.  If you want other users to change files in your folder check the box “Allow network users to change my files”.  That’s it for XP now onto Windows 7.

On The Windows 7 Machine

Go to Start and then right click on Computer.  Click on Properties and when the “View Basic Information about your Computer” screen appears click on change settings, which is located on the bottom right.  Locate “To rename this computer, click Change” and click change.  Add the network name you chose for the Windows XP machine under Workgroup and click OK.

Windows 7 will now attempt to find the network and when it does it will ask you if the network is Public, Home or Work.  If this is home network click Home and so forth.

Now to accessing the shared files.  Go to Start and right click on Computer.  Click on map network drive.  Browse for the shared folder on your XP machine and when located click finish.  The shared folder will come up as a network drive and can be accessed from going into Computer.

Word here about firewalls.  If you are using the inbuilt Windows firewalls you should have no problems as these open up the required ports to allow the computers to communicate.  If you are using a different firewall then either turn it off (not recommended unless you have a another firewall between the computers and your router) or manually open up the required ports. And that is it.

To share the files the other way round name your Windows 7 workgroup the same way you did in XP and then right click on the folder you want to share.  Click on share with and then go to specific people.  The operation for mapping the drive is exactly the same in XP.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, Laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

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2 thoughts on “How to set up a Windows network

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