Thursday, November 15, 2007

Networking XP Professional with XP Home

The first step is to get your PC's connected, I personally recommend using a router, it is by far the easiest way to do this. Make sure you give each PC a unique name in the network. To change the Computer Name, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties, click on the Computer Name tab, enter in the name then hit Apply. While you are here, you should also place your PC's in the same Workgroup, although this is not necessary, you can change that here, I use 'homenet' for my small home network. When you are done hit OK.

Now you need to make sure that you have NetBIOS over TCP/IP enabled on all the PC's in the network. Open the Network Connections folder, right-click the local area network connection and click Properties, double click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Click Advanced button then on the WINS Tab, click the Enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP button.

The next step is necessary on XP Pro to allow XP Home to connect to it. XP Home uses Simple File Sharing in which all authentication is done via the Guest account. For XP Pro to allow this you need to modify a Group Policy to allow blank passwords. Go to the Start Menu and click on Run. Type in gpedit.msc and click OK. Navigate to Computer Configuration / Windows Settings / Security Settings / Local Policies / Security Options. Now double click on Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console login only. Change this to Disabled and click OK.

Thats it, share something on both PC's.

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