Networking between XP and 8.1

Hugh_Mungus

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I am trying to network two Windows computers together. One is running XP SP3, the other is running Windows 8.1.

I have googled my heart out and I keep finding instructions for this that don't work. They describe screens or options that don't appear on my computer or offer no opportunity to get clarifications. I hope someone here can help. The instructions I've found all claim it is "easy" to network an XP machine and a Windows 8.1 machine but, so far, all I'm finding is frustration.

I gather that half the battle (or more) is getting the two computers in the same group. I _think_ I have them both in a group called WORKGROUP. That's what it says for the Workgroup name in System Properties/Computer Name on the XP machine, which is called RHINO-DESKTOP.

I'm not sure where to verify the name for the 8.1 machine; File Explorer lists a "Homegroup" with an item called rhino_000 with a subitem called RHINO_NOTEBOOK. I'm darned if I can see where the _name_ of the group is displayed unless it is literally "Homegroup". I can find a place to look at the password but not to see the name of the group, let alone change it.

Can someone help me get these two machines in the same group, then take me through the process of getting the two machines to see each other's drives and the shared printer?

That will enable me to transfer info between the machines much more directly, as well as to print from both machines.

If you can point me to a GOOD tutorial on how to do this, one that describes the screens and options I actually have, that would be good enough. I don't need a lot of hand-holding....
 

mbreslin1954

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You may also need to go to the "Network and Sharing Center", from Control Panel, and click on "Change advanced sharing settings". Make sure things like "Network Discovery" is ON, and turn ON "File and Printer Sharing".
 

Hugh_Mungus

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Thanks for clearing that up. I _thought_ I'd seen something that said my group was WORKGROUP (on the 8.1 laptop) and this confirms that it is. So the two machines are definitely in the same group then.
 

Hugh_Mungus

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Yes, all of them are on.

Now what? How do I get see the XP machine from the 8.1 machine and vice versa?

Hmm. On the XP machine, I started the Add Network Place Wizard in the hope that I'd get a list of choices, one of which would be Rhino-Notebook. I got to a screen that says "What is the address of the network place?" and clicked on the Browse button. It came up with a tree that includes My Network Places, Entire Network, Microsoft Terminal Services,and Microsoft Windows Network. Beneath Microsoft Windows Network, I have an entry for Workgroup; beneath that, I eventually got "Rhino-desktop" and "Rhino-notebook". Also, at the same level as Workgroup, I have an entry that says "Unknown" which also has a "Rhino-notebook" beneath it but NOT a "Rhino-Desktop". This would appear to be some kind of ghost group. Do I need to delete this ghost group to prevent problems? If so, how do I do that?

When I tried clicking on the Rhino-notebook under Workgroup, the only buttons available to me are "Make new folder" and "Cancel"; I don't see an option to OK Rhino-notebook as my desired network address. (Same problem if I click on the Rhino-notebook under "Unknown" workgroup.

On the 8.1 machine, I have no idea what I need to do to "see" the XP machine. I don't see it in File Explorer.
 

mbreslin1954

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I'm not sure how to get network browsing to work properly from what I know of your setup, but if you want to connect to one workstation from the other, open up a Windows Explorer window showing your drives, then type in the top address bar two backslasshes then the IP address of the other PC. Such as "\\192.168.1.112" and hit <ENTER>. That is the last resort I use if for some reason one of the machines on my LAN isn't showing up in the network browser. By the way, when browsing the network you always want to go into "Microsoft Windows Network".
 

Hugh_Mungus

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I did an ipconfig /all from a command prompt to get each machine's IP address within the network. The XP machine was 192.168.1.101; the 8.1 machine was 192.168.1.100.

I can see the XP machine from the 8.1 machine now, thanks to your suggestion.(I can also copy files from the XP machine to the8.1 machine which was my main objective.) I can also see the 8.1 machine from the XP machine! It's late so I don't want to mess with the printer but I'm assuming the printer works fine from both machines too.

Am I right to assume that I'll have to manually type in the IP address of the XP machine in this way any time I need data from it on the 8.1 machine? Also, will the IP address of the two machines change if I, for example, shut down either computer or if I shut them both down and reboot in a different sequence? Is there any way to make the 8.1 machine see the XP machine all the time without me having to look up the IP and type it in each time?

In any case, I REALLY appreciate your help. I've had this laptop for over a year and procrastinated a lot on getting this to work because the articles I found never seemed to work so you've literally gotten me farther in a few responses than I've managed in over a year. Thank you VERY much.

I'm not sure if I can select all of your replies as solutions or just one but I hope you (and future readers) understand that ALL of your replies helped me resolve this problem.
 

mbreslin1954

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In my experience, sometimes just by connecting once with the IP address, then subsequently I was able to see the other computer in the browser (Microsoft Windows Network). However I don't think it always works that way. The IP address is a last resort.

Check out this very short item, it's for Windows 7 but it should work the same way on Windows 8. It's turning Network Discovery ON. I think you've already done that, but in case you haven't, go ahead and do it:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enable-disable-network-discovery#1TC=windows-7

On your XP machine, go to Control Panel, then Network Connections. Right-mouse click the port for your home LAN (local area network) and click on Properties. In the Properties window for your "local area connection" that opens up, make sure there is a checkmark on the item "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks".

If that doesn't fix the problem, check out this website, which has diagrams walking you through the steps:

http://www.wikihow.com/Enable-File-Sharing


 

Hugh_Mungus

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Just after I sent my previous email on this topic, I noticed that if I went through File Explorer on the 8.1 machine, Rhino-Desktop was visible under Network. When I clicked on it, it gave details of contents of the C and D drives from the XP machine. I shut down the desktop overnight so I wasn't surprised to find that I couldn't see the XP machine while it was turned off. Once I booted up the XP machine and refreshed the Network listing on the XP machine, I could see it again on the 8.1 machine. When I tried to delete a trivial file on the XP machine via the 8.1 machine, it failed on security grounds. Ditto when I tried to copy a file from the 8.1 machine to the XP machine. Then I went to the XP machine and clicked on My Computer. I right-clicked on the drive which was the target of my delete and my copy, chose Sharing and Security, and found that I had not checked the All network users to change my files under "Network sharing and security": After checking that box, I went back to the 8.1 machine and successfully deleted and copied on the XP machine from the 8.1 machine.

I didn't have to go to Windows Explorer to type the IP address anywhere in this process; the only time I did that was last night to see the other computer the first time. That means I can apparently use either machine to see and work with the drives of the other machine, which is exactly what I wanted to do.

I am also able to see the files of the 8.1 machine from the XP machine. However, when I tried to make a trivial change on a file from the 8.1 machine from the XP machine, it gave me an error. I assume it doesn't have write authority for the files on the 8.1 machine but I'm not sure how to give that permission. I've looked at the settings under Change Homegroup Settings and I've already granted access to Pictures, Music, Printers and Devices, Documents and Videos. Does that cover the C and D drives on the 8.1 machine or only the specific folders called Pictures, Music, etc.? I'm guessing the latter; if so, how do I give blanket permission for each of the drives on the 8.1 machine to be seen AND edited from the XP machine? Or isn't that possible?


 

mbreslin1954

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Make your primary logon on the XP machine the exact same as the logon you use for the 8.1 PC. Same UserID and same password. This will be hard if you're logging onto the 8.1 PC with a Microsoft account using an e-mail address, but if you're using what they call a "local" account then it is easy.

Since you don't have a Microsoft domain, which keeps a centralized accounts database, each PC has it's own user accounts. So if, for instance, your userid on the XP machine was "Fred" and the only user defined on the 8.1 PC was "Tom", then obviously when you go to delete files from the XP PC the 8.1 PC doesn't know who "Fred" is and won't let him do much except read files. However, if both machines have a user named "Fred" and both machines have the exact same password for user Fred, then as far as the 8.1 PC is concerned, it's user Fred is trying to do something remotely, not a problem.

There could be other issues involved, but that's the primary issue. Whatever userid you're using on the XP PC has to be one that exists on the 8.1 PC and has privileges on the 8.1 PC to delete files (or whatever it is you want to do remotely).
 

Hugh_Mungus

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I'm confused. I'm already using an email address to log in to the 8.1 machine and it works fine. I don't know how to set up that kind of account on the XP machine though. Is it even possible? Hmm, I just created a new account on the XP machine and gave it the same email address I'm using on the 8.1 machine; it didn't even prompt me for a password and doesn't define the account as password-protected the way the other accounts on the machine are. Is that what you were advocating? Or do I need to include a password? If I create a password prompt for it, will Windows be expecting the same password I use on the 8.1 machine? And if I change that password at the Live site, will the XP machine also automatically expect that new password on the 8.1 machine or will I manually have to change the password on the XP machine to keep it in sync with the 8.1 machine?

 

mbreslin1954

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What you need to understand is that each userid, on each machine, is completely different, even if they consist of the same letters and numbers. And they need to be identical, including the password, if you want the remote PC to allow you to mess with it.

What you're trying to do is to fool each PC into thinking that it's own user account is trying to access the files from the remote PC. When the XP PC connects to the Windows 8 PC, if it doesn't have the exact same userid and password as the user account defined on the Windows 8 PC, then the Windows 8 PC will not recognize it and will not give it any rights, except what rights the "everyone" userid has defined (typically read-only).

I'm not sure what else I can say to make it clear.

Typically, your Windows 8 PC has only one userID defined, the one you used to set it up. If you connect to it remotely from another PC, such as the Windows XP PC, and the userID on the Windows XP PC is something other than the userID that has been created on the Win 8 PC, then the Win 8 PC will not recognize it and will not allow it to do anything.

Now say that you've created an identical userid on the XP PC, as you say you've done, but don't give it a password. Then, when from the XP PC you request to delete a file remotely on the Win 8 PC, the Win 8 PC says "OK, what's your UserID? Check, I know that, it exists on this PC. What's the password? Ooops! The blank password does not match the password I have on account. BEEEP! ERROR! No privileges!"

I'm not sure what else I can say, except to suggest you read up on Microsoft accounts. This link below might help:

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/usercpl_overview.mspx?mfr=true
 
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