Lesson 2- Configuring Windows Networking and enabling File and Printer Sharing


We cover settings in Windows XP and Vista to clear the obstacles to sharing files and printers between your computer.

Recommended Networking Hardware

D-Link DIR-655 Wireless N Router
Encore ENLWI-N Wireless N PCI card

D-Link DWA-140 Wireless N USB adapter
LINKSYS WPC600N Wireless N Cardbus Adapter


ENCORE ENHWI-N Wireless N Router


ENCORE ENUWI-N Wireless N USB adapter


Hello and welcome to Lesson 2. In this lesson we’re going to configure Windows networking to allow all the computers to see each other on the network and enable file and printer sharing.

Setting the Computer name and Workgroup

We’ll begin by setting the computer name and the workgroup. In XP we need to go to start, right-click on my computer and go to properties. Click computer name and change. Right now the computer name is CJ and the workgroup is workgroup. The workgroup is fine and the computer name we’re going to change to CJCOMP. We’ll click okay. We get a prompt that says the computer has to be restarted to make the changes take effect. We’ll click okay and we’re going to restart later.

In Windows Vista to set the computer name and workgroup we need to go to start, right-click on computer, go to properties and advanced system settings. Click computer name and change. In Vista the computer’s name is already CJCOMP and it has a -PC. Vista like to add that to any computer name. We’ll take that off and the workgroup, is workgroup. We’ll click okay. It says we have to restart for the settings to take effect. We’ll click okay, close and we’ll restart later.
Configure the network connection

Next we need to configure the network connection. In Windows XP to get to the network connections we need to go to start, control panel, network and Internet connections and network connections. We’ll right-click on the network connection and go to properties. In Windows XP by default it doesn’t show the network connection icon down by the clock so we need to click show icon notification area when connected and we’ll click okay. It now shows or network connection.

In Windows XP to get to the network connections, an easier way, after you have that checked is to right-click and go to open network connections and you’re right there. We’ll go back into the properties again and before we go into the list of clients, services and protocols let’s go to Windows Vista and get to the same screen.

In Vista down by the clock it’s already showing the network connection and this is by default. To get to the network connections we need to right-click on it. Go to network and sharing Center and manage network connections.  We’ll right-click on the connection and go to properties.

Clients and Protocols

The list of items is very similar to what’s in Windows XP. There is two protocols that are in Windows Vista by default that aren’t in Windows XP. That’s the Internet protocol version 6 and the two link layer topology discovery’s. The Internet protocol version 6 is just an update to version 4 that allows more IP addresses.  Basically it just means a greater number of Internet devices, computers and a different Internet appliances can connect to the Internet.

The link layer to apology discovering is by default in Windows Vista because it allows any computer running it, to show up in Vista’s network map. If we go back to the network and sharing Center, we can click full map up here at the top and any computer or device running the link layer topology would be able to show up here in this map.  It’s kind of cool, I guess, but it’s not really that useful. We’ll close that down and this is in Vista by default if you want your Windows XP computers to show up in Vista’s network map you can do a Google search for the link layer topology and it’s a free download from Microsoft, a little add-on for Windows XP.

For all the computers to see each other and be able to share files and printers you need to make sure you have Client for Microsoft networks installed and checked. File and printer sharing for Microsoft networks installed and checked and the Internet protocol version 4 installed and checked. This is the same for Windows Vista and for Windows XP.

Windows Vista specific settings

On the Windows Vista side there are a few more things you need to check. Back in the network and sharing Center, next to network it needs to say private network. If it doesn’t you can click customize and if it’s set to public you can change at private and you want to do. The private setting allows you to see computers and devices while making your computer discoverable and if you had to change it from public to private you need to click next to confirm and then close.

There’s more settings here under sharing and discovery you need to make sure the network discovery is on.

This is where the sample video ends and the free written instruction ends as well.

and file sharing is on. There’s also a public folder sharing and if we click that. What it is is there’s a public folder on your Windows Vista computer that any file or folder you put into it, everyone on the network will be able to see. By default it’s turned off. You can turn it on so anyone with network access can open change and create files. There’s a third option to turn on the sharing so anyone with network access can open the files, but they can’t change or add to them. We’re going to leave that turned off.

The printer sharing, this computer right now doesn’t have a printer. If it did have a printer there be an option to turn it on. It’s greyed out here because again there is no printer on this computer. We’ll share a printer on the computer a little bit later.

The password protected sharing is on by default. If we click this, if you leave password protected sharing on what you’ll have to do is on all of your computers you’ll need to create the same usernames and passwords in the user management in order for the sharing to work. We’re going to turn that off just to make things simple.

The last setting is media sharing. This uses Windows media player version 11 to share music and videos. We’re going to leave that off because you can still share all of your files just using regular file sharing. It’s something you can play around with after you have your network setup.

That’s all for the sharing and discovery for Windows Vista. The file sharing we’ve turned on here in Vista for Windows XP that will be turned on the first time we share folder and that’s what we’re going to do first thing in Lesson 3.