Lesson 5- Connecting to Real World Files and Printers



In Lesson 5 we go back to each computer and connect to the files and printers we shared in Lesson 4.

Hello and welcome to Section 5, Lesson 5. In this lesson we’re going to go back to each of our computers and connect to the shared files and printers we just set up.

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


Connecting to shares from the Family room Computer

We’re our family room computer right now. It’s running Windows Vista and to get the networking we need to go to Start and Network. It’s showing us all the computers on our network. We have Acer which is our notebook computer, Family which is the family room computer and Livingroom which is the living room computer. There is a Meshells notebook which is another notebook that we haven’t covered yet and Michael which is the home office computer.

Windows Vista is also showing us the router. Let’s go to Acer first, our notebook. It’s showing the Movies folder we shared and there is also Printers. Windows Vista will usually show at Printers icon, but if we go into it there is actually no printer. If you do have a printer installed and shared on a computer it will show up, both year along with the rest of the shares and in this Printers folder.

Let’s take a look at the Movies folder. It’s showing us some AVI files that we can double-click on and play. That’s working. It’s a good idea to also check to make sure that we have full access, because when we share this folder we set up full access. An easy test you can do is just to create a basic text file and we’ll call it test and just click drag and copy it over. As long as that works, it means you do have full access. If we didn’t have write access to the folder you would put up an error message. That works so we will delete the test file and go back to Network.

Next we’ll go to the living room computer. On this computer we have are My Documents folder shared. If we double-click on that we can see a couple of icons and if we try and drag over this test… This is the error message I was talking about. It says we don’t have permission and we can try again which won’t work, so we’ll cancel it. That happened because when we set up the My Documents folder we set it up as just read access. Let’s go back and we also have an HP printer shared and it’s showing up here as well as if we double-click on the Printers folder, it’s in the Printers folder as well.

Next we’re going to connect to this printer and see if we can print a test page. There’s a few ways to do that in Windows Vista. We can right-click on it and go to Connect. What it’s doing is installing the drivers for the printer on this computer. Now if we go to Start and type in printers will bring up the printers on this computer.

We can see here it’s a HP office jet 4300 series on Livingroom. There are 3 other printers here because we’ve installed Microsoft Office they aren’t actual printers, but the check box here means that this printer the ‘send to one no 2007’ is the default printer. We want change that and to do that we’ll right-click our printer we just connected to and go to ‘set as default printer’. To test to see if it’s working we’ll just double-click on this text file. We’ll write test in it the. Go to File and Print. It’s automatically highlighted our default printer we’ll click Print and it printed. We’ll close this down and to say don’t save.

Before you move on I want to show you a few other ways to connect to a printer across the network. We’ll just delete this printer. It says the default printer has been deleted and it’s re-signed it to the ‘one note 2007’.

Let’s say when we were in the networking the printer did not show up, which happens from time to time. What you do in that case is you go back to the printers folder on the computer that you want to install the printer on and there’s an added printer button and if you don’t see that you can also right-click on any of the white space and do add printer.

We want to add a network printer and it will search for available printers. It’s seeing both the livingroom computer printer which is an HP and the office printer which is also an HP. If the printer we want to connect to shows up here we can highlighted, go to next and it will connect and do the install for us. If it didn’t show up, you can click ‘the printers I want is listed’ and you can browse for the printer or you can select ‘shared printer by name’ and what you do is type in \\the name of the computer (Michael)\ the name of the printer (HP). Click Next, it says it’s connecting to HP on Michael and the printers been installed and it’s automatically going to set it as the default printer. We’ll click Next.  There’s an option to print a test page which you can do just from this wizard but were pretty sure it works so we’ll click Finish. There it is our HP Photosmart on Michael and it is set as default.

Connecting to shares from the Living room Computer 

Next we’ll move to our living room computer. The living room computer is running Windows XP. If we click Start by default My Network Places does not show up on the list. On your computer if you not seeing it one way to get to it is go to My Computer and click this up icon and there’s my network places.

The way you get My Network Places to show up is to right-click on Start, go to Properties, to Customize, Advanced and scroll down here in the lists. Find My Network Places, check and click okay, okay. Now if we click Start, My Network Places shows up. If we click it we get back to the My Network Places.

This looks very different from what you see in Windows Vista. The idea of the My Network Places is to show all the folders that it can find on the network. The problem is that it usually won’t find everything and put it in My Network Places.

To get to the same view that you see in Windows Vista which is a little bit more useful you click ‘View workgroup computers’ and we have pretty much the same view that we saw in Windows Vista minus, the router showing up the list.

Let’s go to the family room computer. It’s showing us that the Desktop is available and we can see the two shortcuts to games that we had on the Desktop as well as the test.txt file. Let’s move that over onto our Desktop on this computer and let’s go ahead and put the key.txt file we have our Desktop here on this Desktop and see if that works. It does, good, so we have full access.

We’ll go back and we also have the My Pictures folder and looks at can also see the pictures that are in the folder. That’s good.

Let’s go back to My Network Places, the Workgroup computers. A good way to make a shortcut to the Workgroup computers so you just see this list instead of the My Network Places that usually isn’t complete, is to click this up arrow and you can see the Workgroup. Now if we right-click hold and drag it over to our Desktop and let it go we can create a shortcut. This is a shortcut directly to the Workgroup computers.

Connecting to shares from the Home office Computer 

Now let’s go to the home office computer. We’re now in our home office computer and we have a Network icon on the Desktop. Before we go through the computers I want to show you something interesting here in Windows Vista. If your router is showing up in the list you can right-click on it and click ‘view device webpage’ this will open up your Internet browser and allow you to log into the router and make changes.

Let’s take a look at a few of the computers we haven’t covered yet. We have Bren which is the teenagers computer that we denied Internet access to in Section 3. She has her C and D drive shared. There is also Meshells notebook and it looks like she has her C driver, Desktop and My Documents shared.

Let’s go to the familyroom computer. If you’re browsing the network from a Windows Vista computer to another Windows Vista computer sometimes this will show up. It’s a prompt for username and password. What you want to do is enter your username and click okay and you get right in.

We can see the Desktop that we shared along with the Pictures folder. We’ll go to the Pictures folder and as a test we’ll move over one of the pictures. We’ll right-click, hold, drag and drop and choose move here. That worked and we’ll right-click hold and drag back and move it. Good, that worked which means we have full access to this Pictures folder which is what we set up and Lesson 4. We’ll close this down.

Connecting to shares from the Notebook Computer 

Next we’ll move to our notebook computer. The Acer notebook computers running Windows XP and we have an icon up here for My Network Places. It looks like it’s showing most of the shared folders on the network. If we go to Workgroup computers we can browse around and see if things working. Looks good.

Next we’re going to install the printer that’s on the home office computer. It’s called HP and if we right-click on the icon for it we can go to Connect. When you do this in Windows XP it gives you a warning saying that if you connect to this printer on this computer it’s going to install some drivers and they may contain viruses or scripts that could be harmful to your computer are you sure you want to do this. We’re pretty sure the printer is okay so we’ll click Yes. It looks like it installed it.  We’ll go to Printers and Faxes and here it is the HP printer on Michael.

Of we run into a situation where it did not show up on the network as an available printer to connect to, if it wasn’t showing up here what we could do is go to Printers and Faxes and there’s a button to add a printer just like there is in Windows Vista. We can also right-click on any of the white space and do Add printer. Click Next, it defaults to installing a network printer. We can either browse to it or we can click and type in the exact name of the computer and the name of the printer \\Michael\HP. This is pretty much why we recommend shortening the shared name of the printer to something that is easy to remember.  So you don’t have to end up typing in this whole long string. We’ll click Next, we’ll say Yes we really want to do this, Finish and there it is. We’ve connected to the HP printer on the home office computer.

We’ve gone to all the computers on the network and we successfully connected to the files and printers