Make Your Networked Pcs See each Other

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If you have several PCs sharing an Internet connection, they should be able to share files with each other. But sometimes Windows falls short of automating file sharing between networked computers. Here's how you can force wayward machines to make the connection.

Start by checking your firewall. Third-party PC firewalls like ZoneAlarm and Norton Internet Security often block local networks. As a precaution, begin by disconnecting your Internet connection. Then turn off each PC's firewall.

If possible, turn on just one PC's firewall. Does the problem return? If it does check that machine's firewall settings and documentation to see how you can make it local-network-friendly. You may have to add your other PCs to a "Trusted Zone" or some such group.

Repeat this process with each PC. Don't reconnect to the Net until all firewalls are back up and working.

Here are some more good troubleshooting techniques
Make sure that all your PCs are in the same workgroup Press-R, type sysdm.cpl, and press . Then click the Computer Name tab. lf the workgroup name there does not match the workgroup name listed on your other computers, click Change
Make sure that file and printer sharing is on: Press -R, type ncpa.cpl, and press. Right-click the network connection, and select Properties If File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks is unchecked, check it.

Make sure that you are sharing a folder. Browse to the folder you want to share. If the folder's icon doesn't have a little hand under it, right-click it and select Sharing and Security. Then in the Sharing tab, check Share this on the network.

In Vista, the folder's icon should have a tiny picture of two people in the lower-left comer. If it doesn't, right-click it and select Share in the resulting dialog box type everyone into the text field, click Add, adjust the permission level (if you wish), and click share.

If the computers still don't see each other, try a last-ditch trick that sometimes works: Press -R, type the other PC's network path, and press . That network path is probably two backslashes followed by the computer's name on the network, such as \\chris. If this succeeds, map the computer as a network drive.

*.* Source of Information : May 2008 PC World

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