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Readers Respond: Problems with (and Solutions to) Networking Two Computers

Responses: 12

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Networking two computers may seem like a simple task. However, even this basic peer-to-peer setup can be difficult to get working. Examples of technical issues you might face include
  • finding the right network cable
  • finding the other computer via wireless network scan
  • lacking permission to access files on the other computer

Has anything gone wrong when you've attempted to network two computers? If so, how did you fix it?

"Unidentified Network" issue

Hi! I attempted to connect a desktop running on Windows XP SP3 to a Toshiba laptop running on Windows 7 using a crossover cable but failed as the computers displayed "No Network Access" and "Unidentified Network"
—Guest Android Walker

Printer but not file sharing - XP+Vista

I set up a wireless network of 2 computers and a printer. My network is working just fine except I cannot share any files. I can print from both computers and it recognizes the MSN instant messenger.
—Guest hinge

Watch out for wireless interference!

Having almost torn my remaining hair out over a newly intermittent wireless connection, which had previously worked superbly for 3 or 4 years, I eventually found the problem. I had reconnected a television wireless AV link and then forgot that I had done so. Having remembered what I had done, I switched the AV transmitter off and this simple act resolved the problem instantly. Amazing how much time you can waste on the simplest PC problems!!
—Guest Stuart

Some Mac to PC connections

I had no problem connecting a Mac Mini to an older iMac using a standard Ethernet cable. To connect to my Dell required a router, but no power to router needed. Amount of time wasted because Apple Help does not mention special crossover cable - #@***&. What is the special USB cable required? I have witnessed responses to this question as: "Just connect them using USB cable" instead of Firewire. Firewire was not mentioned. This can be very convenient to connect to 2nd computer while maintaining ethernet connection. Firewire is faster if one computer has only 10/100 ethernet (my Dell). Firewire is faster if one computer has FW but only USB 1.1 (my iMac).
—Guest MacGruber

Assigned passwords to each account

I was able to see the computers on my home network but was unable to access them. I solved it by assigning a password for my account and for the other computer accounts.
—Guest Angela

Change from direct cable to router setup

I set up a simple Ethernet connection between two computers to file share. Now, after installing a router and modem for Internet connection, my original network is not working. How best can I set up a new network through the router and modem?
—GailMarie77

IP address conflict with ICS

Trying to use my Xbox Live account through my laptop via ICS, but when I try to set my network to share Internet by using the laptop as an adapter, I get an error message saying my IP address is already being used.
—Guest nukebooster

Sharing files over wireless

I am trying to create a home network and have already set up a wireless network, but I am having trouble sharing files and a printer between the computers. Don't know what is wrong.
—aacrouch

Access denied error 0x80070005

I can access files on my two kids' computers (one PC with WinXP and one laptop with Vista) but when I try to access my PC (the one directly wired to the hub running XP), I get the message "Access denied. Contact administrator = error code 0x80070005" My main PC is set up for file sharing.
—Guest djh84

Networking XP and Vista

I'm not sure how to network a Windows XP PC with a Windows Vista PC.
—Guest oye

Finding the right Internet cable

I encountered a problem with finding the right network cable to connect two computers.
—AbishaiLuah

Lacking permission to access files

I experienced problems with lacking permission to access files on the other computer. Not sure how to fix it.
—Guest radika

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