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Vista Computer Cannot See XP Computer In Home Network

I recently purchased an Acer Extensa 5420 laptop that was running Windows Vista. My home computer runs Windows XP and I wanted to network the two machines so that I could access files and the printer from my laptop.

It seemed to be an unending problem that I was unable to fix. Anyhow, I finally got it working.

I can’t even remember everything I did, but I tried to do as much as possible through the Control Panel to get the network working. This included:

  • Running the Network Setup Wizard.
  • Creating shared folders on either computer.
  • Defining a name for each computer in the Control Panel->System.
  • Make sure the computers are both part of the same Workgroup.

After rebooting a couple of times and tinkering with various settings, my laptop was able to see the XP machine when I looked at the Network through Vista. When I double clicked on my computer I would still get the following error though:

xxxxxxx is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Access is denied.

The solution was found on this Microsoft’s Support Site article. Basically you just need to change a registry setting to 0 from 1. Here is a cut and paste of their instructions.

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then double-click the following registry subkey:
  3. On the right side, double-click restrictanonymous.
  4. Make sure that the value in the Value data box is set to 0, and then click OK.
  5. Close Registry Editor.
  6. Restart the computer.

After this, everything worked great. I was able to install the printer hooked up to my XP machine on the laptop via the network and stream video and other files from the shared folders as well.

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