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Peer to Peer Workgroup Setup

How to Setup A Windows Peer to Peer Network
Do I need to create the same workgroup name for my network
Workgroup common Issue 1 - doesn't work after adding W2K/XP

Workgroup common Issue 2 - problem in a mixed OS

How to Setup A Windows Peer to Peer Network
Concept and Requirement
Win9x Setup
Win2k/XP Setup
Test

 

Concept and Requirement

Hardware

1. NIC - each networking computer needs a network adapter to communicate with others.
2. Hub or router - if you want to connect more than two machines and access the Internet, it is better to have a router to offer DHCP feature, easy setup and manage, and  protect your computers.
3. Cable or crossover cable - if you have only computers and save some money, you can have a crossover cable to connect those machines directly.

Configuration

1. Workgroup - it is better to setup a same workgroup on all computers
2. Client for MS Network - must be enabled to access the network
3. File and Printer Sharing - accessed computer should enable the File and Printer Sharing for other computers accessing
4. User Accounts - for users logon and setup permission
5. Permission - setup necessary permission for users to access network resources
6. Protocol - TCP/IP is we want

We assume you have all computers physically connected to a router which is connecting to the Internet. The router is also a DHCP server.

Win9x Setup

To check or setup your network, open Control Panel>Network. Under Configuration tab, you should have Client for MS Networks, NIC, TCP/IP and perhaps File and Printer sharing for MS Networks. If you do not have click Add and then follow the instruction to install them. Also make sure you select Client for MS Networks as Primary Logon Network.

Now, double-click TCP/IP to check the TCP/IP settings. Normally, you should keep the default settings: Obtain a IP Address Automatically, no WINS, Gateway and DNS setting. This means all computers will get IP, DNS and Gateway from the router as the DHCP server.

Click Identification tab, type a unique name for each computer and the same group name for all computers.

If you want other machines access data or/and printer on this win9x, enable file and printer sharing, and right-click the folders you want to share. Following the instruction to finish the sharing.

 

Win2k/XP Setup

You will do the same network settings on win2k/XP by going to My Network Places. The differences are 1) you may want to check NetBIOS over TCP/IP by going to Properties of TCP/IP>Advanced. 2) If you have a laptop using at home and work, and you also want to have same peer-to-peer workgroup name as the same your company's domain, you should install the domain name as the workgroup name at home, then join the laptop to the domain (have your company administrator do that for you). 3) you need to create user accounts for each user logging on the network and access the resources. To do that, right-click My Computer>Manager>Local users and groups. This is very important step. 4) after creating all user accounts, you need to assign necessary  permission for each user to access the computer. 4) if you this machine access both home and domain network, you are better to create one local logon matching the domain logon and also the password should be the same.

Test

Now, it is the time to test your network settings. After reboot all computers, logon the user name you created in win2k (it is easy for sharing  if you use just the same logon name on both win98 and win2k). Open My Neighborhood and My Network Places to check the sharing folders and printers.

If you have a difficulty with network sharing, go to Network Troubleshooting and Win Tools for troubleshooting tips.

Still need help, contact consultant          Your feedback and contributions to this web site

Do I need to create the same workgroup name for my network

No, not really. You can have multiple workgroups in your network. However, it's better to create the same workgroup name on all computers. That will make it easier and save time to find other computers, especially in the first 15 minutes after logon.

Workgroup common Issue 1 - doesn't work after adding W2K/XP

SYMPTOMS: When setting up a Peer-to-Peer Workgroup, you may have difficulty to network all computers that are running W2K, XP, Win9x, ME and NT. The issues may include the inability to connect to a shared folder or a shared printer, the inability to browse by using Network Neighborhood in Windows 95 or Windows 98, or the inability to browse by using My Network Places in Windows 2000. Some people may find that, before W2K/XP were installed, the computers may have communicated effectively with the other workgroup computers.

RESOLUTIONS: To resolve these issues, configure all computers to have a common networking protocol, a common workgroup, and common user names and passwords

Workgroup common Issue 2 - problem in a mixed OS

Symptoms: 1) win9x computers can see each others but not W2K or XP. 2) win9x and W2K/XP can ping each other by using IP but not computer names. 3) Net view \\computername shows error 53.

Resolutions: this is a name resolution issue. Since this is a workgroup without WINS server, you may need to enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP on W2K/XP. Note: some people find that installing NetBEUI or IPX also work. But loading NetBEUI or IPX is not recommended. If enabling NetBIOS over TCP/IP doesn't work while loading NetBEUI works, this is not name resolution issue. This may cause because of a software like firewall is running.

How to setup bridging network connection

If your computer with two NICs resides between two different IP subnets or two segment networks such as Ethernet network and HomePNA network, you can bridge the tow networks so that it can communicate with each segment. But you can't bridge an Ethernet connection with a VPN or dial-up connection. Also, don't bridge a private network with a connection that has a public Internet.

To bridge two networks, under Network Connections, select two connections (use Shift+Ctrl) you want to bridge, right-click or click Advanced>Bridge Connection. You can have only one network bridge , but the bridge can support multiple connections. You can easily add or remove connections from ntwork bridge by right-clicking the connection and choosing Remove From Bridge or Add To Bridge

 

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