If you have multiple computers at home and want to network them together to share files and devices then this article is for you! In this article I'll show how to setup file sharing in a mixed environment maintaining Windows 7 and Windows XP.

The computer that will be sharing (serving) the files will be the Windows 7 computer. The computer that will be accessing the shared files on the Windows 7 PC will be a Windows xp computer. This article assumes that you either:

A: have your internal software firewalls disabled since they can often obstruct network access. Only do this if you access the internet through a router (or a wireless router).


B: know how to allow network access to your internal subnet. Since you're reading this article it's pretty safe to assume that you have no idea what I'm talking about in point B. Just go ahead and turn off your firewalls (for now at least).

On your Windows 7 computer:

1. Click the Windows globe on the bottom left (the old start button).
2. Right-click "Computer" and click properties.
3. Take note of the Workgroup name.

On your Windows XP computer:

1. Click Start.
2. Right-click "My Computer" and click properties.
3. Click Computer Name.
4. Click Change.
5. Select Workgroup.
6. Type in the same workgroup name.
7. Click OK twice.
8. Reboot.

Back on your Windows 7 computer lets share your documents folder to everyone in your workgroup:

1. Click Start.
2. Click Computer.
3. On the left window, under libraries, right-click documents and click share with: specific people
4. Click the drop down.
5. Select Everyone.
6. Click Add.
7. Click Read and change it to read / write
8. Click Share
9. Select My Documents
10. Click Next.
11. Sharing your documents may take awhile depending on how many have.
12. Click Done.

Back to your Windows XP PC:

You may now access documents on the Windows 7 computer by

1. Opening your "My Computer".
2. Click "My Network Places" on the left.
3. Click "Entire Network".
4. You should now see the name of your Windows 7 computer.
5. Double click the Windows 7 computer and you'll see any shared files plus any shared devices.

You can follow the steps above to share any other files or folders on your Windows 7 computer.

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