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How-to Sharing a computer on a network

PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:01 pm
by Hints
Received this question the other day from visitor using Windows 9x systems.

1. Connecting your computers.
If you have a broadband/DSL/Cable connection and are using a router that has availabilty to connect more than one computer you can use this as a hub. This usually also has active DHCP which will give your added computer a IP address, that is in the same group as the others already connected. If not let me know I will answer this in a follow-up msg.
So you connect your computers together with the same type of network cable as you used to connect to your existing router.

If your using a hub or a router that does not provide for DHCP or have it turned off the DHCP function on the router, you need to assign static IP address that are in the same group. IE: & etc
(reason I used for example 192.168.1.x, is that numerous routers automatically assign themselves a IP address that is within this group)

2. Configuring the computer you wish to share.
This assumes you have a network card in the computer you wish to share and have already had tested that it connects to the internet.

2a. Computer Name & Workgroup Name
On the computer that you wish to share, for discussion purposes say we name it "computer3". It is more ideal to have no SPACE within the computer name. If you need or wish to change the computer name, on your desktop go to Network Neighborhood, right click, go to properties and go to Identification tab. While there check what the "Workgroup Name" is. Windows default is Workgroup. You can change this to anything you wish, however all the other computers you wish have connect to it, should have the same Workgroup name. Obviously you can check by doing following the same steps as above.

2b. Making a directory on your computer available to your other computers
On computer3 (assuming it has only 1 drive in it) with Windows Explorer go to drive C: and create a directory (directory & folder are one and the same thing). For discussion purposes we will call the directory "share" (that is without quotations, and you can name it whatever you wish).

After creating that directory with Windows Explorer, highlight the directory and right click and go to properties and go to the Share tab and change the radio button from "Do not share this folder" to "Share this folder". In the Share Name for ease of connecting to the folder give it a name without a SPACE, in lowercase. For example "space3" (it can be any name).

3. Connecting to computer3 from your other computers.
Now on your computer, double click on Network Neighborhood.
You should see an icon of a computer with the name "computer3" next to it. Double click on it, and you should see a folder called share3.

Highlight the folder and right click and click on Map Network Drive.
This will bring up a box that showing the next drive letter that is available on your computer to assign to comptuer3 share directory.
For discussion purposes it will be drive letter E:

Note you can also click the box that says reconnect next time.
What that means is that next time you reboot or boot up your computer,
PROVIDING that computer3 is on, windows will automatically reconnect
and make computer3\share directory available to you as drive E:

IDEALLY use the same network drive letter for the same share.
For example in your small office, you have 2 computers connecting to computer 3. Say computer1 you have 1 drive (C) and 2 cdroms (D,F),
usually the next available drive letter is E. Say computer2 you have only has 1 drive (C) and 1 cdrom (D) usually the next available drive letter is F.
To create less confusion in your small office, select drive letter E or higher.
This way if people switch from one computer to another, it will be the same.

4. How to use the shared directory on computer3
One function is to copy backups of files you wish to backup.
With Windows Explorer go to drive letter E: and make a folder and we will call it Backup-June-2004. Now double click on that folder and copy into that folder say the files you want to backup that you worked on in June, 2004.

Microsoft build in a limit of only being able to have 10 computers connect to the shared computer.
Though all Windows 9x, ME, 2000, XP Desktop versions have most of the features that the server versions have, the Desktop versions 1st priority is what is features are being used on it. For example if you were working on say Excel or Power Point, then users connected to the computer that is being shared, might experience some slow downs.

Hopefully this will get most of you going.
If you have any additional questions, ask away.