So last year, my first XP machine, Electric Blue gave up the ghost, and I finally sprang for a new Windows 7 machine. But I still had Blue Steel, my newer XP machine. Which still works. Unless you plug in or unplug anything before it starts, because it has conniptions…. ::cough::
Anyway, I have been thinking… of turning Blue Steel into a file server, as seen here (click). Because I have a boatload of files on there. My digital paintings, and tonnes and tonnes of video clips for my music video creations. And Electric Blue’s surviving hard drive, too! (With more video clips. Those things take up space like nobody’s business!)
BUT! There’s no way to do this NAS4FreeNAS whatever thing without formatting the hard drives. Uh. Dude! Come onnnnn! What am I supposed to do with the files I want to serve? If I had them on another machine, I wouldn’t need to make this one a file server, would I? GAH!
So then I had to look into trying to network XP and Win7. I had little hope, here. I mean, hell, I’ve tried before to get my two XP machines to see each other! It’s like… brokering peace in the Middle East or something! Something difficult. Something impossible. Something you do all kinds of contortionistically difficult things to make happen, and it STILL fails to happen. Been there, done that.
But I’m stubborn. So I looked up one little how-to article, and all it said was to change the XP workgroup name to WORKGROUP, and Shazaam!
Uh, yeah, right. :P
Then I found this post at How To Geek (click). Of COURSE it’s not that easy! You’ll try to connect and be unable to, it says so right there in the instructions. Aha, but they know how to get around it! Yay!
Happily, I went to try it that night. And took several HOURS GOING NUTS!
Okay, so you make a new user on your XP machine, make it an Admin. Easy. Give it a password. Fine.
Go to your Win7 machine and try to map a network drive, connect, put in your name and password, and boom. You can access whole drives!
Ha-ha! No, you can’t. Or, you could…. if they told you THIS little bit:
If you hate computer user names and passwords, since you’re the only person in your home using your computer, and thus just make the default user name “1” and give it no password… and you do this for both machines… The fool XP on the network will think that the Win7 user is trying to use that name, not the name you created for this new network log in.
1: will NOT let you log in, due to disallowing users with no passwords to remote-connect (which you can turn off, but is a security risk I didn’t want to do).
2: will NOT ask you to log in as another user with a name and password. Ever. No. No matter how many times you right click the XP machine in the list or try to check “Connect with different protocols” or whatever.
So. You need to create a new user on your new machine, with the name and password you gave as the remote user on the XP machine. Log in as that. Then it will allow you to connect.
It really won’t let you map any network drives, only shared directories.
you type in the drive name, instead of trying to navigate to it.
But! Once I did all that (after searching all over for an hour and a half and didn’t find a HINT about that problem… really, forums? Check your firewall? Turn off blank password blocking? Have the XP machine map to the Win7, and it will miraculously work the other way?? Seriously!?), I got all 7 of my XP drives visible on my Win7 machine! (It doesn’t work for CD drives, though, it seems :/ )
BWHAHAHAHAH! I AM MAD! DRUNK WITH POWER, I TELL YOU!
So the actual instructions.
1: on XP, change the computer workgroup name to, literally, WORKGROUP.
2: on XP, create a new user with the same name and password as your Win7 log-on. UNLESS you don’t use a password (unless-unless you want to turn off passwordless remote logging denial). Probably, you just want to give your Win7 user a password. UNLESS it’s the same user name as is already on the XP machine. In which case, they have to have the same name/password setup on both machines.
3: Turn on the XP machine; you don’t need to log in.
4: On the Win7, right click Computer and choose Map Network Drive. Make sure you pick the letter you want, and know the name of the computer that is your server, because you have to type it in. Hint: use this format “\\ComputerName\C$” where ComputerName = the exact name of the server and C is the drive letter.
Also, remember to turn on ‘re-connect at log in’ so you don’t have to do it every time.
and THAT is all there is to it! To think… Microsoft machines that can see each other over the network! A MIRACLE!