Set up a home network

Here, I set up a home network.  <<Actually this happened about a year ago but only just publishing it now>>.  Already I have a small bunch of machines (of various ages) linked either physically (ethernet cable) or wirelessly (WiFi) to a WiFi router-modem onto ADSL.  Currently these machines simply use that arrangeent for their own individual internet access.  What I want to do is enable some resource-sharing, in particular onto a WiFi hub to be connected to a printer and a hard disk, but also to allow (temporary) access between machines for occasional ad hoc file transfers.

  • First, ensure all PCs have easily identifiable names and belong to the same Workgroup (the typical method is to leave this at default i.e. “WORKGROUP” but note that XP’s Network Wizard defaults instead to “MSHOME”).
    • For XP:
      • From []
        • Log on to the computer as an administrator.
        • Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
        • Click the Computer Name tab, and then click Change.
        • If the workgroup name is not WORKGROUP, change the name to WORKGROUP, and then click OK. Otherwise, click Cancel to close the Computer Name Changes dialog box.
        • If you have to change the workgroup name, you will be prompted to restart your computer.
  • Next, established whether TCP/IP communication was working OK:
    • Gathered a small bunch of computers together for testing.
    • From CMD, obtain IP numbers of each computer.
    • From each computer, try pinging each of the others.
      • Initially had some problems here:
        • None of the Windows computers were pingable from any other computer, but that the non-work Windows computers could ping the MacBook Pro.
        • The work Windows computer was unable to ping anything.
        • On the other hand, they could all ping certain external internet sites e.g.  Some others, such as CNN, reject pings (as possible attacks).
        • The problem was in the Firewalls.
          • Initially tried the crude solution of disabling the software firewalls.
            • Still protected by router firewall. A test showed all was still well.
            • Nevertheless, looked for a more finely-tuned solution…
          • Old Compaq: Disabled Windows Firewall.  Now it was pingable.  Re-Enabled Windows Firewall.  It was still pingable.  Maybe I succeede in unblocking something?
      • Now the pings worked OK.
  • On PCs, in Windows Explorer, check out My Network Places to see if the other machine showed up.
    • Desktop: My Network Places > SharedDocs on OldCompaq
    • OldCompaq: My Network Places > Entire Network > Microsoft Windows Network > Workgroup
      • It could see itself and the other machine.
      • However the other machine required a password.  What password?
        • Solution: re-run the Network Wizard on the Desktop, this time (unlike before), enable File & Printer Sharing.  Now it worked fine.
  • Also the PCs were visible on a Mac.
    • Mac: Finder > Shared
  • Now to make the Mac share to the PCs:
    • Enable Windows Sharing on macintosh.
  • Finally, looking at Windows 7 as a Virtual Machine under Parallels 5 on a Mac:
    • Its default WorkGroup name is WORKGROUP, hence it sees the other machines OK.  And it can access their shared folders.  But those machines cannot see its files.  Solving this problem does not seem so trivial, so I will work on it later and post its solution separately.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.