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Thread: printer / file sharing help

  1. #1
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    printer / file sharing help

    can anyone explain file & printer sharing in a way that a 5 year old (ie: me) can understand cos i'm pulling my hair out here!

    i have my PC and my wifes laptop sharing an ADSL connection via an ADSL router with built in 4 port switch

    both machines can access the internet via this setup but cannot access one another - the main reason i'm trying to do this is so that my wife can print from her laptop via my PC (although it would be useful for her to put files on my hard drive to burn to CD too)

    both machines are running windows 2000 (mine=NTFS, hers=FAT32) both have software firewalls (mine has sygate hers has zone alarm) although i've obviously switched the firewalls off whilst trying to configure this & still no joy

    i can see her computer in computers near me but can't access anything on it, just get a not accessable: network path not found error when i try. she can't even see my computer in computers near me on her laptop

    i've tried some of the guides on sites like homenethelp & practicallynetworked, but no joy....anyone got any ideas or care to explain how its done in single sylable words
    if it ain't broke...fix it till it is


  2. #2
    Oh no!I've re-dorkalated! Jiff Lemon's Avatar
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    Keep telling Moby-Dick we need to write a noobs guide to networking and add it to the sticky!

    I'll start typing away and post something up later - I'll keep it as simple as possible (and it will hopefully include sharing a net connection - not that you need it!)

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    We used to have on of those guides on another forum I visited Jiff. It would certainly be a good addition.
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    Sounds like a firewall problem, you can either allow the ip's of the other computer/s on them or uninstall them. As ive found in the past, even with the firewall closed it is still running

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    Oh no!I've re-dorkalated! Jiff Lemon's Avatar
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    firewall is certainly one issue, Accounts another.

    it can take up to 15 minutes for the machines to appear in Computers near me, as You've no local name servers that are getting updated.

    Ensure that you create identical accounts on both machines - one for yourself and one for your wife - make sure the passwords on each machine are identical.

    As you're both on windows 2000, the standard workgroup name should be the same, but always worth checking.

    You can make sure you've basic connectivity between the machines by going into a command prompt (start, run, cmd (enter) ), then typing the following:
    ipconfig

    This should list your machines IP address, subnet mask and gateway.

    Now do the same on your wifes.

    now from your machine, type:

    ping [wife's ip address] where the IP address is in the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx form.

    Hopefully, both IP address are in the same range - this would mean the first 3 lots of xxx's are identical, the final xxx different.

    eg. You - 192.168.0.5 - Wife 192.168.0.10

    if you're seeing anything like

    You 192.168.0.5 - wife 10.68.4.1 then we've other problems to cross.....

    Hopefully, you should both be able to ping each other - if not, and your IP address's are in the same range, start looking at firewalls.

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    cheers for the info fellas - having looked at a few sites on this topic there does seem to be a few fingers pointing in the direction of firewalls whenever there's a problem.
    i'll try uninstalling them & see how i get on. obviously this then poses its own problem - ie: 2 machines with no firewall! are any of the free firewalls configurable to deal with this
    if it ain't broke...fix it till it is


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    Oh no!I've re-dorkalated! Jiff Lemon's Avatar
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    Try the above before unistalling firewalls...
    In fact - List your IPconfigs and see if you can ping each other first!

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    will do, cheers jiff
    Last edited by petrefax; 03-03-2004 at 07:49 PM.
    if it ain't broke...fix it till it is


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    looks like its the firewalls - ip addresses are in the same range - couldn't ping one another with the firewalls on, disabled them & restarted, pinged ok

    tried printer sharing with firewalls off after successfully pinging one another, all worked fine printing from hers on my printer - woohoo!!

    right....last thing (sorry) so how can i get a firewall running on each machine whilst still sharing??

    cheers for the help fellas
    if it ain't broke...fix it till it is


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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    netbios port ranges (should be configurable in your firewall as such) needs to be enabled - 137, 138 and 139 - this is a bit of a risk if you've not properly secured your machines - enables f&p sharing over tcp/ip, but you don't really have a huge number of options. If you can get your hands on a cheapish hardware firewall and router, this will mask your internal network from intruders, and remove the need to run software firewalls. for about 50 quid it's really worth doing, else you are exposing yourself. it's not like anyone on the net is going to care what you've got on your machines, but all the same it's a silly risk to take.

    my 2p. ignore wallies like steve gibson who is a bit of a prat (i.e. avoid his shields up! service for advice about security and firewall issues, it's all a bit silly and pointless) - who will say that lurkers from all over the world will invade your machine and use it to distribute kiddie porn or some such garbage.

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    You have an ADSL router that provices NAT, so unless you've got a DMZ set up or port forwarding you're protected from hackers. I won't go into the technicalities of it now but no computer on the Internet can directly connect to either of your client machines.

    So, why waste resources with a firewall on the networked machines? I know it provides application level protection, but it's no better than a good virus scanner, and is far more hassle to work with.
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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    ah - missed that cunning line about router!
    don't need local firewalls - you should lock down your router's firewall anyway - by default it is already, but it's worth checking.
    in which case disable (or better yet, remove) your software firewalls, check usernames and passwords, port usage should now no longer be an issue, and only share folders that really need to be shared. make sure admin accounts are locked down tight, you should never really be using them anyway... etc, you get the idea.

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    Exclamation

    *Dons Network Security Analyst hat*

    Okay, I'm going to go against the popular local popular opinion and recommend you KEEP your software firewalls on all clients.

    Yes, your router, by use of NAT, protects you from people connecting to your clients from the outside (unless you set up a DMZ or port forwarding, but they are rather deliberate actions), but a large amount of malware reversed the traditional method of listening for connections and now make outbound connections instead.

    An application-layer firewall will tell you if a program which you have already granted access to the Internet has been modified in any way since it was originally (or last) configured - if you've not applied some patch or update to that program, then be suspicious if the firewall tells you it's changed.


    To get round the problem of the 2 (or more) clients on your private network not being able to talk whilst the firewalls are active, there should be some way to set up "trusted networks" - put your local subnet in here on both/all clients and that will stop the port filtering between them and not leave them entirely unprotected.

    To figure out your subnet:
    - Click Start / Run and enter "cmd" to bring up a command shell
    - Type "ipconfig /all" and hit ENTER
    - Look at the entries for your IP address and subnet mask

    (Note, IPCONFIG most likely will trigger your software firewall if active as it needs to talk to the TCP/IP stack to query it - it's not talking out, though.)

    It will be something like 192.168.1.2 / 255.255.255.0 - in this example the subnet is 192.168.1.0 / 255.255.255.0
    If you're unsure of this, just drop me a PM (I deal with this stuff for a living, only on a much bigger scale ).


    I will, however, agree with the comment about Steve Gibson being a bit of a muppet
    His webpage looks like a bad marketing spam email with its scare tactics and tin-foil hat remarks (well, last time I bothered to look at it).
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    cheers pul - much appreciated mate

    I'm going away this weekend but have next monday off so i'll be spending the day playing with my new network - if i get into trouble i'll know who to call
    if it ain't broke...fix it till it is


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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Paul - I appreciate what you're saying, but software firewalls cause hassle (ergo the very situation in this thread) and for the resources they use and hassle they cause are not worth it when compared to an up to date virus scanner. Sure, prior to your virus scanner being updated your s/w firewall might inform you of an outgoing communication attempt, but based on how viruses spread, the odds are slim that it's going to have arrived in anything other than an e-mail - something people should be weary of already.
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    Ex-MSFT Paul Adams's Avatar
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    Administration of a personal firewall should be an easy enough job - situations like this are solved just once with trusted networks, and the only other times you might hear from your firewall are:

    - installing a new program that talks to a remote network (the Internet)

    - upgrading/patching an existing program so it is seen as a different, potentially infected one

    - VPN connectivity problems

    As for system performance, there is something seriously wrong if your personal firewall is impacting your system to such a degree that you can see it - I have run both benchmarking and very system-intensive programs with and without my personal firewall running and there is very little difference in the performance.

    It is only the creation and tearing down of processes making external connections which should be inspected by a firewall, unless they have built-in IDS (which I would not recommend) - so in general it should only be on running a program that it is verified, not constantly throughout the life of the process.

    Also, I have a personal dislike of the reactive process of AV products, and the idea of assuming the malware will continue to spread by current methods.
    Horses for courses, it's a matter of personal choice, but I'd not recommend removing a layer of protection for a minor gain in ease of use.
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