Windows XP Tutorials

This tutorial explains how to setup networking between Windows XP and Windows Vista and how to configure workgroup in Windows Vista step by step.

Windows Vista has several improvements in networking. It has a new network discovery service that automatically discovers supporting network. In this tutorial we will learn how this service can be used to discover the Windows XP workgroup network and how Windows Vista can join Windows XP workgroup.

This tutorial is the third part of our article “Learn how to setup Windows XP workgroup network step by step”. You can read other part of this article here.

This tutorial is the first part of this article. It explains essential workgroup settings in detail with examples.

Windows XP Workgroup Essential Settings

This tutorial is the second part of this article. It explains how to setup a workgroup network in Windows XP system.

How to setup and join Workgroup in Windows XP

Essential settings in Windows Vista to join a workgroup network

Just like Windows XP, there are few essential settings which need to be done in Windows Vista before it can join a workgroup network.

Computer Name

Computer name is the unique identity of a system in workgroup network. Computers use this identity to identify each other in network. Having same name on two or more computers will make it hard to distinguish between them in network. For this reason, computer name must be different on all member computers.

Workgroup Name

Workgroup name is the group identity of a computer. Computers having same workgroup name belong to same workgroup. It must be same on all member computers.

Updating computer name and workgroup name in Windows Vista

Select My Computer and do right click. From right click context menu click Properties

vista my computer right click context menu

Click Change settings

vista change system properties

Switch to Computer Name tab and click Change

vista system properties computer name tab

Update computer name and workgroup name to meet the Workgroup requirements. Use unique computer name. Since this computer is going to join an existing workgroup, it must have to use the same workgroup name which is already set on other member computers. In our lab, we used workgroup name “SOFTWARE” in windows XP systems. Let’s update both names and click OK

vista computer name change

Computer name and workgroup name are configured during the startup. So windows will prompt for reboot to apply the change. Click OK

vista restart message

We used Network setup wizard in Windows XP to join the workgroup. In Windows Vista network setup wizard is replaced by etwork discovery service.

vista network right click menu

After reboot select Network icon and do right click. From right click context menu click Properties

vista network discovery service on

Turn on Network Discovery, File sharing, Public folder sharing, Printer sharing and Media sharing. To secure sharing Vista includes Password protected sharing. This is good option if we have all computers running vista or higher version. But in our network we have lower version that do not support password protected sharing. So turn it off.

vista network discovery service on

That's all setting we need in Vista. Network discovery service automatically discovers same workgroup computers. We can access them in Network.

Open My Computer and click Network from left pane

vista access network computer

We have successfully setup our workgroup network. In next article we will learn how to share files and folders in this workgroup.