can no longer file share between 2 xp computers

January 29, 2014 at 08:30:47
Specs: Windows XP
We were able to share files between xp computers. The z drive icon suddenly disappeared under "Devices with removable storage". This is where one of the computers could click and show a list of all the files that the other computer had put in there to be shared. Can anyone help us get that drive back so we can share file again?
Thanks in advance for your help.


See More: can no longer file share between 2 xp computers

Report •

January 29, 2014 at 09:11:30
How were you set up to share files - presumably over a network?

Can you at least "see" each other over your network (if it is via a network) even if not connect?

Report •

January 29, 2014 at 09:21:17
thanks for the response - her computer (the one that the icon disappeared from) has an internet adapter - my computer is directly connected to the router. I would just put files into the shared folder on my computer and she could copy them onto her computer (and vice versa). Since the icon is gone on her machine - we cannot share files - and cannot see each other.


Report •

January 29, 2014 at 09:53:57
mmm - not quite sure what you are describing - as in an internet adapter…

To connect (directly in your case) to your router you are using an ethernet cable (aka cat-5 cable - plug ends resemble a large phone connector)?

Is you other half using a similar cable to connect to "what"? and how does that "what" connect to the router?

Also useful to include details of make/model of router and also computers etc. when posting and asking for help; makes it a little easier for folks to help. The more hardware information - the better (within reason)?

Report •

Related Solutions

January 29, 2014 at 10:41:27
yes i use ethernet cable to connect to router - she uses linksys wireless g internet adapter to connect wirelessly to router. We both have windows xp and the computers were built for us about 2 years ago. The router is belkin wireless g.


Report •

January 29, 2014 at 10:52:33
ah… on the wifi computer is it showing that the wifi adapter is actually enabled/switched on?

And does that wifi computer connect to the router and thus to the internet OK?

Report •

January 29, 2014 at 10:54:51
yes it is working fine. no problems connecting to the internet with either computer.


Report •

January 29, 2014 at 12:09:58
Can either of the computers "see" each other when you view via Explorer or MyComputer?

"The z drive icon suddenly disappeared under "Devices with removable storage".

Seems to refer to an external drive - presumably attached to one or other computer; is that so?

Report •

January 29, 2014 at 12:46:41
No the computers cannot see each other. The z drive was set up by former IT people on computer with the internet adapter. It is not an external device - part of hard drive I think - only contains the shared files. Do not know why they did that - on my computer it is under the c drive.


Report •

January 29, 2014 at 13:32:43
Seems like you've lost the network connection between your two computers… Quite why…?

Is a pretty good guide to restoring it - in simple terms but also adequately detailed…

Suggest you have a read, print it out if needs-be as well.

Ensure you're both in the "same workgroup" - his first step.

Further on use "obtain ip address automatically" - in the internet protocol (tcp/ip) properties

Possibly you may need a little more help - but start with the above g on from there.

When a drive on one computer is shared over a network it can be given almost any drive letter name… Typical is Z… It is not normally A, B, or C - as they are reserved/defaults for drives on any system. Having a second C - could be "konphusing" to say the least

It is possible to map a drive on a network to connect automatically when you boot up etc.; the location where the drive is must also be booted/accessible of course.

You might consider a small network storage system anon. They are quite inexpensive these days. They allow easier share/store of common files etc; and also a higher degree of safety (backup) in terms of possible drive failures and so on in either PC. Benefit is that unlike your situation where "your" PC as to be up and running to share the drive… a network storage system can be accessed at any time by any computer allowed in… Your PC wouldn't need to be up and running…

The correct term for these is NAS - Network Area Storage - and they come in all shapes 'n sizes as it were… I have a QNAPS (has 2 drives) model that didn't break the bank by any means...

message edited by trvlr

Report •

January 30, 2014 at 05:24:05
My sincere thanks for your efforts on our behalf. I am not sure this applies to us - we do not have a server or network - unless 2 computers sharing files is a network. The z drive was working fine and all of a sudden the icon disappeared. Might have to call for help.


Report •

January 30, 2014 at 10:13:26
Rereading your initial posts and the most recent... It is likely that the IT chaps set up what is known drive mapping - which can be a complete drive - or part of it (a folder).

This mapping can be set to happen whenever you boot up the computers using the mapping to access a drive/folder on another computer on your network. By default it is not set to happen automatically at logon. That option has to be set when the mapping is set up, otherwise it will be lost when you shut down; which means you have to remap when you logon to the PC needing to map/access the shared source.

Possibly the mapping has been lost - can happen for all manner of reasons...

Also unless you share something on a PC it will not be visible over your network - even if everything else is set up correctly (ignoring mapping at this point of course). That too could be lost (the share option no-longer enabled) - for whatever reason...

So - something to check... On "your" PC check to see if the C: drive (which you say is the one you share a folder) is still in share mode. If it is it will now have a symbol which includes a hand supporting it. If not the whole drive is shared (can be and often is, although not always wise...) then just the folder you use to share files - that will have the "hand" symbol.

The mapped drive/folder on your computer will have been assigned the letter Z when the mapping was established (it could be almost any letter). If the mapping has been lost - then no Z drive on your wife's PC; and similarly if the share on drive/folder has been lost (no hand symbol) again the mapping will be lost.

This is the "Idiots's" guide to simple file sharing - from the book of that name. There have been (and will continue to be) times when this series of "how to do it..." books will help the novice (and those less so too at times) get something to work - without overly complicating it all.

and this Youtube video is very complete is very well presented and worth to view (possibly more than once...).

And this one - a little less clear visually but otherwise OK - describes the whole mapping process

and this a very simple and clearly presented guide to the mapping process; for windows XP/2000 so scroll down a little

and this from "the Dummies" series again..."

Many years ago my first supervisor in a research lab advised me that the best way to write or record anything - for others to read/follow etc. - was to write/present it in a way (in a simple step by step etc. style) that an "idiot with infinite intelligence" could read; as s/he would simply follow and do whatever was written... Thus they would do - duplicate- what one has written/done and thus achieve the same end results... The Dummies series is very much along those lines; which is why they can and do help more than a few - novices and those not so novice... They are often a good reference for those wishing to understand (at little at least) how to do things... The Dummies guides above may be all you need to restore the mapped drive Z...

If you follow the guides above - at least as check list/routine - you may find very quickly what has changed.. and thus also know what to fix and how to do it.

message edited by trvlr

Report •

January 30, 2014 at 12:41:24
ok thanks.will continue to try. You have no idea how much I am impressed with what you have done to try and help us.


Report •

January 30, 2014 at 12:44:25
I'm just one of many here who put in a little time to help others; as we have been helped by others in the past... And it keeps some of us off the streets...

Report •

January 30, 2014 at 12:55:10
I watched the you tube videos and read some of the other references. I have tried those today - the problem is that when I go to the other computer and try to map it, the shared folder on my computer does not show up as an option to select. However, I pinged the other computer to mine and it went through fine.
The folder in question shows as being shared on my computer - hand underneath but cannot be seen on the other computer.


Report •

January 30, 2014 at 13:02:23
There is no $ sign next to the C: drive on your computer is there?

If there is it means the share is actually a hidden share...; one of the options when establishing a share...

And if you look in "computers near me" do you see your computer on your wife's computer? (My network Places on the desktop - or in Explorer - and double-click on it...)

message edited by trvlr

Report •

January 30, 2014 at 13:15:32
Also double check that you're both in the same workgroup as displayed (amongst a few other items) when you right click on "my computer." (That's a long shot...)

However, I pinged the other computer to mine and it went through fine

Not quite following you here... Do you mean that when you ping your wife's PC from yours it goes though OK; and similarly if you ping yours from hers it's again OK?

Report •

January 30, 2014 at 13:19:29
And to confirm - you have enabled file and printer sharing on your PC - and the wife's?

When you try to find your share on the second/other computer are you able to see your computer, and then work your way down its tree to the file?

i.e. Go to network places, view entire network, carry on through microsoft network and into your workgroup; and finally (one hopes) to your computer and whatever it s sharing. If you can see the share then access it from here - and it will add itself to the list of "places" known by in the network, but it may take more than one connection/attempt for it to show. Once it's "known" you ought to be able map it?

message edited by trvlr

Report •

January 31, 2014 at 06:06:55
No $ both in same workgroup
on my computer under My Network Places The Internet it shows "Shared Docs on Northwall" -this is my computer and several unspecified files
file and printer sharing enabled on both
i think it is my computer i can see on hers but there is nothing under it when i click the plus sign to the left of it


Report •

January 31, 2014 at 06:07:45
one other thing - this all happened after she defragged her computer


Report •

January 31, 2014 at 09:52:44
defrag ought not to have screwed up anything...

Just to confirm...

You can ping your computer from the wife's; and you can ping your wife's from yours?

Also - on your computer; the folder where you put items to be shared.. is that in a share mode? (It will have the "hand" symbol around/under it if it is.)

message edited by trvlr

Report •

January 31, 2014 at 13:09:08
was not able to ping other computer from mine - 4 packets sent 4 packets lost
yes, hand is under shared folder


Report •

January 31, 2014 at 13:33:46
ok... you can't ping the other computer... I think we are getting somewhere... In a P-2-P (peer to peer) network one ought to be able to at least ping the other computers; even if not actually access their contents (until a share is enabled etc...).

Can you verify both your ip address and that of the other computer?

On each computer:

Start\run\ and type in: cmd.exe - and press enter (Start is the start button bottom left)

In a "dos box" that will come up... type"

ipconfig /all

and then press enter... (note the space between ipconfig and /all)

You will get a list of information that coves all the network adapters in the respective PC. This link shows a typical display.

You need to check that the same information is present on both computers - with one difference... The cat-5/ethernet ip address for you will be different - the last digit - to that on the other computer. The three entries below the first will be the same on both computers (or should be).

If you have a wifi adapter active too... the same "rule" applies...

You will get a similar several lines showing much the same information as for ethernet; again with the last number different to those for the ethernet; each wifi adapter will have its own ip address.

In other words - all ip addresses must be of the same sequence - with only the last digit different on each computer. The default gateway and subnet will/must be same on both computers.

Your ip address for example might be ; on the other computer it could be - it must not be 192.168.0.x (whatever x is). The first three numbers must be the same on both computers.

If in doubt... run the ipconfig /all routine and post the results here for both computers.

message edited by trvlr

Report •

January 31, 2014 at 16:25:07
There may be a firewall involvement here...

You cannot ping the other computer but it can ping you?

If this is correct, temporarily disable the firewall on the other computer... Then try to ping. If it goes through... the problem is within firewall settings on the other computer.

While the firewall is diasbled... see if the shared folder is now available?

Incidentally if we call your cmputer pc1 and the other pc2 makes it a little easier to discuss/follow...?

Report •

February 3, 2014 at 08:45:58
I did the ipconfig /all on pc 1 and 2 and got these results:
on pc 1 - ethernet adapter Local Area connection 3 ip address
on pc 2 - ethernet adapter Local Area connection 4 ip address


Report •

February 3, 2014 at 10:03:02

This is the same information from my Acer Aspire which has XP Pro installed..

It is configured for both cat-5/ethernet and wifi connection to my router.
Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : acer
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : Home

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : Home
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcom NetLink (TM) Gigabit Ethern
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-C0-9F-BE-10-34
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 03 February 2014 17:24:46
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 04 February 2014 17:24:46

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : Home
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-12-F0-D7-21-8E
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 03 February 2014 17:29:18
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 04 February 2014 17:29:18

You'll note that the details for both adapters is very similar (almost identical); the main difference is the actual ip address for each adapter…; and that will be the last digit...

Your computer (pc1) would resemble my ethernet ip details; as you're using cat-5/ethernet connection to the router. If you have wifi enabled too on pc1 then that info will also be there - similar to mine...

Your wife's (pc2) would resemble my wifi info. - the second block of information; as she is not using cat-5/ethernet.

From what you have just posted… pc2 doesn't appear to have "anything" like the information I would expect for a wifi connection…

Can you redo the ip config /all process - on both computers; then on each pc - within the black dos box area - right click on it and "select all". Then open word or whatever and "paste it there (via the edit function on the menu bar at the top). Save it and give it useful name?

Then paste the same information (as within the dos box area) here - please…

Also on each pc, within XP - open Control Panel; open "System" folder; select "Hardware" tab; then Device manager (it's at the top of the that tab's contents).

Scroll down (if needs-be) to find Network adapters in the list of hardware devices installed (or not…). click on the + sign and see what's in there.

I would expect to see two devices/adapter present if both ethernet and wifi are enabled/installed on a computer. If only wifi or ethernet installed - then logically only that adapter would show.

On pc2 I would hope to see wifi adapter - with similar details in the ipconfig /all as in my example above. And on pc1 similar details as for the ethernet in my example above.

From your post 24 it would appear that there is something missing on pc2 - the composite/correct wifi ip details…; and if so - how is it connecting to the router?

Also while you're investigating… - again from Control Panel - open Windows Firewall.

Click on the "Exceptions" tab. There will be (or ought to be) several items there with a tick box next to each. One of them will be "File and Print Sharing". If its tick box hasn't been "ticked/checked" - then do so. If it's not ticked/checked - then those services will not get through the fire wall; and files/printers won't be shared... Do this on both pc1 and pc2. When you do this check (on both pcs) - let me know what you found there when you made the initial check… (please).

Report •

February 3, 2014 at 11:43:46
not able to paste in word


Report •

February 3, 2014 at 11:57:41
odd… if you "select all" (which in effects copies the contents of the dos box), pause briefly, and then use the Edit (top menu bar in word ) "paste" function in Word - or right click on the mouse on a (blank) page in Word.. - it ought to paste…

It does for me…

Can you "select all" (after running the ipconfig /all command in the dos box) and paste it here - direct? the reason I suggested saving it in Word is merely as a reference - for how things are now…

While I'm up and around this evening (here in UK for me) I have my Acer with XP running alongside my Mac… So Ic an double check anything I may suggest - on my XP installation.

Report •

February 4, 2014 at 10:10:15
Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\JOHNNY>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : JOHN
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 3:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : VMware Accelerated AMD PCNet Adapter

Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-0C-29-CC-72-E9
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 02/04/2014 8:24:46 AM
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 02/07/2014 8:24:46 AM

C:\Documents and Settings\JOHNNY>
was able to get this from pc 1
do u need pc 2 printout or can you tell from this


Report •

February 4, 2014 at 11:21:06
Need to see what you get with ipconfig /all on pc2; pc1 looks normal/correct and clearly/correctly shows the connection on pc1 is ethernet. If wifi is correctly installed/enabled on pc2 the ipconfig info will be almost the same. Only the last digit of its ip address will be different (or ought to be). I'm out next for next few hours - this off my BB. Do the ipconfig for pc2 and copy/paste here. Will check in later. Also check firewall as earlier.
The ip details on pc2 - for wifi will be labelled as wireless - not ethernet. "My" ip details posted earlier are typical of each type of connection - so useful for comparison for each type of connection?

Report •

February 6, 2014 at 06:14:12
not able to paste on this computer
ethernet adapter local area connection 4
ip address
subnet mask
default gateway
hope this helps


Report •

February 6, 2014 at 06:59:48
What you have posted is an ethernet connection - not for wifi

On pc2 - go to Start button; select Run; type cmd and press Enter.

info the black "dos" window (on pc2) type: ipconfig /all

and press Enter.

What will be displayed is the info I need (all of it) - from pc2.

If it does NOT show a wireless connection there (and it will be similar to the wireless section in my ipconfig I posted earlier), then there it suggests that there is no wifi adapter enabled/connected on pc2.

And if there is no wifi adapter shown - then… I'm wondering how pc2 manages to get onto the internet at present.

How the IT chappies set up the system for you - as it clearly doesn't make sense at this stage…

Also what make and model is your router?

Can you also connect pc2 to the router directly via an ethernet/cat-5 cable? If so - see if you can share files that way. This is more to verify that you are both on the same network arrangement…

If you do connect pc2 directly to the router - redo the ipconfig all process; and post those" details here too… (separately from the first one where there is "only"… the wifi connection on pc2).

So we need the ipconfig with wifi on pc2; and another when using an ethernet from connection from pc2 to the router.

Report •

February 6, 2014 at 12:47:41
Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : SHARON
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : localdomain

thernet adapter Local Area Connection 4:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : localdomain
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : AMD PCNET Family PCI Ethernet Adapte
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-0C-29-A7-14-81
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . :
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 02/06/2014 3:39:40 PM
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 02/06/2014 4:09:40 PM

:\Documents and Settings\SHARON1>
finally got it to work - too long a distance to use ethernet cable to router from pc2


Report •

February 6, 2014 at 13:17:26
"finally got it to work - too long a distance to use ethernet cable to router from pc2"

What did you get to work - file sharing - using ethernet as posted above and with those settings?

The way the pc2 is set up is overly and unnecessarily complicated… And I'm not at all sure I understand how it's actually set up, nor how/why it "may" work…

The computers are not in the sub-net. A subnet is like a branch of a larger network - and all the computers on that "sub-net" (branch) can access each other and share things (when enabled to do so). But cannot access computers on another sub-net..

pc1 is ip adress is

pc2 appears to be

Where pc1 has " 2" pc2 has "239"… which means they are not in the same sub-net/branch…

Check your private messages - I have an option that may allow to resolve this more easily...

Report •

Ask Question