We have 7 computers at our business where I want to place some files on one of the newer ones and let the others simply access them. However, the newest computer is running Win7 64-bit pro. Some of the other computers are just Win XP pro 32-bit. If I setup a "Work Network" on the Win 7 computer where the files are located, will I be able to find them on one of the Win XP computers? Hope I am being descriptive enough. Sorry if I'm not.
Sure you can. File sharing over a network has worked since Windows 3.11.
I don't use Win 7 .. yet, but I can give you a couple things to get you started.
The files need to be in a "shared" folder. In the past, a person would right-click that folder (in Windows Explorer) and select "Sharing and Security" to enable the folder to be shared, and who it could be shared with. I haven't heard of any earth-shattering news that Microsoft has made huge changes in this department in Win 7.
It is also helpful to have local sharing protocols installed to make this as easy on everyone as possible.
Since I don't have Win 7, I can't very well tell you exactly what the screens look like, but in the Control Panel, in Network Connections, you would right-click your network connection and select Properties. In the General tab may be a list of the various services and protocols installed. You must have "Client for Microsoft Networks" and "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" and if you click the "Install" button, you can add a protocol named "NWLink NetBIOS." This is the protocol that makes the computers on your network side of the router accessible to each other using Windows Explorer.
All computers in your network need this protocol to interact with each other and your Win 7 shared folder.
Since this is the XP forum, you got an XP point of view. This has been the Microsoft way since Win 3.11, except they used to have a protocol named NetBEUI that worked rather well but had a few problems with exploits, so it is now gone.
I hope someone else that has Windows 7 running will jump in here and make any needed additions, correction or omissions as they see necessary.
Good luck, this might get you started, and hey, may even work.
[#0005ff]I'd only add that Windows 7 comes with two types of networking - Homegroup and what we'd think of as ordinary. Ignore the Homegroup option because that works best - if at all - with other W7 systems. Stick to the original way of going about things but if it doesn't seem to work, don't change all the settings - leave it at least ten minutes or more because the Computer Browser Service doesn't seem to run as frequently in W7 as it does in XP.[/#000ff]