Need advice on home LAN

Hey all,

I need some advice on the best way to setup a home LAN.

I have attached a picture of how my system is currently setup (to spare you all my crapola explanation :) ).

I can connect to either computer with the wireless network I have setup and can share files and folders, but due to slow speeds for copying files (55 minutes plus for 4gb) I want to be able to hardwire the two pcs together for maximum speed (streaming movies, gaming etc)

Using an ethernet crossover cable, I couldn't get a hardwired connection between the two computers.. I thought this may be to do with XP Pro having trouble talking to Windows 7, but I couldn't seem to find any information relating to my setup specifically.

I am totally confused as to the best way to setup a LAN while still keeping the wireless network available (for when I'm in the backyard with the laptop and a gin+tonic) but being able to connect the computers with a wire when my mates are around so we can play games and stuff...

Any suggestions or advice will be much appreciated :) thanks in advance
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  1. You don't need a crossover cable w/ modern networking equipment. Almost all support auto-mdix which will automatically configure the network connection properly.

    The reason the second network connection is not working is that you probably configured it using the same network as the first network connection (e.g., 192.168.1.x). When presented w/ more than one network connection supporting the same network, Windows will ALWAYS choose the first network connection (i.e., the first one listed in Network Connections->Advanced->Advanced Settings->Connections). IOW, the second network connection is never used, and hence the other computer is inaccessible.

    If you want Windows to use that second network connection, you have to configure it w/ a DIFFERENT network (e.g., 192.168.2.x). Just manually assign one computer and the other Now you access resources using that network:

    net use * \\\MyMusic

    Because the named resource is always associated w/ the first network connection, you have to use explicit IP addresses. If you would like to use named resources w/ the second network connection, you can map arbitrary names to those IP addresses in the LMHOSTS file. See C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\lmhosts.sam for a sample. The actual file must be located there and named LMHOSTS (no extension) for Windows to recognize it.
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