I am trying to set up a wired network from a Windows 7 computer to a Windows XP computer. I have them connected via ethernet but and have assigned them IP addresses etc. I am unsure of the next step. Any suggestions?
One thing about your setup. Most people have an internet connection go into a router and then both the windows XP and Windows 7 machines hooked into one of the LAN slots on the router. This router should provide the right IP addresses and provide access to the internet for both machines.
Once you have everything physically setup the next step is to start sharing files/folders. For the Windows XP machine you will need to share a folder to get things started. Just use simple file/folder sharing on the XP machine and share a folder. Once that is done your basically done with the XP machine.
Go onto your Windows 7 machine and navigate to the windows xp machine. (ex \\my_computer_pc) that should connect to the XP machine and you should see the folder being shared. On the windows 7 machine the sharing is a little different. You will setup the folder to be shared the same way as in XP but you will need to go into the advanced sharing and add the Everyone user and give them file/folder permissions. This should now allow the XP machine to see the windows 7 machine.
The best tutorial i have found is here