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HP Pavilion a6245n Desktop PC support

Troubleshooting Your Wireless Network (Windows Vista)

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This document pertains to HP and Compaq Desktop PCs using a wireless network (a router) with Windows Vista.
This document describes how to diagnose and troubleshoot your wireless network problems.
The following sections provide detailed explanations of the troubleshooting process and corrective actions.

Identify the network connection problem

When troubleshooting a computer that cannot connect to a wireless (Wi-Fi) network or the Internet, do the following:
  1. To check the status of the computer, the network, and the Internet connection, right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area, and then click Network and Sharing Center.
    Figure 1: Network Connection menu
    Network Connection menu
  2. In the Network and Sharing Center, look at the network status.
    A yellow exclamation symbol indicates there is a problem with the connection. A red X indicates there is no connection. This information changes as the network status changes.
    Figure 2: Network status
    Network status
    NOTE:Click the yellow exclamation symbol for additional status information.
  3. In the following table, identify the connection problem and select the one that most closely describes your problem.
    Red X between the computer and the Internet.

    The home wireless network is not set up or the wireless router is off or frozen. Go to the Wireless network is not set up section
    Yellow exclamation between the computer and the network.

    The computer was connected to the home wireless network in the past, but suddenly it cannot connect to the home wireless network or has a limited access message. Go to the Cannot connect to an existing wireless network section.
    Red X between the network and the Internet

    The computer has been connected to the home wireless network in the past, and it did have access to the Internet, but suddenly it cannot connect to the Internet even though it can connect to the wireless network. Go to the Can connect to the wireless network but not to the Internet section.
    Slow connections, or dropped frames in live television. The computer is connected to your home wireless network and you have access to the Internet, but the connection is slow or dropped. Go to the Slow or dropped connections section.
    Cannot share files with another computer on the network.The wireless network is working correctly but you cannot access files on another computer on the network. Go to Wireless network is working but you cannot share files with another computer .

Wireless network is not set up

Reset the wireless router by turning it off, unplugging it from power, waiting 5 seconds, and then plugging the power back in. If networking is not restored, check the cable and go through the setup process.
You have not set up your home wireless network, or you tried setting it up but the computer has never been able to connect to that network. In the Network and Sharing Center, click Set up a connection or network and follow the instructions. For help, see Creating a Wireless Home Network and Sharing Files in Windows Vista .

Cannot connect to an existing wireless network

The computer has been connected to your home wireless network in the past, and had access to the Internet, but suddenly it cannot connect to the wireless network or has a limited access message.
Perform each step and test the connection. If the problem is not fixed, continue to the next step.

Step 1: Check the wires

Use the following steps to verify that your modem, adapter, and router and access points are turned on and connected correctly.
  1. Check your cable or DSL modem for disconnected cables or wires. Make sure the power cable is connected and the lights are on.
  2. Make sure that the wireless router is connected to the power adapter and modem. Make sure the lights are on.
  3. Reseat all the cables, turn the power off, and then back on to power cycle both the modem and access point or router. It might take 30 to 60 seconds to re-establish a wireless connection.

Step 2: Run the Vista diagnostic tool

Vista monitors the network and Internet connections. If it detects a problem, Windows Vista displays a no connection or limited connection message, and prompts you for permission to diagnose the problem. Click OK to allow Vista to diagnose the problem and restore the connection.
To run the diagnostic tool manually, use one of the following options:
  • No error message is displayed, but there is no Internet connection:
    1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Diagnose and repair from the menu. Allow Windows to repair and reestablish the connection.
      Figure 3: Diagnose and repair
      Diagnose and repair
  • The Network Connection icon is missing in the notification area:
    1. Click Start and type Network in the Start Search box.
      Figure 4: Opening the Network and Sharing Center
      Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu
    2. Click Network and Sharing Center in the Programs area.
    3. In the Network and Sharing Center, click Diagnose and repair in the left pane. Read and respond to the windows that open.
      Figure 5: Diagnose and repair in the Network and Sharing Center
      Diagnose and repair in the Network and Sharing Center

Step 3: Make sure the wireless network connection is enabled

The connection to a wired or wireless network can be disabled or enabled. To verify the status:
  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Network and Sharing Center in the menu.
    Figure 6: Network Connection menu
    Network and Sharing Center
  2. In the Network and Sharing Center, click Manage network connections. Check that the wireless network is disabled.
    Figure 7: A disabled wireless network
    A disabled wireless network
  3. To enable the network, right-click the connection, and click Enable.
    It might take a few seconds to enable the connection.

Step 4: Make sure the computer is connected to the correct network

If the computer has been connected to a network it has already detected in the past, it tries to reestablish the connection. However, that connection might not be the correct network.
To determine which network the computer is currently connected with and to select the network you want to use, do the following.
  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area.
    Figure 8: Network Connection icon
    Network Connection icon
  2. Click Network and Sharing Center in the menu.
    Figure 9: Network Connection menu
    Network and Sharing Center
  3. The Network and Sharing Center opens and displays the name of the network(s) and the types of connections.
    • If the desired network is listed, but not connected, select it and click Connect.
    • If the computer is connected to the wrong network, click Disconnect. Then select the desired network and click Connect.
    • To prevent the computer from connecting to that network in the future, click Manage Wireless Networks. Right-click the network you want to change and click Properties. Remove the automatic selection option and click OK to accept the change.

Step 5: Minimize interference and move the computer closer to the router

A wireless network router has a limited broadcast range. The further the computer is from the router, the weaker the broadcast signal. Solid objects, such as walls, metal furniture, and electrical appliances might interfere with the signal and decrease the usable range.
For testing purposes, move the computer closer to the router and minimize interference from electrical devices. If testing the connection with the computer near to the router proves that the wireless connection is working, you can move the computer to determine the range of the connection. To extend the usable range of the wireless network router, consider purchasing a different antenna from the router manufacturer, or use a signal repeater.
If the test fails with the computer and the router in the same room, continue to the next step to force the device to re-establish all connection values.

Step 6: Disconnect from the network and manually re-connect

A common problem with a lost connection or poor network connectivity is accidental connection to the wrong network. It is possible to connect to a network that does not actually exist. For instance, an interruption in the power to a router or a modem, or a momentary loss of signal from the ISP. These types of problems can be resolved by disconnecting from the network router and manually reestablishing a new connection.
Use the following steps to disconnect from a wireless network, and then search for, and manually re-connect to the desired wireless network.
  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Network and Sharing Center.
    Figure 10: Opening the Network and Sharing Center
    Opening the Network and Sharing Center
    NOTE:If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start, and type Network in the Start Search box. Then click Network and Sharing Center in the Programs area.
    Figure 11: Opening the Network and Sharing Center
    Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu
  2. If any wireless connections exist, click Disconnect on each one. In a few moments the wireless networks disappear from the display.
  3. In the Network and Sharing Center window, click Set up a connection or network in the left pane.
    NOTE:Do not click Connect to a network. If the problem is an incorrect password or key index, this option reconnects with the wrong information.
    Figure 12: Set up a connection or network
    Set up a connection or network
  4. In the Choose a connection option window, select Manually connect to a wireless network, and click Next.
    Figure 13: Manually connecting to a wireless network
    Manually connecting to a wireless network
  5. Type the required wireless network information, and then click Next.
    • Network name
    • Security type. Must be the same security as set in the wireless router
    • Security Key/Passphrase
    • Select Start the connection automatically
    • Select Connect even if network is not broadcasting
    Figure 14: Network information
    Network information
    NOTE:If the wireless network already exists, when prompted, select Use the existing network. The information just entered replaces the previous values that are causing the connection problem.
  6. Select the desired network, and click Connect.
    After a few moments a message displays indicating that the computer is Successfully connected to the network.
  7. After the connection is made, place the mouse pointer over the network icon in the notification area to verify the Name, Speed, Strength, and Status of the connection. If the connection is weak or slow, see Minimize interference and move the computer closer to the router .

Step 7: Reset the power to the network router and the ISP or DSL modem

When a computer establishes a connection with a router or with the Internet it uses several IP addresses to manage the communication. If the electrical power to the computer, the router, or the Internet service is interrupted momentarily, the IP address might change and disrupt the connections. The indicator lights on the equipment might indicate that a connection exists, but all the IP addresses might not agree. To reestablish the correct IP addresses, reset the power as follows:
  1. Completely shut down the computer. Click Start , and click the Arrow button .
    Figure 15: Shutting down the computer
    Shutting down the computer
  2. Unplug the power to the network router and to the ISP or DSL modem.
  3. Wait 30 seconds before continuing.
  4. Reconnect the power to the modem and allow it reestablish a connection to the ISP.
  5. Reconnect the power to the router and allow it to reestablish the connections to the modem and other components.
  6. Turn on the computer and allow it to reestablish the IP address connections to the router and the modem.

Step 8: Connect the computer directly to the network router using an Ethernet cable

By connecting the computer directly to the network router using an Ethernet cable, you can determine if the connection problem is with the router settings or with the wireless signal. It is not necessary to turn off the computer's wireless network device during the testing.
  1. Move the computer closer to the router (if needed) and plug an Ethernet cable into the network port on the computer and one of the available ports on the router.
  2. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area, and select Network and Sharing Center.
  3. The window displays the name of the network(s) and the types of connections.
  4. Select Manage network connections.
  5. Check the status of the wired network.
  6. If the wired network, or the wireless network, is Disabled, right-click the connection, and select enable. It might take a few seconds for the connection to become enabled.
    • If the Network and Sharing Center window shows connections from the computer to the network router, and from the router to the ISP or DSL modem, click the Internet icon to open a browser and view a page on the Web. The router is configured.
    • If the Network and Sharing Center window shows connections from the computer to the network router, but not the Internet, the router might not be configured. See Reset and reconfigure the router .
    • If the network router cannot connect to the Internet, and you have installed programs that required making changes to the firewall settings, refer to router manufacturer Help files for information on restoring the router to the factory default conditions.
  7. After you have verified the direct wired connection to the Internet, turn on the power to the wireless device, disconnect the Ethernet cable from the computer, and manually setup a new connection to the wireless network (see Step six above) .

Step 9: Install updated WLAN Driver and BIOS

If no network connection icon is displayed within 15 to 30 seconds after enabling the wireless network, or if a Windows Device not Found error message displays, the software driver might be missing or corrupt. To fix this, download and install the latest drivers and BIOS from the HP Web site.
To get the updated wireless LAN adapter drivers and latest version of the BIOS for your computer, go to the HP Drivers and Downloads page and search for updated drivers. You must know the exact model number or product number for your computer. Be sure to select the correct operating system.
NOTE:If the computer cannot connect to the Internet, use another computer to download the files to an external storage device. Install the updated drivers from external storage device.
If the wireless adapter you are using was purchased separately, consult the manufacturer's Web site for the latest software.

Step 10: Verify and update computer security

The computer might have become infected with spyware and viruses, which can happen if the firewall or antivirus software is turned off or configured incorrectly. See Resolving and Preventing Viruses on Your Computer for more information on how to protect your computer from these threats.
Additionally, make sure that the firewall settings allow you to access the Internet. Refer to your firewall's Help file for more information on its settings.

Step 11: Perform a Microsoft System Restore

If the computer was able to connect to the wireless network in the past, but now cannot connect, perform a Microsoft System Restore .
If you have completed all the steps and still cannot connect to the wireless network, contact HP for support.

Can connect to the wireless network but not to the Internet

The computer has been connected to your home wireless network in the past with access to the Internet, but suddenly it cannot connect to the Internet even though it can connect to home wireless network.

Step 1: Make sure that the computer is connected to the right network

When the computer detects a wireless network, if it has been connected to that network in the past, it tries to reestablish the connection. However, the connection might not be to the correct network.
To determine what network the computer is connected to and to select the network you want, do the following:
  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area.
    Figure 16: Network Connection icon
    Network Connection icon
  2. Click Network and Sharing Center in the menu.
    Figure 17: Network Connection menu
    Network and Sharing Center
  3. The Network and Sharing Center opens and displays the name of the network(s) and the types of connections.
    • If the desired network is listed, but not connected, select it and click Connect.
    • If the computer is connected to the wrong network, click Disconnect. Then select the desired network and click Connect.
    • To prevent the computer from connecting to that network in the future, click Manage Wireless Networks. Right-click the network you want to change and click Properties. Remove the automatic selection option and click OK to accept the change.

Step 2: Run the Vista diagnostic tool

Vista monitors the network and Internet connections. If it detects a problem, Windows Vista displays a no connection or limited connection message, and prompts you for permission to diagnose the problem. Click OK to allow Vista to diagnose the problems and restore the connection.
To run the diagnostic tool manually, use one of the following options:
  • No error message is displayed and there is no Internet connection:
    1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Diagnose and repair from the menu. Allow Windows to repair and reestablish the connection.
      Figure 18: Diagnose and repair
      Diagnose and repair
  • The Network Connection icon is missing in the notification area:
    1. Click Start and type Network in the Start Search box.
      Figure 19: Opening the Network and Sharing Center
      Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu
    2. Click Network and Sharing Center in the Programs area.
    3. In the Network and Sharing Center, click Diagnose and repair in the left pane.
      Figure 20: Diagnose and repair in the Network and Sharing Center
      Diagnose and repair in the Network and Sharing Center

Step 3: Reset the power to the network router and the ISP or DSL modem

When a computer establishes a connection with a router or with the Internet, it uses several IP addresses to manage the communication. If the electrical power to the computer, the router, or the Internet service is interrupted momentarily, the IP address might change and disrupt the connections. The indicator lights on the equipment might indicate that a connection exists, but all the IP addresses might not agree. To reestablish the correct IP addresses, reset the power as follows:
  1. Completely shut down the computer. Click Start , click the Arrow button , then click Shut Down.
    Figure 21: Shutting down the computer
    Shutting down the computer
  2. Unplug the power to the network router and to the ISP or DSL modem.
  3. Wait 30 seconds before continuing.
  4. Reconnect the power to the modem and allow it reestablish a connection to the ISP.
  5. Reconnect the power to the router and allow it to reestablish the connections to the modem and other components.
  6. Turn on the computer and allow it to reestablish the IP address connections to the router and the modem.

Step 4: Verify and update computer security

The computer might have become infected with spyware and viruses, which can happen if the firewall or antivirus software is turned off or configured incorrectly. See Resolving and Preventing Viruses on Your Computer for more information on how to protect your computer from these threats.
Additionally, make sure that the firewall settings allow you to access the Internet. Refer to your firewall's Help file for more information on its settings.

Step 5: Disconnect from the network and manually re-connect

A common problem with a lost connection or poor network connectivity, is accidental connection to the wrong network. It is possible to connect to a network that does not actually exist. For instance, an interruption in the power to a router or a modem, or even a momentary break in the signal from the ISP. These types of problems can be resolved by disconnecting from the network router and manually reestablishing the connection.
Use the following steps to disconnect from a wireless network, and then search for, and manually re-connect to the desired wireless network.
  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Network and Sharing Center.
    Figure 22: Opening the Network and Sharing Center
    Opening the Network and Sharing Center
    NOTE:If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start and type Network in the Start Search box. Then click Network and Sharing Center in the Programs area.
    Figure 23: Opening the Network and Sharing Center
    Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu
  2. If any wireless connections exist, click Disconnect on each one. In a few moments, the wireless networks disappear from the display.
  3. In the Network and Sharing Center window, click Set up a connection or network in the left pane.
    NOTE:Do not click Connect to a network. If the problem is an incorrect password or key index, this option reconnects with the wrong information.
    Figure 24: Set up a connection or network
    Set up a connection or network
  4. In the Choose a connection option window, select Manually connect to a wireless network, and click Next.
    Figure 25: Manually connecting to a wireless network
    Manually connecting to a wireless network
  5. Type the required wireless network information, and then click Next.
    • Network name
    • Security type. Must be the same security as set in the wireless router
    • Security Key/Passphrase
    • Select Start the connection automatically
    • Select Connect even if network is not broadcasting
    Figure 26: Network information
    Network information
    NOTE:If the wireless network already exists, when prompted, select Use the existing network. The information just entered will replace the previous values that are causing the connection problem.
  6. Select the desired network, and click Connect.
    After a few moments, a message displays indicating that the computer is Successfully connected to the network.
  7. After the connection occurs, place the mouse pointer over the network icon in the notification area to verify the Name, Speed, Strength, and Status of the connection. If the connection is weak or slow, see Minimize interference and move the computer closer to the router .

Step 6: Connect the computer directly to the ISP or DSL modem using an Ethernet cable

By connecting the computer directly to the ISP or DSL modem using an Ethernet cable, you can determine if a signal is being received from the Internet Service Provider.
  1. Using an Ethernet cable, connect the computer directly to the ISP or DSL modem.
  2. Open a Web browser such as Internet Explorer and access any Web site.
  3. If another computer is available, connect it directly to the modem to verify whether it can connect.
    • If neither computer can connect to the Internet, contact your Internet Service Provider for technical assistance.
    • If one computer can connect but the other cannot connect using a direct connection, the problem is specific to that computer. Skip to Step seven.

Step 7: Reset and reconfigure the router

If you have installed a new router or made changes to the router settings while trying to fix connection problems, reset the router to its factory settings, Then run the manufacturer set up program to configure the router.
Use the following steps as a general guideline, but see the User Guide for the router for model specific information.
  1. Enter the default IP addresses for the router into the URL address field on the browser. The following list provides default IP addresses for several routers.
    • 3Com: http://192.168.1.1
    • D-Link: http://192.168.0.1
    • Linksys: http://192.168.1.1
    • Netgear: http://192.168.0.1
    NOTE: These IP addresses are provided for informational purposes only.
  2. When the home page for the router displays, you might need to type a password to perform configuration tasks. See the User Guide for model specific information.
    NOTE:Most manufacturers allow you to reset the router to a default factory condition and then opens router configuration screens.
  3. When you have administrator access to the router, change the router's default name, sometimes called an SSID, to a name that is different from other routers in your area.
  4. Set up wireless encryption (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), to prevent other computers from connecting to your home network.
  5. Enter a network access password, sometimes called a passphrase. Make sure to pick a password that is easy to remember, such as a phone number that you dial often or a phrase that is easy to remember.
  6. If the router is connected to the ISP or DSL modem, open the browser and verify that the computer has access to the Internet.

Step 8: Perform a Microsoft System Restore

If the wireless connection worked previously, but now is unable to connect, perform a Microsoft System Restore in Windows Vista to undo configuration settings that have caused connection problems.

Slow or dropped wireless connections

Complete the following steps to resolve slow or dropped wireless connections:

Step 1: Move the computer closer to the router

A wireless network router has a limited broadcast range. The further the computer is from the router, the weaker the broadcast signal. Solid objects, such as walls, metal furniture, and electrical appliances might interfere with the signal and decrease the usable range.
For testing purposes, move the computer closer to the router and minimize interference from electrical devices. If testing the connection with the computer near to the router proves that the wireless connection is working, you can move the computer to determine the range of the connection. To extend the usable range of the wireless network router, consider purchasing a different antenna from the router manufacturer, or use a signal repeater.
If the test fails with the computer and the router in the same room, continue to the next step to force the device to re-establish all connection values.

Step 2: Disconnect from the network and manually re-connect

A common problem with a lost connection or poor network connectivity, is that the computer is accidently connected to the wrong network. It is also possible to connect to a network that does not actually exist. For instance, an interruption in the power to a router or a modem, or even a momentary break in the signal from the ISP can change IP addresses. These types of problems can be resolved by disconnecting from the network router and manually reestablishing the connection with the correct password and key index.
Use the following steps to disconnect from a wireless network, and then search for, and manually re-connect to the desired wireless network.
  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Network and Sharing Center.
    Figure 27: Opening the Network and Sharing Center
    Opening the Network and Sharing Center
    NOTE:If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start and type Network in the Start Search box. Then click Network and Sharing Center in the Programs area.
    Figure 28: Opening the Network and Sharing Center
    Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu
  2. If any wireless connections exist, click Disconnect on each one. In a few moments, the wireless networks disappear from the display.
  3. In the Network and Sharing Center window, click Set up a connection or network in the left pane.
    NOTE:Do not click Connect to a network. If the problem is an incorrect password or key index, this option reconnects with the wrong information.
    Figure 29: Set up a connection or network
    Set up a connection or network
  4. In the Choose a connection option window, select Manually connect to a wireless network, and click Next.
    Figure 30: Manually connecting to a wireless network
    Manually connecting to a wireless network
  5. Type the required wireless network information, and then click Next.
    • Network name
    • Security type. Must be the same security as set in the wireless router
    • Security Key/Passphrase
    • Select Start the connection automatically
    • Select Connect even if network is not broadcasting
    Figure 31: Network information
    Network information
    NOTE:If the wireless network already exists, when prompted, select Use the existing network. The information just entered will replace the previous values that are causing the connection problem.
  6. Select the desired network, and click Connect.
    After a few moments, a message displays indicating that the computer is Successfully connected to the network.
  7. After the connection occurs, place the mouse pointer over the network icon in the notification area to verify the Name, Speed, Strength, and Status of the connection. If the connection is weak or slow, see Minimize interference and move the computer closer to the router .

Step 3: Adjust Windows Vista performance settings

Viewing live TV over a wireless connection takes significant processing power. Live TV can skip (drop frames) when other software programs are active. Close any open software programs and try viewing again.
For even better performance, prevent unwanted software programs from opening with Windows and adjust Windows Vista performance settings. For more helpful tips on how you can increase performance, see Increasing System Performance Without Adding Memory in Windows Vista .

Wireless network is working but you cannot share files with another computer

The wireless network is working correctly but you cannot access files on another computer on the network.
The easiest way to share files on your network is to place them in the Public folder. Any file or folder you put in the Public folder is automatically shared with the people connected to your network. To turn on Public folder sharing, follow these steps:

Step 1: Turn on network discovery and file sharing

Turn on Network discovery and file sharing on each computer that you want to access on the network.
Any file or folder you put in the Public folder is automatically shared with the people connected to your network. To turn on Public folder sharing, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start , and then click Network. The Network window opens and displays the following message:
    Network discovery and file sharing are turned off. Network computers and devices are not visible. Click to change...
  2. Click the message. In the menu, click Turn on network discovery and file sharing.
    NOTE:Network discovery and file sharing automatically turns off every time the computer restarts. After Windows Vista starts, you must repeat this step to access computers on the network.
    Figure 32: Network discovery setting
    Network window
  3. The Network discovery and file sharing window displays. Select No, make the network that I am connected to a private network.
    Figure 33: Network discovery and file sharing
    Network discovery and file sharing
    Computers detected on the network are displayed. Only computers with network discovery and file sharing enabled are viewable from the Network window.
    Figure 34: Computers with network discovery and file sharing enabled
    Network window
  4. To set up a shared public folder, shared printing, and password protected shared folders, click Network and Sharing Center.
    The Network and Sharing Center window displays.
    Figure 35: Link to Network and Sharing Center
    Link to Network and Sharing Center
  5. Click the down-arrow button next to each Sharing and Discovery setting to change the settings to fit your network environment.
    Figure 36: Network and Sharing Center: Down arrow button
    Network and Sharing Center  window
    Network discovery and File sharing must always be turned on or computers will not be able to detect each other on the network. Select from the following options:
    • Public folder sharing
      • Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open files.
      • Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open, change and create files.
      • Turn off sharing.
    • Printer sharing. Printer sharing is active only when a printer is detected.
      • Turn on sharing.
      • Turn off sharing.
    • Password protected sharing. Use password protected sharing when you wish to limit shared folders access to specific people.
      • Turn on password protected sharing.
      • Turn off password protected sharing.
    • Media sharing
      • Turn on media sharing.
      • Turn off media sharing.

Step 2: Sharing drives, folders, and files

To share non-public folders, do the following:
  1. Click Start , and click Computer.
  2. Browse to the folder you want to share.
  3. Right-click the folder and select Share.
    The File Sharing window displays.
  4. Click the down arrow, select the group name or user name you want to share with, and click Add.
  5. Click the down arrow under Permission Level to set read-only or make changes to the shared folder.
  6. Click Share, and then click Done.

Step 3: Testing the network

Open the Windows Vista network window and browse through the shared folders in each computer on the network.
Figure 37: Windows Vista Network Window
Network window
If the computer is able to read and access files from a remote computer, the remote computer is set up correctly. Browse to every available computer from each computer on the network. If there are any issues, go back through these steps and verify that the settings are correct.
NOTE:If you are unsure how to browse shared folders or are experiencing difficulties, refer to the section Accessing shared files and directories .
When all computers are able to connect to each other computer on the network, continue to the next step.

Step 4: Accessing shared files and directories

Do the following to access shared files and directories:
  1. Click Start , and select Network.
    The Network window opens and displays computers with shared folders that are detected on local networks.
    Figure 38: Network window showing computers capable of sharing files
    Network window
  2. Double-click the computer name you want to access.
    If Password Protection is enabled for the shared computer, a Connect to (login) window opens. Type in the user name and password of the account with permission to access the shared computer.
    NOTE:
    • Make sure to follow the required format of Computername\username.
    • Make sure the type of account you are using is allowed on the computer you are connecting to.
    Figure 39: Username and password prompt
    User name and password  window
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