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Home Networking: The Missing Manual by Scott Lowe

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Accessing Files on Other PCs

So far in this chapter, you've been reading from the point of view of the person doing the sharing. You've read the steps for preparing a PC for sharing by other people on the network. This section details how to be one of them—that is, how to connect to other PCs whose disks, folders, and printers have been shared. Fortunately, doing so is extremely easy.

Method 1: My Network Places

Most people view their network contents using a special window:

  • In Windows XP or Windows ME: choose Start My Network Places.

  • In Windows 95, 98, and 2000: double-click the desktop icon called Network Neighborhood.

The very first time you open the network window, you see icons that correspond to the shared folders and files on the computers of your network (including those on your own machine), as shown in Figure 5-14. Just double-click one to open it and, presto, the shared resource is yours to use.

In Windows XP, all of the shared disks and folders show up automatically in the My Network Places window—including shared disks and folders on your own PC, which can be a bit confusing.

Figure 5-14. In Windows XP, all of the shared disks and folders show up automatically in the My Network Places window—including shared disks and folders on your own PC, which can be a bit confusing.

Use "View workgroup computers" to simplify your view of network resources

If you find the My Network Places window overwhelmingly crowded as your network grows, you might find clarity in the "View workgroup computers" link at the left side of the window. It shows you the icons of the

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