There was no workgroup set up, we weren't sharing folders or printers or anything like that.
You didn't say what OS (or service pack level) you are running, but if it is Windows XP Pro, then you can be a member of either a workgroup or a domain, and if you are on Windows XP Home you can only be a member of a workgroup. The default workgroup name in XP Pro is WORKGROUP, while the default workgroup name in XP Home is MSHOME. In otherwords, if you are not a member of a domain, you must be a member of a workgroup, and it must have a name.
Since computers can more easily see shared resources on other computers in the same workgroup, I recommend setting all of the systems on the network to the same workgroup name. While I recommend using the default name WORKGROUP, if you want to use a different name, just make sure it is 15 characters or less (all caps recommended), is not the same as the name of any other computers on the network, and does not contain spaces or any of the following characters: / \ * , . " @
While it is easier to see shared resources if all of your systems are in the same workgroup, technically systems in any workgroup
can access systems in any other workgroup
. Workgroups don't provide security or have anything to do with accessing a wireless network or your internet connection.
Bottom line: Your problem sounds like a wireless network configuration issue. The first thing to try in that case is to reset any of the network hardware such as modems, routers, access points, switches, etc., as well as restart the system. If that doesn't help, then make sure all of the settings are correct. Microsoft has tips on wireless network connection troubleshooting here
Our two laptops were setup to connect automatically to the wireless router even though it isn't broadcasting (using WPA2 and a 63-digit key).
If you don't have XP Service Pack 3 installed (you should), then I recommend you either install the following update or turn on SSID broadcasting in your access point:
With that update installed (it is included in SP3
), you can specify a wireless network as non-broadcast by clicking on the Association
tab in the properties dialog box of the wireless network, and then selecting Connect even if the network is not broadcasting
under Network Name (SSID)
Let me know how the story ends... Scott.