Networking between WindowsXP and Windows95/98/ME

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 2 March 2002 / Last Updated on 2 March 2002]

When installing a network between a Windows95/98/Me and a Windows XP system,
just make sure that you configure both systems with all required components
(same as for networking between Windows95/98/ME and Windows 2000, see also the
Microsoft Knowledge Base
article Q258717 ) :

1) Common protocol: Either install on all system NetBEUI protocol or TCP/IP:

Since the default protocol for
Windows XP is now TCP/IP,
you should also use TCP/IP on
the Windows95/98/ME system.
(for details on the selection/
installation of protocols, please
view the Adjust the Network
Configuration )

Check on TCP/IP properties:
for Windows95, you must
define manually an IP-address,
for Windows98/ME, you can
select to use the Windows 98
TCP/IP AutoConfiguration.
however: since the Windows98
Auto-IP-configuration will cause
a delay at startup, I strongly
suggest to assign manually an
IP-address (use an address from
the range 192.168.x.x with
subnetmask )

test, that you have a working
network connection to the
Windows2000 system by
making the TCP/IP PING test.

Verify the Windows XP Network.
By default, TCP/IP is installed
and configured for an
Automatic IP-configuration.

Although it will not delay the
startup, the network will not
be ready for a while, since the
IP-address will not yet be
I suggest to define the IP-address
manually, assigning an IP-address
in the same range as defined on
the Windows95/98 system.

test, that you have a working
network connection to the
Windows95/98/ME system by
making the TCP/IP PING test.

2) Install File-and-Printer Sharing:

You need to install the "File-and-Printer Sharing"
on Windows95/98/ME as part of the Network

"File-and-Printer Sharing" is installed already by default,
see the Windows XP Network Verification.

3) make sure to be in the same workgroup:

Check in the Network-Configuration,
tab: Identification, that the name of the
workgroup is the same as defined on the
Windows 2000 system.

Check in the Properties of "My Computer",
tab: Network Identification, that the name
of the workgroup is the same as defined on
the Windows95/98/ME system.
if required, adjust it.

4) Make the resources available by Sharing disks/folders on Windows95/98/ME and by
sharing disks/folders on Windows XP Home Edition / sharing disks/folders on Windows XF Prof.

5) If you used Windows XP professional, create a WindowsXP Username for the user working
on the Windows95/98/ME system:

use Windows XP User Management to create a username and password to be used to logon
on the Windows95/98/ME system.

6) Login on the Windows95/98/ME system on startup with the username and password defined
in the step above, when connecting to Windows XP Professional :

You can use any Username and password to connect to Windows XP Home Edition,
but you MUST define a username (and password, if required) to logon (if you select on the
Windows95/98/ME "Enter Network Password" to "Cancel" or press the "ESC-key", then you
did NOT logon to the network and can NOT use the network ! )

7) the Windows95 "Network Neighborhood" should allow you now to access the
WindowsXP system and the Windows XP "My Network Places" / "Computers Near Me"
access to the Windows:

If you get the request to enter a

on connection to a Windows XP Professional system for the IPC$ resource,
then there is a mismatch between the
username/password and permission
defined on the XP-system
and the
username/password used when making
the logon
to the Windows95/98/ME

There is a new behavior with Windows XP on network access , when using usernames
without any passwords :

Although Windows XP allows to logon
without passwords, it requires that passwords
are defined for users, when such users like to
connect via the network to shared resources
on the Windows XP system :
Trying to access from Windows95/98 to
Windows XP with matching usernames but
using blank ( = no ) passwords will result
on Windows95 to an "Unknown Error 31".

Solution : define on both systems a password
for this user or use on Windows XP the
Group-Policy Editor to allow network access
without passwords

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