How to connect to a Windows XP computer from Windows Vista

This tutorial will guide you through the steps required to access any shared files, folders or printers you may have set up on Windows XP, from Windows Vista.

A bit of background, from this Vista TechCenter article

Network Map uses a discovery protocol called Link-Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) in order to query the other devices on the network to determine how the network is organized. Computers that are running Windows Vista include the software components that implement the LLTD protocol. For network computers that are running Windows XP to appear on the map, they must have a discovery protocol enabled that can respond to the mapping computer’s requests.

  1. First up – on your computer running XP, download and install the Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) Responder. If that link doesn’t work (it might not for very long, as it’s a direct link to the exe and Microsoft wants you to go through “Genuine Validation” – use this one.

    Click Run when prompted.

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  3. You’ll have to click Next a couple of times, but that’s about it. What you’re not told, is that you have to reboot before it will work. So restart your XP PC after the installation is done.

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  5. Now on your computer running Vista, open the Network item from the Start menu. If your XP computer doesn’t show up, have no fear. Enter \\your-xp-ip-address in the address bar and hit enter. If you need help figuring out the IP address your XP computer is using, see this tutorial on determining your IP address in XP.
  6. And now any of the shared folders or printers on your XP computer will be displayed.

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  8. Double-click a shared folder to access its contents.

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  10. You can create a shortcut to the shared XP folder by dragging it to your sidebar.
  11. Right-click the new entry in your sidebar and select Properties. From the General tab you can rename the folder. Alternately you can just select Rename from the right-click menu.

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  13. Now the sidebar shortcut will display a more suitable name.
  14. If you’d prefer to have the shared folder show up as a drive, right-click that folder and select Map Network Drive…
  15. Choose the letter you’d like this drive to appear as (in the screenshot below I opted for F:). If you’d like the shared folder to be set as a drive each time your Vista PC starts, make sure Reconnect at login is selected. Click Finish when you’re done.

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  17. And now your shared folder will appear as its own drive.

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  19. To rename the drive, right-click it and select Rename.
  20. That’s it – you’re done!
{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Excellent May 25, 2008, 8:07 pm

    Excellent article. Thanks for sharing.

  • Nalina June 2, 2008, 4:42 am

    This artical is excellent.

  • Iceman June 8, 2008, 6:46 pm

    Good Example. Thanks!

  • NeedHelp June 9, 2008, 12:47 pm

    I’ve followed the example and its not working. Any suggestions?

  • Hnorio June 22, 2008, 3:38 pm

    El articulo es excelente pero baje lo que esta en el vinculo y lo instale pero luego me dice algo acerca de que son idiomas diferentes.
    Alguna solución

  • Stephen August 11, 2008, 3:09 pm

    Great article with excellent examples.
    How do you access a Vista PC from an XP PC?

  • Head August 30, 2008, 11:57 pm


    Been messing around for hours checking connections and look at MS help


  • Francis September 11, 2008, 1:04 am

    um i just got my vista so im not 2 good on it but i am certain i did evrything right and it wont work.
    Wen i type the ip address in the address bar it loads a minute and then opens a web browser searching 4 th address.
    No connection has been established i dont understand

  • Confused September 27, 2008, 12:13 pm

    I did everything up to the point of entering the IP address on the Vista computer. It then demanded a Username and Password. No matter what username or password I put in (from the XP box) it rejects it.

    Very frustrating! What simple ‘everyone knows that’ thing isn’t in this writeup………….

  • Tariq December 28, 2008, 6:23 am

    Great Article

  • jose ribeiro January 27, 2009, 2:47 am

    tento run no link layer topology discovery mas ele nao corre porque diz que a lingua do sistema é diferente.
    o file esta em ingles e o meu XP é em Portugues
    onde posso encontrar um file para Portugues ?

  • George Sousa February 9, 2009, 1:50 am

    Att Jose Ribeiro
    Tente puxar do link abaixo, contudo fica ligado ao “Genuine Software”

    Eu estou a resolver um caso Vista / Xp mas não é nesta maquina que estou agora.

  • JNescal February 11, 2009, 5:48 am

    Excelente didática.
    Funcional perfeitamente!
    Muito obrigado pela ajuda

  • Rodney Palmer March 22, 2009, 9:22 pm

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I spent hours reading other websites including the OH SO HELPFUL Microsoft Knowledge base. Wish I had found you sooner. Lesson Learned: Search Google NOT Microsoft!

  • Mary Porter April 16, 2009, 5:18 pm

    I have a new Vista computer, a desktop running Winxp sp3, and one notebook with winxp. I have them networked through the xp desktop using ATT dls router and a Netgear wireless. Now the Vista has stopped getting the wireless internet. It now says limited connection no matter what I do. Can I network these three computers through Vista? The desktop is not wireless, however.


  • RICARDO CHUNG May 21, 2009, 9:25 am

    Saludos a todos:

    Tengo una laptop con SO Windows Vista conectada a internet con modem inalambrico usb MD300 y conectada con un cable de red a una PC con SO Windows XP….quisiera saber que debo hacer para compartir informaciones y equipos entre estas dos computadoras, y que debo hacer para que la PC tenga el internet de la Laptop.

    Favor de explicar lo mas detalladamente posible.

    Se agradece los aportes y sigan adelante en sus deseos de ayudar


  • João June 9, 2009, 1:32 pm

    Pois bem! O Servidor de internet é Vista e tenho 3 máquinas com XP. Um deles é o Servidor de um programa de aplicativos que está numa pasta da unidae C. Preciso acessá-lo pelo Vista para instalar o programa e emitir NF eletrônica via net. Os compartilhamentos estão liberados em todos os micros.
    Deculpe-me por não ter testado a sua sugetão, mas queria saber se instalando o programa uugerido nos XPs e fazendo as configurações, eu teria acesso total na unidade C dos XPs?
    Grato, se me reponder.


  • ivan June 29, 2009, 8:49 am

    hola!! ps a la hora de instalar no me lo permite, ya que se genera un error porq segun dice, el lenguaje instalado en mi sistema es diferente al del lenguaje del update, hay alguna forma especial de instalarlo?

  • Liv July 1, 2009, 11:38 am

    I have followed instructions up to entering my XP address in the network from my Vista laptop…at that point, internet explorer is unable to locate the XP address. Wireless internet is transmitted to laptop via router. What should I try next?

  • Micoh October 23, 2009, 5:41 pm

    can i connect those two o.s through hub only or shall i use a hub and a router? because since before i havnt use vista i cant connect two pc with same xp o.s through hub and now i have my vista o.s on my pc. can you tell it will work or not?

  • ralph December 14, 2009, 9:18 pm

    its is possible to connect xp to vista how it will run

  • rvbicolphilippines December 21, 2009, 10:14 pm

    Thanks A Lot It Really Help!

  • carlos January 15, 2010, 2:50 pm

    Una ayuda perfecta, solucione un problema que me ocupo varios dias, quiero agradecerles por la informacion y el ejemplo mostrado.

  • Stressed Out Carl February 9, 2010, 7:40 pm

    DUDE! I owe you a beer! Thank you!

  • Lynnae February 11, 2010, 10:11 am

    Thank you so much! I’m hooking up an xp desktop to a vista laptop. Will this allow the laptop to have internet access through the desktop? Thanks.

  • Ken June 14, 2010, 1:36 pm

    I have to turn off the firewall in XP in order to access it, though I set file sharing ON., if I turn on the XP firewall, then I can not access to XP, how to fix it with the XP firewall on to protect my XP?

  • Anna September 15, 2010, 9:48 am

    This is really great!!!! Thank you!! The directions are very user friendly!

  • ibra October 25, 2010, 4:31 am

    Thanks Thanks Thanks

  • Sergio March 25, 2011, 2:49 pm

    xcellent thanks a million…… you RULE!

  • Jw July 10, 2011, 12:43 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have been banging my head against the wall trying to do this on my own. I have a PC connected to my television in our living room, connected to our network via wireless, and now I am able to transfer files to that PC over my network without any hassle.

  • Dante Frankenstein Sesma August 28, 2012, 11:07 pm

    Very helpful information. May Odin bless you my friend! THANK THEE SO MUCH INDEED.

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