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 a Microsoft TechNet site that isn’t around anymore:

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 (WindowsXP-KB922120-v6-x86-ENU.exe).

    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!

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10 thoughts on “How to connect to a Windows XP computer from Windows Vista”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

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