One of my favorite things in Windows Vista is how easy it is to network multiple computers. Unlike Windows XP, Vista goes and finds all of the computers on your local network and makes accessing the files on those machines just a few clicks away. XP tries to do this, but I don’t it ever worked right for me.
You’ll find the Vista network manager by opening up Windows Explorer and finding the Network option located on the left-side of the screen. Once you click on that Vista will go to work finding all of the computers and devices available for you to network with. If you double-click on any of the computers listed you’ll be able to see what files and printers are currently being shared.
One of the problems that I had was getting my only computer still running Windows XP to show up in that list. After a little bit of research I noticed that Microsoft released a patch/update for Windows XP that will fix the networking woes that I spent an 30–minutes troubleshooting. In order to install the patch, however, you’ll need to be running Windows XP with service Pack 2 installed.
Once you get the patch installed the computer should almost immediately show up in your Vista Network manager pictured above. The patch does not require you to restart the computer so there isn’t really any hassle putting it on your XP system. To make it even easier I have provided a direct download link below so that you don’t have to go through the steps of validating XP if you haven’t already done so.
Download the Windows XP patch from directly from Microsoft (no WGA validation)
Visit the Patch Homepage