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How can I get Win2k servers and Win98 PCs to all share same resources?

I have one Windows 2000 server in a TCP/IP network in one location. In another location, I have Win98 computers and they too need to share the same network to access resources on the server. So we have one Cisco router placed in one office and a Netopia router at the Win98 computer location connected by T1. I'm able to ping the server IP address from the Win98 PC, and the computer is also configured with the IP address and the gateway that is the router IP address.

Can you suggest to me what I need to do on the server or on the PC so that all of them are on the same network and able to share the resources? I would be grateful.

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Unless you've configured your routers to do packet filtering, the systems are already able to share resources. It may not seem that way, because they won't show up in each other's Network Neighborhood. Name resolution won't work either, since by default Windows 98 can only resolve names for computers on its local subnet.

Probably the simplest way to solve this is to configure your Windows 2000 Server as a WINS server. Then, configure the Windows 98 system as a WINS client. On the Win98 system, provide the IP address of the Windows 2000 Server within the WINS Server field of the network properties dialog box. For an overview of how WINS works, read this.

Now, a word about security -- This will work if you don't have packet filtering configured on the routers. However, anyone else on the Internet can access your resources just like you. To improve this situation, you should configure packet filtering and add a Virtual Private Network (VPN) between the sites. Here's a good explanation of how this should be done.

Good luck!

This was first published in February 2002

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