Norton Firewall

just now, i was helping my friend to setup a basic LAN in a small office near Phileo Damansara I. Two PC (Win98 & XP) was supposed to be interconnected via a router and they are supposed to be sharing files with each other.. So setting up the internet connnection sharing at the XP machine was pretty much hassle free.

The problem was getting the two connected via Microsoft Neighbourhood, in fact non of them were visible to each other initially. We tested the ping and everything was working fine, it means that IP is working fine, only the application side.

the first thing we did was to "enable the netbios" over at the XP machine. This is essential for XP machine as most people tends to forget this step. As a matter of fact, this feature is automatically and defauted at Win98/ME side.

The next thing was to get Win98 into Microsoft network. This is done by getting the default logon to "Windows Network Client". This is very important for Win98 machine because many thought that it isn't necessary for Win98 machine to logon to anything. But in fact the logon is important except that you can put in any password you desired because the password will only be authenticated when necessary. For instance, if you share a file that only allowed specific people, i.e you only allow "brandon" with password "brandon". Thus, if you logon to Win98 machine with -u "brandon" and -p "abc123", it means wrong coupling and the system will prompt you for password again. You have to get the right password in order to get into the folder. But should you were never to login at the login prompt, then you will not be asked for any password or whatsoever.

We disabled XP personal firewall for the LAN.

Then we have problem at the XP side... where from Network Neighbourhood, you can't access workgroup.. since we made the workgroup as "MSHOME", it says " YOu have no permission to access MSHOME .. pls contact you administrator and etc ..." But the account we are using is Administrator account.. Then we tried some other things and restarted the PC and then POPPED... Norton Firewall. That is it.. we got it. I knew it was the answer to it because firewall will prevent access to anything to your PC. Even windows update won't work. So we disabled all norton firewall features and it finally works.

I dont know how useful norton firewall would be. Perhaps if we have to, extra settings needed to be set to it to make the whole thing work. (LAN + firewall) But personal firewall was once regarded as useful during the heyday of blaster worm. Since Microsoft aggressive strategy on security patches... personal firewall becomes some what redundant again.

therefore.. the conclusion of setting up a simple microsoft network.
1. All personal firewall off.
2. Make sure netbios is enabled for XP machine.
3. Make sure Win98 machine login to network.