Home > Experience > Getting Vista and XP to talk to each other…..Network and Sharing Center, Network Maps and LLTD

Getting Vista and XP to talk to each other…..Network and Sharing Center, Network Maps and LLTD

Though I live in a small shoebox apartment, I am a very lazy person when it comes to walking from computer to computer to get access to a file/application. That’s why its important for me to get my XP and Vista machine to talk to each other. Over the last weekend, I got acquainted with Vista’s new program called Network and Sharing Center. Here’s a log of it: 

To fire up the Network and Sharing Center, proceed to the omnipotent Control Panel. Once you found it,  the screenshot below will show you what it looks like. If you click the option “View full map” on the right hand corner of the diagram, you will get into the network map which provides you with a bird’s eye view of your network and all the machines hooked up to it in a graphical manner. Hover your mouse over any machine and you will get crucial information such as IPv4, IPv6 or MAC addresses. Nifty! 


Sounds easy but if life is ever that straightforward we would all be billionaires by now!!???

When I first started using this program, I was dismayed to find that Vista DID NOT pick up my windows XP machines. It was however able to pick up my QNAP TNAS. Hmm…what’s up about that?!? After some research on the net, I found out that its a common problem and there are many articles online whichly clearly explain what needs to get done to be able to allow network map to work properly. The main reason for that, I would summarize is that network map uses a protocol called Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) and Windows XP doesn’t come installed with it by default. 

So here is what you need to do to get Vista and XP to talk to each other:

1) Download the Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) Responder for Windows XP.
Note: Depending on which service pack (or no service pack), your XP machine has installed, you will need to download different versions of the LLTD responder so beware!
You can get it if you are on Service Pack 2 here.
For Service Pack 3, you will have to download the hotfix here.
2) Ensure that LLTD Responder is installed correctly by doing the following: 
a) Start -> Control Panel -> Network Connections. Click Local Area Network Connection and then Properties. View the items and ensure that LLTD responder check box is ticked.
3) Configure the XP Firewall to allow LLTD (exceptions tab)

Note: By the way, if you haven’t put XP and Vista on the same domain, you should probably get that done. If you haven’t done anything to the domain setting, by default, Windows XP is on MSHOME and Windows Vista is on Workgroup. 🙂

At some point in time, you may have needed to restart your XP machine to make sure the installation for LLTD responder was set up correctly. When all that is done, hit <F5> on the vista machine to refresh the network map and you should see XP and Vista machines right where they should be.

I’ve included a screenshot of my network map showing up correctly. (For security reasons, I’m blanking out my Aspire MAC address. Ah…I’m so paranoid)

More on LLTD in the next few post.

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  1. October 23, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Long time viewer / 1st time poster. Really enjoy reading the blog, keep up the good work. Will definitely start posting more in the future.

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