Windows Networking/program access


QUESTION: I have three computers running Windows XP.  I have a program running on one that I would like to be able to access via my existing wireless network on the other two computers.  What is the easiest way to do this?  Thank you.


I apologize for the delay in my response.

I think the best way to solve your problem is to use something called Remote Desktop.  With this, you can remotely connect from one system to another.

Do you run Windows XP professional or Home edition?  This may only work with professional.

The way it works is you would run the remote desktop client on the 2 machines that don't have the software on it, and then connect to the server (host) that has the software on it.

On the host machine, you may need to adjust firewall settings to allow/open access to Remote Desktop and you have to enable it as well (I can go into this in more detail).

On the client machines, you would go to Start / Program Files / Accessories / Communications and there should be an item called Remote Desktop connection.  You would type in the IP address of the HOST computer (for example ) and then you would put in the userid/password of the host computer and essentially run it as if you are there.

I can go into super detail here, but everything depends on if you have Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home.  Can you check this and get back to me?  To find out, right click on MY COMPUTER and left click on PROPERTIES.  It will tell you what version / edition of Windows you are running.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have windows XP on all three but if I use remote desktop I (or someone else) wouldn't be able to used the main computer at the same time, correct?  Is there a way to just place an icon on the other two computers for that program/file?  I understand only one person would be able to access it at any given time.  Thank you.

Hi there.

Yes, you are right.  If you use Remote Desktop it kind of 'locks' the screen from view if someone is connected to it.

If the program is a relatively simple program it MAY work that you can have it accessible from multiple stations.  But this depends on the program.  So for example, if the program is a simple EXE file that doesn't require a lot of files other than it self to run, you can create a share on the 'server' machine and connect to the path of the EXE file and create shortcuts on each of the other workstations.  You may be able to run programs simultaneously in fact.

An example of a program that might work is a simple utility installed in C:\program files\utility1

An example of a program that may NOT work is any MS Office program like MS Word.  If you were to try running this from another workstation, it would likely complain that it wasn't registered or installed properly.

If you need guidance on how to do this, please get back to me.


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Hrire Mikaelian


Windows 95/98/2000/XP/Vista/7 workstation and Windows 2000/2003/2008 server networking, Group Policy and wireless configurations. Have knowledge about workstation Ghosting, and also the ins and outs of hardware troubleshooting.


15 years of experience as a hobbyist and Senior Systems Administrator

BA, BCom in Information Technology Management. No IT certifications. However, I have taken several Windows, Novell and Networking courses.

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