Easiest option would be to use Windows Remote Desktop Connection option. It would allow you to logon to your desktop computer from your laptop computer, as if you are sitting right in front of your desktop.
Caveat: if you have XP Home edition on your Desktop computer, you are out of luck. You will need XP Professional on the Desktop. You can have XP Pro or Home Edition on your laptop though.
Doug has already mentioned about how to start Remote Desktop Connection from your laptop. On your Desktop, you may need to enable Remote Desktop sharing -- can't remember if it is turned on or off by default (my guess is it is turned off by default). If you have Windows firewall enabled, then you will need to change the firewall settings to enable remote desktop connections to be hosted by your desktop.
- select "Computer Name" tab. You'll see the "Full Computer Name" -- that's the one you need to use.
Also, make sure that your laptop and your desktop are part of the same workgroup. If they are not, click on the "Change..." button on the same dialog, and enter a workgroup name. By default it would be set to "MSHOME" on both your desktop and laptop -- you can just leave it at that.
Works wired/wireless (Server on the desktop, and client on the laptops.. and Works via lan or dial up when I am away), worked first time and pretty neat, and with others versions of windows too (sister has 98se, works from her house to mine)
That's good (you are presumably using the VNC viewer)
It wants the name or IP of the machine you have got the VNC server (ie the machine you want to connect to)
What is the IP address of the machine you are running the viewer on and what is the IP address of the machine you are running the VNC server on.
Go to Start->Run and run cmd Enter IPCONFIG that will tell you the IP address From one machine enter PING IP address of the other machine eg ping 10.0.0.1 what do you get? then PING -a IP "address of the other machine"
what do you get?
What happens when you put the IP address in as the name of the server in the VNC viewer?
(I'm not sure about others but I find following the top posted messages confusing and hard to follow - please bottom post quoting relevant parts so the story can be followed. Accordingly please post your answers after each question and not at the top - thanks). Please no flame wars but if the guy wants (my) help I haven't the time to unravel postings.