transfer from desktop to laptop

I have a new laptop (Vista Home Premium) wirelessly linked to a wireless G router and an old desktop (XP Professional) wired by network cable to that router. Both can successfully access the internet. I want to move all my work permanently from desktop to laptop. I have a new install of Office on the laptop. Beyond that what is the easiest procedure for transferring files. I was told by someone in a computer store that this could be done via the router but it's not obvious how. I can't view the source and destination computer from either of the computers. If this is explained somewhere on a technical website please point me to it. If I can also somehow tranfer the settings for all my Office programs that would be wonderful too. Thanks.

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This is not relly about wireless, it is a simple peer to peer networking situation. However, the mix of Vista and XP makes it much more complex. If both machines ran XP, the solution would be:

On Desktop - host machine

- designate a workgroup - default is 'mshome' for home edition

- specify a name for the desktop machine

- activate file & printer sharing these are all in network settings

- declare specific folders as shares right click on folder

- move all relevant documents to this shared folder

On the laptop - client machine

- go to 'network places'

- click on 'add places'

- browse until you find the desktop

- open the shared folder from the desktop machine

- copy files as needed

I have tried this process in Vista, but I can not make it locate the network shares properly sometimes it will find the shares, sometimes it will not, after 5 hours I quite trying Firewall must be off, defender must be off Network sharing and network discovery must be on

I gave up with vista, and sent the laptop back. Dealer was nice enough to find me an XP machine, and I had it working on the network in about 15 minutes.

Now, the fact that I have a linux file server here may have affected vista's ability to find the network - I know that the default authentication protocol has been changed, and I have heard that vista is outright hostile to SMB servers.

If it is a one time move, buy a 4 gig usb drive for about $50 and move the files that way, save yourself a lot of aggravation.


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