Windows file sharing is slow, insecure, and unreliable. I would just abandon the whole idea right now in favor of something else.
My preferred solution is FTP, which has a number of things going for it.
* It's an open protocol, so anyone can make an FTP server or client that wants to
* It's a well established protocol, dating back to almost the very beginnings of the Internet
* It's widely used, and widely understood, so finding help with problems is easy
* It was designed specifically for the transferring of files between computers, and thus has a number of useful features lacking with Windows File Sharing (transfer resuming being one of the biggest)
* It's more secure: It's a lot easier to set up a SFTP server compared to trying to tunnel Windows File Sharing over an encrypted connection, and it's also very easy to set up accounts and restrictions with FTP compared to Windows File Sharing
The only real drawback to it, is that it doesn't have the same transparency that Windows File Sharing does, though this can also be a good thing. It makes it a lot harder for someone to accidentally delete something.
Since FTP is an open protocol and anyone can make servers and clients for it, a good number of people do. There are plenty of free ones and plenty of commercial ones with varying price tags. So, if one doesn't work out for you, you can just move along to the next.
I'd suggest starting with a free server and client combo known as FileZilla. Some people love it, others detest it, but it's as good a place as any to get started. Shouldn't be too much work to get them both set up to allow for file sharing. It's really no more work than trying to get Windows File Sharing working. More people have problems getting that to work than any other basic networking task.
I'm having some troubles setting up a home network.
My computer - Windows XP Pro SP2
My mom's PC - Windows XP Home SP1
no router, just 40ft. of CAT5 cable
I've gotten it okay to where she can look at my files, etc, but I can't look at hers. In fact, her computer isn't even listed in the network window.
Is there a site somewhere that lists specific instructions for setting up the network?
And, once I get this all set up... are there any good network messengers? Something that works like aim/yim/msnim, but offline, through the network?