Home made cables can be an issue if they have not been proven to work.
XP firewall running? Try shutting it down.
Check that both machines are in the same IP and subnet range.
I am trying to network my old Win 98SE computer with my new XP Pro computer. I hooked them up and did the settings - DHCP, file sharing etc (I've done it all the time with XP to 2000) but it would not work right. I broke down and ran the Connection Wizard on the XP machine and made a disk and used it on the 98 machine. It didn't help.
My XP machine can see the 98 machine under the workgroup, but cannot log on. It also cannot ping the 98 machine.
The 98 machine can ping the XP machine but does not see it under the workgroup. I tried the Run command with the XP IP, and its computer name but it did not work.
Am I missing something here? My work around may be to put everything on CD to move it but I was hoping to avoid that. It it possible it is my cross-over cable?