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I've been assigned at this small office. They have 10 users/PCs & run a mix of Windows 7 and Windows XP and currently don't have a server. Obviously they are all connected using LAN (from a router connect to an 8 port switch, then to each computer). Everyone who is connected can access each other's files, folders and printer (shared) in the same workgroup.

One Windows XP PC is used by one of the staff to keep all the important document files, so everyone can access them from there.

The problem is that sometimes Win 7 users cannot access that Win XP PC.

Why? Is it because they are using different OSes, or is it because access to win XP is limited? Just 3/4 of the users can access that win XP PC simultaneously.

Also, in your opinion, should they have a server?

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Being a workstation OS, Windows XP allows a maximum of 10 concurrent connections from other machines. As some users may have more than one connection open at any given time, what you are seeing is the expected result.

In my opinion they most certainly should have a server and a proper one at that, not just a re-purposed PC. They also need a proper backup strategy but I suspect they don't currently have one of those either.

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