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"The Black art" XP Ethernet problem

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With out any real difficulty, about a year ago I connected two Pc's with a standard 802.3 ethernet cable and it worked beautifully..I was amazed.
Since then for unrelated reasons, I've had to reforrmat either one of the PC's....and getting this network to operate has become very hit and miss. The problem seems to be with the newer Dell and me being presented with a "you may not have permisssion to use this network...see the system administrator" dialogue box... I am the syst admin and I don't know whats its talking about.
The ping test is working and the network cards are polling each other..with the status showing packet activity but the two computers do not see each other!
Any help on this would be greatly apprciated!
Thanks in antisipation
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could be name resolution issue. this page may help,

not available
"Not accessible. You may not have permission to use this network resource".
"...not available. The server is not configured for transactions" ...
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Try sharing the folder you're trying to access individually. Windows XP protects folders such as My Documents, even though the parent directory or even the whole drive on which they reside is shared.
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