I'm really lost at what to do. I've bought the crossover cable, and the computer's are in the same workgroup, and sharing has been enabled and everything.

When I go to my Network Places and then to View Workgroup computers on the computer I'm trying to get the files off of it says

"MSHome is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions.

that list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available "

What does this mean... And what should I do... ?

It says to contact my administrator for the server. Who would that be... ?
I need step by step instructions.

I'm really not all that good with computers so any help is greatly appreciated!!

It says to contact my administrator for the server. Who would that be...

Thats just a generic error mesage. The administrator in this case is you.

two questions, what version of windows are these running (including service pack and edition) and what is your firewall setup?

Can you ping the other computer and vice versa?

Okay my laptop is
Microsoft Windows XP
Version 2002
Service Pack 3

and my computer is
Microsoft Windows XP
Home Edition
Version 2002
Service Pack 3

I did change my firewall settings on my computer and the pop up didn't up up again, when I went into my network places.

But the computers aren't showing up.
For the crossover cable... where exactly am i supposed to plug it in to... Do I need an internet connection to do this? or what?

And I don't know what "pinging the other computer " means. I really know nothing about this. I appreciate the help.

a network cable and a cross over cable looks EXACTLY the same. And most computers have one network port (RJ-45).
In terms of connectivity: Check Computer names, IP addresses and subnet masks. I have a feeling that your IP's are static, rather than automatic.

I know. I went out and bought the crossover cable.

What does "subnet masks" mean.
I know nothing. Everything needs to be dumbed down to my level... I don't understand these terms...

I think it does have something to do with the IP addresses... but I don't know what to do.

Okay, so you have a problem and you are looking to solve the problem. I would suggest working through the following articles:
-> http://www.conniq.com/WinXPNetworking_Ethernet_direct_connection.htm
-> http://www.associatedcontent.com/video/12031/how_to_setup_a_simple_netword_using.html?cat=59

If you are still having issues you might need to get a better understanding of networking as a whole. otherwise it will be a very difficult, confusing and frustrating process for you.

Best of luck

I will try that. Thankyou

I've been procrastinating on getting this done... it frustrates me. but I'm going to give it another go on Saturday. I'll let you know how I did. Wish me luck. I so need it... haha

firewalls sometimes cause this issue, if you cant ping the desktop computer from your laptop and vice versa, turn off the firewall

I have found an interesting note on this from experience. I have xppro sp3 on one machine and xphome on another. The network will NOT talk to each other if both have dynic DHCP IP addressing. It DOES work when the XP PRO machine has dynamic DHCP and the XP HOME edition has a static IP (I use an address furtther up than the low ones eg
Good luck but I lso note no respone on the idea of using DOS and pinging the other machine either by name or by IP address... worth trying as it is far more help in at least knowing if the electronics are working OK. If piong 'other machine' in DOS works then the cables and cards are OK