Some ways to help you
1) on the linux vectra (is it a XA model?), launch network configuration interface (command system-config-network in a xterm or use graphic interface), select the ethernet configuration.
Select eth0 (or x), select use dhcp selection + option "use automatic information from your
DNS provider). In this case,you are sure that your linux computer could connect to any network.
Active the ethernet port
2) For the XP side, I am not a specialist, but:
- Windows use a service call "lan manager" to share informations through a
network (is it the netbios protocol? I do not know).
- In order to share informations between your linux and XP ones, You must
install the same service on the linux computer. This service is called Samba.
I am not a specialist of Samba, so you could have a look to the forum for
Note: i am interested to the final solution, thanks & good luck