computers can't see each other

Posted on 2000-03-18
Last Modified: 2007-02-13
I have 3 Win 95 machines all plugged into a hub.  I get green lights on the hub and the NICs when I boot up the machines.  All machines are configured to be using NETBEUI on their respective NICs.  They also have Client for Microsoft Networks installed.

However, when I go into Network Neighborhood, NONE of the 3 machines can see one another.  They all return the same error message "Network Unavailable, Unable to Browse the Network."

Any ideas what might be going wrong here?  Many thanks...
Question by:dhuggy
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Expert Comment

ID: 2631370
You need to make sure they are all in a workgroup, make it the same one, call it workgroup for simplicity's sake.  In addition, you need to enable file and print sharing.  Then share any folders or drives you want to be able to see from the other machines.  NetBEUI is fine for a small network, but I highly suggest using TCP/IP instead.  If you want to play any games on your network, most games today are enabled for TCP/IP on the internet or even for LAN play.  You still need to enable file and print sharing.  When picking an IP scheme, you can use whatever you want if you are not connecting the network to the internet, but there are some network addresses that can be routed over the internet, so i would use those in case you want to hook the network to the internet at some point. or are good ones.  So you would go into the TCP/IP binding for the NIC card on each machine and put in a static IP address for your three machines.
Machine 1
Subnet Mask
Machine 2
Subnet Mask
Machine 3
Subnet Mask

Author Comment

ID: 2636948
I should have been a bit more thorough in my original post...

File sharing is enabled on each machine (and they have at least 1 folder shared).

The workgroup is called HOMEDOME, but they all belong, and it's in all caps on each one.  Each computer has a unique name.

I originally had it configured for TCP/IP in the same manner LanLord described, but switched to NetBEUI when I ran into problems (just to eliminate TCP/IP configuration for now as a potential issue).

Any additional thoughts?

Author Comment

ID: 2636951
And they all have Client for Microsoft Networks installed, though I can't remember if this is required for connecting to simple shared files, or only for NT Networks, or what.
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Expert Comment

ID: 2637174
You do want Client for MS Networks.  NetBeui is the preferred protocol for peer to peer networks that do not access the Internet.
Load Netcard driver
Enable File and Print Sharing Enabled on each PC

It appears you have completed these steps and no red x appears in Device Manager for the NICs.

Reboot to DOS and type:

Net View\\ ComputerName where ComputerNAme is the name of YOUR computer.

What Happens??

Author Comment

ID: 2637772
I'll let you know after I get home from work tonight and try it.  Thanks.

Author Comment

ID: 2638990
OK, all d50041 said is confirmed.  Rebooted to DOS and typed:

Net View \\MOTHERSHIP  (<- my PC's name)

It asked me if I wanted to start the WORKSTATION service, or something like that.  I typed "Y" and hit enter.  It loaded the Linksys LNE100TX driver, said some parameter was wrong or missing in my protocol.ini file, and then it just hangs.

Can't even Ctl-Alt-Del from here... have to hit reset button on the case to get a reboot.  The protocol.ini file looks like the following (note, I have 2 NICs, one connected to a LAN, one to a DSL line.  The LNE100 is the LAN card, and the KTC110 is the DSL card (DSL is functioning perfectly).

protocol.ini follows:







I added the LNE100$ on this last line.  I tried it the first time, got the error, thought maybe NETBEUI wasn't bound somehow (though Control Panel Network says it is), so I added the LNE100$.  Rebooted to DOS, and got the exact same error.

Expert Comment

ID: 2640589
At the risk of sounding a bit too simplistic...

Have you installed IPX/SPX protocol? If not, try and see if it works better than with just the TCP/IP protocol installed. Also install file&printer sharing.

Expert Comment

ID: 2642755
Check your NIC in system manager to see if its working properly

Accepted Solution

apadua earned 100 total points
ID: 2643047
I hope I'm not suggesting something too obvious, but are you pressing ENTER on the Microsoft Client logon? Lot's of people press escape, and that just cancels the Microsoft Network services from starting. So type a user name in each one (you can leave the password blank), and press ENTER.

Also, if suggestion above was wrong, tell us: do the machines see THEMSELVES in the Net Neighborhood?


Author Comment

ID: 2645673
apadua - I am pretty sure I have been hitting enter, but I will have to double check that when I get home tonight.  I may have hit escape out of habit.  I can tell you that the machines do NOT see themselves in Net Neighborhood.  There's just an error message that pops up saying "Unable to browse the network".

Reden - NICs claim to be installed and running properly according to device manager.

Skye - File sharing is installed... and I am currently running NetBEUI, not TCP/IP (see previous comments).  I will try adding IPX though, but if NetBEUI isn't working I don't see how/why IPX would.  But I'll give it a try.

Expert Comment

ID: 2646339
Ok. My best bet then is that you were, in fact, hitting escape. Because if you were hitting enter, you would see at least yourself in the Network neighborhood. The other thing to remember is that there is a small delay in the time it takes for things to show up in the Net. Neigh., so you might want to wait for about 2 minutes.

Good luck,


Expert Comment

ID: 2656373
try using that IPX and then to it's properties
Machine 1: 169 254  0  1
           255 255 255 0
Machine 2: 169 254  0  2
           255 255 255 0

check identification under network on the control panel
make sure
different name in computer name
same name in work group
computer description: you may leave it blank
Access control: share level
File & Print sharing: tick both

in C drive make it sharing by right clicking it.

If unable to see try press F5 many times or log off and try again F5.

If still unable, maybe the network wire?

Expert Comment

ID: 2656528
very simple:
in all three pc's you need both tcp/ip and netbeui binded to your network adapter. client for microsoft networks and the same group name for all computers, difrent computer names for all three of them and all computers on the same subnet mask.

Expert Comment

ID: 2659326

I believe it it will work even without TCP/IP because before we have our internet connection I have 70 wkstn with Netbeui only

Author Comment

ID: 2660150
Reden, you are correct.  TCP/IP is not necessary.  (nor IPX for that matter).

Apadua... thanks a bunch.  I had thought I had hit enter, but I had not.  But then again, I never knew it made any difference.  I just figured that meant you'd have to re-type passwords to connect to protected shares, etc.  Thanks again.

Author Comment

ID: 2660157
No.  That is not true.

Author Comment

ID: 2660164
You hit the nail on the head.  This is something that really suprised me.  I just thought hitting escape was the same as not typing a password, not that it cancelled the services.

By the way, is there any way to disable that screen from appearing, yet enable the services?


Expert Comment

ID: 2660786

You go to your Network Control Panel, and change the primary logon from "Microsoft Windows Networks" to "Windows Logon". Now, the next time you log on, you'll see the screen changed. Type a username and leave the password blank. Next, It'll ask you to confirm your password. Leave both fields blank, and press OK. Next, comes the Microsoft Network Logon. Leave the same user name typed, leave the password blank, and press OK. I can't remember if it'll ask you to confirm the MS network password too, but if it does, you leave it blank and confirm it.

You're done!

Author Comment

ID: 2662276
Groovy!  Thanks once again!

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