Problems with a small network

One of our customers has a small peer to peer network, consisting of two windows me systems and a windows 2000 laptop.  The laptop and one of the me systems can see each other and share files no problem, but one of the me systems can be seen by both other machines, although you can not access it from either machine and cant see either machine from the network places section(it just see's itself).  Any suggestions
zwergyAsked:
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MoondancerCommented:
This thread has value, and rather than deleting it I have refunded the points and will PAQ this item.

Moondancer
Community Support Moderator @ Experts Exchange
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DRRYAN3Commented:
Check the workgroup name assigned to all three - make sure it is the same.  You might also check that the IP addresses all have the same network mask assigned.
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sergeisCommented:
Also worth checking if the Acces Control tab in Control Panel->Network is set to Share-level on all 3 machines, and all three have either TCP/IP or IPX/SPX protocol in common, and also all have Client for Microsoft Networks. This is in Control Panel-> Network -> Configuration.
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sergeisCommented:
And don't forget to reboot all three after each reconfiguration... Windows tends to cache the Network Neightbourhood content for a long time, even Refresh may not help.
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zwergyAuthor Commented:
Done all of what has been suggested already but to no avail, have now tried connecting the system to a test machine with a standard install of windowss 98, with exactly the same network components and settings.  This is still giving the same problems, any other suggestions would be helpful.
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sergeisCommented:
Well, when I'm desperate, I turn on a network monitor software from ethereal. It's free and shows all the messages in real time, so you can see which one fails. http://www.ethereal.com. Not for the faint of heart, but helpful nonetheless.

If you go this route, try to see what message and where is being sent by your misbehaving ME system when you open/refresh network neighbourhood and what is the reply (and whether there is one). Feel free to post it here.
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PUB_ULCommented:
I think that it is your protocol. Just put a TCP/IP or NETBeui. It isn't necessary to put 3 protocol if you have a small network like that. Except if you are using some software that use only a type of protocol. If you want your computer to see them, you have to use the same protocol. If you are using TCP/IP on one, TCP/IP and NETBeui on the other and Netbeui only on the last computer, you'll have trouble. Another things is to put all updates provided by microsoft. Often, it resolve some networking problem. Just try that. Does all their HD are shared? If you go on Start, Search, Computer and you write the name of the computer you can't see, do you find it or not?  Did you look if your cable are ok? Do you buy it or made it yourself? because sometime when you clip it, it cut the wire so data are badly conducted. Did you try with another Network Card? or try to reinstall it and drivers too. Hope it will help you.

PUB_UL
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DRRYAN3Commented:
Try checking the following:

1.  Link light on back of affected NIC is lit
2.  Link light on hub port is lit
3.  Try another port on the hub
4.  Verify no conflicting IP addresses
5.  If possible, connect PC directly to hub with a known good patch cord
6.  If all else fails, remove all networking components in network control panel and in system and let ME redetect and install drivers.  Reconfigure settings to match (excepting network address) other PCs.
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GuitarWizardCommented:
Good advice above....I would probably go with reinstalling the TCP/IP stack; I'm assuming that's what you're using.  If, as you stated you can "see" the problem ME machine but cannot connect to it, I doubt there's a problem with the NICs, port, or cable.  What kinds of errors (if any) do you get when you try and access the problem ME machine?  Or when you try and access the other two machines from the problem ME machine?  What networking components are installed on the computers?      
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zwergyAuthor Commented:
The error is "The computer or sharename could not be found" i have checked the spelling but this happens when i try to access it through network neighborhood or by typing the sharename in the run box.  On the problem me machine it cannot find the sharename.  I have tried with just netbeui on the three machines, with just tcp/ip on each machine.  I have also taken a known working network system and copied the settings exactly from the problem system and connected it to the other two and it worked fine.
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ToniVRCommented:
Faced that problem too. Tried also all stuff from above.
Solution: take out NIC, and put into another free slot (if possible). Windows recognizes a new device, installs all the stuff and it worked. I did this on 2 computers on my Home-LAN (Win98 & Win95). Windows 2000 does not had this problem.

Strange, but true.

ToniVR
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zwergyAuthor Commented:
Thanks but swapped the slot and this still didn't help.
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zwergyAuthor Commented:
Problem was with the mainboard as after i had tried everything else i tried a new board as a last resort and everything worked.
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sergeisCommented:
strange... hardware solution to what appeared to be a software problem...
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ToniVRCommented:
This happens more. Windows isn't that perfect, you know.
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zwergyAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately when i put the original drive into the system the problem has reappeared (i was using a test install from a known working network system to test on the new board) any other suggestions as the only difference is that this harddrive has never connected to a network.  The other one was obviously used before.  All the settings are the same.
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DRRYAN3Commented:
You seem to have isolated the problem to software now.  To elaborate on my comment above, you should delete the protocols and hardware from the Network control panel, and then find and delete the network adapter in the System Device list.  Shut down and power off the PC.  Reboot and let ME detect the network adapter and reinstall the driver.  Then, setup the network settings again to match. Lastly, use the auto-repair feature of ME (sorry, don't run ME at work and can't remember exactly how to get to it) to check system software versions and fix anything it doesn't like.
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sergeisCommented:
Just save what you need fron your drive, wipe windows out and do a clean install. I bet that'll do the trick. Or, if you want to sink more time into it, run the network analyzer ethereal I suggested earlier, look for errors and post the results here.
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zwergyAuthor Commented:
Tried all of the above options, but to no avail.  After this I tried the power supply  in the system and everything started to work reliably and connect to the network every time.  Thanks for your help in this matter, am unsure what to do with the points any suggestions?
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ToniVRCommented:
What do you mean by "I tried the power supply"? It would be nice if you'll tell us what you did, so that we can learn from it too :-)
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zwergyAuthor Commented:
Sorry i swapped the power supply for a new one of the same rating, so it would appear to have been starting to fail and give less power than it should.
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sergeisCommented:
That would be the weirdest I've seen so far... Power supply affecting network connections, but not the rest of the operation of a PC? All I can think of is that maybe the voltage dropped and the network card was more sensitive to the voltage level that other parts of the system...

Are you absolutely sure P/S is the only thing you've changed?

As for the points, since no-one seems to have come close to suggesting the solution, you should probably just cancel the question... Unless you feel generous and are willing to give points to whomever pointed you towards the solution.

Just make sure everything is working first.
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ToniVRCommented:
Ain't it possible to make it a PAQ? Without any point giving? Don't know, ask EE.
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zwergyAuthor Commented:
Yes the p/s is the only thing that has changed, it was a strange solution to an annoying problem.
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