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Now I see it, now I don't

Posted on 2003-02-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
After some valuable help from the fine folks on this exchange, I managed to get two desktops and a laptop networked using a Linksys wireless/wired router.  The
laptop has a wireless NIC plugged into a port, the other two computers are connected to the router by cable.

It's been working flawlessly for three wonderful weeks.  Then suddenly today, I get a "network path not found" error when trying to access the desktops from the laptop.

Then it came back and I had full access again ... then it was gone.  Back.  Gone.  (You get the picture).

The two desktops can see/access both each other and the laptop -- it's just the laptop with the problem.  Everyone can ping everyone else.

The only thing I did differently today from other days, was that I unplugged the wireless NIC from the laptop briefly, so that I could take the laptop on the road in its case.   From what I've read, though, the symptoms don't suggest a bad NIC, since everyone can ping.

Ideas?  The sordid details of the earlier heroic networking effort are here, in case anyone is interested:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Microsoft_Network/Q_20455026.html

Thanks,
Rosemary
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Question by:BubberNe
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23 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8021539
Meant to add one thing -- when I View Workgroup Computers from laptop, I can see them all, and can access one of the desktops from there, but not the other one.  (!)

When I try to access the second desktop, the error I get is "... You were not connected because a duplicate name exists on the network.  Go to System in Control Panel to change the name and try again."

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 8021802
Hi again Rosemary,
my first question is what are the names of the machines on the network?
also on the laptop, is there a wired NIC and a wireless?
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 8021807
I ran into this with an XP laptop, and once I deleted the bridge, the error went away
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8021858
Hi again Steven,
The names are Desktop, Laptop, and Other Desktop.  There is a wired NIC available, but I haven't used it (and I don't have a cable for it).    
There's no bridge, either.
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8021875
Oh, I see now (through trial and error) that I can briefly get access back if I disconnect the wireless NIC and plug it back again.  Access lasts for about 2 seconds, then it's gone again.
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 8022010
try disabling the wired NIC in device manager, and does this have a signal strength meter? If so waht kind of signal strength are you getting?
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8022017
The wired NIC is already disabled.  The signal strength is "excellent" or "very good", and the link quality is also "very good".
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8022025
The wired NIC is already disabled.  The signal strength is "excellent" or "very good", and the link quality is also "very good".
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 8022067
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8022148
Nope.  There are no errors of that type in Event Viewer.
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Accepted Solution

by:
stevenlewis earned 200 total points
ID: 8022222
Are you logging on to multiple machines with the same username? try using different names
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8022312
Actually, let me revise one of my earlier bits of info:  The laptop can no longer be pinged by the other two.  The plot thickens...
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 8022319
Hmmm, try removing the drivers for the wireless card, and reinstalling
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8022351
Will try tomorrow.  Getting sleepy .... thanks fo the help so far!
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 8022402
OK, Rosemary, keep us informed :~)
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8025919
Reinstalling the driver did not work.  By the way, when I lost the network connection, I used System Restore on both machines to revert to a time when the networking was functioning properly.  That didn't work, either.
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Expert Comment

by:DanR
ID: 8028046
How many of the computers are set up to share files or printers?  It may be an issue with the Master Browser.  If there is more than one "server," try removing the "File and Printer Sharing" component from the Networking Control Panel for all but one of the computers.

When you say the laptop cannot be pinged, what is the message you get when you try?  Have you tried pinging using the IP address.
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8029475
Yikes! After reinstalling the wireless driver, I got a "serious error", and a blue screen with a BAD_POOL_CALLER.  Not sure what that's about, but I'm hoping it's unrelated.

For DanR:  Two computers, the laptop and one desktop, share files/printers.   Using the ping command from the desktop, I get a timeout error.
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8030933
Thanks Steven, I had found that BAD POOL CALLER info on my own, but don't know enough about networking to know how it might apply to me.   Could this relate to my networking problem, do you think?
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 8030966
It could if the driver is the problem
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Author Comment

by:BubberNe
ID: 8047484
Well, it's probably just a workaround, rather than a solution, but I gave the desktop a different Computer Name on the network, and now it seems fine.  <shrug>

Thanks for the help; I'll be back if it acts up again.

Rosemary
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 8051532
>Well, it's probably just a workaround, rather than a solution
actually it probably is the solution :~)
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