Home Network Won't Work

Posted on 2003-11-14
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I used to have a 98SE and an XP that were on a home network (the XP is wireless).  It worked fine.

However, I've now added a second XP machine and the network doesn't work on any computer.  I can still browse the Internet from any computer, but file sharing, VNC, etc. doesn't work.  More specifically:

First XP Machine: Last I checked--it seems to change every time I do--Network Places shows this computer's shared documents folder (and under the new name).  When I go to Workgroup Computers, it shows this computer's new name and the other XP's new name.  However, I get an error when I try to open the folder for the other XP machine.  When I do "net view" it shows all the computers that are on, but "net send" to a particular computer fails.

Second (New) XP Machine: In My Network Places, it shows the old name "Family01" of the first XP Machine (I changed it's name to "Family_01" and the workgroup on all computers to "Mshome2" just to see if it'd make a difference) and the old name of itself ("Ryan02"--now it's "Ryan_02").  When I click View Workgroup computers, it waits a while, then tells me that Mshome2 is not accessible.  Also, when I do "net view" it tells me that the "list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available."

98SE Machine: (This computer was off when I added the 2nd XP machine and when I was messing around with them, but I've changed the workgroup to "Mshome2".)  Network Neighborhood either gives me a neverending hourglass before it shows anything, or only gives me an "Entire Network" but gives me a neverending hourglass when I try to open that.

Any ideas as to what might be wrong and/or how I might troubleshoot this?
Question by:rjahrman
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Expert Comment

ID: 9753121
Sounds like a firewall issue on the XP machines
here is a smiliar issue for starters
LVL 41

Accepted Solution

stevenlewis earned 100 total points
ID: 9756070
I suspect a browser election issue
Is NetBIOS over tcp checked on all machines?
Browser settings

1 - On the master computer, set KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters\MaintainServerList

to "YES". Set this key to "NO" on the other computers. Note that any computer using

the default setting "AUTO", which is later connected to the network will not be able

to browse until the key has been set to "NO" on that machine.

ARe there any messages in event viewer on any of the XP boxes?

and from a great expert lrmoore
First and formost, make sure there is no firewall software running! XP has built in PFW.Turn off the Internet Connection Firewall ICF in the advanced settings for the Lan Connection. Check for Norton Internet Security AV/Firewall, BlackIce, ZoneAlarm, et al.


Next, check your XP networking setup:

Although this link says to set netbios over tcp/ip to "default", follow the instructions below...


Turn on "Simple file sharing" on the XP machine. Open explorer, click tools, click folder options, click the view tab and scroll down until you see "Use simple file sharing" then check the box..


For the duration of testing, enable the Guest account on XP. If all works, you can deal with that issue later (username/passwords for everyone on every PC)


Client for Microsoft Networks needs to be the primary network logon for all other machines


All machines are in the same workgroup

Enable NetBios over TCP/IP in WIndows XP

Step 1: Turn On NetBIOS over TCP/IP

Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network and Internet Connections.

Click Network Connections.

Right-click Local Area Connection, and then click Properties.

Click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click Properties.

Click the General tab, and then click Advanced.

Click the WINS tab.

Under NetBIOS setting, click Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP, and then click OK two times.

Click Close to close the Local Area Connection Properties dialog box.

Close the Network Connections window.

Step 2: Start the Computer Browser Service

Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.

In the console tree, expand Services and Applications.

Click Services.

In the right details pane, verify that the Computer Browser service is started, right-click Computer Browser, and then click Start.

Close the Computer Management window.


and of course the easiest way would be to instal NetBEUI on the XP boxes

Author Comment

ID: 9757210
(Note that, for simplicity, I'm leaving the 98SE computer off until I get the other XPs working.)

I've manually given IP addresses, enabled NetBios over TCP/IP, set DominControllerWhatever and MaintainWhatever to TRUE and YES on one, but FALSE and NO on another.

Now, when I do "net view" on either comp I see both computer names.  However, trying to "ping" or "net send" to another computer from either one fails.  Also, doing "net view" on the computer that had FALSE and NO set for the DominControllerWhatever and MaintainWhatever takes about 30 seconds, although it does eventually work correctly.

Any ideas?
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Author Comment

ID: 9757269
UPDATE: I remembered that I didn't turn off the built-in firewall on the "FALSE and NO" computer (the first XP).  After doing this, ping worked the the other computer fine.  However . . .

On the other computer (the second XP), pinging the first XP with 50 packets gives me a 24% loss.  The computer it's pinging is wireless.  What can I do about this?  Will it make a difference?  Additionally, browsing that computer from the first XP's Network Places is _slow_.

Also, when I try to connect to the first XP's printer, I get an error that it doesn't have the correct driver.  Why's this?
LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 9757572
>pinging the first XP with 50 packets gives me a 24% loss.  The computer it's pinging is wireless.  What can I do about this?
what kind of signal strenght are you getting?
what distances are involved here?
>Will it make a difference?
>Also, when I try to connect to the first XP's printer, I get an error that it doesn't have the correct driver.  Why's this?
did you use the add printer wizard, chose network printer, and browse to the printer?
It should then get the driver for XP from the other XP box (the one with the printer attached)
LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 9757575
which machine is the printer attached to? the other XP box?

Author Comment

ID: 9757667
The computer reports either a "Good" or "Very Good" signal strength.  The router is on the second story of the house, and the second XP box (with it's WiFi adapter) is on the first story--the distance is basically a story vertically, then about 20 feet horizontally.  However, every once and a while the adapter loses the connection altogether for a few minutes.

(in adding the printer)
It's attached to the other XP box.  I did exactly what you said, but I get an error that the other computer doesn't have the driver, or something like that.

Additionally, connecting to the wireless XP box is still very slow.  Any ideas here?

Thanks for all the help!
LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 9757762
You may have to put the cd for the printer in the "client" (the one with out the printer)
and choose network printer from the setup

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