Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people, just like you, are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Two pc's can only "see" each other if I boot up the XP machine first and then the 95 machine but not the other way around

Posted on 2003-11-22
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
Hello, I have connect two computers together using the software buit into microsoft windows. One pc is running XP and the other 95.

The problem that I am having is that the two pc's can only "see" each other if I boot up the XP machine first and then the 95 machine but not the other way around.

If I do boot up the XP machine fist, it can "see" the files on the 95 pc but the 95 pc can't "see" the files on the XP machine.

Thanks, Jon

Question by:acsell
  • 7
  • 6
LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 9804447
Have you enabled netbios on XP?

 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 (Pro only) 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.


Install NETBEUI only if you have no other choice:

Expert Comment

ID: 9804775
Make sure the XP firewall is off.  If you still want a firewall, ZoneAlarm is a nice, easily configured one.  http://www.zonelabs.com

Author Comment

ID: 9805725
Thank you for your help. I have been through the instructions that you have given above and the website links. I have also got the firewalls disabled. I am still having thye same problem.

The only thing I didn't understand is about the passwords. I am using windows XP home edition. On the windows 95 machine I have a password come up to log on to the network but I just put my name as the username and left the rest blank.

I also wasn't sure which items to leave  in network settings. One of the websites said to delete the ones you didn't need.

Also there seemed to be some contradictions on the websites above. Some say to set the IP address and mask and others say to set it to automatic. I am also not sure how to set the dns settings (or whether I need to) when I set the IP address. I'm sharing the internet over a proxy server.

At the moment I have the IP set up as follows-

XP- subnet mask-
95- subnet mask-

Thank you very much for your help so far,

Flexible connectivity for any environment

The KE6900 series can extend and deploy computers with high definition displays across multiple stations in a variety of applications that suit any environment. Expand computer use to stations across multiple rooms with dynamic access.

LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 9805731
Try enabling the Guest account on the XP box?

Author Comment

ID: 9805753
Hello, I have enabled the guest account, but that is all I have done on the guest account.

Author Comment

ID: 9806240
I've noticed you've said Install NETBEUI only if you have no other choice, what would be the disadvantage of using NETBEUI  and might that solve the problem.

Thanks, Jon
LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 9806300
There's no real disadvantage, and it could solve your problems.
Look in the Xp box's Event Viewer and look for any error messages that might lead to looking at other things..

Even if you can't "see" one another in Network neighborhood, can you still ping each other?
Try pinging both by IP address and then by name:
From XP:

C:\>ping [95] <-- use name of PC

From 95:
C:\>ping [XP]

which ones work, which ones fail?

Author Comment

ID: 9806753

I have managed to ping from both pc's successfully, even when they couldn't "see" each other. Although first time I tried, the firewall blocked the pings.

I have looked in events viewer and there were quite a few errors from today. Here are the main two-

The browser has received an illegal datagram from the remote computer EVESHAM to name MSHOME on transport NetBT_Tcpip_{901B545E-D620.  The data is the datagram.
(mshome it the workgroup name)

While transmitting or receiving data, the server encountered a network error. Occassional errors are expected, but large amounts of these indicate a possible error in your network configuration.  The error status code is contained within the returned data (formatted as Words) and may point you towards the problem.

0000: 00040000 00540001 00000000 800007dc
0010: 00000000 c001001f 00000000 00000000
0020: 00000000 00000000 0000099d
(I have had quite a few of these)

To add to my original post, I seem to be able to view the files from the 95 pc on the XP pc all of the time the 95 pc is on. I can only see the files on the 95 machine after restarting the xp machine, although I can still use the internet on it using the proxy server.

Thanks for your help, Jon

LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 9806790
How do you have these two physically connected to each other? I'm beginning to suspect physical layer issues like a duplex condition... Are you using a crossover cable, or a hub/switch?

Apparently, the TCP/IP communications are working just fine, just not the Netbios.
You mentioned turning off the firewall....
Have you tried using a LMHOSTS file on the Xp box with the ip address of the 95 machine?


create text file with only one entry: <tab>  EVESHAM

Save the file as "lmhosts" with no .txt or any other file extension

Then use the nbtstat command:
C:\>nbtstat -RR

Try ping by name
c:\>ping evesham

If you get response, then we're closer than before.

LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 9806809
Looks like I didn't finish my thought process here:

You mentioned turning off the firewall....

which firewall? Xp's built in? Other? Is it on the XP box or 95 box?
If you are going through a 3d machine as a proxy, you don't really  need it on that box either..

Author Comment

ID: 9807002
Hello, Thank you for your quick response.

I have connectected the two pc's with one NIC in both pc's and one cable, not sure what kind though.

I haven't got a firewall on the 95 pc. On the XP pc I have always had the built in one turned off and I use kerio personal firewall.

I created the lmhosts file like you said but with <tab>  Richard
Richard is the name I've given to the 95 pc.

I used the C:\>nbtstat -RR command from both pc's.

The xp one said-
"The NetBios names registered by this computer have been refreshed"

The 95 one said-
"Successful Purge and preload of NBT Remote Cache name Table"

I also pinged each pc again useing the name of each pc. They both recieved all packets.

Thanks for your continued help, I appreciate it.
LVL 79

Accepted Solution

lrmoore earned 130 total points
ID: 9807149
Looks like progress...
Is there any change in the way things look from the perspective of the original post?

I would highly suggest getting yourself a little 4-port Ethernet switch to put inbetween your computers instead of a single crossover cable. The fact that you can ping back/forth means that the cable is probably correct, but you can have duplex issues where both PC's network cards are set for autonegotiation, and because they are not connected to a switch to negotiate with, one may default to half-duplex, and the other to full-duplex. This causes all kinds of errors that are not easy to spot or define. Basically, poor network performance. You can try manually setting both network cards to 100Mb/HALF-duplex. Depending on the make/model and driver, that setting should be easy to find in the adapter properties.


Author Comment

ID: 9809491
Hello, thanks for your help,

I will look into the switch as long as it's not too expensive. It's quite an old machine I'm connecting to so I don't want to spend too much on it.

I had a look in the network settings but I can't see anything to do with duplex. I had a look at what speed the network place said it was running at and it said 100mb/s. I can't find anything about the speed of the transfer on the 95 pc.

I did try updating the drivers for the NIC but I must have installed the wrong ones because I had to do a system restore to get card to work again.

I am still having the same problem with the 95 pc not seeing the xp pc. It's a bit odd because the network seems to work fine as long as I start the 95 machine up first.

Thanks, Jon

Author Comment

ID: 9974103
Hi, Just incase anyone else had the same problem I thought I'd post about how I've gotten on. I decided to install Netbui on both machines and the network seems to running OK now. I still don't completely understand while it wasn't working on TCP/IP.

Thanks lrmoore for your help in solving this for me and congratulations on becoming the top networking expert of the year.


Featured Post

Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Why does my public IP keep changing? 6 80
Cisco 3650 switch 7 45
Need network only 1 user? 10 68
Cisco 887VA secondary outgoing IP Address diferent from Default Dialer 4 33
Don’t let your business fall victim to the coming apocalypse – use our Survival Guide for the Fax Apocalypse to identify the risks and signs of zombie fax activities at your business.
When you try to share a printer , you may receive one of the following error messages. Error message when you use the Add Printer Wizard to share a printer: Windows could not share your printer. Operation could not be completed (Error 0x000006…
Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.
This video gives you a great overview about bandwidth monitoring with SNMP and WMI with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor (https://www.paessler.com/prtg). If you're looking for how to monitor bandwidth using netflow or packet s…

828 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question