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name resolving

I have a problem that is driving me nuts. Recently, I've created a wireless network at home. I use a PC (WinXP) and a laptop (Win2000) in this network. They both connect to a wireless (linksys) router. This router is connected to an ADSL modem by a wire.

Using internet on both machines is no problem, works smoothly. However, connection from PC to laptop or vice versa just won't work. Pinging the other machine by ip-address is never a problem, browsing shares using ip-addresses neither. Finding the other machine via explorer works fine on the laptop (Win2000), on the PC (XP) the result is very unpredictable. Currently, XP won't even show the very computer it's running on in the workgroup it belongs to, claiming the workgroup is not accessible (?!).

The problem: using computer names, I can't reach one machine from the other ("network path not found"). Any clue what's going wrong?

Windows will automatically choose the modem as DNS. Setting the router as DNS makes no difference.

The modem and router have a firewall enabled, but other than that all connections are firewall-free. The problem occurs without firewalls on PC and laptop running, and even with the router-firewall disabled. Given the fact that the machines can reach eachother by ip-address, I would think it's logical that firewalls don't cause the problem.

Your help would be GREATELY appreciated.
Cheers!
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tafkag
Asked:
tafkag
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1 Solution
 
Pete LongConsultantCommented:
enable NetBIOS over TCP
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Pete LongConsultantCommented:
Credit to lrmoore

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.

References:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;318030
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314366
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315267
http://www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/troubleshoot/slowbrowse02.htm
http://www.michna.com/kb/WxNetwork.htm

Troubleshooting:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/home/using/productdoc/en/default.asp?url=/windowsxp/home/using/productdoc/en/sag_TCPIP_pro_PingConnect.asp
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ewtaylorCommented:
Also for name resolution I would edit the lmhosts file on each computer. This will give you name resolution.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;180094 
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tafkagAuthor Commented:
Netbios is enabled, browser service is automatically started.
But still it won't work.
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ewtaylorCommented:
Did you create the lmhosts file?
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jodypeetCommented:
you need to edit the hosts files on both PC and laptop.

xp = open c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (open with notepad)
and add an entry at bottom as follows

computer name  ip address #PRE

so it looks like this for example
computer1   192.168.1.22  #PRE

be sure to hit enter at end of line before saving

then repeat this on the laptop with the information of the PC
Windows 200 = open c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (open with notepad)
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tafkagAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion, but I consider the lmhosts files solution as a workaround (hardcoding stuff that won't work as it should: automatically). I don't think it's a very elegant solution. It means using fixed ip-addresses and triple administration. If a friend with a laptop or pda visits, I could share files faster by just burning them on CD.

I could save myself the time of creating lmhost files by never using computer names. Which I consider as another workaround, with much but not all of the same drawbacks.

Anyone with suggestions how to analyze my network? Is there e.g. a way to check if my router is refusing NetBios messages?
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ewtaylorCommented:
Well I remember when host files where the only way of name resolution. If you want elegant you could setup a dns server and have workstations register when they get an ip address. You would setup a wins server for that matter. Of course both of these would require a copy of win2k or win2k3 server. Just depends on cost. Barring that here is a quick rundown on how the browsing service works in microsoft networks http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=bb89501a-3609-45de-8e35-38251e1349f6&DisplayLang=en
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