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Can't change workgroup in W2K machine, or browse network

Posted on 2004-08-15
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
My network includes two XP pro machines, one network copier/printer (Ricoh 2035e), and a Windows 2000 machine.  Everything works fine except the W2K machine.

I can't browse any of the other computers on the network; when I try, I get the error "Unable to browse the network.  The network is not present or not started."

On the W2K machine:
I can't run the network wizard; it is grayed out.
I can't even change the workgroup name; it is grayed out.
It appears I can't share the attached printer (Brother 5140), but this is an artifact; I am able to print to this printer from the other machines, through the W2K machine.

But,
I can ping all host names and IP addresses from the W2K machine.
I can see the W2K machine on the network from the other machines, and access the W2K machine files.

I just can't access any other computer's files from the W2K machine, or print to the network copier.

I have been round and round this problem for hours, uninstalling and reinstalling TCP/IP, disabling any firewalls, enabling shared files, etc.  Nothing works, and no solution listed here seems to apply or work either.

I'm totally baffled.  I'm not an IT expert; just a fairly knowledgeable lay person.  Help.
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Question by:benrosenfeld
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by:pulupul
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Do you have the "Workstation" service running? You should, check it out at Start->Run, type services.msc, press enter.
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by:benrosenfeld
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To pulupul,
No, "workstation" is not running from what I can see on the list.  What is that?  What is it supposed to do?  Please say more.  Thank you.
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by:pulupul
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That is the Windows service that manages the kind of things that are not working for you (Microsoft Networks browsing).
There is also another service, "Computer browser", that might be helpful to what you need. This service maintains an up-to-date list of computers on your network and supplies the list to programs that request it..
You should set startup type of both services to "Automatic". To do so, go to service manager (Start->Run, services.msc), double click both services, one at a time, change the startup type to "Automatic", and reboot.
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by:crissand
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Are you the administrator of the Windows 2000 machine? You must logon with administrative privileges, otherwise, you can't change configuration.
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by:benrosenfeld
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"Workstation" and "Computer browser" are not listed in the services.msc group.

In answser to crissand, I am logged in as the administrator.

The one thing I stumbled on in someone else's exchange that I can imagine might have some bearing is that one of the devices on the network is using WINS, rather than DCHP, and has a static IP address.  It seems the network on the W2K machine went blotto after we installed this other machine (a network copier).  Does that make any sense?  Any other ideas?  This is the purest kind of glitch I've ever seen on the W2K machine.  And so far, it seems to be a stumper.
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crissand earned 500 total points
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Go to Network properties and install Client for Microsoft network. You could have a conflict of ip addreses or names, but I'm not sure. If the fixed address is in the dhcp pool, change it or exclude that fixed address from the pool, otherwise you'll allways have problems.
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by:benrosenfeld
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Thanks.  That turned out to be remarkably easy (but not before I spent all of Sunday troubleshooting it!)
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