Hi. I've been running a home network for some time, using a router with a hardware firewall and connect each of the machines to the Internet and to each other through that. I use a Windows 2000 machine to store files and an XP Home and an XP Pro machine, both set up using the XP Network Wizard, so I can keep things in sync. I've had a few minor problems in that every once in a while (I think after using a wireless Internet connection on the XP Pro laptop) the other machines in the network would not be found and I'd have to re-run the network setup wizard on the XP machines, but that always sorted things out.
However, (possibly since running Windows Update), every time I try to set up the home network, the Internet Connection Firewall turns itself on. Presumably as a consequence of this none of the machines can see each other. (I've run the Network Setup Wizard with the Network Connections screen showing and it changes as the wizard runs.)
Does anyone have an idea why this has started happening and how to stop it? I'm working from home and this is giving me major problems - hence the 500 points.
Some extra information that may or may not be of relevance:
The router is a D-Link Wireless Broadband router model DI-624. The laptop (XP Pro) machine has a wireless LAN card that I use if I'm not in the same room as the other PCs for Internet access, and this still works OK
If I try to look at the other PCs using My Network Places, both XP Machines show the "PARKHEAD" workgroup (after several seconds), but clicking this to expand it results after a long pause in the message "Parkhead is not accessible. You may not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions". (My sign-on does have administrator privileges.) On the Win 2000 machine only that machine is shown as belonging to the Parkhead workgroup.
I normally set the Ethernet Local Area Connection as the Internet Connection rather than the wireless connection, but have tried specifying the wireless connection, and that still sets the firewall on on the Ethernet LAN connection. (The wireless connection is via a network bridge.)
The motherboard died on one PC a little while ago, so when I replaced it I had to re-install windows and download 49 critical updates, so I have no way of knowing if it was one of these that caused the problem.
The Bluetooth connection on my laptop (XP Pro) machine now comes up every time saying "A network cable is unplugged", but I can still use it to connect to my mobile phone...
I normally run Norton Internet Security 2004 on both XP machines, but have tried this several times with both internet security and anti-virus disabled, and it appears to make no difference.
I'd be very grateful for any assistance here. Thanks for taking the time to read this.