5 comp network with XP and 98 boxes that can't see each other or the shares

Posted on 2005-03-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I've got a 5 computer network setup.  There is one XP box and 4 98SE boxes.  

ONE of the 98se boxes can see the XP machine and it's shared folders and shared printer.  The other 3 98se boxes cannot see the XP box nor can they see the shares on the XP box (under network neighborhood).  The 3 98 boxes can add the shared printer on the XP machine, but it says that it is currently offline and cannot be used until it is brought back online.  The other 98 box can add and use the same printer that the other 3 say is offline.

Also, the XP machine can only see the one 98 box that can see it.  All 98 boxes can see each other.  

All comps are on the same workgroup.  All 98 machines have the EXACT same network settings.  I'm really confused that one 98 box can do what i want and the other 3 can't - especically when they are all setup the same.

There is no domain here, it's simply P2P.  No passwords on any of the computers either.
Question by:TheJabster
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Expert Comment

ID: 13646824
Ok, this is a time for hours of cussing and rebooting, only rebooting will work.  The only way to fix this problem is to reboot and hope for the best.  The best check to see which need rebooted are to look for the computer in network neighborhood/my network places.  If it can't see itself, it needs rebooted, just reboot like crazy until everything works.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 13647064
If you have any firewalls running on the XP machine (or the other three 98s for that matter), disable them.  Don't forget about XPs built-in firewall.  If you've disabled anything, now test again (you may have to wait a few minutes).  If that still doens't fix the problem, open a command prompt (Start->Run->"cmd" (or "command" on 98)->OK) and type the following:

ping computername (where computername is the name of the computer you're trying to communicate with)

First, ping the other 98s from your XP machine, then reverse the process and ping the XP from each of the 98s.  Let us know which computers, if any, send replies.

Good luck!
LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 13647100
You say

>> All 98 machines have the EXACT same network settings. <<

Then that is probably your problem. Every individual PC MUST have an individual IP address:


PC 1:           
PC 2:           
PC 3:           
PC 4:           
PC 5:           

Gateway:                 (IP Address of the PC or router connected to the internet, if there is one)
DNS Servers:       xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx        (IP Addresses of the DNS Servers of your ISP)

the netmask, DNS servers and gateway should be the same on all PC's
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Author Comment

ID: 13647138
Sorry I forgot to mention that I have all firewalls turned off.  None of the computers communicate with the internet in any way.  

I will check about the IP addresses... didn't even think about that (duh).  I'll ping em all as well when i get back to that office.


Expert Comment

ID: 13647558
Try to ping the xp from each windows 98 machine as well as pinging each 98 machien from the XP machine.   If you can't see the XP machien in Network Neighborhood try typing in \\[ip address of the xp machine] in the run command, or searching for the machien by IP Address in network neighborhood.  This should help you decide if it's a network issue, or a name resolution issue.

Author Comment

ID: 13693773
The winXP and the one 98se comp that could see each other had the same "type" of IP address... 169.254.xxx.xxx and the others were at 192.168.xxx.xxx.  I made them all the same 192.168.254.xxx and everything works just fine.

Thanks for the help!

LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 13693808
thanx too.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 13693939
Yep, that would do it!  Congrats

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