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Network limit of 5 XP Home machines

Posted on 2006-06-01
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I need to know what happens once the limit of XP Home machines on a network is reached.  I either need first hand experience, or a microsoft document that states what it is.  I don't need any guesses or speculations, thanks.  Please help, this is urgent, as I'm having problems with a network of 7 xp home machines.  Not sure if it's related to the limit.

Tidder

Thanks in advance!!
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Question by:Purple_Tidder
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16808455
Nothing happens - this is NOT speculation.  Nothing happens.  The problem is when you try to CONNECT more then 5 XP home machines to another XP home machine for shared folders or printers and the like.

What exact problem are you having?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16808464
Basically, it's a concurrent connection limit - So you could have 100 XP Home machines, but no more than 5 will be able to access files or printers on a given XP home machine
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16808587
Hmm... interesting.  The prob I'm having is a computer that is sharing a printer is loosing network connectivity.  I've noticed that if it's the first computer on, nothing happens.  But if the other 6 are on, then the print sharing computer comes on, after about 30 minutes it looses connectivity.  I have the network set up with static ip addresses, all peer to peer.  I've tried swapping NICs just to see, but still seeing the problem.  I've ran a windows repair, disabled all firewalls,  tried different drivers, uninstalled antivirus/security software.  Nothing is doing the trick.  You know I wouldn't be here if it was something simple and easy.   :)
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16808598
To clarify.  If it's the first computer on, there are no problems seen through out the day.  It never looses connection.  Dunno if that's coincidence or what.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16808647
So this happens with other computers?  If you cycle the order they are turned on?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16808657
The 6th computer SHOULD just get a message that akin to no more connections available... it shouldn't lose or cause lost connectivity.
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16808674
No, this is only happening to the one computer with the shared printer.  All others are fine regardless of power up order.
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Lee W, MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 16808701
Test then - put the printer on another computer and share it from there.  Then see what happens - it may just be a weirdism of that one computer.

Have you considered a print server for the printer? (I mean a non-windows box).
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16808709
Have to step out for now - should be back in 2-3 hours.  Hopefully others can step in or perhaps something I said can illuminate you and you'll solve it.
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16808746
Yes, I'm going to test right now, have a USB print server that I will try, and I'll try hooking it to another PC to see.  Thanks for your help, hope to see you back.  As always you've helped a bunch, thanks!
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16808762
Hello Purple_Tidder!

I assume UR using a router of some sort, correct?  Any Norton Anti-Spam security stuff?  Firewalls?  These will all give you grief.  But I need more information.

Andre...
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16808775
Hello Purple_Tidder!

Disable any firewall and Norton security stuff.

Andre...
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16808784
Hey Andre,

No, I've removed all norton software from the machine, I know it's a problem causing turd.  I do have a router, but all computers are behind it on the LAN.
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16808788
Already have disabled all firewalls and security software.
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16808791
Ugh!  Hmm, still thinking...
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16808817
Not to be insultive...just an FYI.  Still digging 4U!

How to troubleshoot home networking in Windows XP
View products that this article applies to.
Article ID : 308007
Last Review : July 27, 2004
Revision : 1.0
This article was previously published under Q308007
On This Page

SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

MORE INFORMATION

Determining how the network is structured

Troubleshooting basic connectivity

Troubleshooting file and printer sharing
SUMMARY
This article explains how to troubleshoot problems you may experience with Microsoft Windows XP Home Networking. Learn how to perform the following troubleshooting tasks:
• How to use the Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter.
• How to determine your network structure (topology).
• How to troubleshoot either basic connectivity or file and printer sharing issues.

 Back to the top

INTRODUCTION
This article describes how to troubleshoot a Microsoft Windows XP-based home network. To troubleshoot a home network issue, first use the Windows XP Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter in Help and Support Center. To do this, follow these steps: 1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
2. Under Pick a Help Topic, click Networking and the Web.
3. Under Networking and the Web, click Fixing networking or Web problems, and then click Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter.
Answer the questions in the troubleshooter, because the questions can guide you to a solution. If the troubleshooter does not resolve the issue, follow the troubleshooting steps that this article describes.




 Back to the top

MORE INFORMATION
Determining how the network is structured
Before you troubleshoot home networking issues, first determine the topology of the network. The network's topology is how the network is structured. There are several common home network topologies: • The computers are connected to a hub, and there is no Internet connection. In this configuration, the computers are generally assigned IP addresses in the range of 169.254.x.y, where x and y are numbers between 1 and 254.
• The computers are connected to a hub. One computer has a connection to the Internet. That connection is shared by using Internet Connection Sharing. This connection can be a dial-up connection or a broadband connection (typically xDSL or a cable modem). In this configuration, the computer that shares the connection generally assigns IP addresses to other computers on the home network. The computer that is sharing the connection will have IP address 192.168.0.1 configured for the adapter that is connected to the home network. Other computers on the network will have addresses in the range 192.168.0.x, where x is a number between 2 and 254.
• The computers are connected to a hardware network address translation (NAT) device that provides a connection to the Internet. In this configuration, the computers generally receive an IP address from the NAT device. Typically, the NAT device uses the address 192.168.0.1 and assigns addresses to other computers in the range 192.168.0.x, where x is a number between 2 and 254.
• The computers are connected to a hub, and the hub is connected to the Internet through a broadband connection. This configuration is also known as an edgeless network. In this configuration, the computers on the home network each have an IP address that is provided by the Internet service provider (ISP). The addresses that are used vary depending on the ISP.
• The computers are connected to a hub, and each computer has a separate dial-up connection or broadband connection to the Internet. In this configuration, the computers generally use automatically assigned IP addresses for their home network adapters. Typically, the network adapters assign IP addresses in the range of 169.254.x.y. The computers use ISP-provided addresses for their Internet connections.  
To troubleshoot these configurations, you use two main steps: • Troubleshoot basic connectivity
• Troubleshoot file and printer sharing

 Back to the top

Troubleshooting basic connectivity
1. Verify the physical connection between computers. The back of each network adapter in a desktop computer has visible lights. These lights indicate a good connection. If you are using a hub or a switch to connect the computers, make sure that the hub or the switch is turned on and that the lights are on for each client connection. This indicates a good link.
2. Make sure that all computers have TCP/IP installed. This is particularly important with Microsoft Windows 95-based computers. By default, Windows 95-based computers do not have TCP/IP installed. If you are using computers that run Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition on the network, you can look for TCP/IP by using the Network tool in Control Panel. If TCP/IP is not installed, you must install it to communicate with Microsoft Windows XP-based computers on your network. TCP/IP is always installed in Windows XP.  
3. Gather network configuration information from at least two computers on the network by using the adapter status. The information must include the IP addresses. To do this, follow these steps: a.  Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
b.  Locate and right-click the icon that represents this computer's connection to the home network, and then click Status.
c.  Click the Support tab, and then note the IP address.
If the assigned IP addresses do not match the topology that this article described in the "Determining how the network is structured" section, the computer that is assigning the addresses may not be available. This is likely to be true if 169.254.x.y addresses are in a configuration where you expect a different address range.

Note The addresses on the home network adapter for each computer must be in the same range. If one computer receives an address in the range 192.168.0.x, and another receives an address in the range 169.254.x.y, determine which address is correct based on the network topology. Troubleshoot the computer that has the incorrect address.

Note For Windows 95-based computers in a network that uses 169.254.x.y addressing, you must configure IP addresses manually. For information about how to do this, see the online Help in Windows 95.
4. Verify that the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) or Windows Firewall (WF) feature is not enabled on the adapters that you use to connect the computers to the home network. If these features are enabled on these adapters, you cannot connect to shared resources on other computers in the network.

Edgeless networks are a special case. Use ICF with edgeless networks. However, you must take additional measures to enable connectivity in the home network.
5. Use the ping command to test connectivity between two computers on the network. To do this, follow these steps: a.  On one of the computers, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
b.  At the command prompt, type ping x.x.x.x (where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the other computer), and then press ENTER. You receive several replies from the other computer. For example, you may receive the following reply:Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
If you do not receive these replies, or if you receive a "Request timed out" message, there may be an issue on the local computer. Follow the next step to test the local computer. If the ping command is successful, the computers can connect correctly, and you can skip the next step.
c.  Test the local computer. To do this, type ping x.x.x.x (where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the local computer), and then press ENTER. If you receive replies, the network adapter is installed correctly, and the TCP/IP protocol stack is likely to be working correctly. If not, troubleshoot the network adapter. It may not be installed correctly, or the TCP/IP protocol stack may be damaged.

For additional information about how to troubleshoot devices in Device Manager, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
283658 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283658/) How to manage devices in Windows XP
For additional information about how to reset the TCP/IP protocol stack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
299357 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299357/) How to reset Internet protocol (TCP/IP) in Windows XP  
d.  After you can ping the other computer by using its IP address, ping the computer by using its computer name. To determine a computer's name, right-click My Computer on the desktop, click Properties, and then click the Computer Name tab. To ping a computer by name, type ping computername (where computername is the name of the remote computer), and then press ENTER. If you receive successful replies, you have connectivity and name resolution between the computers.
 
After you have verified connectivity and name resolution between computers, you can troubleshoot the connectivity for file and printer sharing.


 Back to the top

Troubleshooting file and printer sharing
Through a home network, you can share files and printers between computers. To test the file-sharing and printer-sharing functionality, follow these steps: 1. Run the Network Setup Wizard on each computer in the network to configure file and printer sharing.

For additional information about the Network Setup Wizard, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
308522 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308522/) Description of the Network Setup Wizard in Windows  
2. Make sure that file sharing is configured correctly on the computer.

For additional information about troubleshooting file sharing and making sure that the configuration on the computer is correct, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
304040 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304040/) How to configure file sharing in Windows XP
In KB304040, see especially the "Troubleshooting file sharing in Windows XP" section.

Note All network access to either a Windows XP Home Edition-based computer in a workgroup or to a Windows XP Professional-based computer in a workgroup uses the Guest account. Before you continue troubleshooting, make sure that the Guest account is set up for network access. To do this, follow these steps: a.  Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
b.  Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
net user guest
c.  If the account is active, a line appears in the output of the command that is similar to the following:Account active               Yes
 
d.  If the account is not active, use the following command to give the Guest account network access:
net user guest /active:yes
e.  The following text returns after the command:The command completed successfully.
 
If you receive any other response, make sure that you are logged on as an Administrator, and then confirm that you typed the command correctly before you try again.
3. After you have verified the configuration, locate the computer name for each computer, and then make sure that a folder is shared. To do this, follow these steps: a.  Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
b.  On the Computer Name tab, note the computer name on the "Full computer name" line.
c.  To determine if a folder is shared, click Start, click Run, type fsmgmt.msc, and then click OK.
d.  In the left pane, click Shares.

A list of shared folders appear in the right pane. Make a note of one share name for each computer.
 
4. Test a connection from one computer to another. Click Start, click Run, type \\computername (where computername is the name of another computer on the network), and then press ENTER. A window opens that contains an icon for each shared folder on the other computer. Open one of the shares to confirm that the connection is working. If you cannot open a shared folder, test in the opposite direction between the computers or between other computers to make sure that the problem is not with a particular computer on the network.
5. If you still cannot connect to the other computer, test again, but replace the computername with the name of the local computer. This tests the connection locally. A window appears that displays an icon for each shared folder on the computer. Try to open one of the shares to make sure that you have access.

If the window that contains the shares on the computer does not appear, or if you receive an error message, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for additional information about the specific error message that you received. To search the Microsoft Knowledge Base, visit the following Microsoft Web site, and then click Support:
http://www.microsoft.com (http://www.microsoft.com)
6. If you do not receive any error messages, or you do not find related information in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, look in the Network Setup Wizard log file for errors in any steps that are not followed by successful operations. To open the log, click Start, click Run, type %SystemRoot%\nsw.log, and then press ENTER. If you find errors in the log, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for additional information about how to manually configure the computer to have correct settings.
7. If the Nsw.log file does not give you any information about the problem, look in the system log for errors, and investigate those errors.
For additional information about how to use Event Viewer to look for system log entries, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
308427 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308427/) How to view and manage event logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16808822
And...

You receive an error message when you try to access a shared folder on a network computer that is running Windows XP Home Edition
View products that this article applies to.
Article ID : 885184
Last Review : June 23, 2005
Revision : 1.2
SYMPTOMS
When you try to access a shared folder on a network computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, the shared folder is not accessible. You receive the following error message:
\\sharename is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Logon failure. The user has not been granted the requested logon type at this computer.
The computer that is sharing the folder may be shown as an available computer in My Network Places, but the folder is not accessible.
 Back to the top

CAUSE
This issue may occur when all of the following conditions are true: • You upgraded the network computer to Windows XP Home Edition from an earlier version of Windows.  
• The option to share the folder is not selected on the computer that contains the shared folder.

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RESOLUTION
To resolve this issue, run the Network Setup Wizard on the computer that contains the shared folder. To run the Network Setup Wizard, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Set up a home or small office network.

Note You cannot run the Network Setup Wizard if your computer is joined to a domain.

For information about the Network Setup Wizard, click Start, click Help and Support, type network setup wizard in the Search box, and then click Start searching.
 Back to the top

MORE INFORMATION
For additional information about the Network Setup Wizard in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
308522 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308522/) Description of the Network Setup Wizard in Windows XP


For more information about how to share a folder on a network in Windows XP, click Start, click Help and Support, type share a folder in the Search box, and then click Start searching.
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16808840
And, I assume they are all a member of the same workgroup right?  Sorry have to ask...
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16808854
All SPs and updates?  Still thinking...
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16808871
IP conflict?
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16809092
Nope, no IP conflicts, I've set them all static, and went thru them just to double check.  All are members of the same workgroup, and they're all updated and SP'd up.  It seems that if I unplug the problem computer from power, and wait a few seconds for the residual power to die, then plug it back in and fire it up, it starts working fine for the rest of the day.  WTF??  I'm so lost now.  I'm still trying a print server, will get back when I've tested more.
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16809229
Faulty PPT?  BIOS updated?  BIOS settings OK?  Ick!  I am diggin too!

Andre...
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by:fnbgppl
ID: 16809457
How are you sharing the printer?  Is it connected directly to one computer, or into your lan?  And are all of the computers sharing this one computer?
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by:HarrisIntegration
ID: 16809511
Is it a Lexmark X series printer?
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by:HarrisIntegration
ID: 16809651
Oh, forgot to ask - wired or wireless?
Also, I'm sure you have already checked, but just in case - make sure its not set to hibernate or go into standby mode.
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by:fuzzysb
ID: 16809878
i reckon it is down to the network duplex setting on the computer you switch on that causes the problem, it cocks up your switch/router, make sure it is set to auto under the duplex setting under the network card settings. if one is configured to force the connection on an unmanaged switch say t 100 full duplex without cat5e or cat6 cabling it could cause connectivity problems on all computers.

just a stab, but it makes sense from what you are describing
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16809942
I think skimming over fuzzysb's comment got me thinking - have you tried a different switch or at least a different switch port?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16809959
AndreDekolta,

Please post links rather than copying and pasting entire articles.  Short excerpts with links to the full articles are fine, but (and I've been guilty of this in the past, myself) such posts can be excessively long and fail to properly credit the original source.

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by:fuzzysb
ID: 16809982
yeah it takes an age to get down here to see the latest post, my mouse scroll wheel has melted :)
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16813614
Yes, tried a different port, and different switch as well, same issue.  I haven't checked into the duplex setting, but would assume probably not as all the PCs have the same NICs.  I'll check anyway though, why not eh?

Not a lexmark, it's a Canon I believe.

I'm testing out a print server now, only time will tell.  I'll get back to you guys, thanks!
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by:Merete
ID: 16816321
could it be a problem with any queued print or old print  temp stores, if all machines are logging on do these print jobs get queued?

 ram  sufficient?

Check in the events for any printer errors on that computer

and all settings are default settings these can change by a simple improper shutdown.





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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16844595
You were right leew, just a weird prob with that one computer.  I put the printer onto the print server, and the computer still had the same problem.  Wiped and reloaded once more, but still doing it.  So, we replaced it.  :)  I sure would like to know what would cause that, but oh well.  Thanks for everyone's help!
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