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Cannot see computers in workgroup

Posted on 2006-11-29
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
About a year ago I was able to share files and folders on my network, but I have not used that capability in a long time and now I need to restore it.  I am not able to see devices on my workgroup from my desktop which I want to be my primary machine.  I get the message that it is not accessible and that the list of servers is not accessible.  I have disabled Windows Firewall and temporarily Norton Internet Protection.  I have a Linksys router which I can access but I don't which configuration parameters are relevant.

Where should I start to troubleshoot?

Thanks,
John Fistere

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Question by:John Fistere
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by:ammowagon
ID: 18037876
Start with making sure all computers have Firewall disabled and are all on the same Workgroup still (you can check the workgroup by right clicking on my computer and choosing properties, then choosing computer name tab). From there make sure they all still have file sharing turned on and are sharing their hard drives. Once all this is checked try to go into My Netork Places and on the right choose Entire Network, choose your workgroup name, and all your computer shares should be there! Hope this helps!
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 18038455
There are a few things that may be presenting you problems here, including Norton Security Firewall, which evne though disabled, still may prevent you from accessing the remote computer...  (Personally, I suggest that my outside clients do not install this..)

the basics for setting up P2P networking...

1)  If you are running XP Pro, then turn off Simple File Sharing
2)  Setup all machines with IDENTICAL user credentials, including username AND passwords
3)  Make sure you have File and Printer Sharing enabled in the TCP Properties
4)  Share your folders and make sure you give appropriate SHARE permissions
5)  On the Security Tab (available when Simple File Sharing is off with XP Pro, or on an XP Home system accessed by the Admin Account in Safe Mode), give the appropriate NTFS permissions.
6)  Access the remote computer using the Run Line or a batch file:  Start > Run > \\computername (or IPAddress)\sharename
7)  Oh, and don't forget the Firewall!  Make exceptions, or turn it off!

Instead of running through a long cklist...  read my page on P2P troubleshooting, which will tell you where and how to look for such things as Netbios over TCP (NBT)

http://65.24.134.81/KipSolutions/P2PNetworks/TroubleshootingP2P.htm
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 18038467
Oopss...  wrong address...!!  Read the troubleshooting page here instead:

http://24.160.178.164/KipSolutions/P2PNetworks/TroubleshootingP2P.htm
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by:John Fistere
ID: 18039788
Thanks, I'll go through your troubleshooting tips.  BTW, on your P2P hints page, what is the clicking?  Something happening each click?

John Fistere
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 18041982
This is generic, meaning right - click or left - click on the mouse..  
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by:John Fistere
ID: 18042363
That's pretty funny, although unintended.  I wasn't asking about what a "click" is.  When I go to your P2P solutions page, I hear a click every couple of seconds, at irregular intervals.  I thought you had a script that was detecting internet activity or something, and I was curious.

Your answer reminds me of the newbie who complained that he couldn't find the "any" key, as in "press any key".

John Fistere
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 18047490
*grin*  Now I know what you are hearing!  Yes, you are correct in that the page is causing this, but not from a script..  you will notice a tutorial running, basically screen shots that were created by a program that follows and captures the actions, including sounds (the click of my mouse)..  
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by:John Fistere
ID: 18052800
I am working my way down your P2P Troubleshooting page.

I think I may have a with my  IP addresses, but I am not sure.

Here is >ipconfig /all for my desktop:


Windows IP Configuration

        Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : Desktop
        Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
        Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Mixed
        IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : sd.cox.net

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : sd.cox.net
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : GVC-REALTEK Ethernet 10/100 PCI Adapter
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-C0-A8-7C-37-8E
        Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
        Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.117
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
        DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
        DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 68.6.16.30
                                            68.6.16.25
                                            68.2.16.30
        Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Thursday, November 30, 2006 4:42:50 PM
        Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Friday, December 01, 2006 4:42:50 PM


And here is >ipconfig /all for my laptop:


Windows IP Configuration

        Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : johns-laptop
        Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
        Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Peer-Peer
        IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : Yes
        WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : sd.cox.net

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 2:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : 3Com 3C920 Integrated Fast Ethernet Controller (3C905C-TX Compatible) #2
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-08-74-E5-08-CF
        Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection 3:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : sd.cox.net
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Instant Wireless Network PC Card V2.5
        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-04-5A-C9-0C-10
        Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
        Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.105
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
        DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
        DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 68.6.16.30
                                            68.6.16.25
                                            68.2.16.30
        Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Thursday, November 30, 2006 10:24:05 PM
        Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Friday, December 01, 2006 10:24:05 PM



Also, in Event Viewer/System on my desktop computer, I see lots of NetBT errors, and lots of Dhcp and Tcpip Warnings.

On my Laptop I am getting lots of MrxSmb errors, and lots of Dhcp warnings.

My wireless connection on my laptop is prone to an occasional dropouts so I also have it Ethernet connected when I am not someplace else in the house.  That is why you see the Ethernet and Wireless adapter both active.  I am not aware of that causing a problem.

It is not clear to me exactly which IP address is the address of each computer.  Can you enlighten me?

Thanks for any suggestions you may have to get my computers talking.

John Fistere
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by:John Fistere
ID: 18052858
In Item 5) above, I cannot locate the Security tab you mention.  Can you point me in the right direction?

(Simple File Sharing is turned off, and File and Prnter Sharing is turned on.)

John Fistere
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by:John Fistere
ID: 18052906
Some more info:

Last time I checked my desktop could see my workgroup but no computers.  I turned off Simple File Sharing on both machines and now my desktop can no longer see my workgroup.

On the other hand my desktop can see the workgroup and two machines (which may or may not have been true before.  I am not sure.).  But it can go no further.  I get "\\Desktop is not accessible.  ...etc...  The network path was not found."

John Fistere

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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 18052990
You can run multiple NICs (WiFi and Ethernet) at the same time, but the one that gets used will be the one with the lowest routing metric, and in this case it will be the hard wired Ethernet connection (by default)...  I have to go to work now, but I will review this when I return home this evening and see if we move forward on this..

FE
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 18059560
Okay, here is what I am seeing from your IPConfiguration..

On your laptop, with both NICs enabled, your Wired connection does not have a Default Gateway, and it is in a different subnet than the Desktop..  This is expected, as you can only have one DG per computer when using multiple NICs..  but this may be your problem..  for testing purposes, disable the WiFi NIC (Right Click and choose Disable), then reboot to get a new address set..  (Or IPConfig /release and then /renew)..

Your Security Tab (on XP Pro) should be available after you disable Simple File Sharing...  But, if you are an Administrator on both machines, you should be able to use the Run Line to access the Admin Shares..

Start > Run > \\IPAddress\c$
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by:John Fistere
ID: 18063924
A new problem developed just now.  My Ethernet LAN connection to my router is non-functional.  When I disable my wireless connection, /restore does not work because there is no operational connection.  I unpowered and repowered my modem and router with no resulting change.

When I enable my wireless /restore produces

Laptop:
LAN: IP 192.168.0.1    Default Gateway is blank.

Wireless:   IP 192.168.1.100    Default Gateway 192.168.1.1

Desktop:
        IP   192.168.1.117     Default Gateway 192.168.1.1

On my laptop if I Start/Run   \\192.168.1.117\c$    I get:  The network path \\192.168.1.117\c$ was not found.

On my desktop in reverse, I get a request for User name and password!    Success!   However, I don't know what to enter for User name and password.   I'll check around, but I think I need some help in finding or setting these items.

Thanks,
John

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by:John Fistere
ID: 18063960
Searching for User name and Password...

On my laptop, I went to my Wireless Connection 3. Properties and saw that under Advance the Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection was not checked.  I checked the box and it advised me that that I was already sharing through the computer's 1394 connection and that if I clicked OK, the 1394 would be disabled and new shared connection would be established.  I clicked OK.

Going back to my desktop I ran \\192.168.1.100\c$ again and still got the User name: and Password: request.

Still haven't identified those items.

John
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Fatal_Exception earned 500 total points
ID: 18065114
Because you are trying to access the Admin Share, you will need an Administrator Username and Password to proceed.  This is expected, and therefore we are getting close.  If you are an administrator on the remote machine, then just type in your user credentials (both username and password) to access the share..  

If you do not remember the password, then you can go to the remote machine, and create an admin account AND password, then proceed to access the share..  But, remember that whatever you do, it must be part of the Adminstrator's Group to access the Admin Share..
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by:John Fistere
ID: 18065734
I'm in and I copied a file across the machine!   Yay!

Thanks,
John
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by:John Fistere
ID: 18066857
It turns out I have a mixed bag.  I was able to copy a small file.  The reason I needed to make my network operational is that the pictures I took in 2005 occupy about 9GB which means I have to stay connected for a while.  something I have not been able to do so far.

I am able to run the transfer for about 10 minutes sometimes less and sometimes more.  I get the message:

Cannot copy <filename>; The specified network name is no longer available.

I go back and repair the connection, which gives me a different IP, and then Run the new IP/c$ and I can go again, but only for a while.  Using this method I have been able to copy 25 of the 70 folders needed.  But I may never last enough to get to the end.

I have been getting these IPs:  192.169.1.100, 102, and 103.  Earlier, rather than use Repair Connection I was using ipconfig /release and /renew.  Sometimes I would get one of the IPs mentioned earlier, but twice I got a new type of entry:  "Autoconfiguration IP address:   169.254.64.188.  I don't remember whether I was able to connect to that address.  I don't think so.

This is all done through my wireless link, since my integrated Ethernet adapter seems to have failed.  I replaced the cable between my laptop and the router, with no success.

The main thing I would like to do is to get the Ethernet connection working of determine where the problem lies.  If this is working it should be a more reliable means of communication.

Also, I resorted to copying a folder at a time, and the connection will not stay operational long enough to copy the larger size folders.

It boils down to:
1. How can I make my wireless connection more reliable?

2. How can I troubleshoot my Ethernet connection?

Should I open new questions to deal with these problems?

Thanks,
John
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 18068317
A new question might be a good idea, as we can get other experts to offer opinions..  but glad you are actually connecting now, for sure!  I am inclined to think your NIC may have gone bad and needs to be replaced, but I will offer that in the new thread..

Thanks, and have a Happy Holiday season!

FE
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