can ping server but not see it in network neighborhood

I can ping the server on the network with no problem.   I used to be able to connect to it and now I cannot.  It is not listed in network neighborhood.   Neither can I connect to my workgroup.

checked all settings, turned off firewalls.  reset the ip address.  I am using windows media center formated ntfs.
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Michael WorshamStaff Infrastructure ArchitectCommented:
Make sure that NetBIOS is enabled (not just set to 'default') on the Server's NIC as well as the workstation NIC.

Are there any shares on the server?  Is this in a domain setting or a workgroup setting?  Do you have a user account on the server?
GeorgeidpAuthor Commented:
we are trying something out.   its a domain setting, with a subdomain which has the shares.  Most of the computers connect to it.  windows xp pro are on all the computers except the two workgroup computers which have windows media player.

its server 2003 and yes there are shares both on the domain and subdomain.   we are waiting for another os for this thing but need the old one temporarly.

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The domain master browser service is responsible for populating My Network Places.

When  a computer is turned on, it will send out a Netbios broadcast on UDP port 137 that tells the master browser, "I am Here". If the master browser can't be reached by the client, that client can elect any node on the network to be its master browser.

Reasons a master browser can't be reached by the client:
Netbios broadcasts will not go through NAT translation
Netbios broadcasts from a client will not go through some hardware/software firewalls
Netbios broadcasts will not cross over to a different IP space or subnet.

There are options depending on your application. But, you need to understand that you may run into three problems, not one.
Problem 1) Master Browser Problem: You are having problems populating these computers in my network places.
Problem 2) DNS Problem: You may not be able to map a network drive using the computer name of the workgroup computer.
Problem 3) Credentials problems: Since these computers are in a workgroup, you will not be able to use AD credentials to request files and shares. Instead, you will be denied access unless you use a runas command or save the credentials on the workgroup computer.  

So I have to ask you to evaluate how best to serve your network with these two computers and we will fix these discrepancies:
-Do you want some sort of contact to map network drives and share files?
-Do you want these to show up in my network places under a workgroup?
-Do you want these computers to have the ability to share files using Active directory credentials? In other words, do these computers need to be in a workgroup?

GeorgeidpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the reply

I want these computers in a workgroup and one computer is fat 32 and the others are ntfs.  2 of them are xp media edition.  one is xp professional.

I want all of these computers to see the server on the network to share files and I willl map a drive to them.

Sorry for the delayed response:

Problem 1) Can't see computers in my network places
This has to do with the Master Browser. The Master Browser populates a list of computers in my network places by using a broadcast by the client on UDP port 137. If there is something blocking that netbios broadcast, like a firewall, router or any other type of blockage, then your client can elect a computer or other node to be the master browser.

Each subnet should have its own master browser. Then they should report back to the DOMAIN Master browser. If they are on different subnets, or the clients travel through a VPN, then you might need to use WINs to communicate between the domain master and other master browsers. For someone with Browser problems, I recommend an article. This article is for NT4 server. But all everything applies. You could choose the WINS/WAN configuration of the master browser service if you are running into problems with netbios being blocked on UDP 137. Read through this article and I can provide assistance as needed.
Problem 2: DNS
DNS makes a name translation between the computer's IP address and computer name. Without DNS, you will have a problem mapping network drives by the computername. I may have misread your cirucmstances and thought you had a problem with mapping drives by computer name. If you can't map drives by computer name, you need an internal DNS server. DNS will allow you to map to workgroups as well as domain computers. But, you may need to register the DNS address of the workgroup computers in order to utilize DNS.

An alternative is to map drives by IP address instead of computer name (Example: \\\my_sharename. Or, if you have no DNS, you can edit Host files on the PCs to list all computers with IPaddresses in that file. If  you wish to map drives and share files, DNS is the way to go. If you choose to use the host file, let me know and I can fill you in.
Problem 3: AD
Active directory is used as the authenication for access to services and files on other's computers. Since you have a mixture of AD clients and Workgroups, you may find a few problems with permissions. You can add a AD user's credentials on a workgroup computer or shared file. But, it takes a lot of administrative edits of Users on the computer. Bottom line is, even if you can see the file, you may struggle with the permissions set to share the files because work groups use "logon locally" permissions and AD uses "domain" permissions.

Once you get the Master browser service up and running, where you want to go with DNS and Permissions sets.

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GeorgeidpAuthor Commented:
The server is a domain, and only the workgroup cannot see the server.

I have several shares on the server.  I just need to have the workgroup computer connect to them.

Go to a workgroup computer's command prompt and use browstat to see what browser is used for your workgroup computers. If your workgroup is not on the same subnet, Netbios on UDP port 137 will not go to the domain master. In that case, you will have to use WINS.
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Windows Server 2003

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