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Why can't I see all my files in a network drive?

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-23
Weird one this. I have two machines both running Win XP Pro Sp3. I have mapped a network drive on one machine to a folder on the other. This works in the normal way except that I can only see *some* of the files. I am absolutely certain that I am looking at the right folder, and that the folder I am looking at does contain the files I expect to be there (indeed, know *are* there when I look at the folder on the other machine).

I am well-used to simple networking tasks like sharing folders and have never seen this problem before. Is it a common problem with a simple explanation and fix? (Pressing F5 in Win Explorer doesn't work.) If not, let me know and I'll post all the gory details.
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Question by:kilgore661
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33 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Bruce Pieterse
ID: 22658004
Hi,

Have you tried remapping the drives?
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by:sstone55423
ID: 22658021
What types of files are listed on one side, but not the other?  You've probably already checked Explorer | tools | folder options | view  to be sure that Hidden files and folders is set to show, and hide extensions for known file types is unselected?
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Author Comment

by:kilgore661
ID: 22658158
I have tried remapping the drive.

The folder contains (hundreds of) jpegs uploaded from my camera. On "Beast" - the computer on to which I upload the images - they are all there eg DSC00001 to DSC00101. On "Mother" - the other computer - I see DSC00001, DSC00004, DSC00006 etc. There seems to be no pattern to which files are "missing". AndI have the view sorted on filename.

Beast is actually a dual boot Linux/XP machine. The folder I am having problems with is nominally a Linux directory i.e. the disc it is on is formatted as ext2. If I couldn't see the disc at all then I would understand, but I can so I don't :-)
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Assisted Solution

by:marques_salazar
marques_salazar earned 200 total points
ID: 22660487
Can you see them in dos?
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by:marques_salazar
ID: 22660528
Another thing, check the permissions on the parent folder, set those, and then push the permissions down.  
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by:kilgore661
ID: 22660773
I *can* see them in dos!

I looked at the properties of the folder (I assume meant the folder that contains the "missing" files). Its "Read Only" checkbox was half-highlighted. I cleared it and pressed Apply (said yes to "this folder and all sub-folders or whatever) and then OK. Then I checked the properties again, but the read only checkbox was still half-highlighted.

I have some screenshots if you want them.
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by:Bruce Pieterse
ID: 22677108
Please could you post the screenshots.

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:kilgore661
ID: 22678103
OK, I have tried to cover all the angles. I do hope I am not missing something very very obvious!

winbeast.jpg shows the troublesome folder on my machine Winbeast - this is the machine that actually has the files. You can see it is the X: drive that contains the folder/files and that it is shared, and that the folder in question contains loads of files numbered 8258 and upwards with no gaps in the sequence.

map.jpg shows the drive mappings on my other machine "Mother". You can see that the R drive is mapped to Winbeast's X drive.

wierdness.jpg shows the files on Winbeast as seen from Mother. Notice that the list of files is sorted on Name, that DSC08258 and many other files are not shown.

cmd1.jpg and cmd2.jpg show what happens if I open a command prompt and ask for a directory listing. There are too many files to show in one window so I have shown the start and the end of the listing. Notice that the end concludes with "File Not Found". This has to be a significant indicator, but of what I don't know.

cmd3.jpg shows that there is definitely a bug imho.

Finally, aaaargh!.jpg shows that you can get dos to list files that you can't see in Windows Explorer.

Off to bang my head against the wall for a while....





netbug.zip
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by:marques_salazar
ID: 22679279
In the weirdness pic....it shows (R:) sda3 (X) on Winbeast???
But below that it shows (X:) as mapping to sda3 on Linbeast...
Is there an sda3 folder on each machine?
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by:kilgore661
ID: 22679430
Ah, well spotted. Yes, and no. Winbeast is a Linux/XP dual-boot machine that is only called Winbeast when running XP. When fired up as a Linux box the computer's name is LinBeast. In fact sda3 is physically the same disk, but from Mother's perspective  it's called Winbeast\\R when "Beast" is running windows and Linbeast\\X when running Linux. Annoying but I don't know how set up shares without doing this.
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by:marques_salazar
ID: 22679568
Can you check the ntfs permissions on the drive and ensure that you have full control over the folder, then push the rights down...
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by:marques_salazar
ID: 22679581
Sorry...I meant check the permissions on the FOLDER...
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by:kilgore661
ID: 22683308
NTFS permissions? It's ext2, see my comments.

I have attached what Winbeast says if you look at sda3's properties. And a screenshot of sda3 from Mother's perspective.

A friend has just looked at this problem and has suggested the problem is with IFS, but I am using the most recent version 1.11.

Another isolated fact that has recently come to mind is that this problem does not occur with other folders. Another is that the problem has only happened recently. "Beast" has been a dual boot machine with drives shared every whichway for six months. The "missing files" problem goes back only a month.

general.jpg
sharing.jpg
viewfrommother.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Bruce Pieterse
ID: 22684824
Have you tried running e2fsck under linux to see if there are any problems?
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by:kilgore661
ID: 22687691
I have just tried e2fsck. There were some problems but e2fsck claims to have fixed them and the disk is clean. The problem persists.

I have just noticed that if the computer with the files is booted into Linux (so it is called Linbeast rather than Winbeast from Mother's perspective) then Mother can see all the files.
ViewFromMotherOfLinbeast.jpg
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by:Bruce Pieterse
Bruce Pieterse earned 200 total points
ID: 22701274
Have you tried duplicating the folder under linux and tried accessing it from windows?
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by:kilgore661
ID: 22705064
I made a new folder "temp" at the same level in the tree that contains the troublesome folder 103MSDCF and copied the files from 103MSDCF into temp. This isn't exactly what you suggested but it works in the sense that I can see all the files in temp from Mother (but still can't see them in 103MSDCF).

Definitely worth some points as a workaround, but for full points (now 300) I'd like to know how to prevent the need to do this in the first place. I have just uploaded another directory of directories of photos and the directories have the same problem - i.e. I can't see all the photos from Mother.
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by:kilgore661
ID: 22742681
Now worth 500 points
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by:Bruce Pieterse
ID: 22753582
Sorry for the late response. I would probably copy all the files out of the drive, delete the partition, recreate it, format it and the copy the files back to the drive. That might alleviate current and future problems. There's nothing else I can think of.

Let me know if it is possible or not.

Good Luck.
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Author Comment

by:kilgore661
ID: 22755595
Possible, but highly undesirable.

Thanks for the idea though.
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by:Bruce Pieterse
ID: 22759318
I know, it's a huge schleep. :(

Let me know how it goes.

B
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by:Bruce Pieterse
ID: 22759378
I know, it's a huge schleep. :(

Let me know how it goes.

B
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by:gecko_au2003
ID: 22806375
When running windows are you able to unshare the folder / drive and then  disable simple file sharing temporarily and in tools --> folder options -- view tab --> scroll right to the bottom and un tick use simple file sharing.

Then re share the folder or drive and apply what ever permissions you want using either the everyone group or add a new user on your machine with the exact username and password as your mothers logon details or whatever the other users logon details are ie if your mothers logon details are

username is mother and password is mother

then on your machine create a user called mother with password mother.

If there are any logon credential dialogs - there should be a remember my password checkbox - just tick this before clicking on ok or logon or w/e.

Also when in windows if you go to either control panel --> admin tools or start --> run --> services.msc

On both computers when on windows Can you restart the computer browser service and also whilst in windows just do a repair on the connection so that it flushes and re registers dns , ARP etc.

Also when in windows do you have any firewalls whether software or any hardware firewalls in between the computers ? If so can you disable them and try again - also is the windows firewall enabled ?

If so disable that temporarily - if it works now - can you add the relevant ports to the firewall to allow for the computers to browse or file share etc. Am not sure personally on the ports but can easily google it and establish what ports are required.

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by:gecko_au2003
ID: 22806382
I forgot to mention can you also go to event viewer on the windows machine that is sharing the folder and also on the other machine and post back with any errors relating to either viewing the shared folder or on the machine that is sharing the folder or any other errors that you think may be related to this and post back with the event id and the error description.
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Author Comment

by:kilgore661
ID: 22809208
Hi Gecko,

Thanks for this.

Sharing. I am not convinced I can unshare the drive. I unchecked simple file sharing but this did not remove the hand underneath the drive's icon that indicates sharing. Did you mean for me to uncheck simple file sharing AND right click on the icon and untick sharing in properties/sharing and security? I didn't try this because it's a big drive with millions of files and so very slow. Of course I can try this if that's what you meant me to do.

Services. I restarted the computer browser service on both machines. This seemed to have no effect. I don't know what you mean by "repairing the connection". Can you explain please?

Firewalls etc. The machines are connected via a basic router that does not have a firewall afaik. It's a Netgear DG834G. I am running Windows Firewall but turning that off had no effect.

I had a look at the error logs. The only categories that had any entries were Application and System. Both contain very many entries, but I don't know how to find entries that may pertain to the problem. Perhaps you can offer some guidance?

I think that's covered everything you said. Let me know if I have missed something.

Thanks,

Ben
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by:gecko_au2003
ID: 22810373
>>Did you mean for me to uncheck simple file sharing AND right click on the icon and untick sharing in properties/sharing and security? I didn't try this because it's a big drive with millions of files and so very slow. Of course I can try this if that's what you meant me to do.

Yes - although this may take a while when you re share it without simple file sharing - yes you will have to authenticate to get access to the share but I just wanted to see if this would help - you can leave this as a last resort if you wish seeing as you said it would take some time.

You will need to un share it before you disable simple file sharing and then after that is done and applied you will need to re share it but this time when you right click on the folder / drive you want to share there should be an option for sharing and security or you can just right click on the folder / drive and go to properties and there should be a sharing tab.

>> I don't know what you mean by "repairing the connection". Can you explain please?

In windows xp you should be able to right click on the connection assuming it is in the system tray and select or click on the option "repair connection". If it is not there then go to control panel --> network connections --> right click on the network connection ( assuming its a local area network connection ) you should be able to tell which one it is by reading the connection info / details as it will state if its wireless, 1394 firewire or the LAN connection. Then right click on your LAN connection and go to properties.

There should be a check box to add the network connection to the system tray, if it is checked, un check it and apply and then re check the check box and apply it again ( this may involve going back into the properties of the network connection by right clicking and going back to properties )

The option should say "Show icon in notification area when connected"

Here is a microsoft KB about file sharing on windows :

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304040

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Expert Comment

by:gecko_au2003
ID: 22810386
As per that MS KB above it states near the bottom of the page about the Internet connection firewall may cause problems with file sharing etc :

http://www6.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/1,1770,3175-1;30075-3,00.html

How to disable it on the NIC as per above

>> see below :

Known issues
For remote users to access files from the network (Levels 4 and 5), the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) must be disabled on the network interface that the remote users connect through.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
298804 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/298804/) Internet firewalls can prevent browsing and file sharing
When Simple File Sharing is turned on, remote administration and remote registry editing does not work as expected from a remote computer, and connections to administrative shares (such as C$) do not work because all remote users authenticate as Guest. Guest accounts do not have administrative rights. When Simple File Sharing is turned on, if you configure specific user ACEs, remote users are not affected when Simple File Sharing is turned on because all remote users authenticate as Guest when Simple File Sharing is turned on.
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Author Comment

by:kilgore661
ID: 22819900
Hi Gecko,

Thanks for your further help.

I think I have now tried everything you suggested including disabling the firewall on both machines and the problem persists. A couple of points. First, I unshared the drive, disabled simple file sharing, and reshared the drive as instructed. (This was not such a slow operation as I feared.) I set full access permissions for Everybody. When I tried to access the files from Mother I did not have to supply any identification or passwords, so maybe I still haven't properly tried what you suggested.

The second point is a query. The only thing that has solved the problem is to alter the files on the drive - which is primarily a Linux drive - using Linux. Might the problem be the way Windows accesses Linux file systems?
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by:gecko_au2003
ID: 22820138
Any chance you can drop me an email - email is or should be in my profile.
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kilgore661 earned 0 total points
ID: 22865278
I am closing this question because it has been open for a while with no complete solution.
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Expert Comment

by:dazman76
ID: 23084902
Hi there kilgore661,

It's a shame you haven't solved this one, because I'm having the same problem - or at least, something very, very similar.

Here at work, we have a drive on a Windows Server 2003 machine that is shared. Employees map this drive as "R", and use it to store all kinds of files. In addition, the drive is used to store "linked documents" for the Goldmine CRM App. The setup is poor, and all files are dumped in the same folder - this results in 12,000 files residing in a single folder. It works, but it is above the recommended number of files, and makes the drive somewhat slow to access.

However, I believe the number of files may also be contributing to my problem. The folder works faultlessly when mapped on most machines, but I have a couple of laptops where it behaves strangely. On first access after opening explorer, the folder appears to contain only 3000 or so files - a bunch of folders are missing from the list, along with many files. Hitting F5 refreshes correctly, and the entire list of folders and files is then visible. Additionally, simply browsing another folder then returning to the R drive, produces the full list of files.

This problem is easily worked around by either refreshing, or simply clicking away and back on the mapped drive in Explorer - but it's really annoying that it only affects a few laptops, and people don't really appreciate having to work around it, when I cannot provide an explanation for the problem! The laptops are fully up to date - XP SP3 + Updates, and most installed software is common across all the laptops/desktops we have here. Very frustrating!
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Author Comment

by:kilgore661
ID: 23094016
It certainly is frustrating. For what it's worth, refreshing the view doesn't work on my setup (also XP +SP3 + updates). The only way to see all the files is to use a command prompt and DIR. I thought the problem was most likely to be something to do with my server accesses the files in its Linux partition but you have a similar problem and Linux is not involved, so it looks like a Windows problem. Now why doesn't that surprise me?
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