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Can't see other computers in workgroup

Posted on 2008-10-22
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I have been doing support for ten years or more so I am not at beginner level. I went to a new customers office yesterday. They wanted a new network set up. Just three computers. Wireless router and internet access in place but no file or printer sharing. They wanted the router and modem moved. Got everything set up and moved. Set up a new workgroup. Set the computers up with fixed ip's in the same range. Set up shares. Cannot see any of the computers from  any of the others. Can't figure it out. Computers are mixed. The two primary ones I have been working on are an xp compter with the shared resources and a Vista machine (home premium). I only have one more idea. the wirelss router is a Linksys and the wap is set up with a name of ackrtion. The workgroup is also ackrtion. I am going to try to change the name when I go by tomorrow, but if that doesn't work I have no idea what to do next. Everthing I look at seem to be ok. I have not worked with Vista very much at all so finding all of the things I am used to finding in XP is kink of difficult, but unless there are some new things we should be able to see the shared resources.
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Question by:John3588
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by:Delphineous Silverwing
ID: 22778655
Using file or print sharing over a wireless connection can be unreliable; I personally discourage it.

You have checked the Firewall settings, correct?

Can you ping the IP Address of another machine?

Can you do a NET VIEW of another machine?
     NET VIEW \\<machine name>
 or NET VIEW \\<IP Address>
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LeeTutor earned 500 total points
ID: 22778675
Have you downloaded and installed the LLTD (Link Layer Topology Discovery Responder) on the XP machines?  Without that, the Vista machines will not see the XP machines in the View full map link of Network & Sharing Center:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=4F01A31D-EE46-481E-BA11-37F485FA34EA&displaylang=en

Same workgroup for all pcs?  Actually sharing something, rather than just file sharing turned on?  Same users and passwords entered on all pcs?  Network discovery on?

You might be interested in looking at this question which I asked not long ago, when I was having trouble setting up my home network with XP machines and Vista in it.  It mentions all of the things needed for a wireless network with XP and Vista in it:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_Vista/Q_22772074.html

In setting up my home network, I found I had to turn off the firewalls temporarily before trying to see the Vista machine in the XP My Network Places, then turn the firewall back on once it succeeded.  See this page:

http://www.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/2007/04/09/vista-networking-problems-try-this/

The following page has a quite good treatment of File and Printer Sharing in Vista, complete with screenshots:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/network/evaluate/vista_fp.mspx
File and Printer Sharing in Windows Vista

Another good article:

http://www.howtonetworking.com/vista/sharingfolders.htm
How to share files from a folder on Windows Vista
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Expert Comment

by:piattnd
ID: 22778676
I personally have problems with my Vista machine at home when it comes to automatically discovering workgroup computers.  I can typically only connect by using the IP address of the destination machine.  This problem has plagued me too....
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Author Comment

by:John3588
ID: 22778702
No I cannot ping. No response. I cannot browse. I tried mapping a drive using \\server\resource - didn't work cannot find server.
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 22778735
You say the router is Linksys.  What model?  Maybe it's not compatible with Vista:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;928233
Windows Vista cannot obtain an IP address from certain routers or from certain non-Microsoft DHCP servers

Also:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;932134
An outdated network router may not function correctly when you use it together with new networking features in Windows Vista
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 22795542
John3588, any feedback?
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Author Comment

by:John3588
ID: 22796573
After working with this for a while yesterday, I fnally got the vista machine to see one of the two xp machines. I can now ping the other but still cannot gee the computer or see the shared resources. The other XP machine can access the shared resources just fine. The linksys hub is very new and should be compatible. With the vista machine able to see the other xp machine I would think I am pretty close.
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