I have a network with 2 wired Vista Home Premium 64-bit machines, 1 wired Vista Ultimate 64-bit machine, several wireless XP 32-bit machines, and several wireless 32-bit Vista Home Premium machines. The Vista Ultimate machine serves as the file server for this network.
Recently I moved the network share of the Vista Ultimate machine (call this Alpha) to it's own drive partition. Ever since this move, the XP machines have had difficulty connecting to it. The connectivity issue is related to NetBIOS because the XP machines could connect when the IP address was used for Alpha in place of its name. This problem was resolved by creating firewall rules, but one of the XP machines continues to have issues.
Call this rouge machine Client. Client will connect most days with no problem. Occasionally it will be stubborn and require the a remap of the Alpha network share. This has been enough of a problem that I have disabled all firewalls on Client and yet the problem persists. Today the problem took a nasty turn, Client would not connect ot Alpha. Client could not see Alpha in the network and typing Alpha's netowrk share by name or IP address yielded only an error message. The bizarre thing is that Client can ping Alpha, and can even establish a Remote Desktop Connection with Alpha! Rebooting did nothing. Finally I logged in as a differnt user, and was able to establish the connection by typing the network share IP address. After this, I logged back on as the original user and was able to connect. This makes it seem like a user account issue, but both accounts are Administrator accounts and both accounts experience the same intermittent connection problems.
Here are the details in summary:
Vista Ultimate 64-bit File Server
Network is public
Server uses static IP
XP SP2 Client
Client has no firewall
Client uses DHCP for its IP
User accounts are identical on Client and Server
NetBIOS is enabled on both Client and Server
Connection intermittently fails
Connection via NetBIOS name never works for this Client
All Vista clients have no problems
All other XP problems have NetBIOS issue, but no continued intermittent problems