I am finally stumped on this networking issue so am hoping someone here can help me.
I have 3 WinXp computers in a home network on a common workgroup. I'll call them Computer A,B,C. Computer A is acting as my always on file server and is wireless. B and C are wired. All the computers were able to connect to Computer A until about a week ago, at which point Computer C could not connect to shared folders on Computer A. I'm not sure what happened other than I did mess with my IP settings to try to get a Linksys gaming adapter to work (and have RMAd). Not sure if that's related.
Anywho, I have valued this as many points as possible because I am technically versed and have tried many things already, which are below.
I made all my IPs static to start with to make troubleshooting eaiser. I first narrowed the problem down to the fact that C cannot ping A. However, B can ping C and C can ping B. Strangely, B can ping A as well. Only C cannot ping A.
I then noticed when clicking Microsoft Windows Network iin Windows Explorer, it would hang for about a minute, eventually show my workgroup (named "GROUP"). When I clicked "GROUP", it would also hang, eventually producing an error that "GROUP is not accessible...The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available"
After much research, I tried turning Computer Browser service off on B, and C, but leaving it on A only. That had no effect.
I then tried reseting the TCP/IP stack to installation defaults on computer C by typing "netsh int ip reset reset.log" in a command prompt. I also reset WINSOCK entries to installation defaults by typing "netsh winsock reset catalog". After a reboot, the hanging stopped and I could click my "GROUP" workgroup and see A, and B from C, but A was still not pingable.
I installed Network Magic Pro on A, B, and C to see if anything interesting would show. On computer A, I did notice that it supposedly saw C, but the IP was wrong in Network Magic. How could that be? So I tried the resetting trick above that I did but now on A, rebooted and then the correct IP was displayed. Still could not ping A <-> C.
I tried Winsock Fix at http://www.snapfiles.com/get/winsockxpfix.html
No luck with that either, could still see computers in the workgroup but could not ping.
Lastly, I tried changing the workgroup on A first to "MYGROUP", rebooted. I then changed it to "MYGROUP" on C and rebooted. Now, the hanging issue is occuring again when clicking on "My Network Places". Computer Browser turned on all of them again as well.
I'm really am stumped, thinking of trying LMHOST files instead, but I shouldn't have to. Simple File Sharing and Workgroups has always worked for me. What's really irksome is that B and C can share folders and ping fine. And B can share folders and ping with A. But A and C cannot. I have AVG 8 and Malware Bytes on all 3 computers, only XP Firewall is on and an exception for File Sharing is on.