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how do I prevent Windows 7 from losing network drives?

Windows 7 has just recently started losing all network drives, although Internet connection is not affected. I have a small home office with 2 other PCs (one running Vista, one XP) plus a network printer. All was working and networking perfectly. Now, all of a sudden, the Windows 7 machine cannot see the rest of the network. If I unplug and then replug it to my network switch it rediscovers the network and printer and works fine until next boot, when the same thing happens. The rest of the network (connected through the same, unmanaged gibabit switch), is unaffected.

I'm running Windows 7 Pro x64 on the affected machine. The built-in NIC is a Realtek PCIe GBE and the drivers are the latest from Realtek (7.6.820.2009)
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MikeGatehouse
Asked:
MikeGatehouse
1 Solution
 
BawerCommented:
yea i have also experienced this issue but immediate solution is to restart the workstation and netlogon services which will solve this issue rather then rebooting the machine...
still MS has no fix for it...
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crzyivan0000Commented:
i know its just a work around and not a fix but you could try a startup script (net stop, net start) with the services mentioned by Bawer.
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ullsa001Commented:
First try the following from a command line.
NET CONFIG SERVER /autodisconnect:-1

If the above didn't help, Try making this change in the Registry:

Try [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters]
"KeepAliveTime"=dword:00300000
"KeepAliveInterval"=dword:00001000

Good luck!
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MikeGatehouseAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the several suggestions.
Net Config Server /autodisconnect:-1 gives me 'System Error 5', whatever that it is. If my problem persists, I'll try the Registry fix ULLSA001 suggests.

Afraid I don't know how to write a startup script. Netlogon seems to apply to domains, but I'm running the network as a Workgroup (because it's a hybrid of Win 7/Vista/XP machines).

I've done two things which seem to have improved the situation, though I'm not certain yet that it is cured.
1. I found some newer drivers for my built-in Realtek gigabit NIC (although Windows claimed it couldn't find any)
2. I was puzzled that Win 7 Network and Sharing Centre persists in giving the name 'Network' to my network, despite its workgroup having the name 'Jasmine' (in Computer-System Properties-Computer Name. I changed its setting to home rather than work and restarting the computer.  In XP this was rather clearer -- I'm not sure how this works in Win 7.

I'm still puzzled as to what changed to cause the problem, after months of trouble-free networking.
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MikeGatehouseAuthor Commented:
Update: I experimented with network related services listed in Computer Management-Services on my Win 7 PC. If I restarted Netlogon or any of the services listed as Network... it made no difference. However, if I restart DHCP Client (= svchost.exe -k netsvcs) it causes the PC to rediscover its LAN so that I can print and share files with the other PCs on the network.

Not sure what this demonstrates, but at least it's a remedy in software that doesn't involve unplugging and replugging the LAN cable.
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MikeGatehouseAuthor Commented:
Have found a solution: I downloaded the latest upgrade to my firewall/anti-virus package (Outpost Security Suite Pro), installed, and the problem seems to have disappeared: full network access is restored without the need to restart the DHCP Client. Thanks to all for helpful suggestions.
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