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Why can't Windows 7 see other networked computers?

Posted on 2010-08-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
Once again I am FRUSTRATED beyond belief by Microsoft products. I run a small network with a Windows 2003 server acting as a fileserver only (no domain) and mixed Vista and XP workstations. Recently I added a Windows 7 machine. Now this machine WILL NOT see the Server in its Network window. I have read countless posts, tried countless solutions, it will simply NOT show this machine in the list of networked computers.
The network is working just fine - If you type in \\Server\\Share on the Win7 PC, it obediently brings up the share. I have checked the Workgroup, Network discovery is on, Password protected sharing is off, all the correct settings are implemented in the Advanced Sharing settings - But mo matter what I do, the server will NOT show up when browsing the network. Nor will any of the XP workstations.
I can see the Vista machines, though. So it seems that once again, Microsoft has, in its wisdom, built in some gargantuan COCK-UP designed to frustrate and irritate its clients beyond belief. No wonder Apple is taking over the PC market.
Is it asking TOO MUCH of a Windows 7 machine that it shows the computers on its network? If anybody can provide a SIMPLE solution that doesn't involve reconfiguring the entire operating system, I would be most grateful.  
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Question by:BeeEater
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Expert Comment

by:kaskhedikar_tushar
ID: 33454392
Hello,

Windows 7 & Vista have more security as compare to windows XP.

For more info:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-7/share-files-and-printers-between-windows-7-and-xp/

Regards,
Tushar Kaskhedikar
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Expert Comment

by:superggg
ID: 33454505
For a test try turning off the firewall on Windows 7
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by:BeeEater
ID: 33455081
Firewall is off. Have tried all the tips in the article.
I am no novice to Windows networking. I have been setting up networks for the past twenty years. How this makes Windows more secure is beyond me. It doesn't achieve ANY additional level of security, because the network is accessible in any case. All it does is IRRITATE and FRUSTRATE users.
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by:SteelerPaz
ID: 33455541
Hi there,
Please take a look at this link and see if it helps you.  The article is for Vista, but it includes the same steps for Windows 7.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Troubleshoot-problems-with-computers-not-appearing-on-the-network-map

Hope it helps!
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by:TrustWise
ID: 33471772
Have you enabled NetBIOS over TCP/IP? Also are you using Windows 7 version of simple file sharing?
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by:BeeEater
ID: 33496736
Unfortunately nothing posted here has been of any assistance. It is disturbing to me that an issue like this doesn't seem to have a definite answer. I am not alone in experiencing this problem - I have seen dozens of similar posts in the forums, none of which were ever answered satisfactorily. Is this simply a bug that Microsoft won't admit to?
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Author Comment

by:BeeEater
ID: 33588656
Is there anybody out there?
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by:_
ID: 33593218
We are here. Just no fresh ideas at the moment.
As for myself, I have no idea how I finally got W7 to see mty LAN, and I still have to go through the Other Computers on Network link to get to them (W2K and XP)
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by:superggg
ID: 33597189
Did you set up Homegroup for networking in Windows 7?
Homegroup only works with Windows 7 computers and will not talk to your XP computer.
If so, you will need to change the networking system to one that XP can use.

On your Windows 7 computer, click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen, then go to the Control Panel and choose Network and Sharing Center. Click the link under "view your active networks" (if you've set up a Homegroup,the link should say "home network").
In the next window choose "Work network" that will switch you from a homegroup to a workgroup so your two computers can talk to each other. Before you can network the computers, you must assign the same workgroup name to both of them and SHARE folders in Explorer.

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by:BeeEater
ID: 33679382
In a related issue, I now have a Windows 7 computer that suddenly cannot browse the network at all. It connects wirelessly, and it is networked because it can access the Internet through a wireless router. But suddenly it cannot browse the network at all. It can ping any other IP address on the network, but cannot connect to any other networked computer in Explorer. Even if you type the computer name in the address bar, it tells you it cannot find the computer.
I use a small network scanning utility, which can see all the other computers without any problem. So the networking is clearly functioning. Windows 7 just cannot browse at all, or see any shares on the other computers.
Is Windows 7 networking broken? Has this OS been shipped with buggy networking? I really wish somebody could provide an answer, because I am losing all confidence in this operating system.
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by:karephre
ID: 33720341
use the Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD)  work for me. its so that the xp system can be discovered on a win7 network.
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Accepted Solution

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BeeEater earned 0 total points
ID: 33722592
I am becoming increasingly frustrated with Windows 7 and wireless networking. I now have a Win7 PC that was working quite happily on the wireless network, along with 5 other computers. Today it simply refuses to connect. I get the helpful message 'Windows cannot connect to the XYZ network. I have tried the troubleshooters, I have reset the wireless adapter, I have even uninstalled and reinstalled the wireless adapter. Windows detects the network SSID without any problem, but will simply NOT connect.

Never in all my years of using wireless under XP did I ever have such issues. Not only am I convinced that Windows 7 just doesn't work properly, I am appalled by the complete absence of information or solutions in this forum. It's as though everybody is just shaking their heads in bewilderment, while continuing to pour money into Microsoft's pocket.
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by:SaucyJim
ID: 35829728
I could not agree more, BeeEater. I actually had my new Windows 7 PC connected to a share on an XP system via my wireless router for two days. I then left and booted the computer in a coffee shop where the XP machine was not available to map the network drive. When I got home, I could not, for the life of me, get my other Windows 7 or XP machines to show up in the browser of this Windows 7 PC.

Microsoft is begging me to scrap this pile and get myself some new Macs. I swear I thought my problems would be solved when I trashed my Vista PC, but once again I am left utilizing my time as a self-employed musician screwing with this crap instead of composing or preparing lesson plans.

Sorely disappointed...
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by:parent55
ID: 36020699
I have encounted this problem for years (I'm an IT professional for 25 years) and I have never had a satisfactory answer for it.  Just this morning it happened again.  I've got an entirely Win 7 small network with two QNAP Nas servers.  I've been setting up a new Win 64 bit machine for a week no problem.  I have other Win 7 64 bit machines on the network.  This morning I rebooted the new machine and it can only see one of the two NAS servers one is persistantly missing from the list of machines on the network.  The other Win 7 64 bit machine sees both NAS servers just fine.  It is extremely frustrating that Microsoft never admits to this problem and never fixes it.  When people ask me about choosing computers, I tell them Mac's are easier to work with because they are more reliable.
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Expert Comment

by:SaucyJim
ID: 36021210
Hey parent...

I wanted to let you know that my workaround was to add the computer using its iP address. Then I simply renamed the computer in Windows Explorer on my system. Granted, if the IP ever changes, I am screwed, but at least I have access to the system. :(
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