Windows 7 laptop unable to access any network shares

Hello Experts,

I have an issue with a Windows 7 Ultimate laptop that cannot access network shares.  The machine will not browse the network, either.  At first, I had an issue with Network Discovery staying enabled, however, I set the appropriate services to Automatic in services.msc and network discovery is on.

Machine is the following:

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit - Installed for over 1 year.
AMD Athlon X2, 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD
Compaq Presario F7500 Laptop

The network is a Windows Home Server and a mapped WebDAV drive to a cloud storage server over the Internet.

I can ping any host name from this machine, but connecting to network gives me an immediate no-can-do.

I am able to set the Windows 7 computer to share folders and they can be accessed.  However, when trying to access shared from the Windows 7 computer, I get a message saying, "An error occurred when trying to connect J: to  \\servername\users\username

Microsoft Windows Network: The Network Path Was Not Found

The connection has not been restored"

No other computers in this network are having issues.

I've attempted so far:

Enabled network discovery
Insuring File and Printer sharing are on the firewall exceptions
Ensuring Workstation service is enabled and set to automatic
Computer browser is enabled and set to automatic
NETBIOS over TCP/IP is enabled
SSDP discovery is enabled and set to automatic
DNS Client service is enabled and set to automatic
UPnP Device Host service is enabled and set to automatic
Disabled firewall completely, no change

I'm not sure what I could be missing.  This issue just happened all of a sudden.  If anyone can provide any advice or assistance, I would be most grateful.
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Check if you can access that share via \\serverIP\users\username, and if successful, check your adapter's DNS settings and make sure it matches your other machines. Sounds like a DNS issue.
JWilmothAuthor Commented:
Hi vanbarsoun,

Thank you for the quick reply.  I have just now tried that, and I get the "Windows cannot access \\serverIP\users\username (replaced with my pertinent info)"  Then I get the diagnose button, which basically says it could not find a problem.

DNS settings for the adapter are pointing toward my internal DNS server, and I can ping in the command prompt by hostname to IP successfully.

Is there something else I can try?
So when you ping that server's IP does it reply back? If not, check to make sure there's no wireless enabled and using that instead of the wired LAN connection (my assumption). Also check to make sure any software firewalls are disabled (at least temporarily).
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JWilmothAuthor Commented:
Hi vanbarsoun,

I've indicated that I've done both of those in my previous messages:

" I can ping in the command prompt by hostname to IP successfully..."
"Disabled firewall completely, no change"

Is there anything additional that can be recommended?

I would run a virus/malware scan. Also, try using a different profile on the laptop to rule out profile corruption.
JWilmothAuthor Commented:
Hi vanbarsoun,

I've tried both, and no malware found, and creating a new profile gives the same symptom.  I can see one other machine in the network neighborhood, but unable to connect to it as no shares are active.  I don't see the Windows Home Server, however, even though all machines are in the same workgroup, including my Windows 7 machine.

Any thoughts on what else I might try?
Try disabling/uninstalling any anti-virus software and test.

Also, have you checked your laptop's event logs to see there's anything logged when the failure occurs?

Are you aware of any recent driver updates to the NIC that might have caused this?

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JWilmothAuthor Commented:
Hi vanbarsoun,

I had disabled and uninstalled anti-virus software, and no change.  I checked the log entries, and even uninstalled and reinstalled the wireless adapter.  Nothing was changing the symptom.

Last time I updated the NIC drivers was over 6 months ago as no new drivers are being developed for Windows 7 for this laptop.  

So, I thought that maybe as I ran a third party Windows 7 optimizer, maybe it did something to the settings that I cannot see.  I took a registry backup prior to making changes via the optimizer, so I rolled back to prior to running the optimizer, and my network connectivity is restored.

It is clear to me now that perhaps some hidden and obscure settings was changed via the optimizer.  It is now fixed and I can browse the network and connect to network shares as normal.

As you have been very helpful, I would like to award you the points.  Thank you for your help.
JWilmothAuthor Commented:
Although the question was resolved by the poster, vanbarsoun was thorough in the diagnostic questions being asked and helped me to get to the final solution by way of helping me check the other possible issues.
Glad that it's resolved. Thanks for the points.
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