Unable to Browse Workgroup


I recently upgraded to BT Infinity and since then my network has stuffed up.

I can no longer browse the network from any of the machines connected.  The network consists of a Buffalo Linkstation, 2 XP machines and 2 windows 7 machines.

The machines all have the same workgroup set.  NetBIOS is turned on in WINS.  The 7 machines are on a work network setting, not home and they are not on a homegroup.

On the XP machine I am trouble shooting I was originally unable to see anything in the network neighbourhood.  After adding the NetBIOS protocol, the error went away but only that computer shows up in the network neighbourhood.

On the windows 7 machine, net view gives a system error 1326 and log on failure with bad user name or password.

The firewall is off.

I am out of ideas, so any suggestions would be really helpful!


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Can you ping all the other systems?

    ipconfig /release
    ipconfig /renew
then run
        ipconfig /all
and let us know what the results are.
Please ensure the computer browser service is started. This leads to your described behaviour.
More information is available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188001

If it's stopped, just start it, you'll be fine.
As recommended in a workgroup environment the below basic points should be noticed for proper working of the connections:-

-->The computer can ping other computers in the same workgroup. Also, other computers in the same workgroup can ping this computer.

-->Are there any software firewalls (ICF or third party) on either computer? If
so, you need to allow file and printer sharing by opening the following ports:
TCP 139, 445; UDP 137, 138, 445 and / or place the other computer in the Local
/ Trusted zone of the other.

-->Are you running both Client for Microsoft Networks, and File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks (Local Area Connection - Properties), on workgroup computers? Do you have shares setup on both?

-->Are you running NetBIOS Over TCP/IP (Local Area Connection - Properties - TCP/IP - Properties - Advanced - WINS)*Enabled* on workgroup computers?

-->Make sure the browser service is running. Control Panel - Administrative Tools
- Services. Verify that the Computer Browser service is started on workgroup computers.

-->As XP Pro is involved, check to see if Simple File Sharing (Control Panel -
Folder Options - View - Advanced settings) is enabled or disabled. With XP Pro,
you need to have the SFS settings the same on each computer in workgroup.

Check and veriy the above basic requirement on all the workgroup systems and revert with the status for further assistance.
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If you can ping them, does "\\win7\c$" bring up a authentication dialog?
If the issue is still persisting after performing the above steps than only go for the below one:-

Goto - Run - Command Prompt.

Reset WINSOCK entries to installation defaults:-         netsh winsock reset catalog
Reset TCP/IP stack to installation defaults:-                 netsh int ip reset reset.log

Note:-None of these command will cause any harm and may resolve the problem.
williamzNetAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestions guys!

fixed ip, so ipconfig suggestions do not work

fr0nk: computer browser service started

fa_786: can ping other computers
      can connect to other computers using VNC
      firewall off on all computers as behind a hardware firewall
      simple file sharing disabled on XP
      can connect to machines by \\<machine name> both XP to 7 and 7 to XP and browse files after authenticating
      netbios is running on all machines

A few more notes:

When I connect to the XP machine from windows 7, the name of the XP machine shows up in the network, but not until i connect to it.

This does not happen when connecting to the WIndows 7 machine from XP.

I have a mac book here at the  moment too.  It cannot see any computers on the network, not even the link station.  It can connect to the linkstation using //<name> and then the file shares work fine.  However, you cannot browse the network and see any computers.  Also, the mac cannot connect to the XP or win 7 machines by machine name.  You can ping them and vnc to them though...

It's relly confusing me. Not sure if there is a master browser on a work group, but if there is it's like it's corrupted or passord protected or something...

Thanks in advance for any more thoughts!


Have you tried the below 2 commands:-

Goto - Run - Command Prompt.

 netsh winsock reset catalog
 netsh int ip reset reset.log

lets run this command on the pc;s where u r unable to browse the computers, reboot the system and check.
williamzNetAuthor Commented:
Hi fa_768,

Thanks for the suggestions - I tried them and should have posted that they didn't work, sorry.

I haven't tried on the mac as I cannot work out the equivalent.

I assume something is fairly broken somewhere if the mac cannot see the linkstation...

Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Did you start a single browser service only? Election of the Browser Master might be faulty (it is), and more than one PC is acting as such, providing no or wrong infos.
WINS settings would be a good idea, but only if you had a WINS server running. That one would take care of the Browser info. But since you have no Server OS running, there isn't any WINS.
williamzNetAuthor Commented:
Hi Qlemo!

Thanks for the suggestion!

I had a look on the W7 machine and there is definitly only one instance of 'browser' running.

I don't know if this is relevant or not, but when my internet connection was upgraded and the BT home hub changed, I think that the network connection renamed itself to Local Area Connection (Netwok 3 in faint writing below the name).

I am pretty sure that the description wasn't network 3 before.  The machine was off during the upgrade and the BT engineer didn't touch it.

Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
I have been unclear with my question about the Browser service. It should only run on one machine, best on one which is always-on. The Buffalo does not count, as it has no such service (having an OS based on Linux).

If the upgrade changed your network connection, it might be a DNS issue. Check for the DNS suffix. On the other hand, DNS always queries a DNS server.

How are IP, DNS server aso. obtained in your network? All configured statically yourself, or is there a DHCP server, e.g. on the BT home hub (what needs to be a router then)?
williamzNetAuthor Commented:
Hi Qulemo,

Sorry for the long delay - out of the office for a few days...

I don't think that I have a DNS server as such, unless my BT Home Hub acts as one.  The IP addresses are a mix of static (Buffalo) and DHCP allocated (most other machines), with the hub being the DHCP.

I have fiddled a bit more tonight and I am getting more confused than ever!

I have created an account px on all of the machines with the same password.  Now another windows machine gets picked up in the network browser automatically.

The buffalo does not, but if you type \\Buffalo_Name you can connect to it using the px account, although you have to type it in as it's not automatic.  The Buffalo then shows up in network.

You can also do the same on the Air, except the px account and password do not work.  However the machine's main account and password (not the same as the main PC) do work.  The Mac then shows up in the network.

It is not possible to do this in reverse on the Mac though.  If you type \\Main_PC in to the Mac, then you get a server not available message back instantly.

I have enabled bonjour sharing on the Mac.  The Bonjour service is installed on all PCs.

I don't know if this sheds any light?

Thanks in advance,

Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Without having a DNS server running, and no WINS server either, network browsing relies on network broadcasts - and that is unreliable. And now you add a MAC into that - ooomph. I don't know for that machine, but with Windows it really helps to use the LMHOSTS file (located in %WinDir%\system32\drivers\etc) with a static mapping of IP to NetBIOS name. You can use the sample file in that folder for detail info what to fill in there.

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williamzNetAuthor Commented:
Hi Qlemo,

Thanks again!

I have made a bit more progress.  After more digging, I have found that you have to use network paths of the form smb://comp_name as otherwise the mac seems to only try using the afp protocol...

Seems like OSX is coded by amateurs...


Connecting like that, can connect to the W7 pc and share files.  After connecting, the machine then shows up in the browser, but still unable to browse the network.

I think I am going to give up and close the thread now as I can file share across the computers, even though I can't browse the network which would make life simpler...


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