win 7 machine drops from network upon restarts

I have a small network 2 laptops running Windows 7 Professional Ed. and a server running Win Server 2008 R2.  The network is setup using static IPs and operates fine until either of the laptops are shutdown and restarted.  Upon restart, the laptops will have Internet connectivity, but can't reconnect to the server (i.e. - won't see the server on the network and a mapped drive connection won't be visible).  The only way to restore the connection that I've found involves launching a cmd window and pinging the server.  Once the server has been pinged, the mapped drives will restore themselves and everything will be fine.  Would like to find the reason why the mapped drives / network connection doesn't automatically restore itself.  Thanks!!
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Make sure the clients have only the servers IP for the DNS server entry in TCp/IP config.

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first u check u already have enter server ip address on client tcpip settingh, then disable firewall, or if u use antivirus firewall
mmmm......Your server would be the Gateway IP, not the DNS (assuming you have an isp providing the DNS resolve). With that small of a network, I would assume your isp would provide DNS and you would not have to maintain your own DNS zone files. You can always add your server name and IP in your hosts file on the laptops.....c:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.

On your Windows 7 machines, make sure Network Discovery is turned on -
#Open Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, and then clicking Network and Sharing Center.
#If network discovery is off, click the arrow button Picture of the arrow button to expand the section, click Turn on network discovery, and then click Apply. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

mcs23Author Commented:
changing the DNS settings on the laptops to the server IP and then adding the DNS forwarders to the server made everything work.  Thanks!
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Windows Server 2008

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