Solved

XP file sharing problem

Posted on 2011-09-17
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have two XP machines, a laptop and a desktop. They are both connected to the internet via a BT router, the laptop wirelessly and the desktop wired.

Both machines are in the same workgroup and can see and ping each other. They both have Norton 360 and are set up as full trust machines on the network. I have file shares set up on both and have not had any problems in this regard until now.

A couple of days ago someone changed the battery in the laptop for a new one. Unfortunately they did this while the computer was sleeping and not actually turned off. When it came back up the My Network Places folder was blank. After a reboot the MNP folder showed local shares but not those on the desktop.

When the desktop was checked I noticed that someone had changed the workgroup name and so I changed this back and rebooted, however I still cannot see remote shares on either computer. If I try to view the workgroup computers on either machine I get the following error message:

"[workgroupname] is not accessible you might not have permission to use this network resource"

I have turned off both firewalls for test purposes but this does not change things. Both machines are seeing each other and can be pinged. Norton 360 clearly shows both visible on the network and is set to allow file sharing but I still cannot see the shares.

I have followed various pieces of online advice such as checking that all the relevant protocols are enabled, checking that restrictanonymous is set to 0 in the registry, checking that the computer browser service is enabled, enabling the guest account on both machines etc. Nothing has worked thus far. The machines have been rebooted several times but to no avail.

Can anyone help please?

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Question by:grigorovsky
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Expert Comment

by:williamvanerp
ID: 36554034
you can ping them on computername?

do you use the same accountname and password on both pc's?

try both please and tell the outcome.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554046
Thank you for responding so quickly.

I can ping both using their IP addresses. I have just tried with their names and that works fine also.

The account names are different (by one character) and their are no passwords set up but this has worked perfectly in the past.
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 36554066
If I remember correctly, you can't use a na password account for any remote access including file sharing (except the guest account). so make sure the files and folders are shared with "everyone".
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Expert Comment

by:williamvanerp
ID: 36554069
you'll have to make them trust each other in some way.

if you try to access \\othercomputername\c$ what do you get? A login screen? Try it both ways.
if you get a login, try username "othercomputername\useraccount".
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554115
Not quite sure what you mean by this williamvanerp.

If I bring up the command window and try to access \\othercomputername\sharename I get the message "The network path was not found".
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554117
I must say again that the setup as is has worked fine right up until now. As far as I can see nothing has changed.
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Expert Comment

by:williamvanerp
ID: 36554132
Lets say the first computer name is computer1, the other computer2.

 Try to access "\\computer1\c$" from computer2. Also try to access "\\computer2\c$" from computer1
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Expert Comment

by:Rockpig
ID: 36554167
Firstly, since no one else has metioned it, I won't mention either the fact that people are sneaking around changing laptop batteries and workgroup names without your knowlege.
Anyway, I know this is really basic but do you have the windows firewall on?  If so, make sure the relevant networking functions are allowed access.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554181
williamvanerp. Do I try to access them using the command window? That's what i tried before but just got the network path not found message.

Rockpig. I am investigating this for a friend. They changed the laptop battery themselves. Not sure how the workgroup name got changed.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554183
The windows firewall is off on both machines as they are using Norton 360.
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Accepted Solution

by:
williamvanerp earned 250 total points
ID: 36554190
Try the command through the "run" window. Or an explorer window.
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Expert Comment

by:ReneGe
ID: 36554211
1-Can you ping the remote PC name as well as it's IP address?
2-What happens when you type the following command (in a DOS window) : TELNET RemotePcName 135 AND TELNET RemotePcIpAddress 135 (It is expected that the DOS window goes blank)
3-Try disabeling Norton 360
4-Try again
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Expert Comment

by:Rockpig
ID: 36554215
Yeah, sorry, just wanted to add a bit of intrigue to Saturday night.
The desktop has changed (Workgroup name) and can't even see it's own shared folder in view workgroup devices.  Is that correct?
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554237
Rockpig. Both computers can see their own shares.
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Expert Comment

by:ReneGe
ID: 36554257
@grigorovsky:

Have you tried what I suggested?

Cheers,
Rene
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554271
ReneGe: Answers:

1. Yes on both counts
2. Telnet command works on both machines name and IP
3. Have tried disabling Norton 350 on both. Does not help
4. Try what again?
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554292
Forgot to mention that one of the machines has the Twonky media server on it and this can be seen by the other machine in My Network Places. It just seems to be the file shares that can't be accessed.

Still getting the "[workgroupname] is not accessible you might not have permission to use this network resource", when I try to view Workgroup computers though.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554331
ReneGe

Tried all your suggestions. Answers above.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554448
@williamvanerp

Just tried putting the address of a couple of the shares into an explorer window and it works. The networked files come up correctly.

Still can't see them in the My Network places window and still can't view the computers in the View Workgroup Computers Window but I guess i could now set up shortcuts.

Weird though. How come I can access them this way but not via Network places?
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Expert Comment

by:ReneGe
ID: 36554598
Is your "Computer Browser" service running on both PCs?
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554611
Yes it is.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554622
I have set up shortcuts on both machines using the address \\remotename\

This displays all shared items in one window. All works fine but why are they still not in the usual MNP window?
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Expert Comment

by:ReneGe
ID: 36554703
Could you please create a new user with password. Then, on the remote PC, create a new share, giving only access to that new user with Full Access.

When accessing that share, if asked to enter credentials, enter that new username as follows: RemotePcName\NewUserName

Can you access the new share?
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36554808
ReneGe:

Yes. But I can also access the other shares. Just not via MNP.
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Expert Comment

by:ReneGe
ID: 36554966
Oh? Now I think I'm going to feel stupid, but what the hek!

What is MNP? An application, service, protocol of just the name of the shared folder?

Cheers
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Expert Comment

by:ReneGe
ID: 36554968
Oups...

... or just the name of the shared folder?
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36555166
Sorry! It's just an abreviation for My Network Places.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36555168
I'm just finding it difficult to understand why I can link to the shares via a shortcut or an address in Windows Explorer but still can't see them in MNP.
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Expert Comment

by:ReneGe
ID: 36555260
Could you please tell me what is MNP?
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36556098
ReneGe. I already did tell you!

"Sorry! It's just an abreviation for My Network Places. "
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36556104
So just to clarify. I now have shortcuts on both computers which, when clicked on, reveal the shares on the remote machines. This works fine but the shares are still not showing up in My Network Places (MNP).
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Assisted Solution

by:ReneGe
ReneGe earned 250 total points
ID: 36556360
Did not have time to pass through it, but here is an interresting article about this issue.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1203112,00.asp

Cheers
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Expert Comment

by:ReneGe
ID: 36556367
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36556666
@ReneGe

The PC Mag article is the closest to my situation and indeed the shortcuts do work. Haven't had time to try flushing the ARP buffer yet but their reasoning sounds good.

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Expert Comment

by:WiReDWolf
ID: 36557372
I think the obvious solution would be to perform a system restore to before the battery was changed...
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36582366
@WiReDWolf

Did try that but the system would not role back to the previous point for some reason.

Going to have to go with the PCmag solution provided by ReneGe as the shortcuts work fine. Also sharing this with williamvanerp who originally suggested using  windows explorer links to access the shares. Thanks for all the advice.
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Author Closing Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 36582386
This appears to be an XP bug but the experts found an excellent workaround.
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