problems setting up a network with 5 pcs

I am helping a friend setup 5 pcs  in a small network. All 5 pcs are running Windows 7 Home Premium. I followed all the steps mentioned in my prev question.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_27413415.html

Ok so I changed the workgroup for all pcs to a new name. I restarted all pcs. I then made sure the folder on the "mainpc" was shared and then went into security tab to allow "everyone" access. I also for simplicity sake made sure the mainpc did not have a username/pass associated with it. ( how my friend wanted it.) I made sure the selection was selected to not require a log on password for the shared folder on the main pc.

Heres where it gets weird. I restarted all the pcs and made sure that all could see the "main pc's shared folder" under the networks section of each individual pc's control panel. I was then messing with the last pc that wasnt seeing the main pc in the network and all of a sudden when going back to check on the other pcs they could no longer see the mainpc in the network anymore. 1 of the pcs continued to be able to always see the shared folder, but the other 3 no longer could see it.

Is there some crazy setting on Windows 7 Home Premium that might have "turned itself off" on either the individual pcs or the main pc?  I even check the ip address and made sure they could ping the mainpc ip address which they could, they just could not see it anymore in the network area. Then I tried to map the shared hard drive and it would not let me "browse" for it since it couldn't see it.

Any thoughts? Or is there some other way of doing this? maybe a third party program since Windows 7 home premium does not even want to continue to talk to each other? Crazy.

(in case you forgot, all pcs are connected via Clear WixFBR-117 which has a built in wireless router)
thanks,
JP
jpintexasAsked:
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dougaugCommented:
Try to disable Browser service in all PC's except the mainpc and see if this works.
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jpintexasAuthor Commented:
I am not too familiar with that service...I just looked it up. Would this cause the other 4 pcs to initially "see" the mainpc in the network and then no longer see it? ( I guess in theory the one pc that continued to see it should have that service already turned off? ) But that service I guess would not stop me from pinging the ip address of the main pc then.

Is there any other reason the other pcs would suddenly not see the pc? I wont be able to go over till  a few days from now so if there is a secondary thing to look at, I would appreciate to have a few things to look at it if the Browser service is not the solution.

thanks,
JP
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deroodeSystems AdministratorCommented:
The pc's not seeing each other is one problem, but pc's not being able to connect to each other is technically a different problem.

Can you verify that you can connect to the main pc by entering the IP address in the explorer address bar?

\\ip.ad.of.main\share
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jpintexasAuthor Commented:
Sage -

Not sure if you meant to answer my question or not since you addressed it to someone else. As I mentioned in my initial post, all pcs could see each other fine and then after a while I noticed a few of them no longer 'saw" the main pc in the network window. They could ping the ip address of the main pc fine, but not able to access or see it via network section of Windows Explore. I also mentioned that I tried to i-map to the main pc drive in the Explore window of the other pcs and it would not allow me to browse for it since it did not comeup on the listed pcs on the network.

I did not try as you asked since I had already pinged it, but could not see it in the network pc area. I am not able to get back to my friends till Monday or Tuesday, which is why I am trying to get a list of possible solutions.
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deroodeSystems AdministratorCommented:
Being able to connect or ping isn't a guarantee for network browsing to work correctly. You could try this utility to troubleshoot master browser election problems:

http://scottiestech.info/2009/02/14/how-to-determine-the-master-browser-in-a-windows-workgroup/

Also check this list of computer browser problems:

http://www.chicagotech.net/browser.htm

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ChiefITCommented:
Your very first post was exactly correct. The problem is the PCs are seeing each other and competing for the role of domain master browser. (in this context the word domain means "broadcast domain").... By disabling the browser service on all PC's except the acting "server' PC you correct this issue..

Please credit dougaug for this advice, since I am only agreeing with it.
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jpintexasAuthor Commented:
I will try this solution on Tuesday, but from what I have read online after he gave me the answer I believe this will solve the problem.
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dougaugCommented:
ChiefIT,

thanks for your comments.
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