Having Issues with Windows 8

So I have a a small home network setup for many years, two desktops, and two laptops, recently added a tablet. often I map drives, have an external hard drive connected to USB port on router to share files, all the devices can copy open and share files. Life was great!

Then I got a new laptop with Windows 8 and upgraded one of my desktops to Win8 (my wife wanted it) Since then can still connect all devices to internet no issues. The problems are neither of my Win 8 machines consistently will see other machines on network or external HD. By consistent, I'd estimate maybe 1 out of 20 times it will on rare occasions connect but not the other 19 times. I have noticed a pattern, at least now a half dozen or more times, on the lap top if I'm connected on an Ethernet connection, I can see other devices, but as soon as I unplug, no longer can connect to the other devices. I haven't tried this on desktop as no Ethernet port close by to test.

I've tried a number of things, verified Network Discovery is turned on. I also can't connect from my Win7 desktop to either of the Win 8 machines. On the Win8 machines under network the name of the device shows up, but when I try and connect I get error stating machine can't be found, check spelling, but yet the name it can't find is listed right there. Or will get error stating "The network path was not found"

From what I've read am thinking problem may be related to not finding host name, but not sure how to test or repair, or determine for certain what is the issue. Any suggestions??


Posts: 2,854   +200
I've notice that with the two systems the run 8. With 7 you don't have this issue. Are you running Homegroup with Workgroup. If you don't need Homegroup disable that feature. Try to use Workgroup. But I must tell you Microsoft has changed the TCP/IP features in 8 where 7 doesn't have certain of the new protocols. I've added that with my JASPER script which I've been testing. That adds one aspect of the missing puzzle. But with 8 there is still some network features that will not be seen by 7 shares or DLNA that works with 7 but won't function with 8.

Hopefully the Windows 8.1 patch or update will fix these issues.
Yes am using homegroup. That is something I never used prior with Win 7, though to be honest the only reason I turned in on for the Win 8 machines was due to mapping not working in the first place. But can turn it off and try it again.


Posts: 2,854   +200
Try it off and see if you still have the issue. With mine it wouldn't see the other Windows 7 systems. You don't use one location for shares. You never bother with a NAS (network area storage). Those run 24/7 which stores all your media/downloads everything would run on NAS. can hold 1TB up to 6TB. This is option. Solves a lot of issues with both Windows 7 and 8 Shares. Since the NAS doesn't run those OS. But in your case you don't have that option.
So removed myself from the homegroup, verified I am in the workgroup, connection issue is still not working correctly. Sometimes it will connect, but not anywhere near consistently.


Posts: 2,854   +200
When it comes to networks you need to make sure under services.msc the following is enabled:

1. Computer Browser - Started - Manual
2. DHCP Client- Started - Automatic
3. DNS Client -Started - Automatic
4. Network Connections - Started - Manual
5. Network List Service - Started - Automatic
6. Network Location Awareness - Started - Automatic
7. Network Store Interface Service - Started Automatic
8. SSDP Discovery - Started - Automatic
9. TCP/IP NetBios Helper - Started - Automatic

Make sure both Homegroup (listerner and provider) services are stopped - disabled

Did you give your workgroup a name? MYNET example
Make sure all PCs on your network have the same Admin name. Your Name example.
Same password and etc. Once you do that login to those systems with your name.
Does Windows 7 and 8 see these PCs on the Network Map

You need set your Network on each PC to Home and not Private correct?

Under Network Sharing Center
[ House] MYNET (home network)
This house icon click on it and then click on Merge or delete network locations
How many Network Locations Names are in there?
You should only have one name on Wired connection.
Wireless you could have more than one but if your not using them you can disabled or delete them.

Note: Under Wireless devices you have option to delete other manage strings.

Have you changed anything in advanced sharing settings?
Thanks for your help and suggestions!!

OK went through steps 1 thru 9 on both Win 7 wired desktop and Win 8 wireless laptop, verified or set everything as you stated.
Stopped and disabled Homegroup services on both

Set both machines to join same Workgroup

Not certain I followed what you meant here??
Make sure all PCs on your network have the same Admin name. Your Name example.
Same password and etc. Once you do that login to those systems with your name

Under Network & Sharing center
On Win 7 wired desktop
Clicked on house deleted all non used networks and gave network a name
Listed as home network
If I click on house at top, see other networked devices can click on them and open both both my laptop (which couldn't do prior) and networked external drive connected to router
When I clicked on laptop it asked me for my user name and password on lap top
Seems to be working correct

External drive connected to USB port on router
One thing I did notice now that I've created and had both computers join a newly named workgroup, on external USB drive, that is still a member of default workgroup named "workgroup" and there doesn't appear to be anyplace to change that name. But even though USB drive may be in a different workgroup based on the name different than computer(s) I can still connect to it.

On Win 8 laptop connected via ethernet
Listed as private network, but did a bit or checking and it appears Win 8 no longer has setting called home network, it's now called private network??
There's no icon to click on to view network map anymore so can't visually see what's there
In windows Explorer can see other machines under network locations, when I click on desktop , then my Documents folder get error stating don't have permission, need to figure out what I need to change to correct that.
Can view USB drive contents
One thing I did notice when I clicked on the desktop under network locations while it did connect to the desktop, it never asked me for my user name and password as it did when desktop connected to laptop.
Everything appears to be working OK (other than no network map)

Repeat same process on Win 8 Laptop NOW wireless
Still can connect to desktop see folders
Desktop appears under network locations
Good so far
Then I click on external USB HD
Red X is already through it, when I click get error message
An error occurred while connecting to ..... Local device name is already in use. Connection has not been restored

For both desktop and lap top under advanced sharing setting both have:
Under (titled Home or work for Win 7 machine) and (private for Win 8 machine)
Network discovery and file and printer sharing set to ON
Homegroup connections both set to Use user accounts and passwords to connect to other computers
Both machines under the public tab also have
Network discovery and file and printer sharing set to ON (not sure if that's correct)

So seems now be working better with connecting desktop and laptop to eachother, still having issues connecting to external USB drive when running wireless It does sometimes connect, but not consistently. When wired seems to be OK all the time.

Any suggestions??


Posts: 13,129   +6,431
Not certain I followed what you meant here??
Make sure all PCs on your network have the same Admin name. Your Name example.
Same password and etc. Once you do that login to those systems with your name
He may be referring to "Password Protected Sharing". If password protected sharing is turned on, only people that have an account can access shared resources. I'm only guessing but, if every machine has the same ID and password, there may not be a need in the machine prompting for permission.

I personally don't have a need in password protected sharing, and always turn it off.
OK thanks for explaining!

I looked was turned off on desktop and turned on for the laptop which I now turned off. That would also address my question as to why I had to enter a user name and password on my desktop to open share on laptop but didn't have to do the same on laptop to access desktop files. Now both should be the same.

So I just tried to access the desktop from my laptop and was able to ,but when I tired to access laptop from my desktop. message states

Windows can not access \\PC-name
Check spelling of the name....

But it did find the name under network locations so is seeing it, just not able to connect

Went back and connected laptop to Ethernet, then it was able to open share on laptop, so again differences between wired and wireless is what is killing me.


Posts: 2,854   +200
Are you mapping shares? Are all these systems are for you to access the shares.

Example: PC1:

EDRICHAD2000 (computer name) A=AMD D=Dual Core 2000 = 2GHz

This is just example but this is how to reference which system is on your network.
You should also setup one PC as if it was a file server.
Take the example above but add the Lettters FS to the end: FS= File Server

\MyPDF <- used with network DoPdf (this is for those who don't want to print out always)

Well this is example how to do the above with shares on one PC that would be on 24/7. Another way would get a small NAS prices on these would range from $80 and up.

See what you do is mapping PC and if one is not on or something is not right then you get this error.

Windows can not access \\PC-name
Check spelling of the name...

This error is because the system can't fine the PC-name on the network either it not on or something is not working right. To avoid these type of issues this is why I recommend using one primary PC has home server and it doesn't need to run OS Server. If you don' t want to do that, then get a small SMB NAS they range from $80 and up like ZYXEL NSA320 all you need is 2x 1TB HDD in that the device setup itself. If you need more CPU power then it would be the NSA325.

Prior I was saying each PC would have the same user name and password. Each PC when first setup should have Primary Admin and Secondary Admin. Like your name: EDRICH (ADMIN) (password) this would be on all PC. So now you would be able to access all shares. But if you want say someone else to do the same you would give them user rights.

Really don't need to map shares on all PCs. Again You can use short network shares links. All PCs can see all Network PC then they can see all shares of those PCs. Many ways to make this simple.

Well if you need more help just let us know here..
For my set up I have a couple of desktops and laptop all networked together, call them:

edrich-Desktop1 (running Win 7) (always connected via wire)
edrich-Desktop2 (running Win 8) (use to run win 7) (always connected via wireless)
edrich-Laptop1 (running Win 8) (mostly wireless, but physically can connect wired)
Ext HD Freeagent-flexdrive (connected to USB port on router)

Figured the easiest way to share files back and forth and avoid the issue that you mention of not being able to find one of the computers say because it's turned off, is all the files I wish to share are on located on Freeagent. which is connected directly to router which is always turned on. I've done it like this for a number of years, have replaced machines with new ones and added them to network, upgraded desktop1 from XP to Win 7 never had any problems, I'd map the share and it was always available. Everything worked great until I bought a new laptop that came with Win 8 (edrich-Laptop1)and upgraded the one desktop to Win 8 (edrich-Desktop2).

I have no issues what so ever with edrich-Desktop-1, that always works and can access share. That to me proves that the problem isn't that Freeagent is not reachable as I can reach it on edrich-Desktop1 (running win 7) at the same time can't connect from one of the other two machines (both on Win 8) I also never had any issues and use to always be able to connect to Freeagent from edrich-Desktop2 prior to upgrading to Win 8 from Win 7.

Since then the laptop (edrich-Laptop1) constantly works and sees the freeagent share when it's connected wired, when I go wireless sometimes it will work and sometimes doesn't see it when I boot up. When I say doesn't see it, it will still show up in Explorer but when I click on it, I'll get error that it can't connect. Never have these issues though when using edrich-Desktop1 which is running on Win 7. My second desktop edrich-Desktop2 is too far away from router to connect an ethernet cable to verify if that one will also work wired, when wireless it rarely will connect to Freeagent share. Thinking of buying a 100 foot cable to test it wired.

I've gone through all three machines, two desktops and laptop and made all the settings that you suggested under services the same and all setting under advanced sharing are the same, so nothing is obviously different.

Just tried accessing Freeagent share from edrich-Desktop2 and it made a liar out of me, it's working right now. But my experience is that 10 minutes from now it may not connect again.

But the one thing I can say is all my problems revolve around wireless accessing Freeagent from Win 8 machines. Hopefully that makes it clearer?

Was reading a bit on the Zyxel NSA320, so for $88 can buy 4TB of storage, that is amazing!! Or does it come without the drives and you by them extra? So my questions is why would this work differently than the way my Freeagent share works. The only real difference I see is this is directly coupled via ethernet to network where as Freeagent is a USB connection, certainly would make it faster. I'd assume I'd still map or access this to each computer as a share like I'm doing now. Why wouldn't I have same issues as I do now?? Does it actually have an OS in it or is it just a drive? Easy for me to hang it directly onto my network, have a couple of open switches available.


Posts: 2,854   +200
No you have to buy HDD for those they don't come with any HDD. I own the NSA325 the price has gone up since last year wow!

Web Server
File Server
FTP Server
Print Server
Download Server

You can choose what you want to enable run. The Print Server is neat I have 1250c DELL Color SMB Laser Printer got that for $49 with free Shipping great deal. That's connected to the NSA325 via USB2 and easy setup as Print Server. So now all network PCs on Windows or Android can use this printer. \\tipstirnas\dellprt (just example).

Also all my 15x Android devices (tablets and smartphones) can see my NSA325 access all the media. Also all my network media players from SONY which can access Windows shares but they can also access NSA325 NAS.

Plus the NSA3xx doesn't use a lot of electric either can power down the drives when not in usage. It can come on when you need it. Also free firmware updates from ZXYEL too.

Mine can max out with two 3TB total 6TB when I need to go that route I will.

NSA3xx series are network attached storage, you have direct 10/100/1000mbps speeds Well my is set to 1.0GBps really quick. USB is not as quick if your using USB 2.0 where as USB 3.0 mine has the option to use USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 extra HDD or Printers. Plus like I did say you don't run up so much in your electric bill you don't need to have a PC running 24/7.

What this video on the NSA325 to learn more about these devices.
Interesting video on the NSA. Will have to think about getting one. Currently using the external drive Freeagent as an NAS device. Advantages of this, I already have it so no additional cost, and running on USB 3.0 which is comparable with Ethernet speed

Advantage of buying Zyxel unit ton's of space, is a true server, running straight off the Ethernet home network, can easy RAID it for back, gives more abilities to do other things. Disadvantage, I'll have ot buy it by the time I'm all done, would spend close to $400 on everything.

Will take a good long look at it though.

As far as my network access issues, since I made the changes seem to be able to connect to my network HD consistently since on Sunday. So the good news is it's working, not sure which of the settings I changed as recommended above fixed it, maybe all of them, or may have been just one. Hard to figure though which setting would have only caused issues with connecting via wireless as could connected wired prior to changes. For now seems to be working good, will keep my fingers crossed.

Thanks for help and suggestions!


Posts: 2,854   +200
No and NSA325 was on sale for $110 FS this week. Sale gone now.. Two TB WD Blue cost $110. No where near $400. Started here disabling HG don't need it since I use WG and free up resources on all network PCs.

Well make sure now that those settings stick set them to Auto not Auto delay and you should be fine. If you have issues always check to see if those settings are active. Some all-in-one cleaners apps will disable network features to save on resources.