Networking Nightmare, help

By PresChik7 ยท 5 replies
May 21, 2009
  1. I am pulling my hair out. I am not a novice (or expert!!) computer user but have always been able to learn what I needed to know....having said that i am stuck. I am trying to re-set up a home network and nothing seems to work.

    I have two desktops and a laptop. Desktop1 and laptop are XP and desktop2 is Vista. I recently changed desktop1 from Vista to XP, added desktop2 and reinstalled XP on laptop....needless to say i scratched the previous network I had.

    I have run the wizard at least a dozen times to no avail. One time I ran it and instead of using a flash drive I installed my XP disc into the other two computers and I managed to get desktop2 and the laptop to see all three but wouldn't necessarily connect to the laptop and neither could connect to desktop1 even though it could see it. i have never gotten desktop1 to see either of the other two.

    After getting desktop2 and laptop to see and connect to each other, that is now gone. No idea why, no changes, just turned them off and back on and poof.

    Read a lot but no help. None are password protected, all have file sharing enabled, all have same network name and password .....I am at a loss here.

    Here are my network specs: Running Verizon DSL with Versalink router connected via ethernet to desktop1, laptop and desktop2 are wireless. All can connect to internet fine, just not each other.

    I hope I have been clear with description, etc. I hopefully have not confused anyone to the point they cannot help!! i am sure this is something simple I am overlooking but ANY help will be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, afterthought...I tried to ping two of the computers....desktop1 can ping the laptop with no packets lost but then the laptop could not ping the desktop. It said it timed out. The third computer isn't on so I didn't try it. I can if it will help with troubleshooting.

  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    You might find this Part 1 of this guide helpful in troubleshooting your "visibility" issues.

    Also be sure to test with
    1) First, Disconnecting your ISP cable from router
    2) Then turning off all your firewalls on all computers
    3) AND then reboot all machines.

    Noting the Windows Networking can take 10+ minutes to note some network changes (e.g. after turning off your firewall) which is why you should be rebooting everything after doing so

    Anyway, give the guide a shot and let us know if you still have issues

    /* EDIT */
    And, of course, noting that ping failure on your LAN is Most likely a firewall issue. doing above as part of your test at least proves/localizes that fact
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,154   +985

    the Vista machines need to use an option in the Network Wizard;
    there's a choice for Public or Private Network access
    Public is for hotspot access where print/file sharing must be denied
    and Private is for normal LAN access with print/file sharing enabled​
    there's a BIG difference between Viewing Network->Workgroup Systems and
    actually getting Print/file sharing working --
    P/F Sharing does not require View workgroup systems; it makes it easier to SEE but not easier to use.

    I have Mac, Linux and an XP system on my lan and P/F sharing works well from any
    to any -- and from day one View Workgroups has been an issue.

    If the firewalls are set correctly (allow in/out tcp/udp port 137-139,445), your windows systems can access one another
    using run->\\systemname\sharename or even just run->\\systemname
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    btw.. i recently discovered that running Network Setup Wizard on XP (when also selecting the File Sharing option) has the side-effect of turning Windows Firewall on!

    (was certainly the case for two XP systems i tested. if anyone finds similar or different would appreciate if you also posted your findings!)

    This is a problem if you use a 3rd party firewall. In which case you should also Control Panel->Windows Firewall and make certain it is turned OFF!
  5. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    Windows XP what?


    Very simple fix.. What are you using as the router?
  6. PresChik7

    PresChik7 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for all the help. As I suspected it was a simple fix....I had tried turning the firewall off on the computer I was using but not all of them at the same time. When I tried this I was finally able to get them all to see and connect. One tiny glitch with the Vista machine asking for a user id and password but I was able to find the setting to disable that.

    Thanks for all the assistance. It is nice to be able to post a problem and have a few different people brainstorm and toss out ideas. Much better than going it alone.

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