Network - Computers cannot see each other

  powerless 21:37 24 Dec 2003

Using Windows XP HE SP1 with Netgear router DG834G.

Desktop Name: Axis

Laptop Name: Cinebook

Both on the workgroup: MSHOME

They are both connected to a router, the desktop through the LAN and the laptop on the Centrino, (wireless).

Both can access the internet with no trouble.

I do use Zonelarm but its switched off on both computers, as well is ICF.

The problem i am having is that both computers cannot see each other to share folders and printer, the printer is connected to the desktop via USB. I have the Network setup wizard but didnt seem to work...

If i go into MY network places and add a connection, both computers only find themselves on mshome.

Searching for computers finds nothing.

Know nothing on the networking...

  VoG II 22:54 24 Dec 2003

You need spikey or somebody else who knows about networks. I'm just giving you a well-deserved BUMP.

Also to add to My Postings. Daughter of VoG wants a laptop if she does well in exams next summer (I know, I know, but it won't be me that pays for it!). I'm going to be in a similar predicament.

Merry Xmas Powerless.

  Taran 23:14 24 Dec 2003

Do these steps on both computers:

Create a folder on the C: drive of each PC and call it share, like this C:\Share

Right click on the folder and select Sharing and Security.

On the Sharing tab, click the link that says "If you understand the security risks but want to share files without running the wizard, click here"

From the 2 options, select just enable file sharing then tick the boxes called "Share this folder on a network" and "Allow network users to change my files". Click Apply then OK.

Now, right click on the My Network Places icon on your desktop (XP classic view) or double click the Network Connections icon in the Control Panel. Right click Local Area Connection and left click Properties. Put a tick in the box where it says "Show icon in notification area when connected" and then Double click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and make sure Obtain IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically are selected.

Finally, open Control Panel and double click the System icon. On the Computer Name tab, where it says "To rename this computer or join a domain, click here", click the button called Change. Change each computer workgroup to WORKGROUP and not MSHOME and give each PC a new name.

Restart both PCs after doing the above on each one. The restart is not necessary, but every now and then I've come across a reluctant XP box on a network that started playing ball after settings were changed and the system was restarted.

What you've done is everything you should for a very simple peer to peer network. You've given each system a unique name, put them in a new workgroup, created a shared directory for each machine to access over the network and told TCP/IP to use the addressing capabilities of your router.

If this doesn't work you have three options; search for the target PC on your network, try running a ping command and if you still get no joy, look at hardware issues.

To ping one computer from the other, open up a command prompt and type ping computername - as in, the word ping, followed by a space, followed by the target computers name.

To search for your target PC from the other, right click on the My Network Places icon on your desktop (XP classic view) and choose Search for computers, then type in the target PC name, or right click on My Computer and select Search. Click on Computers or people, the click on A computer on the network. Type in the target PC name and run your search.

If that doesn't work I'd seriously suspect faulted hardware or perhaps your router has a network firewall enabled by default, since you say you have disabled the system software firewalls.

Post back with the results.

Note, the above is not the most secure method of setting up your network, but it should work straight away and you can always increase your security measures once you have established a working network with file sharing.

Hope it helps.

Merry Christmas


  Taran 23:20 24 Dec 2003

Sorry it's so long a reply - I wanted to be thorough.


  powerless 23:42 24 Dec 2003

Errrr well the problem Taran is that i had play about myself and now i'm sharing. Not only that but i've got it working through Zonealarm.

Why change the workroup to workgroup and not mshome?

Explain more security if you would...

  powerless 23:55 24 Dec 2003

Oh and i cannot print...

Laptop can see the printer and it says its printing but nothing comes out.

  powerless 22:25 25 Dec 2003


  keith-236785 10:10 26 Dec 2003

Start/My Network Places, then in the Local Area Connections, right click on the network connection (server pc), ensure "file and printer sharing for Microsoft Networks" is there and ticked. you will also need to install the printer drivers on all networked pc's.

best of luck mate

  Taran 15:57 26 Dec 2003

Sorry for the delay in replying. Guests staying over Christmas...

I suggested the above changes because with network troubleshooting you have two real choices - change one thing at a time and see what happens or change everything to a specific, known quantity and see if it works. The above was changing everything, and if you still had trouble after that it would have been easier for me to come up with one or two problems that could still be causing problems because the above would have eliminated all of the common issues.

Regarding security, enabling file sharing using the method I describe is quite arbitrary and doing things in other ways allows a bt more control over who sees what, why, when and how and what they are allowed to do with it once they can see it. Since your router has far better firewalling built in than any of the currently available crop software products you don't need Zonealarm or any other firewall to protect your computers.

I suspect that turning off Zone may also assist your printer troubles and unless you are prepared to specify IP addresses or address ranges to Zonealarm it can cause all kinds of local network problems. Unless you view each PC on your network as a threat to the other, you are wasting your time and a small chunk of computer resources by running Zone in the first place since your router can outperform it at every turn. Your only advantage to a software firewall is monitoring what may be trying to reach out from your PC's on the network.

Can you say whether the printer is installed to one machine as a shared device or is it a dedicated network printer plugged into the router as a network device ?

Don't worry over much about the 'security issues' of networking the way I described it above. Home networks rarely need the same security measures in place that larger business or academic networks do, so I may have scared you unintentionally.

Reply with more detail on your printer and we'll see if we can help. If it is installed on one machine you need to right click the printer and set it as a shared device, then browse your network share from the slave PC and select the shred printer then choose the option to connect. Follow any prompts to install a driver (if required) and you should be able to print.

Come back with more detail.



  powerless 19:21 26 Dec 2003

Well Taran I now have my printer working over the network.

Might as well try and do it myself (albeit a second time) and i got it printing.

It would seem i was not getting the option for the drivers. Secind time around i was given the option and they were downloaded.

Both computers can see each and share files, so that will do me.

As for the firewall, yes router has a built in firewall and it has the option to send you a report of activity via email and i just recieved over 200 emails of reports so, that was fun = I turned the email option off.

A few online "security scans" however have revelead a few closed ports!

  powerless 20:03 26 Dec 2003

Is it possible or someone else to view the shared docs folders?

i.e. Next door neighbour...

I dont want be "broadcasting" that i have a folder to view.

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