win 7 doesn't like being talked to!

  Cypdevil 17:43 08 Nov 2012

Old network: Desktop computers A, B and C + network printer, all Win XP Pro 32 bit, networked together on a workgroup via a router. Computer A has second card for connection to Internet via ADSL modem. Computers B & C could not access Internet (my wish). Computer C had USB printer and USB external drive for storage.. All worked fine and could print with either printer from any computer and had access of all files from any computer. Security: MS Security Essentials.

Catastrophe: Computer C definitively rendered its soul to its maker! Replaced it with a new Lenovo ThinkCentre (Computer D) which came with Win 7 Pro, 64 bit. Took 2 days to reconfigure network.

New network: Computers A, B & D + network printer on same network, A & B with same cards. D has USB printer and external drive. Have now configured B & D to access Internet through computer A and the original card/modem

Problems: Looking from computer A, I can access only computer B fully. Computer D shows up in My Network Places under the heading "Unspecified" for C: and D: internal drives and Users, but they cannot be opened, despite full sharing. Under Printers, the USB printer (shared too) is recognised but attempting to use it produces "An unknown error occurred while printing." No access to external drive, doesn't even show on Places.

Looking from computer B, access to computer A fully, except I haven't set it for the Internet yet. Cannot access D (same problems as from A). For some reason I haven't fathomed, it still shows the files for the discarded computer C.

Looking from computer D: Full access to A & B, internet, via A, and both printers and external drive. When setting the share up for the USB printer, there is a message to the effect that I might need to install an x86 driver as well as x64. It defaults to the CD-ROM drive, but I initially tried to find the .inf file on the x64 installation, without success. I put in the original driver CD-ROM and it instantaneously reverted to a window showing x86 was installed, but this made no difference.

Has anyone a clue where I can find the way to sort out these problems, pretty please? Apologies for lengthy explanation

  mgmcc 20:37 08 Nov 2012

Try this:

In Windows 7, go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center and click the link at the left for Change Advanced Sharing Settings.

In the Settings dialog box, scroll down to the entry for File Sharing Connections and make sure it is set for "Enable file sharing for devices that use 40- or 56-bit encryption".

  Cypdevil 06:51 09 Nov 2012

Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately it is not that, as I had already selected the 40 or 56 bit option. Would appreciate it if you have any other ideas.

  mgmcc 08:25 09 Nov 2012

Go into the Network & Sharing Center and make sure your network is set as a Home network.

In the Advanced Sharing Settings, I have for the "Home or Work (current profile)"

  • Turn on network discovery
  • Turn on file & printer sharing
  • Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can read and write files in the Public folders
  • (You already have the 40/56bit setting enabled)

Now, make sure that you have set the permissions of any "shared" folders correctly to allow access to whatever Usernames you are logged in to the other PCs with.

  Cypdevil 15:27 12 Nov 2012

Thanks for your message

I've been working on it and have made a little progress.

Computer D: can see all shared files on computers A & B: can access Internet. The USB printer and the network printer work correctly.

Computers A & B: can see computer D in workgroup and can see therein drives C: and D: (internal) and H: (external). The internal drives cannot be opened but the external one can. If I try to open an internal drive on D, an error message says the drive is not accessible (the D: drive is meant to take back-up files from computers A & B). A few folders can be opened under 'Users', but not all. The USB printer can be seen under 'Printers and Faxes' but cannot be accessed (this is very important to me). If I try to print to the USB printer, it reverts to the network printer; if I open the printer and click on Print test page, I get an error message. All drives and the printer on computer D: are set-up as shared. The network printer works.

If I want to print, say, a CAD graphic on the USB printer from computer A, I have to transfer the file to the external drive or use a memory stick, use it to open a compatible app. in computer D and print it from there. The hiccup is that the application must also be installed in D and I have only one licence, quite apart from the clumsiness of the system.

The ping time for A>D or B>D (correct IP address) is <1 ms, averaged over 16x256 bytes as 0 ms. BTW, the network is Ethernet 100 MHz.

I'd be grateful for any further help. Thanks!

  mgmcc 16:39 12 Nov 2012

A couple of things spring to mind:

Are you logging in to all computers with an identical Username and Password? If not, set up user accounts in XP that do have the same Username/Password as Windows 7, even if you don't actually use those accounts.

Windows 7 may not let you access a shared internal drive because it contains files which don't belong to you (the User who is logged in), they belong to Windows. Try creating a new folder in drives "C" and "D", share that folder and see if it is accessible over the network from the XP PCs.

  Cypdevil 08:46 14 Nov 2012

OK, thanks for your help. I've found the answer to the internal drives being inaccessible. It is an MS stupidity. Under Security (not Sharing), it requires Everyone to have access. There is a long, convoluted, way to add this but, once it's done, I can access them from any computer. I can perhaps see why MS may not want anyone other than the Admin to access the boot/system files, but not the personal files and most certainly not other drives/partitions. In fact, my intention was to use the D: drive on the Win7 computer to serve backups for important data files on the other 2 computers and, as it was before my mods, this was impossible.

HOWEVER, I still cannot access the Win 7 USB printer from other computers, which is a total nuisance. I tried the Security trick, but it is already configured for Everyone. The icon shows up in Printers and Faxes of the other computers, complete with the sharing "pipe" under it. I have found that many have complained of the same thing but I haven't found how to circumvent it, yet. As far as I can make out, the incompatibility, which works both ways, is between 64 bit and 32 bit OSs. Probably another MS stupidity, although HP haven't resolved it at a driver level. Have you any ideas, please?

  mgmcc 09:10 14 Nov 2012

Although the USB Printer attached to the Windows 7 PC will be shown as one of its "network shares", have you reinstalled the network printer in the XP PCs since attaching it to a different PC? They are probably still trying to access the printer in the now non-existent Computer C.

There certainly isn't an incompatibility between 32-bit and 64-bit. My 32-bit Laptop can access a shared USB printer in my 64-bit Windows 7 PC.

  Cypdevil 16:23 17 Nov 2012

Unfortunately, I still haven't found a solution despite all the suggestions here, elsewhere, including HP and MS websites and forums. What I have found is that there seems to be many with exactly the same problem. I have tried, over at least 100 hours everything that has been suggested and I'm grateful to all those who have tried to help. I still have no idea what the problem is, other than an incompatibility between 32- and 64-bit OSs under some unknown conditions, possible related to drivers. The fact that I have been able to get file-sharing without problems but not printer-sharing suggests this, even though MS have tried with a 35-page white paper on the subject. The real answer would be to upgrade from XP to Win7 but some of my software would not work, even in simulation mode. This would imply dual-booting with full version of Ultimate and this would be costly (MS upgrades no longer support dual booting :-( ) Any further ideas very welcome. Thanks

  Cypdevil 13:21 21 Nov 2012

Solution found! install XP computers as LOCAL printers, NOT as network.

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