XP / W7 network keeps 'failing'

  ChrisAnnS 14:52 23 Oct 2010

We have set up a Workgroup to network our XP desktop with a Win7 laptop. The desktop is linked to the router by ethernet and the laptop is Wifi to the same router.
It has been working OK for a month or so. However, now we find that sometimes one or other computer can't see the other although it can always see the router and internet.
We've tried everything including closing down one or both computers and starting them again in a different order. Sometimes it appears to work - other times not. There doesn't appear to be a logical explanation.
Another problem, which may not be linked, but on the XP desktop we have icons on the task bar go missing (not simply hiding). More often or not it is the Skype and Safely Remove Hardware icons which disappear but it has happened to others too. They will suddenly return for a day, and then go missing again. (They can be found in the 'Past Items' list.) This only started recently, about the same time as the above problem which may or may not be linked.
Any ideas please?

  mgmcc 15:54 23 Oct 2010

It does sometimes happen that a networked computer doesn't appear in "Network" ("My Network Places"), but it may still be accessible if you type the path to it into the address bar, using the format:



If you're using third-party firewall software, has this been configured correctly to allow access to the networked computers, bearing in mind that their IP addresses can change if allocated by the router using DHCP?

  ChrisAnnS 16:18 23 Oct 2010

I can see the W7 laptop from the XP m/c by typing in it's name but it only finds Default & Public under 'Users' not our user names (which are visible on the W7 laptop).

However, I have copied a file into the Public folder and both comps can see that!

I'm not sure about our Firewall - we just use MS and there is a firewall associated with our homehub.

  mgmcc 09:19 24 Oct 2010

The inability to see shared folders in the Win 7 PC from XP may be due to the "permissions" set. In the Sharing Properties of the folders, make sure that the Username you're logged in to XP with has been granted Read & Write permission.

  ChrisAnnS 18:26 24 Oct 2010

Thanks for the thought - I'll see if I can work out how to check that.

  ChrisAnnS 17:46 04 Nov 2010

I'm back to say thanks for your help. Our network appears to be working as it should. Not sure which of the solutions solved it but at least it's not 'popping' out like it was doing.

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