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Homegroup - Enter Network Password??


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smoddelm's Avatar
smoddelm smoddelm is offline
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17-Feb-2012, 10:05 AM #1
Homegroup - Enter Network Password??
I've been through pages and pages of Google and Bing searches, and I've found plenty who have this issue, but none who seem to get it solved. In a nutshell:

Three computers, all running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, are members of a Homegroup that functioned perfectly for more than a year until Tuesday of this week. On Tuesday, I installed Windows updates and also updated from Norton 360 v5 to v6.

Computer A and B don't have password protected logins to Windows; Computer C is password protected. Until Tuesday, A and B have never been required to enter a password to access shared files and folders on C. Computer A still communicates fine in both directions with B and C, without having to enter C's Windows login credentials. B can be accessed by C, but when B attempts to access the C libraries that are shared by C to the Homegroup, the appropriate shared folders are shown (Documents, Pictures, etc.), but instead of their usual icons, the icons look like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smoddelmog/6891302037/ and if I try to click on them, I am prompted for a Network Password like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smoddelmog/6891301981/ (sorry for the links, but I can't seem to make the forum photo inserter work). The name following "Enter your network password to connect to:" is the name of C, and the "Domain" shown below the password block is the name of B. (Domains aren't even possible with Home Premium, are they?)

If I enter C's username and password I can access C from B, but upon rebooting B it starts all over again, even if I click "Remember my credentials." Sometimes I don't get the prompt and instead am told that I don't have permission to view \\[name of computer B].

Password protected sharing is off on all computers. Nothing in "advanced sharing items" has changed, and I do know what all the settings should be in any case. I have looked at security permissions on all the files and folders that are shared to the Homegroup, and they are as they should be. Anyway, if any of those settings were wrong, A should also be having issues accessing and being accessed by B, but it's not.

I had a similar issue a few years ago but don't recall how I fixed it. I think I just rebooted my router a few times. I've even tried a hard reset of the router and setting it back up from scratch.

The description above is the current status. However, the problem started with C not being able to access B rather than the other way around, as it is now. I point this out because, since B is not password protected and initially C could not access B, I'm pretty sure the issue doesn't have anything to do with C being password protected. And A doesn't know C's password but can access it...

Would be very grateful to anyone who has a solution, or even a sugsestion.
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17-Feb-2012, 08:04 PM #2
On B make sure you have the latest correct networking adapter driver. Then in Device Manager right click on your networking adapter and uninstall it; reboot and let Windows discover the adapter and reinstall the driver.

If this doesn't solve the riddle try the same stuff on C.
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17-Feb-2012, 08:20 PM #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryNet View Post
On B make sure you have the latest correct networking adapter driver. Then in Device Manager right click on your networking adapter and uninstall it; reboot and let Windows discover the adapter and reinstall the driver.

If this doesn't solve the riddle try the same stuff on C.

I actually updated the wireless adapter on C earlier today. I know the update and don't like it because it causes the computer to fail to reconnect when waking the from sleep, but I did it anyway. B is an ethernet adapter - is that likely to be a problem?

You are definitely on the right track in pointing to hardware. I have a Netgear WNDR4000 router that I've never really used, because it has only connected to the internet a few times and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. Anyway, I pulled it out of the basement and connected the network through it, and B and C both accessed each other normally. Unfortunately, it still wouldn't connect to the internet even after hard resets and reconfiguring. So I think I'll buy another router tomorrow (currently using a Netgear WNDR3700) and see if I can connect both the computers and the internet.

Thanks for your suggestion.
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17-Feb-2012, 08:55 PM #4
Have you tried connecting B to different ports on the Netgear WNDR3700? Sometimes only one port is flaky. Also can try a reset to factory default settings to see if that jolts it into working right.
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18-Feb-2012, 01:14 PM #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryNet View Post
Have you tried connecting B to different ports on the Netgear WNDR3700? Sometimes only one port is flaky. Also can try a reset to factory default settings to see if that jolts it into working right.
I wound up replacing my router with another WNDR3700 and everything works fine now. Would still like to understand, if anyone can explain it to me, what in my router could have been telling B that it didn't have permission to see C. I would have thought the router would be "dumb" to who has given permission to whom and just be routing requests and responses. And by the way, I tried multiple hard resets of the old WNDR3700, reconfiguring from scratch each time, without any luck.
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18-Feb-2012, 01:22 PM #6
It would be nice if routers either worked or were dead. However, I think that they have far more failure modes than we humans can record in one lifetime, much less understand.

Once you've tried everything that you did, and had those results, there's really nothing to do but toss the router or put in on a back shelf for a spare.
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18-Feb-2012, 03:05 PM #7
OK, I spoke too soon. I guess I left both computers on while I installed the new router. And maybe it was one of the one in 5 times when I was able to access C from B by entering B's user name and password. I would have thought unplugging the old router and setting up the new one would have broken that connection altogether. When the new router was up and running, C could access B and vice versa. Was it becasue I left the machines on and thy had been connected before? Anyway, I rebooted B and when it came back up and I tried to access C, I have the same issue as before.

So I uninstalled the ethernet adapter from B, rebooted, reinstalled, and tried to connect to C again. Same issue. Have messed with registry settings like LmCompatibilityLevel (set to 1), which I think helped me several years ago with a similar issue. Also tried setting Advanced TCP/IP settings to "Enable NetBIOS" instead of "Default," which I think I also used once years ago in a similar situation. No luck!

Any ideas where I might turn for help??
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18-Feb-2012, 04:05 PM #8
Quote:
Any ideas where I might turn for help??
Nope. You're stuck with us unless you find an alternative.

I have no experience with Homegroups and have no idea what unique problems they may harbor. With regular file sharing you can get inconsistent results, or consistently bad ones, if either computer has two paths to the router (e.g., connected by both ethernet and wireless).

There have been some cases with Vista in which file sharing didn't work properly, or at all, with Media streaming turned on.
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18-Feb-2012, 04:35 PM #9
The Homegroup part is really irrelevant. I've deleted the Homegroup and just tried to access folders that I've shared on each machine and I can access A & B from A, B, and C, but C only from A, not B. One machine is only connected by ethernet, the other only by wireless. Media Streaming is truned off on C (the one that cannot be accessed by B), but I think it's on on B. If it is, I'll try turning it off and see what happens. Thanks for the ideas.
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18-Feb-2012, 07:41 PM #10
Three things to add or point out - seems like they're clues for someone who knows more than I:

1. When I first updated Norton 360 from v5 to v6 and did windows update (February 24 updates), C couldn't access B. After restoring C from a True Image backup, it became the other way around. Of course at that point C was without the updates and Norton v6 because the backup I restored was from February 9.

2. When I get the dialog asking for my Network Password on B (trying to access C), the box indicates that the wrong user name or password has already been given and it's asking me to try again -- even if I've just re-booted the computer. At what point (during startup, for example??) are credentials being "invisibly" asked for that could be the wrong credentials before I'm even trying to view C's folders on B?

3. I tried uninstalling all of the Windows 7 security updates from February 14 on both machines, but that didn't solve the problem. I've uninstalled and reinstalled Norton at least 10 times, trying to access even with no security (other than Windows Firewall) on either machine, but it made no difference.
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18-Feb-2012, 08:14 PM #11
Whenever Norton is mentioned it often becomes my top suspect, but I didn't suspect in this instance. When/if you do uninstall it also use Symantec's Norton Removal Tool to clean up the corruption often left behind by the normal uninstall.

Norton and other non-Windows firewalls not infrequently interfere with or are corrupted by Windows updates.

As for your number 2 above I'm not sure what you are saying about the timing. If you got the message after double clicking on C's icon then the problem likely begins at that instance--unneeded or incorrect credentials are tried automatically. If you get the error box before even getting that far I don't know, unless you are mapping a drive to one of C's folders and asking for automatic connect on boot.
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18-Feb-2012, 09:53 PM #12
My initial suspect was Norton. But are you saying that a remnant of Noron could still be causing my connection problem, or is it more likely than Norton "broke" something that eliminating all traces of it won't fix?

As for Numebr 2 above, I get the message / dialog box when I reboot and then explore the network and click on the name of C in "Network" -- first thing after rebooting. There is no mapping of any of C's folders to B, but one of B's folders is mapped to C.
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18-Feb-2012, 10:03 PM #13
Quote:
are you saying that a remnant of Noron could still be causing my connection problem
It could. It doesn't "feel" like a Norton caused problem, but I've learned to not underestimate it (not knocking Norton; all security suites have to dig in deep--too deeply--to block malware). The Removal Tool has cleared up some amazing issues. Sometimes after rebooting and running it a second time.
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19-Feb-2012, 12:14 PM #14
OK, I was skeptical, but I ran the removal tool twice, rebooting between. I had also installed Kaspersky at one point, so I ran the Kaspersky removal tool too. Both removal tools on both computers (B & C). Kaspersky removal generated a 93mb log file than was 10,000 pages when opened in Word! Rebooted the router. As if by magic, B could see C! However, it appears that rebooting C breaks it again - but a reboot of B is all it takes to fix it. Before, no amount of rebooting would let B see C - only getting to the Enter Network Password dialog, which I don't get any more. I've re-installed Norton 360 v6 (am i crazy?) and it's still working - that way. That is, if I reboot C, I have to reboot B again. One thing that still has me puzzled - when running the Norton removal tool, I was warned to "write down" my product key as I would need it if I ever re-installed the product again. But when I reinstalled, I was not prompted for anything to activate / prove I had an active license. And it correctly shows the number of days left on my subscription. So was it really fully removed??

Any idea how I can keep from having to reboot B every time I reboot C? This has been real progress, but obviously something is still not 100% right.
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19-Feb-2012, 01:38 PM #15
Quote:
I've re-installed Norton 360 v6 (am i crazy?)
No. Norton (and many others) can go for weeks, months and even years without becoming corrupted. You paid for it so may as well use it. But when uninstalling it for any reason use the Removal Tool. Same for Kaspersky, McAfee, etc.

I think that the Product key is deliberately left behind, but since even that could go awry they advise that you make another record of it.

Needing to reboot B after rebooting C makes about as much sense (near zero) as the rest of this frustrating issue. If all that removal stuff was done only on B maybe repeating it on C will help. Or maybe that will require C to be rebooted after B.
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