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Home networking - very strange issue

Discussion in 'Networking' started by ynot2k, Jan 18, 2007.

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  1. ynot2k

    ynot2k Thread Starter

    Apr 14, 2005

    As an IT guy, this one has me VERY puzzled:

    I am trying to get a home network going with 2 Windows XP Pro SP2 machines. I've literally done hundreds of these and this is the first time i've ever seen this and i'm hoping someone out there can help me before i do a reinstall of windows.

    I have a laptop and a desktop that i am trying to share files across. The laptop & the desktop cannot see each other, but this isn't the current issue -- well it's part of it i guess.

    The desktop machine -- called HOME -- is set to a static IP address ( and static DNS settings. NetBIOS over TCP/IP is set to Enabled. I have enabled Simple file sharing. I have shared 2 folders (the shared account My Documents (which was automatically set to be shared as 'SharedDocs' after completing the netowrk wizard) and the user i've currently set up (with no password)'s My Documents. This share is called
    'public' - the permissions are set to everyone > full control and the security tab is also set to Everyone > full control).

    On the desktop (HOME), I can type in \\home\ and see all the shares including Scheduled Tasks & its 2 printers. I *can* see the 2 shared folders. When i double-click on them i get the dreaded "Error: \\home\public\ is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource.." error. This is weird. I cannot see the share that i have created. I have triple checked with simple file sharing on and off that 'everyone' has full control over this folder in folder security and the share permissions are also set
    to everyone > full control in the sharing tab. Further, i can open the folder no problem through the normal file system (ie C:\Docs & Settings\[User]\My Documents\).

    I have done the following on the desktop (HOME) machine:
    Uninstalled & reinstalled File & Print sharing for MS networks in the Network Connection Properties box.
    When i do a net share i can see all the shares plus C$, ADMIN$ & IPC$.
    When i do a net view i get the "There are no entries in this list" error. Though I have confirmed that the service "computer browser" is started.
    On the laptop, where i can see the its own shares no problem, the net view command shows me the computer "\\LAPTOP" in the list, but not the desktop.
    The laptop IS on the same subnet as the desktop (it has ip of
    I should also note something on the desktop that puzzled me: even though in the TCP/IP properties, NetBIOS over TCP/IP is set to enabled, when i do an ipconfig /all, there is an entry that says: NetBIOS over TCP/IP . . . . . . . Disabled. Never seen that one before either. Now i know what NetBIOS is supposed to do, so i'm confused that entering the IP directly does not work properly. And besides, entering in the computer name works the same as typing the ip address -- in that it has the same problem.
    I went to the group policy editor and made sure the 'Disallow anonymous access to SAM & share' was set to Disabled (it had previsouly been Enabled)
    I have rebooted after each of these steps.
    No firewalls are enabled on either machine
    Both computers can ping each other via IP address
    The laptop cannot ping the desktop by computer name.
    The desktop cannot ping the laptop by computer name
    The desktop can ping itself by computer name and ip address

    For the life of me, i can't get the file sharing to work properly on the desktop (ie. to see or at least access it's own shares) and i am now beginning to think that a system file might be corrupt or something else is misconfigured. I also cannot get the desktop to see the computer or the shares on the laptop. Even by entering in \\\ instead of the
    computer name does not work. However, i am concentrating on getting the desktop to see its own shares before trying to see the shares on other systems.

    Does anyone have any further ideas on how to help on this?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. The BOBS Fan

    The BOBS Fan

    Nov 29, 2006
    Just out of curiosity, are any installed?

    I don't profess to be able to help you, but I did see a situation once where a disabled firewall enabled another upon exit. The symptoms were similar.

  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    First Name:
    Check deeper into 3rd party firewalls. Sometimes a disabled one will still partially block--uninstall it. Sometimes uninstalled ones don't leave cleanly--Zone Alarm, McAfee, etc., have instructions or tools to help achieve a complete uninstall.

    Check that the services Workstation, Server, Computer Browser, TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper and maybe Network Location Awareness are started.

    Because of the way the Computer Browser service works ping by computer name may not work for as much as 15 minutes after the network is established.
  4. lefty.crupps


    Jan 19, 2007
    was this ever solved? because I am having the same issues...
  5. Courtneyc


    Dec 6, 2003
    Out of curiosity, have either one of you created a username/password identical on both machines (making sure the password was *not* blank)?

    Windows NT does not have the capability of sending a username with a blank password across a network.

    Courtney sends...
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    First Name:
    ynot2k early on said, "I have enabled Simple file sharing." So username/password identical is not needed. And, I don't think that would impact ping by computer name.
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