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Network: can't see other computers

Discussion in 'Networking' started by wolfworx, Dec 20, 2001.

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  1. wolfworx

    wolfworx Thread Starter

    Oct 2, 2001
    Here's the problem. I have three computers on a home peer-to-peer network. Call them Alice, Betty and Dorcas in same workgroup. Alice and Betty are running Win98 SE and Dorcas is running Win 2000 Prof.

    Until yesterday all of them were talking together without problems, i.e. file and print sharing worked OK.

    Yesterday on boot-up Betty was not being recognized by the other two computers nor was Betty recognizing them (Dorcas and Alice still got along fine).

    I have gone through all of the standard trouble shooting steps to solve this problem. I have shut down and restarted all three systems in various sequences. I have checked and double checked cables. The hub indicates a connection for Betty. But betty cannot see or be seen by the other two.

    I have virtually eliminated hardware as a problem. I installed another hard disk in the Betty Box with Win98SE and named it Ginger. Ginger works! I replaced Ginger with Betty... same as before.

    Clearly there is some hidden problem here with the network software installation for Betty. But what? I could, of course, do a complete reinstallation of Win98, but that would not get at the cause. It would not answer WHY.

    Does anyone have any suggestions to solve this mystery?
  2. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

    Dec 9, 2000
    I can't help you with this directly, not being network experienced myself -- but I think you would be best served by having this thread in the Networking forum -- so I shall shuffle you over there :)
  3. Monk_


    Sep 7, 2001
    I assume Dorcas is the Master Browser, does Event Viewer show repeated forced Master Browser elections? Also, what protocols are you running and are you running WINS? If you have the Win98 Resource kit or access to Technet both give detailed information on Browser issues common on Microsoft Networks with mixed OS. Searching www.microsoft.com for "master browser" will give details as well.
  4. wolfworx

    wolfworx Thread Starter

    Oct 2, 2001
    I'm confused. What does a browser have to do with this network problem?
  5. Brooks

    Brooks Guest

    Oct 30, 2001
    When you network several Windows based comptuers together, one of them acts as a master browser. This is not referencing the internet, but your network.

    To quote Microsoft

    Now that your head is spinning ;);)

    It is basically the computer that answers questions about the network to other computers on the network. It is the controller if you will.
  6. wolfworx

    wolfworx Thread Starter

    Oct 2, 2001
    Thank you for clarifying.

    Yes, I was aware that one computer performed such a function (I did not remember the term "Master Browser"), but it should not cause one computer to be permanately out of the mix. In other words I should be able to work with any two of the computers in my little network while any third one is off. I, in fact, have done this quite often until the problem started. Now "Betty" is behaving as though it belongs to another workgroup...but the workgroup was not changed.

    If I must, I will wipe out the OS and reinstall, but with all the apps that amounts to many hours of work. If the problem goes away, as it probably will, I'll still have an unsolved mystery.
  7. ioniser


    Dec 13, 2001
    Hi Wolfworx,

    Don't burn down your backyard just to empty the rubbish bin!

    It sounds like Betty's network components have become corrupted for whatever reason (usually a power spike...)...

    First, run Scandisk on C: of Betty to eliminate Cross-Linked files as the cause.

    Second, once Betty is running, click - start - shutdown - logon as a different user... but accept the username that come up in the login box. Check to see if you're networked again... Win98 has a glitch that can stop a PC automatically connecting on the network cleanly... If this works let me know and I'll give you the Registry entry to change to make it always start up with the login box...

    3rd, if none of the above work...
    Right-click Network Neighborhood, go to Properties, remove all entries referring to your netork card - NOT the card itself (Green PC board icon), but the protocols and clients and Shared Fles and Printers. Reboot - ignore the question about 'incomplete network'.
    After the reboot add your Client for Microsoft, protocols (Netbeui and possibly TCP/IP I'm assuming), add your File and Print Sharing back in, check that the name and workgroup are still correct, and reboot.... should be A-OK now... (but this IS microsoft, after all) :)

    4th. If that doesn't work, the protocols are corrupt in the Registry and that's a whole new posting!

    Let me know.


    Clarity begins at home
  8. wolfworx

    wolfworx Thread Starter

    Oct 2, 2001
    Thanks for your suggestions. Here is what I've discovered:

    The actions you proposed for "Betty" were to no avail. She still can't see the other two and the other two can't see her.


    I replaced the C Drive in the "Alice" box with another drive running Windows 2000 and set up for the workgroup. Now I can see "Betty" and access her files... and the "Dorcas computer as well.

    Then I changed back to the original drive in the "Alice" machine, "Betty" cannot be seen. I must reboot "Dorcas" for that computer to share files with Alice, but rebooting "Betty" does not help.

    I know, I know... my changing drives is making the network a little nutty, but I should be able to fix the problem... edit out the confusion, if you will, but where is information being stored? It does not seem to be in the registry.

    Changing a drive and renaming a computer should be that bazaar an activity that it causes the network to choke, or is it?
  9. SavvyLady


    Oct 14, 2001
    new thread has started from this one
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