Network: can't see other computers

Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

wolfworx

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Messages
1,227
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?
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2000
Messages
45,855
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 :)
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2001
Messages
702
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.
 

wolfworx

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Messages
1,227
I'm confused. What does a browser have to do with this network problem?
:confused:
 

Brooks

Guest
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,323
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

The browser service maintains a list of the domain name or workgroup name the computer is in, and the protocol being used for each computer on the network segment being served by the computer running the browser service. On each network segment, a master browser is elected from the group of computers located on the segment that are running the browser service.

The master browser is responsible for collecting host or server announcements, which are sent as datagrams every 12 minutes by each server on the network segment of the master browser. The master browser instructs the potential browsers for each network segment to become backup browsers. The backup browser on a given network segment provides a browse list to the client computers located in the same segment.
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.
 

wolfworx

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Messages
1,227
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.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2001
Messages
11
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.

Ionz

________________________
Clarity begins at home
 

wolfworx

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Messages
1,227
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.

However...

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?
:eek:
 
Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 807,865 other people just like you!

Latest posts

Members online

Top