Network Neighborhood>Entire Network isn't entire

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carolsm

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I have three computers networked, all Win98, no shared DSL or anything, and it all worked for a long time. Then over about a week, it all slowed down to a crawl, and computers stopped being able to see each other at all (strangely, it was NOT sudden). Bought a new hub, didn't help. I spent about 2 hours this evening opening windows and doing "stuff"---deleted a few unused protocols, clients, etc.

Now, when I open "network neighborhood" and click on "entire network", computer A says A, B, and C are all on the network. Computers B and C both say that just B and C are on the network, neither can see A. I can use A to move files to B or C, but I can't go to B or C and get files from A (B & C just say A isn't there). B and C can talk to each other, and the speed is back up to the old days.

Any ideas how to get B and C back with the program? Unfortunately, A is the important one with all the useful files.
 
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you may have master browser issue. quoted from www.howtonetworking.com

How do I know I have a browser problem

When you open My Network Places, the computer list you see is obtaining from the master browser of your network. You have a master browser issue if you have the following symptoms. 1) If you can ping a computer name, you can search it, you can map it, but that computer doesn't show or take long time to show up on My Network Places.
2) Net view command shows no lists or shows "System error 6118 has occurred. The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available".
3) when clicking on Computers Near Me in My Network Places or workgroup name in Entire Network, the following error message may appear: "Cannot Access 'Computers Near Me' " or "Workgroup is not accessible" errors.
4) when click workgroup name under Entire Network Places, you get "Workgroup is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permission. The list server for this workgroup is not currently available."
5) Windows Explorer or My Network Places take a long time to open.
6) Event logs on servers show many master browser election messages.
 
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Most of that will only work for a NT based OS. For example, Win98 does not have an event viewer. Also it doesn't appear that you have any error messages. Just that computer A does not show up on the B and C.

From B and C, using either the Windows Explorer or from a DOS window, what happens if you manually create a network connection to a known share on A.

If that works, and there aren't a lot of changes that continually get made, it may be a possible solution to at least getting to the files on A (if nothing else seems to be working).
 

carolsm

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I'm not sure what you mean by "manually create a network connection to a known share on A". The three computers are all set up to share everything with everyone, so I can find a "known share" but I don't know about the "manually create" part.

The unfortunate part is, I don't want to just get to A's files, I want to be able to change them from B or C. I hate when things stop working like they used to....
 
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One way is:

Start the Windows Explorer
Go to Tools / Map Network Drive
Pick whatever drive letter you want to use
For the folder, use \\A\share
Check Reconnect at logon

Substitute "A" with A's real computer name and "share" with one of the share names on that computer.
 

carolsm

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Oh, I understand. I do already have network drives mapped, and there is no access that way either. It displays the message "T:\ is not accessible. The network path was not found". I also finally remembered to try turning off ZoneAlarm (didn't help).

All computers are currently set up to "obtain IP address automatically"; would it help to assign IP addresses? When I did an ipconfig, the three computers all started with 169.254., but the rest was different (A 88.47, B 225.45, C 95.147): does the 169.254 constitute a "same ip range", or is that a possible source of the problem?

Thanks for the help!
 
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You should have the same IP scheme and it appears that you do not. If nothing is supplying an IP address, you might be better to manually enter them in. You could use something like 192.168.0.2-4 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0
 
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Also, until you get everything working I would recommend completely uninstalling Zone Alarm. So many times folks think it is turned off or configured correctly and waste a lot of time working on the network configuration instead. Once you get everything working, you can add it back in again.
 

carolsm

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I gave them all the IP addresses you suggested (just to be sure: I'm doing this in control panel > network, then in the TCP/IP protocol that corresponds to my NIC using "specify IP address" instead of "obtain IP address automatically"---is that right?), and nothing changed---at least it didn't get worse!! A can still see B and C, B and C still can't see A.

Is it time to spend some money on a hired gun "expert"??
 
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But after all that, have you re-tried my first post which is to at least see if you can manually create a network share to computer A:.
 
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I have also seen instances where either the TCP/IP protocol or the other networking components have gotten corrupted with Win98. If you have access to both the Win98 source files and the network card drives, you might uninstall the networking, reboot, reinstall and reconfigure.

But first at least try to manually make the connection to A:. It may be a simpler solution (although not necessarily the best)..
 

carolsm

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Since my network has worked properly in the past, I already have mapped network drives all over the place: I open Windows Explorer, and there on the list below my local C: drive is another drive (T:, for example) that describes itself as C:\[on computer A]; I have always been able to click on that and get the list of files on computer A. Would it make any difference to make a new one?

I can't try anything else until tomorrow, as the problem is at the office and now I'm not.

I think I have all the relevant stuff, so I may try re-installing everything.
 
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That good and from the first post - I can't go to B or C and get files from A" - it didn't sound like you had any access to A at all.

It's basically a browsing issue at this point. Again, sometimes I've needed to reinstall just the networking. Sometimes I've needed to reinstall on top of the current version.
 

carolsm

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I wasn't clear: I had always in the past been able to work on B or C and get files from A, on mapped network drives, when the network was working; can't now.
 

carolsm

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And another thing, Bob: thanks for going way above and beyond the call of "volunteer duty" trying to help me with my problem---it is most appreciated!
 
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