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Solved: Home Networking Absolute Debacle

Discussion in 'Networking' started by bradacus, Sep 27, 2008.

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  1. bradacus

    bradacus Thread Starter

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    Hey all I come to you as my last resort. This is my first time on these forums and I am hoping someone here has some idea or solution for me.

    Let's start out with the problem: I have two pc's that I want to work together in a simple workgroup in order to share a printer. I can't access the workgroups at all. In fact one of my PC's freezes when I try.

    What I can do: I can ping both IP's fine by name or ip addy...I can open the IP in a browser and access the files that way. I can even share the printer that way also (however a reboot means I have to reconnect and type in the user/pw)

    I am only running two boxes:
    192.168.10.101 - XP PRO <--- Me!
    192.168.10.102 - XP HOME <--- Has the printer I need

    I have setup DHCP reservations for the two pcs taking 101/102 and set them accordingly in the TCP/IP settings for each unit. Both have full inet access.

    Although I can just get into the printer through the backdoor, I am hard pressed to figure out why I can't view the PC's in the workgroup!

    Anyone know what the heck is going on?
     
  2. pedroguy

    pedroguy

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    Hi and welcome to TSG:
    Here are some sharing tips from the Techs here.You may have already been down some of these paths,but never hurts to look and know for sure.
    In addition,just for a brain check,make sure that the workgroup names are identical in every way.You might also need to set up an identical user profile on both machines,not sure about that.

    Printer and File Sharing

    The following will set up a Microsoft Workgroup for File and Printer Sharing assuming the PCs are already networked via router, ad-hoc wireless or Ethernet (directly or using switch or hub).

    In Network and Dial-up Connections (Win 2k Pro) or Network Connections (XP) right click on your connection and select &#8216;Properties.&#8217; If not already there, install or add a check mark for &#8220;Client for Microsoft Networks, &#8220;File and Printer sharing &#8230;&#8221; and &#8220;Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).&#8221;

    Right click on My Computer and on the Computer Name tab make sure you have a unique computer name and the workgroup name that you want to use for all computers. Change if necessary.

    Restart the PC.

    You must uninstall or properly configure any 3rd party firewalls on each machine.

    If using the XP SP2 firewall: Control Panel &#8211; Windows Firewall &#8211; on the General tab it should be &#8220;On&#8221; and on the Exceptions tab &#8220;File and Printer Sharing&#8221; should be selected.

    The Shared Documents folder is automatically shared. Any other folders or printers you want to share, just right click on them and sharing ... . When sharing a printer, accept the offer to load other drivers if your other PCs have different Operating System(s).

    When you first go into My Network Places there will be nothing there. The first time you click on 'View Workgroup computers' will probably result in great disappointment. It takes awhile (20 minutes or so) before all the computers in the workgroup get up-to-date and accurate lists of the other computers. Often you can speed up this process via Search for other computers.

    When computers show up in My Network Places, double click on one to see its shares. If that includes a printer, you can right click on the printer to connect to it.



    If you want the wizard way for XP ...

    Run the Network Setup wizard (found in Control Panel of XP). Tell it each of your computers connects to the internet via "residential gateway" and that you want to enable file and printer sharing. Create a disk at the end only if you have a Windows PC other than XP or 2k Pro or Vista.

    Windows XP firewall (if SP2) will be properly configured by the wizard. You must uninstall or properly configure any 3rd party firewalls on each machine. Unique computer names and same workgroup, of course.

    The Shared Documents folder is automatically shared. Any other folders (or drives) or printers you want to share, just right click on them and sharing ... . When sharing a printer, accept the offer to load other drivers if your other PCs have different Operating System(s).

    When you first go into My Network Places there will be nothing there. The first time you click on 'View Workgroup computers' will probably result in great disappointment. It takes awhile (up to 15 minutes) before all the computers in the workgroup get up-to-date and accurate lists of the other computers. Often you can speed up this process via Search for other computers.

    When computers show up in My Network Places, double click on one to see its shares. If that includes a printer, you can right click on the printer to connect to it.


    File sharing on Vista is a bit different (and probably easier). Go into the network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel or from the Network icon in the Notification Area. Your network must be designated 'Private.' In the Sharing and Discovery section you can configure File sharing, Public folder sharing (similar to Shared Documents in previous Windows), Printer sharing and Password protected sharing.
     
  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    On the XP Pro are you using Simple File Sharing (SFS)?

    Please be specific about what you do and what happens, including error message if any. Is this trying 'view workgroup computers' in My Network Places?

    Which one? And does "freeze" mean that you can do nothing but hold the power button until the PC gives up and turns off?
     
  4. bradacus

    bradacus Thread Starter

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    Sorry about the lack pertinent information. I posted late last night after playing around with this for a long while so I was quite tired.

    From my XP PRO box

    When I try to 'view workgroup computers' it pauses for about 30 seconds then this message pops up:

    "WORKGROUP is not accessible. You might not have permission to access this network resource. Contact your admin of this server to see if you have permissions. The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available."

    I can however punch in the other PC's ip in a web browser and when I do a user/pw login box opens. I can then log in and view the computer that way.

    I have loaded the printer drivers and defaulted the printer as my main. I can then print from there all I want. BUT when I reboot I no longer have access to the printer and I have to put in the IP again and relog into the other computer.

    From the XP HOME box

    AFTER I have accessed this computer from my XP PRO. When I go to 'view workgroup computers' I CAN see this computer on the workgroup but I cannot see the XP PRO computer. THis is only AFTER I access it with the XP PRO box, if I don't access it first I get the same 30 second pause and the same error message as my XP PRO.

    When I try to access the XP PRO computer by entering the IP a login box pops up but, the username is locked with my PRO user and it wouldn't log in.




    I did try the wizard and I did enable simple file sharing. I enable NeTBIOS, I set the value of 'limitblankpassworduse' to 0 in the registry so I can access the computers (they don't have passwords). I have disabled all firewalls while I am trying to get them to view each other also.

    The DLINK DGL-4300 is my wlg router and can see both computers by IP. Their IP's are reserved but DHCP is still enabled.

    The fact that I can access both computers manually (through Ip in the browser/ and ping) leads me to believe this is a windows issue and not hardware.

    I'm at a loss what to try next. Thanks for the info so far.
     
  5. pedroguy

    pedroguy

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    Hi:I'm sure Terry will have some other thoughts,but just some more basic stuff for you to check.

    Network check list courtesy of Johnwill and Terrynet of the Networking Forum

    Here's a networking debug checklist.


    Check your Services are Started on all PCs:
    &#8226; Computer Browser
    &#8226; DHCP Client
    &#8226; DNS Client
    &#8226; Network Connections
    &#8226; Network Location Awareness
    &#8226; Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    &#8226; Server
    &#8226; TCP/IP Netbios helper
    &#8226; Workstation

    Note: You can check the services in Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services.

    All of these services should be started, and their startup type should be automatic.

    All computers should be in the same workgroup for computer browsing to function properly. File & Print Sharing has to be enabled on any computer you wish to share files or printers from. You also need to actually share the resource in question from My Computer, right click on the drive/printer/folder, and select sharing.

    If you encounter difficulties accessing computers that are visible in Network Neighborhood, make sure the computer being accessed has an account with the same name/password as the system connecting to it uses to login.

    While the default NetBIOS setting is correct for normal network configurations, it's possible for it to be altered, and it costs nothing to make sure it's correct. NETBIOS over TCP/IP must be enabled for normal network browsing.
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    There is almost definitely a non-Windows firewall on the XP Pro blocking LAN access.

    I'm not sure why you get inconsistencies (with view workgroup computers) on the XP Home. When you check those services on the Home PC Pedro listed, check them right after boot, before accessing from the Pro.
     
  7. bradacus

    bradacus Thread Starter

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    Check your Services are Started on all PCs:
    • Computer Browser
    • DHCP Client
    • DNS Client
    • Network Connections
    • Network Location Awareness
    • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    • Server
    • TCP/IP Netbios helper
    • Workstation

    On the XP Pro I have all of these working. Although I have one (Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Loactor) that is stopped.

    On the XP Home the Computer Browser was stopped. How do I make it start automatically on startup? Also like the XP Pro computer (Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Loactor) was stopped.
     
  8. bradacus

    bradacus Thread Starter

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    Terry - I run barely any processes on my XP PRO. My Anti Virus/Spyware is only for scanning and does not actively run.
     
  9. pedroguy

    pedroguy

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    On the service that you wish to start automatically,double left click,you will be presented with a screen that allows you to change the start up option.Select auto/apply/ok.Then select start..
    Some procs have dependencies that must also be started.
    For instance,Browser requires server and work station,and those may also require other dependencies.When you double clip on the service,you will see a screen that has a dependencies tab,click that to see the dependencies for that service and so on
     
  10. bradacus

    bradacus Thread Starter

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    Ok I enabled the Computer Browser on my XP Home machine and it now runs on startup. I still can't connect to my xp pro machine through 'my network places'.

    However NOW I can access my XP PRO Box through IP into a web browser. So now both machines can ping by ip and name and also access both through ip into a web browser.

    My XP HOME box now shows itself in the Workgroup under 'view workgroup computers' but my XP Pro still pauses for 30 seconds then gives me the same error.

    This is frustrating me lol
     
  11. pedroguy

    pedroguy

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    OK:First of all,Bradacus,thanks for posing this question.It forced me to go through my own network which is very similar to yours.Because I never had any trouble sharing from desktop(printer attached) to my laptop,I never tried file sharing from laptop to desktop.I got your error.
    My problem was that the workgroup names were different.Made them the same and now when I go to to My network places on both machines I can see the shares on both machines.
    I know you probably have done this a few times,but just for a brain check,go back and look at the workgroup names,just to make sure that they are identical.If you make a change,you will have to reboot the changed pc.

    Also:Did you start RPC successfully on both machines?
    Also,regarding Terry's concern about a third party firewall,some security packages run a firewall as default What security package(s) are you running.
    Have you tried a test with them disabled?
    Thanks
     
  12. bradacus

    bradacus Thread Starter

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    Well at least some good came out of my problem heh! I did check my workgroup names and they are both the same.

    Remote Procedure Call (RPC) is active on both PC's however... Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator is not active. Should they be?

    When I try to print off a fresh reboot my XP PRO gives me this error when trying to print to my printer attached to my xp home box.

    The RPC server is unavailable.

    Only when I type in the IP and put in user/pw to access the xp home box does it print. Is this normal? Or do you think I should turn on the RPC locators?
     
  13. pedroguy

    pedroguy

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    Don't think that locator is an issue but you can try to start them on both machines to see if that makes a difference.It did make a difference on an earlier thread with the same error msg.
    Also another brain check,make sure that the server function is started on both machines in the services window.Probably is,but no harm in making sure.
    Also,how about the third party firewall issue that Terry mentioned in post 6?
     
  14. bradacus

    bradacus Thread Starter

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    Hey Pedro,

    I turned on RCP Locator on both machines and still no go.

    As far as what Firewalls I am running... I have everything disabled. I only use anti-virus/spyware programs for scan, they do not actively run.

    I do however have a problem on my XP Home PC. When I try to access windows firewall it says it can't access it right now... odd no?
     
  15. bradacus

    bradacus Thread Starter

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    Ok I fixed my windows security center issue by updating to sp3. Still no luck on getting the two pc's to see each other in the workgroup.

    Maybe it is hardware....I am at a loss at this point.
     
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