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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Why would a WinXP workstation not join a workgroup, and how can I fix this?

    The problem is, (a) Red does not show either itself or Green under the Workgroup icon in Windows Explorer, My Network Places, Entire Network, Microsoft Windows Network. The error message is, "[workgroup name] 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 permissions. The list of serves for this workgroup is not currently available."; and (b) Green shows itself and not Red in the corresponding place.

    Facts: Two workstations, Red and Green, both XPSP3, fully patched. Relatively new install on Red, brand new install on Green. User is logged on to Administrator or Administrator-level accounts on each machine. Network is a non-domain LAN. No obvious firewall issues because each machine can map network drives from the other. Redesignating the workgroup name from ABC to XYZ and restarting each machine has no effect. Each machine has been through multiple logon/logoff sequences and cold and hot restarts, and the two also have been left running for over 12 hours with no effect.

    I've seen clean installs fix this problem on a non-connecting machine but this seems like overkill and I don't want to go through the brain damage unnecessarily.

    Many thanks for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Lounger
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    Have you gone through the Network Setup Wizard in Control Panel?
    Intel CoreI7 P55/ 8Gb 1600 RAM DDR3/ NV GTS 570 1Gb PCIe/ HDD X 3 = 6TB/SSD x 1 128GB/ BDRW X 2/DVDRW x 2/ Corsiar 850W PSU & running on Win10 Pro 64bit

  3. #3
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    The problem seems to be with Red as it cannot see itself in the workgroup, but I don't understand how you are able to map drives if the network isn't working?
    Do you need to have the workgroup show up given the network seems to be OK?

    cheers, Paul

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    This sounds like a user authentication issue to me.

    The easiest way to get it to work reliably is to create a user with the same name and non blank password on both computers and then log in as that user on both.

    If you really need to have different usernames or passwords for some reason then it is possible to get this working, but MUCH harder.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    So, to respond to the questions, and many thanks for everyone's input:
    - I have not gone through the network setup wizard. I always just set up the shares and workgroup manually and normally, it works.
    - Agreed that the problem seems to be getting Red to recognize itself as a member of the workgroup. I am similarly bewildered by how or why drive mapping works notwithstanding.
    - I'll try the similar username and password approach in a minute but there are reasons why not to have this so. Also, I seem to recall that the problem persisted when logged in as Administrator to each machine, and these accounts do have identical passwords, so this may not work. So, StuartR, I am especially curious what the really hard way is to fix this. I'm not certain how or why this is a user authentication issue, which is to say if it is, I have no idea where to take it from here.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    Back now after a few adjustments, specifically logging both machines simultaneously onto Administrator (with identical passwords on the two machines), and then logging both off and then back on to administrator-level accounts that also have the identical username and password.

    The result? In each case (i.e., both logged simultaneously onto identically designated Administrator accounts, and then separately -named administrator-level accounts), the problem is reversed, i.e., Green doesn't show itself or others and gives the error message; Red shows itself and other machines on the LAN but not Green. And no, I didn't get the two machines mixed up the first time.

    Again, very interested in hearing from StuartR what the "much harder" solution is.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Blomquist View Post
    ...
    Again, very interested in hearing from StuartR what the "much harder" solution is.
    ...
    Eric,

    It is not sensible to investigate the best authentication method for your shares until we have them working, it would only add complication. When we have solved the problem in a simple case we can add this level of sophistication. One approach is to create a BAT file that connects to \\computername\IPC$ and specifies a username on the command line.

    Can you try following the steps in Troubleshooting file shares on a home network to see if that shows where the problem lies.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    I have only dabbled in networking my home computers just for educational purposes, and have run into similar problems. Network Magic is the way to go. Download it- free trial or free if you have a Linksys router. Run it on both computers and it is magic! Wish I couldsee what it does. Makes life simple with regards to networking. Now only if they had Wife Magic!!

  9. #9
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    Eric, does it depend on which machine boots first? I suspect some sort of machine / network conflict to explain the reversal behaviour.

    cheers, Paul

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    Paul:
    Actually, it does matter which machine boots first. Starting out this morning with both machines powered off, I powered on Red by itself and logged on. It now is the one with the connection/error message. I then powered on Green and logged on, and it showed itself as a member of the workgroup with no problems whatsoever. Recall it had been this way before, and then reversed when Green was powered on first. So, it's the first machine to power on that has the connection problem.

    I agree with you and have surmised all along that there is some kind of machine network conflict going on, probably the two dueling somehow to be the big dog (for lack of a better word) in keeping the workgroup member database. But again, not certain where to go from here, although I have not yet had the time given the holidays, to follow up on Stuart R's recommended link on troubleshooting shares on a home network.

    Thanks again,

    Eric

  11. #11
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    I have had the "Big Dog" issue several times. To get things cleared, I power down ALL computers, router and modem. Then power up, the Modem, then router and then the computers.

    I use my XP machine more as a server than anything else, with a HP LaserJet connected. I power it up first and then the others, one at a time. This seems to work every time, but we normally leave the machines on 7/24.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  12. #12
    New Lounger
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    So, walking through all of the diagnostics in StuartR's link, troubleshooting file shares on a home network, yields this:
    - Pretty much everything works and connects but the big red flag is that in Computer Management/Sessions, Green shows a session from Red's IP address and the username. Red at first showed a session from Green (the computer name, not the IP address) and the username on Green. I had to step away for a minute and when I returned, Sessions showed, "no items to view."
    - At the same time, typing net use computernameIPC$ /user:username yields the error, "System error 67 has occurred. The network name cannot be found."
    - Also, net view computername on each machine, naming itself and then the other, shows all applicable shares.
    Time to log off/on and perhaps cold boot and see if I can replicate the connection.

  13. #13
    New Lounger
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    So, after logging both machines off and on:
    - in the Computer Management console, under System Tools, Shared Folders, Sessions, each machine shows an open session from the other machine by name (not by IP address as before in one case), with the user name from the other machine. Also, Red syncs the offline directories on Green on logon. Still, however, Red gives the error message after a pause after clicking on the workgroup icon in Windows Explorer, My Network Places.

    I'll try powering both machines down and then powering and logging on Green first, then Red, to verify that the phenomenon reverses, but it seems as if we have returned to go.

  14. #14
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    What protection software including 3rd party firewall, AV, spyware and etc are you running on each machine?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  15. #15
    New Lounger
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    Norton Internet Security Pro on all machines on the LAN.

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