For over a year I have been using a program to synchronize files in the My Documents folder between my desktop and laptop computers across a local network. Recently, a few directories/folders on my laptop "disappeared" from view for my desktop and it is causing problems (the synchronization software, which runs from the desktop, wants to delete them from the desktop as it thinks they were deleted on the laptop, but they weren't). These files still exist on the laptop, and can even be accessed from the desktop...but you have to specifically type in the file names in to load them as they never appear in an explorer window or an open file dialog box. This suggests to me it is not a permissions issues...but I can't figure out why I cannot see them across the network connection. I have checked and the files on the laptop and they have read & write permission for everyone and are not hidden.
I'll provide details about the un-viewable files and directories separately. The files that do not show up are all in the same directory and I can see 220 of the 233 files that are there from my desktop computer (i.e., across the network). This is alphabetical, so if I copy one of the files that does not show up, the copy may be visible (if I give it a name that puts it in the first 220 files alphabetically), but if so, it makes another one disappear so there is still only a total of 220 visible files.
In addition to the files above, there are 2 directories that do not show up (not in the same path as the missing files...completely different subdirectory under the my documents path). Interstingly, the folder path that is missing is in the middle of the list alphabetically, so it does not follow the same pattern as the files described above. However, just like the files, I can see the contents of the directory and subdirectories if I specifically type the path into an explorer window on my desktop computer (across the network). But if I just browse the parent directory, I cannot tell from the explorer window that this path exists.
In case it helps, the desktop (where files cannot be seen) is a Windows XP Pro machine and the laptop (with the source files) is Windows 7 Enterprise. They are connected by a 10/100 Trendnet router and a Netgear gigabit switch. Everything used to work just fine and I cannot remember any changes that were made to these files or directories from the time they were visible until they disappeared (but obviously something changed!). The only thing remotely related to this I can think of is that the desktop computer had a second SATA port enabled recently so I could backup some files to a second drive...that drive is no longer connected, but I did not disable the SATA port. However, I am not accessing the laptop using a mapped drive, so it seems this should be unrelated.
Any ideas on why just a few files/directories would not be viewable over the network and how I can get this back the way it was?
Thanks in advance of any/all suggestions!