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  1. #1
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    Network issues: XP and Vista

    I'm not sure what recently happened, but here's the thing.
    I have a home network, 1 Vista desktop, 1 XP desktop with Shared USB drive attached, 1 NAS drive (running linux kernal I believe). All devices set to same workgroup "HOME". Until recently, I could see all devices from the Vista machine with the explorer "network" selection.
    Now I can only see myself, the wireless router, and if I turn it on, another Vista laptop.
    I can connect to the XP computer manually by entering \\computer_name\external_drive_name and the same with the NAS drive. I just can't see them with Vista explorer.
    FYI - Norton 365's security map option also shows everything on the network so I know all devices are in the same workgroup.

    Help!!

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  3. #2
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    There could be many reasons why the network machines are not showing. Let's start with the easy one:

    Easily overlooked, but double check that Network discovery is on> Network & Sharing Centre>Network Discovery>On

    Assuming it was, we then have to consider why you can connect when entering the UNC (\\computer_name\external_drive_name) but not browse to them in the network map. That might indicate a problem with the network adapter, or your network settings. Other network sharing settings would normally only affect after you connect to the machine (user-names and passwords, encryption etc)

    Verify that nothing has changed in your adapter settings. Try disabling TCP/IPv6.

    Next check that the NetBIOS helper service is running. NetBIOS is the service that Microsoft use to identify hosts on a network. Start Button>enter Services.msc in the Start Search box, select Services, then check TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper set to Automatic and status is running.

    Getting lower down in detail now: Try a winsock reset. Open an admin command prompt (Start>cmd.exe>run as admin) and execute "netsh winsock reset" without the quotes.

    Lastly for now, a little trick I recently discovered: Apple Bonjour service can mess up NetBIOS discovery. Try update to the latest version of Bonjour.

    Restart the PC after any single change to verify if the fix worked.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  4. #3
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    Sadly none of these suggestions worked. What I should have also mentioned above - the laptop I connect by WiFi is also a Vista machine. It exhibits the same problems. The two vista machines see each other but nothing else on the network. As with the desktop, I can see the other devices by entering the UNC, but the map only shows the two vista machines.

  5. #4
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    Oh, two Vista boxes with the same symptoms? That means it is unlikely to be something on one machine.

    The really curious thing is using the UNC works, so the fundamental network connection is there - it's not the encryption, the Link Layer Topology, or UID's.

    Could a recent Windows update or common software update have caused a NetBIOS problem? My Vista virtual platform sees my XP host just fine, so that suggests it wouldn't be an update. Do you have a spare router that you could swap out with the existing one to verify the router is passing NetBIOS traffic?

    As you can see I'm fast running out of ideas.

    It's late here, so need to call it quits soon. Maybe others might have a spark of insight?
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  6. #5
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    You have different machines competing to be the "Master Browser". If you leave all computers on long enough it will resolve itself. The "fix" for you is to set one machine (that always stays on) as the master and the others as slaves.

    Read about MaintainServerList:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l.../cc959923.aspx

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to pcunite For This Useful Post:

    damnlimey (2012-05-16)

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcunite View Post
    You have different machines competing to be the "Master Browser". If you leave all computers on long enough it will resolve itself. The "fix" for you is to set one machine (that always stays on) as the master and the others as slaves.

    Read about MaintainServerList:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l.../cc959923.aspx
    Yes, good thought pcunite: it could well be master browser issue.

    To verify, take a look in the event log. Check for master browser election entries.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

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    damnlimey (2012-05-16)

  10. #7
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    OK. So I set the MaintainServerList to "Yes" on the desktop (it was "Auto") and now it sees everything as before. I'm not at home so i can't see if the Laptop now sees everything as well.

    Thanks to pcunite and TintoTech for the advice.

  11. #8
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    I am having some of the same issues. I have a Vista laptop, a Windows 7 dt, and a Windows XP dt. The Vista laptop will not allow me to turn on any of the selections in the Network and Sharing Center. I get a popup that says, 'The specified service does not exist as an installed service.' No one I've spoken with knows what this means, or how to get around it. Any ideas?

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