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Thread: LAN of the lost

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    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    LAN of the lost

    Just how difficult can this be?

    XP OS on both PC's
    LinkSys WRT54G Router/Switch (wired connections only - wireless not yet installed)

    Using Linksys install CD for internet install went flawlessly for both PC's. I used XP wizard to create LAN on first PC without problems; WorkGroup displays both PC1 and PC2. However, when using wizard on PC2 to create LAN, and viewing WorkGroup, I get the following error:

    "Office is not accessible. You might not have permissions to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions.

    The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available"

    Server? This is peer-to-peer! I can't see the workgroup or even the PC itself.

    ANY help greatly appreciated.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Do you have the same log in on both machines. I know this is a small P2P however I found that making the login the same on both XP machines clears up a lot of sharing problems.
    The next thing I would do it to be sure the XP built in firewall is off.
    Finally make sure LinkSys did not talk you into "spoofing" your MAC address of one machine. That is a major no-no and why a manufacture would give the step by steps to do so is beyond me.
    Before I get flames about it (MAC address spoofing) from others did your speed on the way to work? Did you get a ticket? Did you deserve a ticket? It is all about doing the right thing even if no-one is looking. Besides three always see you, your mom, the network administrator and God.

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    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Kent:

    Thanks for the reply. I'm so stressed right now that I think the few brain cells I had left are pretty well burnt. If this was just a "home" toy, I wouldn't be too concerned, but this is a home business and I really need to get it fixed.

    I have the same log in for all PC's. The set-up disk from Linksys doesn't require any settings from the user (i.e. MAC addresses), unless it does something on its own. I don't even know what a MAC address is. This is my first attempt at setting up a P2P.

    Just for the hell of it, I hooked up my Notebook (wired) to see if it would work. Same problem - I can see it from PC1, but cannot see any other's (PC1 or PC2). All are running XP.

    EDIT: Just to clarify all PC's
    PC1: sees all other PC's and can view, open, edit files on PC2 and PC3
    PC2: does not see itself or any other PC's
    PC3: sees itself, but not PC1 or PC2
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    Re: LAN of the lost

    OK - what specific OS are we working with here - XP Home?
    Do you have the same workgroup name for each?
    Does your regular login have administrative rights?

    (BTW - I'm going to lock your post in Access and point to this thread.)
    Wendell

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    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Wendell:

    I started putting some info together on this, so I just attached what I have so far.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Also, I used the XP Wizard to establish the LAN. The steps I took are shown in the attachment.
    Sure appreciate your help on this!
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Re: LAN of the lost

    What happen? Brain cells need a little sleep now and then? I'm about to do the same. I don't want to get TOO crazy with attachments, but it seemed the easiest way to convey the situation. I have one from PC1 (where I started with the wizard); I also have PC2 and PC3, but all three are over 100K even compressed. If you're interested in any particular screen image, I'm sure I can get a single image below 100K. These are all in "file" now, so I can respond pretty quickly.

    Thanks again. Hope to hear from you (or anyone interested).
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    Re: LAN of the lost

    You did NOT answer Kent's question.
    Have you turned OFF the XP firewall and any other firewall you may have running?

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

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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Geesh Dave, you don't have to YELL! LOL, you're right I didn't answer that question. All XP firewalls (as well as McAfee) are disabled from all PC's.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Dave:

    Uh. . .Ummm. . . duh. . .what's the word I'm looking for? Stupid? No, that's far too kind.
    All this running around between three different PC's got me a bit dizzy I guess (more than usual anyway). When I removed the XP firewall (as well as disabling the McAfee firewall) from each station, I rebooted thinking that would be the prudent thing to do. HOWEVER (now I'm yelling), McAfee is in (guess what?) the Start Up menu! All this time I've been thinking it was disabled (because, stupid me, I TURNED IT OFF), I was turning it back on with each re-boot. <img src=/S/bouncenburn.gif border=0 alt=bouncenburn width=31 height=31>

    Everything is working just fine now <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15> , so I'll crawl back into my cave now.

    BTW, is the router the only firewall I have now (I will uninstall McAfee - except virus scan) and is the Linksys firewall sufficient?
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Sorry, I got interrupted and then sleepy. And unfortunately I will be out all day at a rehearsal. In any event, here's what I know about these kind of situations:<UL><LI>First you need to make sure that you have File and Printer sharing turned on for a PC to be visible to other PCs - you can do that in Control Panel / Network and Internet Connections / Network Connections / Local Area Connection / Change settings of this connection - just make sure there is a check in the second box.
    <LI>Second, it takes a while for the network to establish and recognize everyone - in a peer-to-peer arrangement there is something know as the browse master (deep under the covers), that keeps track of all the PCs that connect to that workgroup. Occasionally two computers think they are both the browse master and a contention issue develops. Bottom line - boot one PC and let it run for 30 mins or so - then boot the other two and let them run for 15 minutes or so.
    <LI>Third, go to My Network Places under Other Places, and then select View workgroup computers. Under details it should show the workgroup name - all three have to be exactly the same.
    <LI>Finally, I presume you are sharing an internet connection between all three PCs using the router. If that is working for all PCs, then you network is essentially working at the hardware and protocol level, and the issue is most probably a software configuration, which is what I presumed in the above comments.[/list]Franklly, I don't think Microsoft did us any favors when they dumbed down the admin side of setting up a network in XP - doing this sort of troubleshooting in Win 98, ME etc was much more straightforward and involved many fewer mouse clicks. But I'm running a network virtually identical to yours with a couple of extra PCs, and it works just fine (I have a D-Link Wireless Router and one extra PC). Good luck.
    Wendell

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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Bryan,

    Congratulations! You have survived your official Network Initiation, and we welcome you into the land of well, "been there, done that". Just think of how much you learned! And this experience WILL come in handy on down the road, believe me.

    As far as firewalls, I am not a fan of the mainstream big budget firewalls, I find them to be bloated and also a little alarmist. They seem to want you to think you're being attacked so you will feel good about how much money you spent. But in a business environment, a secondary firewall is probably a very good idea. I use AVG, and there are lots of others out there. As you have learned though, sometimes a firewall can restrict you from things you want to happen as well as things you don't want to happen! Just be sure to have a good understanding of how your firewall works (and when it starts!!!)

    again, congrats on setting up your network!

    kip

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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Wendell:

    Thanks for the input! I printed your post and put it in my new LAN folder for future use. As you can see from the string, I was able to get it working after recognizing how foolish and frazzled I had become. Sometimes putting your nose to the grind stone is a bad idea - backing off, taking a break, and taking a second look sometimes reveals the obvious. I'm really not in to self-flagellation, but this error was a doozy!

    Well, I learned a little about LAN's from this, and a whole lot more about pacing one's self. Self-imposed stress is NOT an I.Q. booster!

    Hope your rehearsal went well. When ever you have the time, I'd like to hear your thoughts on A2K and P2P (perhaps back on the Access board). Thanks again for your input.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    Re: LAN of the lost

    Kip:

    Thanks for the feedback. One thing about major screw-ups is that they are planted indellibly in the memory! I can't even imagine someone doing what I did, but if they do I'll know right where to point them.

    I decided to test the router firewall at PC Flank and it passed with flying colors (stealth); so I went to Gibson Research (scroll down to "Hot Spots" and select "ShieldsUP!") to see how it did there - no problems. I actually learned something at that site about what a firewall really does - well worth the trip (over 19 million other people thought so too). At this point I'm not really too concerned with intrusions from within the LAN, I just didn't want anyone peeking into my accounting software from outside.

    Thanks again for your input and encouragement. Happy networking! <img src=/S/drop.gif border=0 alt=drop width=23 height=23> <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    Re: LAN of the lost

    When the frazzle has worn off you might take a second look at McAfee: I think it can be configured to allow the LAN to function while protecting you on the internet. This matters to those of us who are still using dial-up and sharing, and if I understand it correctly it can provide you with more than one firewall level (with a third thrown in if XP's firewall can be added), and the protection is additive. Better get an expert opinion on that, however.
    Good luck, peterg

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