Network Sharing behind a Switch

Ultimate Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit
March 12, 2011 at 03:13:38
Specs: Windows 7, i7-920/12GB
Hey All...

I have a pretty simple home network. I connected a WDTV Live + (hardware-based media player) to my four-port wireless router along with my home PC and I was able to select various folders on the PC to be shared on the network, so I could access folders of movies, music, etc., on the WDTV Live +.

I added an XBox and some other goodies into the mix and decided to buy a switch. Now I can't access all my shared folders on the original PC.

I understand why -- before, the WDTV was like another PC on the network with a peer-to-peer relationship to the PC with the shared folders. Now, the switch is the peer and everything behind it is one level below.

Question is, how do I make it so anything plugged into that switch (or even on the network) has access to one PC's shared folders?

I could set up media sharing but it's a LOT easier just selecting an entire folder or two or ten where I dump media (mkv's of DVD's/Blu-Rays), CD's/live music, etc.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.


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#1
March 12, 2011 at 03:37:43
I don't think your problem is the switch; they don't work the way that you suppose they do. Something else has changed.

You say "Now I can't access all my shared folders on the original PC.". Does that mean that you can access some of them?

Go through the normal network troubleshooting steps - check IP addresses, check pinging, etc.


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#2
March 12, 2011 at 04:03:50
Thanks for the reply ijack -- I have a somewhat limited scope when it comes to networking (if that wasn't already obvious) but I assumed anything plugged into my router could access everything the same way once plugged into the switch, whether that's wrong or right I have no idea.

Before I installed the switch, let's suppose the PC with the shared folders is ABC and the wireless router/network is DEF. The WDTV, when connected directly to the router, was able to browse various shared folders on ABC (the PC) without an issue. Now, the only network share(s) it sees is DEF. When I open DEF, there is -- according to the WDTV -- nothing there.

I haven't pinged anything or done anything with IP's, but the shared folder setup is set to allow "everyone" read/write access, so I'm confused. To answer your question, however, none of the shared folders are accessible. It seems like the switch is acting like a firewall and won't let me get past it to the PC which is plugged into the router, as is the switch. Everything plugged into the switch should -- in theory -- be able to access the shared folders on ABC.

This is probably a stupid question, but do I need to plug the cable from the router to the switch in a certain port, and do I need to plug the various devices into the switch others?

My apologies if these are incredibly dumb questions, and thanks again for the help.


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#3
March 12, 2011 at 04:15:56
You should be able to plug the cable from the router to the switch into any port on either device. This assumes that the ports on the switch are autosensing. If not there will be one port, either the first or the last, that is marked differently, possibly labelled "UpPort", or has a slide switch by it. Otherwise things should just work. The switch merely extends your network in an efficient way.

I have a network set up this way - a router with a few devices plugged into it and a switch with another four devices plugged in. The switch is connected via a normal cable to the router. Also some devices connect wirelessly to the router. All can see each other (which is how it should be).

It might help to know the make an model of both router and switch just to check if there is anything special about either of them.


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#4
March 12, 2011 at 04:24:53
Thanks again...I quoted your text and responded accordingly.

"You should be able to plug the cable from the router to the switch into any port on either device. This assumes that the ports on the switch are autosensing. If not there will be one port, either the first or the last, that is marked differently, possibly labelled "UpPort", or has a slide switch by it. Otherwise things should just work. The switch merely extends your network in an efficient way."

> That's what I assumed -- at least that's what I was hoping.

"I have a network set up this way - a router with a few devices plugged into it and a switch with another four devices plugged in. The switch is connected via a normal cable to the router. Also some devices connect wirelessly to the router. All can see each other (which is how it should be)."

> Again, that's what I was going for -- not sure why the PC is now hidden. It may be a result of how the router is dealing with the switch. Thing is, I looked at Win 7's Network Map and there switch seems to be a sort-of dead end. It appears as if it's a firewall to anything except internet access, which is strange.

"It might help to know the make an model of both router and switch just to check if there is anything special about either of them."

> Agreed...the switch is a DLink DGS 2208 and the Router's the CIsco/Linksys E3000. I don't have dynamic routing ("RIP") enabled, but I can confirm that everything plugged into the switch that's functioning can get online (I've got a Samsung HDTV, a Denon receiver and the WDTV online).

> So the only problem is why the switch-connected device(s) can't access network shares on the PC.


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#5
March 12, 2011 at 04:46:21
I'm baffled. If the switched devices can see the Internet there's no reason why they couldn't see the PC. Is it only the WDTV that has a problem? Have you tried accessing shared folders on the PC from another device?

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#6
March 12, 2011 at 05:07:10
Not yet -- I have a tablet but no note/netbooks floating around. I'm going to see about getting a machine from my office to see if this problem persists, but assuming it does, I'm wondering if there's a setting in the router that I need to tweak. Baffled here too :-(

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#7
March 12, 2011 at 05:35:01
Check to ensure your shares on the PC are still correct and also ensure the firewall on the computer hasn't been started up.

There should be no settings in the router you need to tweak with regard to the LAN.

I suspect the issue is with the shared PC as it can't be the switch.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#8
March 12, 2011 at 05:45:33
Hey Curt...the PC-based shares haven't changed -- but this is where it gets interesting.

MS recently installed an anti-virus program on my PC -- "Security Essentials" -- so that may very well be the culprit. I am going to see about removing it (I already disabled it a few minutes ago, with no subsequent success).

It certainly could have affected the firewall as well.

My main concern, however, is that whereas I used to be hit the menu "Network Shares -> DEF PC" on the WDTV side, now it only offers me the option of seeing the entire wireless network, so when I select that, nothing -- rightfully -- shows up. Rightfully, I think.,

I'm going to reboot and see if that helps, but if it doesn't, I'll see about removing the MS security thing completely. If that doesn't work, we've eliminated one of the few remaining culprits.

Thanks, I'll hopefully have some success soon.


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#9
March 12, 2011 at 10:53:43
Hey All...

So we finally found a solution -- it turns out the router (the Cisco/Linksys) essentially takes over and eliminates any PC's from the network list. It still funnels the internet to each client PC on the network no matter what, but eliminate the Cisco from the mix and everything works fine. Or...

By changing settings on the router, the key is to change the name of whatever workgroup the entire network is located in, eg WORKGROUP is renamed TESTGROUP. Then I rebooted the client PC and within a few minutes the WDTV picked up the PC's shared folders as if nothing had changed.

I am not sure if I'll return the proper WORKGROUP name or just leave it. I'm not sure if this is something that Linksys will address so I might just leave well enough alone.

In either case, thanks ijack and Curt for the assistance, much appreciated!

-B-


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