Networking SNAFU... Whats wrong???

February 20, 2009 at 09:48:47
Specs: Windows XP
Ok, I just bought a new Samsung NC10 netbook (which is incredible, by the way) and I have been trying to transfer files (most importantly the music) from my Desktop. I have tried several times to make a home network with the wizard, and I cannot get it to work...

The desktop is running Win XP Pro SP2.
The netbook is running Win XP Home SP3.
They are connected on a NetGear WGR614v5 wireless router and they are both connected to cable internet through this router.
The desktop is hardwired to the router.
The netbook is connected over Wifi.

I read up on networking and ran the wizard like the instructions said (to the T) and now when I try to connect one to the other (in either direction) I get the "[NetworkName] is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the admin... The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available."

I think I turned on all the file sharing options I had to, and I have tried connecting with all firewalls off... Still does not work...

I then tried hard wiring the netbook to the desktop with a cat5 cable, and the LAN icon would appear in my toolbar on each computer, but it would have the little yellow triangle around an exclamation point symbol on the icon... Saying something about how the LAN was not working... I turned the firewalls off for this too... No luck...

I even tried to "Add a network place" with my desktop so I could just DL files to my netbook online, but when I try to access the "My Groups" or "My website on MSN" my desktop freaks out and My Network Places stops responding...

My desktop is a serious piece of computing machinery, but has been running at a sub-par level for a while... Should I just reformat and do a clean install of Win XP Pro on it?

I just want to put music on my netbook for downtime at school, commuting, utilizing the bluetooth stereo output, and to be able to transfer files back and forth for school and whatnot... I am almost to the point of psychotic explosion...

What could I possibly be doing wrong???

Thanks in advance for the help!

Ok, this time I ran network setup wizard again, and once I turned off the firewalls on my desktop, I went into My Network Places on my netbook. This time, went I hit View workgroup computers, it brought up both my book and my desktop! That was cool, until I clicked on my desktop and a error box popped up saying,

"[DesktopName] is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the admin (blah, blah, blah)...

The network path was not found."

Am I getting closer? Anyone know of some other setting I need to change to get these machines connected? How do I fix this network path problem?

Thanks again everyone!

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February 20, 2009 at 10:20:55
post the results of an ipconfig /all from each unit.

can you ping between the two?
same workgroup?
file and print sharing installed?
something shared on both?

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February 20, 2009 at 11:04:53
To connect two systems together with a cable, you have to use a cross-over cable. It's wired a little differently, so a standard cat5 patch cable won't work. Since you have a router, you shouldn't need to do this anyway.

If you can access the internet from both systems while connected to the router, then both systems have successfully connected to the same network and are ready to communicate with each other.

You didn't mentioned anything about sharing resources on your system. Before you can access files on one system from the other, you must make them available or "share" them.

First, this works best if both systems belong to the same workgroup.

On the OLD system:
1a. Right-click "My Computer" and select "Properties".

2a. Write down the Computer Name and Workgroup, you'll need these later.

3a. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder you want to share.

4a. Right-click on the folder and select "Sharing and Security...".

5a. Click "Share this folder".

6a. The folder's name will apear in the "Share name:" field. You can either accept this name or change to something else. Write down the share name, you'll need it later.

7a. Click the "OK" button.

On the NEW system:
1b. Right-click "My Computer" and select "Properties".

2b. Click the "Computer Name" tab.

3b. Click the "Change" button.

4b. Make sure the Workgroup name is the same as the OLD system's workgroup (step 2a). If not, change it. If you change this value, you'll need to reboot before continuing.

5b. Click Start - Run, and in the Open field type:


where computername is the name of your old system in step 2a, and sharename is the share name from step 6a.

This should open the shared folder so you can drag/drop from/to it.

Repeat for any other folders you need access to.

Finally... If you only need temporary access to copy stuff to your new system. I'd recommend going back to the folder's properties (step 3a - 5a) and clicking "Do not share this folder" when you're finished. There's no point in keeping shares you aren't going to be using. It makes for a less secure system.

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February 20, 2009 at 12:57:20
Hey wanderer and kptech,

Thank you for responding so quickly and courteously! I am going to pursue both of your methods...

1. wanderer - Here are the IPConfig results:


Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : PhotonSphere
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Eth
ernet NIC
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Friday, February 20, 2009 3:00:25 PM

Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Monday, January 18, 2038 10:14:07 PM


Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : PansophicOpus
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Peer-Peer
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Atheros AR5007EG Wireless Network Ad
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Friday, February 20, 2009 3:27:17 PM

Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Monday, January 18, 2038 10:14:07 PM

Now, to answer your questions:
1. I do not know how to ping between the computers. I would love to find out how though...
2. They are definitely under the same workgroup.
3. I chose to share files and printers in the network setups, but I don't know if I "installed" something to share them... I just ran the Network Setup Wizard on the Desktop and then the Netbook.
4. I have a shared folder on each...

Thanks for your help wanderer!

2. kptech - This is what I get:

An error message - "The network path was not found."

I followed your directions, which were explicit and too easy to follow (thanks and excellent write-up), to the T...

If it did work, would I have to do this anytime I wanted to share files, or would it establish a (more or less) permanent shared folder between the computers? This is what I really want to do... I use the netbook for schoolwork and entertainment, and the desktop for heavy applications, but it also serves as the entertainment center in my rooom and my workstation when I am home... This being the case, I could really use a simple way to swap files between the two computers when we are on my LAN (provided by my home wireless router which supplies cable internet to the house). Also, I need to set up some sort protection for the common file sharing folder/protocol/whatever because I do know I should keep it secure... Could I just have password based access?

Thanks for your help kptech!

This forum is great, and I really appreciate everyone's help!


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Related Solutions

February 20, 2009 at 15:58:00

From your most recent post, it looks like both systems are connected to the network, but we'll test that later to be sure. Once connected, all we have to do is to get file sharing to work.

There are two types of file sharing windows can use. Simple and advanced. Simple file sharing is enabled by default and is the easiest to setup and use. With simple file sharing, a resource is either shared or not. In other words, either everyone has access to it or no one has access to it. On/Off, no in-between. Advanced file sharing will allow you to setup access to shared resources by userid, but is more complex to setup. For a home network, simple file sharing will do for most folks. The only advice I'd have would be: If you travel with your laptop, you should consider disabling file sharing (on the laptop only) while you're gone. This will keep unauthorized users from accessing your files while you may be connected to another network.

To make sure simple file sharing is enabled:

1. Open any folder in Windows explorer and select the "Tools" menu from the title bar.

2. Select "Folder Options" from the Tools menu.

3. Select the "View" tab.

4. At the very bottom of the "Advanced Settings" window, make sure that the "Use simple file sharing (Recommended)" checkbox is checked.

This gives us the best chance for success with out "permissions" getting in the way.

Now... the error you received, "The network path was not found.", indicates that Windows couldn't find the either the computername or the sharename. One reason could be that one or the other systems didn't successfully connect to the network. To test:

Using ipconfig, get the ip address for each system. To use your example above, from your desktop system type ping <enter>. From your laptop type ping <enter>. If you get a response from each system, you know that they're both on the network AND they can see each other.

Now that we've made sure that Simple File Sharing is turned on and that the systems can see each other on the network this "should" work.

For a persistent connection, using Windows Explorer, open any folder and:

1. Select the "Tools" menu from the title bar.

2. Select "Map Network Drive..." from the Tools menu.

3. In the "Folder": field, type \\computername\sharename just like before ensuring that the computername and sharename are exactly correct.

4. Make sure you check the "Reconnect at logon" checkbox. This way, everytime you logon to windows the connection will be re-established automatically.

Since we've mapped a drive letter to the network share, it will show up as another drive letter in Windows Explorer.

If this still doesn't work, and the desktop system has one of those cryptic computernames that Windows ramdomly generates during install, you might consider changing it to something simpler. Some of the computernames I've seen are just begging to be mistyped...

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February 21, 2009 at 09:28:20
Ok, I just pinged both ways... The laptop responds just fine, but the desktop will not respond... "Request timed out". So how do I fix this?

Haha, I know the computer names are a bit ridiculous, but that is just one of my eccentricities... I definitely am not misspelling them when I try to run the \\computername\sharename command, as I am constantly compelled to check my spelling (that's what you get for taking 17 hours of Anthropology and writing multiple papers every week) and I also tried them several times...

kptech, you are the man, thank you for your help!


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February 21, 2009 at 12:30:14
I think we're close now...

The Windows firewall may be preventing access. If you're running an AntiVirus suite that also includes a personal firewall, you don't need the Windows firewall and can just disable it. If not, you can leave it running and configure it to allow file and printer sharing. This should also allow pings.

To disable the Windows Firewall:
1. Open the Windows Control Panel (Classic View) and double-click "Windows Firewall".
2. Select "Off".
3. Click the "OK" button.

To configure the Windows Firewall to allow file sharing:
1. Open the Windows Control Panel (Classic View) and double-click "Windows Firewall".
2. Select the "Exceptions" tab.
3. Check the "File and Printer Sharing" checkbox.
4. Click the "OK" button.

Please let me know if this works...

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February 21, 2009 at 12:52:13
The Windows firewall was already configured to allow file sharing... I also have Norton, I removed the block on Windows file sharing, and the desktop still wont respond to pings from my netbook...

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February 21, 2009 at 13:21:07
Are you using Norton Internet Security, or just the standalone AntiVirus program?

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February 21, 2009 at 13:42:50
Something else I should have thought of earlier... Simple file sharing relies on the "Guest" account being active for access to files.

To check, while logged on as an administrator, type the following command at a command prompt:

net user guest <enter>

This will display a screen full of information. Look for the line titled: "Account active". If the value is "Yes", then we're OK. If not, type the following at the command prompt to activate the "Guest" account:

net user guest /active:yes <enter>

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February 21, 2009 at 23:52:11
The guest account is active, and I am using Norton Internet Security.

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February 22, 2009 at 07:57:54
Since you're using Norton Security, which contains a personal firewell, I would disable the Windows firewall. It may not fix the problem, but it will eliminate a possible cause. It's never a good idea to have more than one firewall running at the same time as it can cause all kinds of anomalous behaviors.

I would also visit the support section at the symantec web site and search for "file sharing". There are several articles there that address possible issues with their personal firewall product.

In the meantime, I'll go back over all our previous posts and re-assess. I think we must have missed something simple. It's not usually this difficult...

If anyone else can see something we've missed, please chime in!

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February 23, 2009 at 08:28:58
After further adjustment of firewall settings, I am able to ping each computer from the other... I cannot, however, run the "\\comptername\sharename" command in either direction... Also, I didn't see the "Use simple file sharing (Recommended)" option in tools>folder options>view>advanced settings on my netbook...

Once again, I really appreciate your help with this problem kptech!


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February 24, 2009 at 03:19:50
Good, we're progressing.

You'll have to scroll down to the very bottom of Advanced Settings. The "Use simple file sharing" option should be the last checkbox in the list.

So far, every time I run through this in my mind, I come back to the firewall. The only way I can think of to determine (with absolute certainty) whether or not firewall settings are the culprit is to temporarily uninstall it from the system. If you want to be extra careful, you can unplug the network cable that connects your router to the dsl/cable modem. That way you're isolated from the internet until you re-install your antivirus/firewall software.

I'm on my way out to visit several clients but I'll try to check back later today or this evening...

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February 24, 2009 at 06:54:39
I will try this when I get time to do so... It sucks that this didn't just work out, as I am buried in classwork and don't have a whole lot of time to spend working on this problem... Your help has been awesome man, and I will let you know how it goes once I uninstall the firewall and try again. I think I want to change my security suite anyways, does anyone think one is entirely superior? Are there any that don't require a subscription fee but still update virus lists and all those goodies?


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February 24, 2009 at 19:39:46

The two best known are probably Norton and McAfee. There are several others such as Kaspersky, Trend Micro, and the list goes on...

The only "Security Suites" I've used are Norton and McAfee. Both have AntiVirus and Firewalls. In the early days, Norton only offered a standalone AntiVirus program so I used ZoneAlarm for a firewall. Both of these are probably close to equal in performance and capability.

There are also several free AntiVirus and Firewall packages.

If you go to the Security and Virus forum and search for "antivirus recommend" or "firewall recommend" you'll find several posts where members share their opinions about the various products available. You'll probably want to try two or three yourself before deciding which you prefer.

The only advice I have is to make sure you only install one of each at a time. If you try to run multiple AntiVirus or Firewall programs at once you could experience some very weird symptoms. At the very least, performance would be less than desirable.

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad I was able to be of some help...

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