Network Places is Empty

This is a strange problem.

My Network Places folder is empty. It shows nothing. No icons, no details, nothing except for the sidebar listing some options.

Before anyone says that my network isn't running, it is. Here's the deal:

If I go into Windows Explorer and click on Network Places, I get an empty folder (just as I would if I clicked on it from the Start menu).

However, if instead of clicking on the folder, I click on the [+] expand button, Network Places expands to show me the "Entire Network" option. From there I can access "Microsoft Windows Network" and then my workgroup and finally the other computer in the Network.

Network Places is still empty after expanding the folder, but I can now access everything through the expanded hiarchy.

By expanding Network Places I can access the shared folder on the other computer, exchange files and the works. My network is working properly. It's just that when I click on Network Places I don't see anything. I have to dive into Windows Explorer and expand Network Places every time I want to access the other computer.

To note, the other computer in the Network, which is running Windows XP Home (I am using Pro), doesn't have this problem. Its Network Places folder displays the appropriate icons.

Also, I found several posts from people describe a similar empty Network Places problem, but none of them seemed to have found out they can access the other computer by expanding the folder in Windows Explorer.

So... any ideas why Network Places is empty?
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  1. Have you added the shared folders either as a mapped drive or as a short cut?
    Try right clicking on My network places and then select map network drive. Goto a shared folder on another computer and set it to say drive w,x,y or z. This drive should show up then under My Network Places.
    Like wise you can create shortcuts to the shared folders.
  2. when i click 'view network connection' in 'my network places' there is nothing there. In addition, when i click on 'setup a home or small office network' a screen pop out saying that it can not find my network hardware. If it can not find any why i can still access the internet?
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