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Can't connect to network computer

Last response: in Networking
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February 18, 2012 1:13:41 AM

I have a laptop (win7) and desktop (vista) in a network. The laptop is wireless and the desktop is hard-wired into a d-link router. My computer recently updated and since then I cannot connect to my desktop from my laptop. The desktop shows up in the network map but when I click it, it hangs and says "network path not found". I can ping the IP and the name of the PC from command line but I cannot access it. I have internet connectivity the whole time regardless and I've tried multiple routers.

-Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
a b D Laptop
February 18, 2012 1:35:50 AM

On both machines you have to enable not only network file sharing by right clicking on the drive, select properties, and then in sharing tab, advanced sharing, allow sharing; but you also have to set the security permission under the security tab by clicking edit, then add, and add a new user called Everyone in the white object box, then OK and then apply. That should allow sharing of any drives or folders that you share.
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February 18, 2012 1:48:55 AM

I have verified that network file sharing is enabled on both computers and the Everyone group is selected under permissions. Still not working.
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a b D Laptop
February 18, 2012 1:54:51 AM

Is the specific drive or file also checked as shared under the sharing tab in the drive properties?
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February 18, 2012 2:22:51 AM

Yes it is.

So I have more. I typed in ipconfig /release in command line and after doing so I CAN access my desktop. I however lose internet access and I noticed where it says the name of the network I'm currently connected to it says "unidentified network" instead of the name of my network. I also can't ping the gateway or anything else. Once I connect back to my network I get the internet back but I lose access to my desktop again. I don't know what the hell is going on.
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a b D Laptop
February 18, 2012 8:19:31 AM

Check all the settings in your network adapters, under network and sharing center control panel, change adapter setting. Right click and select properties for each adapter shown, check under sharing if ICS is checked and under networking double left click Internet Protocol Version 4 to see its properties and how it obtains its IP address.

Is there an Unidentified Network in the adapters, can you figure out what type it is? Virtual adapter perhaps?
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February 18, 2012 1:13:24 PM

No, ICS is not enabled for either computer.

As far as IP addresses, they are just assigned dynamically. I verified that they are both getting different addresses and they are within the acceptable range.

Only one network shows up under mange network connections, and it is the one I setup.

I'm stumped. Why the hell would releasing the IP enable me to connect to my desktop. Renewing it does not work BTW...only releasing it.

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a b D Laptop
February 18, 2012 1:42:49 PM

Perhaps try going into the router and assign the computers both reserved dynamic addresses by using their MAC address -- its like static from the router end and dynamic from the computer end.
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February 18, 2012 2:06:15 PM

I will try that and get back to you.

I was suspecting a conflict between my sat modem and my router earlier so I unhooked the modem...so it was just my laptop, router, and desktop...no internet involved.

Same issues basically...my computers can't connect. Once I RELEASE the IP on my laptop through command line...they connect. Once i RENEW the IP through command line....fail.
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February 18, 2012 7:57:22 PM

I tried setting up reserved dynamic addresses and that's still not working.

Man this is irritating me. My network has been working fine for several months and I'm pretty sure this happened after a windows update on my win7 laptop...could just be coincidence though.

Why would releasing my IP establish a connection with my desktop? I don't get it.
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a b D Laptop
February 18, 2012 8:12:01 PM

The update was just coincidental, I do all updates and have 10 Windows 7 machines, multiple network printers, multiple APs, etc. and have not seen anything similar.

While you seem to have ruled it out, the only thing that makes sense is an IP conflict.

How about setting the laptop with a static address that is quite a ways away from the other used network addresses. Like if you use x.x.x.2-.12, assign the laptop .128 on the laptop and in the router.

One other thought: If the laptop has a wired network connection and its wireless radio is off, is this still an issue?
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February 18, 2012 8:37:40 PM

I will try both and see what happens.

I agree it seems to like an IP conflict, but if that was so I wouldn't be able to use the internet simultaneously on both machines...correct? Or am I wrong about that?

Anyway, like I said, I will try your suggestions. I would also like to say thanks for your help thus far....even if I can't get this damn problem fixed.
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a b D Laptop
February 18, 2012 8:41:07 PM

IP conflicts can be vexing and unpredictable -- like women (hope by GF doesn't read this!).

You will eventually get it fixed, consider it a great learning experience for us all. Over time I've had so many learning experiences that it hurts. :) 
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February 18, 2012 9:31:12 PM

I tried hard-wiring the laptop in and with wireless disabled and it still behaves the exact same way.

I did notice that it connected to an old network name however. In other words, everything on my network is connected to something like "HomeNetwork"...but when I wired my laptop in it auto connected to an old name I used like "MyHomeNetwork". This old network name doesn't show up anywhere that I can find to delete it and I'm not even sure if something like that could cause my current problem.

I'll try the static IPs tomorrow because the wife is getting irritated that I've been messing with the computers all day....cuz I'm having so much fun /sarcasm.
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a b D Laptop
February 18, 2012 10:30:41 PM

Change the laptop network group to the same as the other -- all should be identical.

System control panel, change settings in the computer name/domain/workgroup section, change button, then make all workgroups the same. Also, no two machines should have an identical name.
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February 19, 2012 12:18:09 PM

The names of my PCs are different and the workgroup is the same. The name of my network is typically the same.

Perhaps I didn't explain it very well. Everything is on something like "HomeNetwork". My laptop is on "HomeNetwork" when it connects wireless. When I hard-wired it in yesterday it automatically connected to an old network name I use, like "MyHomeNetwork". As far as I was concerned I discarded of this "MyHomeNetwork" a long time ago an shouldn't even exist. It must exist somewhere in the background on my desktop otherwise my laptop wouldn't have connected to it. Hope that makes sense.

So nothing is ever connected to this "MyHomeNetwork" normally, I was just wondering if it is possibly still in the background somewhere causing a conflict.
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February 19, 2012 5:47:49 PM

Alright, so I hooked up one of my other routers again today and everything is magically working alright now. I tried this same router the other day and I was getting the same problems so I don't know why its working now. So I don't know if my other router crapped out or had some sort of wrong setting (even though I reset it).

Anyway, the problem is fixed for the time being by replacing the router.
Thanks for the suggestions and help.
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September 7, 2013 9:52:46 AM

I have the exact same problem. Did you ever figure out what was wrong with your old router? Mine is a Linksys WRT110 I. have tried everything except replacing the router.

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May 21, 2014 2:19:31 PM

On the computer(s) you cannot connect to, click on Network in your Start menu. Across the top of the resulting window, you should receive a notice such as, "Network Discovery is turned off. Network computers and devices are not visible. Click to change..." and in the resulting dialog box, click Enable Network discovery and File sharing. This makes this device viewable to the rest of your network.

Two of my computers went into this "stealth" mode without my changing anything. Could be Windows update or an update to the Antivirus program I use (Ad-Aware). Anyway, now all computers happily talk to each other!
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June 28, 2014 5:36:11 PM

I was running into this same thing. My resolution was that I had to reset up my network connection on my computer as a "Home Network". It was setup before that way but I guess a new router changes that. Once I reselected Home Network everything began to work again. Hopes this helps someone.
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