Networking Problem


F

Frederick

I currently have three XP (P3) machines networked together via CAT5 to
a wireless router. I call them machine-1, machine-2 and machine-3.
All are in Workgroup 'MYHOME'. All folders & files on all 3 machines
are set to file sharing, allowing all user mods to same.

'My Network Places' on machine-1 shows all content of machine-2, and
allows accessing/changing to same. It does NOT show machine-3 at all.

'My Network Places' on machine-2 shows all content of machine-2 &
machine-3, and allows accessing/changing to same. This is as it
should be.

'My Network Places' on machine-3 shows all content of machine-1 &
machine-2, and allows accessing/changing to same. This is as it
should be.

So, basically, my problem is that I cannot access the content of
machine-3 from machine-1, and I cannot figure out why not. I have
tried several things - to no avail. It seems strange to me that
machine-3 seems set up correctly enough to link both ways with
machine-2, but only one way with machine-1. Otherwise, my network
seems to work fine.

Looking for help.

Thanks

Frederick
 
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J

John John MVP

I currently have three XP (P3) machines networked together via CAT5 to
a wireless router. I call them machine-1, machine-2 and machine-3.
All are in Workgroup 'MYHOME'. All folders& files on all 3 machines
are set to file sharing, allowing all user mods to same.

'My Network Places' on machine-1 shows all content of machine-2, and
allows accessing/changing to same. It does NOT show machine-3 at all.

'My Network Places' on machine-2 shows all content of machine-2&
machine-3, and allows accessing/changing to same. This is as it
should be.

'My Network Places' on machine-3 shows all content of machine-1&
machine-2, and allows accessing/changing to same. This is as it
should be.

So, basically, my problem is that I cannot access the content of
machine-3 from machine-1, and I cannot figure out why not. I have
tried several things - to no avail. It seems strange to me that
machine-3 seems set up correctly enough to link both ways with
machine-2, but only one way with machine-1. Otherwise, my network
seems to work fine.

Looking for help.
Step one when troubleshooting these network problems is to *completely
disable* all the firewalls, disable them and see if things improve.
DON'T assume things and skip this first step or else everything may be
for naught, if need be disconnect the machines from the outside world
while you disable the firewalls to troubleshoot this.

Look in the Event logs on both machines, do you see any relevant errors?
(look for errors involving the Browser)

Issue the NET VIEW command at a command prompt, what does the command
return?

Can you ping the machines by NetBIOS name (ping machine-3)?

Can you ping the machine by IP address?

Can you connect to the machine by Share Name, try in the Start menu Run Box:

\\machine-3\ShareName

or by IP address, example:

\\192.168.1.3\ShareName.


John
 
V

VanguardLH

Frederick said:
I currently have three XP (P3) machines networked together via CAT5 to
a wireless router. I call them machine-1, machine-2 and machine-3.
All are in Workgroup 'MYHOME'. All folders & files on all 3 machines
are set to file sharing, allowing all user mods to same.

'My Network Places' on machine-1 shows all content of machine-2, and
allows accessing/changing to same. It does NOT show machine-3 at all.

'My Network Places' on machine-2 shows all content of machine-2 &
machine-3, and allows accessing/changing to same. This is as it
should be.

'My Network Places' on machine-3 shows all content of machine-1 &
machine-2, and allows accessing/changing to same. This is as it
should be.

So, basically, my problem is that I cannot access the content of
machine-3 from machine-1, and I cannot figure out why not. I have
tried several things - to no avail. It seems strange to me that
machine-3 seems set up correctly enough to link both ways with
machine-2, but only one way with machine-1. Otherwise, my network
seems to work fine.
Did you disable the Guest account on any or all of those hosts?
Disabling the Guest account also disables some MS network services; see:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb418978.aspx

When not participating in a domain, protection is afforded for the
resources offered by the remote host by using the Guest account because
it is NOT an administrator-level account. The Guest account is also
described in the Microsoft KB article at:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300489

Here they conflict with their advice above by recommending to NOT
disable the Guest account. However, almost every security scanner
checking for hardness of your host will tell you to disable this account
because of default of not having a password to login. They tell you to
create a normal user account (i.e., a limited user account) instead of
using the Guest account. The real problem is having a Guest account
with no password. If you trust your own intranet hosts that are not on
a domain and want to share files between them, and especially if those
intranet hosts are behind a router with NAT (which has its own
firewall), then you don't need to be concerned about possible hacking
into your intranet hosts as long as the Guest account has a strong
password on it.

"Tips for creating a strong password"
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-us/help/37565844-50dc-47e7-9260-a5a0e903db571033.mspx
(just one scheme for strong passwords; other schemes are also viable)

Also read:
http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/49437/windows-guest-account-best-practices.html
http://www.ghacks.net/2007/12/03/disable-the-windows-xp-guest-account-correctly/
http://www.lockergnome.com/windows/2005/01/14/the-guest-account-is-the-hackers-holy-grail/

Until I read the above, I couldn't figure out why file sharing ceased to
function between my host OS and a guest OS in a virtual machine (and I
had to resort to using VirtualPC's shared folder feature which is part
of the VM Additions install). If you decide to enable the Guest
account, be sure to set a STRONG password on it.
 
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T

Tim Meddick

Before looking for increasingly complex solutions, you should try
eliminating some of the more obvious "simple" ones first ;

One "perhaps" is that if you were to take a look at the "Sharing" tab for a
drive and/or other content (e.g. Printer) on Machine #3. i.e.;
Right-click on your [C:] drive and click on the "Sharing" tab. Then just
ensure that sharing IS enabled for that, or any other drive/other you wish
to be able to access from the network.

I do I.T. and computers as a hobby and in a small way, I also give a little
professional help. As for networking, I'll admit to it not being my
strongest area of expertise. Probably, I think most people who contribute
here know more than me on the subject of Networking. However, the point I
am making, here, is that possibly *before* you go into any greater detail
in your search for an answer, that you re-check the more simplistic of
possible causes first. That's all I am saying!...

==

Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
 

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