Computers don't see each other though they are on the same network

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Networking' started by fallingleaves237, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. I’m new to setting up home networks and lately, I have been having a few
    problems. Personally, when it comes to computers, I’m able to solve most
    problems I run into. This time is different and I don't know why. Here's
    what I've got in terms of network hardware:

    - Windows XP computer
    - Windows Vista computer
    - Motorola SB5100 SURFboard cable modem
    - Linksys WRT54GS router
    - Linksys WMP54GS wireless adapter

    Currently, the cable modem is connected to the router via an ethernet cable
    through the internet input jack. From there, an ethernet cable in one of the
    four available ports on the back of the router connects directly to the back
    of the computer with Windows XP installed on it. Upstairs, directly above
    the router, is another computer with Windows Vista installed on it. This
    computer has the wireless adapter in it. I have been able to create a secure
    network using WPA2 encryption along with a security key. An internet
    connection working on both computers is all I have been able to set up at
    this point. My only problem is that I want to be able to share files,
    folders, printers, etc. but the computers can't see each other. Because they
    can’t see each other, all that I want to do can’t be done. Below is a list
    of what I have done to try to get the computers to communicate with each
    other by means of altering certain settings in the computers’ control panels:

    - Turn on file and printer sharing for both computers
    - Made the network connection on Windows Vista "private" while also turning
    on network discovery
    - Attempted to run network setup wizards on both computers though they both
    ultimately failed (more details below)

    It doesn't make any sense why anything I do is not working. When I try to
    run the network setup wizards on both Windows XP and Windows Vista,
    everything goes fine at first. But when I try to transfer the settings for
    one of the wizards to the other computer using a USB flash drive, the program
    encounters an error during setup and does not finish. This happens when I
    use both setups on the two operating systems. I made sure that I was in an
    account with administrative privileges but that didn’t do much either. I
    suspect that this may not be working because of the following:

    - Firewall/security preferences do not match the settings used in the
    Network and Sharing Center on Windows Vista
    - The fact that you need to enter a security key in order to connect to the
    network for wireless computers but not wired computers

    Like I said, everything I have tried is not working. I erased as much of
    what I could of what was created during the network setups on both computers
    so that I am left with just a working internet connection on the two of them.
    I don’t know where to go from here and I would deeply appreciate it if
    somebody could at lease point me in the right direction.
     
    fallingleaves237, Sep 8, 2007
    #1
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  2. Do a simple test. If turning off the firewall, can you ping each other by IP?

    Bob Lin, MS-MVP, MCSE & CNE
    Networking, Internet, Routing, VPN Troubleshooting on http://www.ChicagoTech.net
    How to Setup Windows, Network, VPN & Remote Access on http://www.HowToNetworking.com
    I’m new to setting up home networks and lately, I have been having a few
    problems. Personally, when it comes to computers, I’m able to solve most
    problems I run into. This time is different and I don't know why. Here's
    what I've got in terms of network hardware:

    - Windows XP computer
    - Windows Vista computer
    - Motorola SB5100 SURFboard cable modem
    - Linksys WRT54GS router
    - Linksys WMP54GS wireless adapter

    Currently, the cable modem is connected to the router via an ethernet cable
    through the internet input jack. From there, an ethernet cable in one of the
    four available ports on the back of the router connects directly to the back
    of the computer with Windows XP installed on it. Upstairs, directly above
    the router, is another computer with Windows Vista installed on it. This
    computer has the wireless adapter in it. I have been able to create a secure
    network using WPA2 encryption along with a security key. An internet
    connection working on both computers is all I have been able to set up at
    this point. My only problem is that I want to be able to share files,
    folders, printers, etc. but the computers can't see each other. Because they
    can’t see each other, all that I want to do can’t be done. Below is a list
    of what I have done to try to get the computers to communicate with each
    other by means of altering certain settings in the computers’ control panels:

    - Turn on file and printer sharing for both computers
    - Made the network connection on Windows Vista "private" while also turning
    on network discovery
    - Attempted to run network setup wizards on both computers though they both
    ultimately failed (more details below)

    It doesn't make any sense why anything I do is not working. When I try to
    run the network setup wizards on both Windows XP and Windows Vista,
    everything goes fine at first. But when I try to transfer the settings for
    one of the wizards to the other computer using a USB flash drive, the program
    encounters an error during setup and does not finish. This happens when I
    use both setups on the two operating systems. I made sure that I was in an
    account with administrative privileges but that didn’t do much either. I
    suspect that this may not be working because of the following:

    - Firewall/security preferences do not match the settings used in the
    Network and Sharing Center on Windows Vista
    - The fact that you need to enter a security key in order to connect to the
    network for wireless computers but not wired computers

    Like I said, everything I have tried is not working. I erased as much of
    what I could of what was created during the network setups on both computers
    so that I am left with just a working internet connection on the two of them.
    I don’t know where to go from here and I would deeply appreciate it if
    somebody could at lease point me in the right direction.
     
    Robert L [MVP - Networking], Sep 8, 2007
    #2
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  3. The first thing I did was ping the Windows XP computer with its firewall
    running using the Windows Vista computer. I was able to get confirmation
    that the packets were sent. I then used the Windows XP computer to ping the
    Windows Vista computer with its firewall on and my requests timed out. That
    led me to believe that my problem had something to do with my Norton Personal
    Firewall. After turning off my NPF and then turning on the Windows Firewall
    using the recommended settings, the pinging from the Windows XP computer to
    the Windows Vista computer was a success.

    Now that the computers can ping with each other with their firewalls up and
    running, I still need to get both computers to a point where they can see
    each other. As of right now, the only kind of indication that the computers
    are somehow linked together is an icon in the system tray of the Windows XP
    computer that asks you if you want to allow media sharing between the two
    computers thru Windows Media Player.

    I tried to use the network setup wizard again in Windows Vista and tried to
    transfer the settings down to the Windows XP. I got an error dialog saying,
    “The wizard could not find the information it needs to setup a network, or
    the information was not usable. Try running the wizard again from your
    original computer.†More specifically, I used the wizard that is accessible
    by going into the Network and Sharing Center and in the left-hand pane,
    choosing Set up a connection or network. In the dialog that appeared, I
    clicked Setup a wireless router or access point and followed the onscreen
    instructions. I believe that I ran into this problem because my router
    cannot be configured by using a USB flash drive. I also believe that I
    cannot share files, folders, printers, etc. at this point with both computers
    because of something wrong on the Windows XP computer.
     
    fallingleaves237, Sep 9, 2007
    #3
  4. fallingleaves237

    davey_griffo Guest

    I have the same problem. I tried running the XP wizard, being the lowest
    common denominator, but it wouldn't save to flash drive. It wanted a floppy,
    which I don't have on my notebook PC.
     
    davey_griffo, Sep 9, 2007
    #4
  5. Same type of problem too. My wizard at least saved to a flash drive but I
    didn't get much after that. The Windows XP computer has a floppy drive but
    the Windows Vista computer doesn't. So the only common medium was the flash
    drive which didn't work.
     
    fallingleaves237, Sep 9, 2007
    #5
  6. I still can't get the computers to register that they see each other though.
    I am trying all that I can and nothing is working. Do you possibly know of
    anything that might help me?
     
    fallingleaves237, Sep 9, 2007
    #6
  7. Great news! I was finally able to get both computers to see each other and
    share files, folders, printers, etc. by enabling NetBIOS in the TCP/IPv4
    properties dialog box. Thanks to all for the help!
     
    fallingleaves237, Sep 9, 2007
    #7
  8. fallingleaves237

    davey_griffo Guest

    how'd you do that, falling?

     
    davey_griffo, Sep 11, 2007
    #8
  9. Upon finding out that NetBIOS was not enabled on the computer upstairs
    running Windows Vista, I opened up Network and Sharing Center on that
    computer and clicked Manage network connections in the left task pane. From
    here, I right-clicked my active network connection and chose Properties.
    After dealing with a UAC prompt, I turned my attention to the items under the
    text This connection uses the following items:. I brought up the properties
    for the entry Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) by obviously clicking on
    Properties. In the General tab at the bottom of the window that appears is a
    button called Advanced.... Click on this button and ignore what you see
    right away. Instead, click the tab labeled WINS and look for the radio
    button that says Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP near the bottom of the window.
    When you are done, click OK twice and then click Close. You should be able
    to share files, folders, printers, etc. between your two computers. I hope
    this helps and I’m really sorry for the late response.
     
    fallingleaves237, Sep 18, 2007
    #9
  10. fallingleaves237

    davey_griffo Guest

    Doesn't surprise me, since we're now buried on page 8. Thanks, I'll try that
    myself.
     
    davey_griffo, Sep 21, 2007
    #10
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