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Windows 7: Cannot see anything except Win7 boxen in Explorer

07 Jan 2012   #1
PeterD

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Cannot see anything except Win7 boxen in Explorer

Hello all,
I have two severe issues that are related. One affects every Win7 machine, the second only one of them (which I made worse trying to troubleshoot the first issue from it and reversing the steps failed to solve it...more on this later).

The main issue is that I can't see anything except other Win7 machines when I go in to Explorer under NETWORK (within the "computers" section that is -- printers, media devices, scanners, etc, show up fine). This has been going on for months, and I'm betting a patch did something that screwed everything up.

What I should be seeing, in addition to the Win7 boxen, are my NAS server (running some variant of Linux), two Macs, a Linux media server and several servers running in VMs (2003 and 2008). I can't see any of these from any of the Windows 7 boxen.

In addition, on ONE of these machines, in my futile attempt to troubleshoot this problem, I now see nothing at all under "Network" in the explorer. No computers, no printers, scanners, media devices, nothing. Totally blank (i.e., in the image below, there would be nothing at all in there).

I've searched hi-and-low for answers and tried all the usual tricks. Namely:
  1. DNS cache flushed
  2. All networking-related services are started and running. I restarted the browser services on all machines.
  3. permissions set for LM & NTLM, plus the requirement to use 128-bit encryption has been disabled in the local security policy.
  4. Network discovery has been turned on in Advanced sharing settings, and a requirement for a password has been turned off in the same menu.
  5. I even rebuilt the TCP/IP stack.
  6. I left and rejoined the correct workgroup (HOME workgroup).
Nothing I've seen in other similar threads has worked.

I can ping everything on the network, I can connect using an IP Address and I can also connect if I put in the UNC path (\\server\media). I just cannot browse the network for anything other than Win7 computers. Here is a screenshot of my network, showing only three computers, where there should be at least 7 or 8 visible at any one time.




Thanks in advance. Any and all efforts are greatly appreciated.
[IMG]file:///C:/Users/pjd/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jan 2012   #2
2xg

Win7 & Win8 64bit
 
 

Hi Peter and Welcome to Seven Forums,

Have you also verified that the Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) protocol is enabled on the network adapters of the problematic computers?
You might also want to go through the troubleshooting tips from this link.

Please post an update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #3
cyclic

Windows 7 home premium x64
 
 

Have you thought of running the network setup wizard ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jan 2012   #4
PeterD

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 2xg View Post
Hi Peter and Welcome to Seven Forums,

Have you also verified that the Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) protocol is enabled on the network adapters of the problematic computers?
You might also want to go through the troubleshooting tips from this link.

Please post an update.
LLTD is enabled on all machines (both tick-boxes checked). All computers are connected to a private (home) network (i.e. not a "public" network for firewall purposes).

Where is the setup wizard located? I'm willing to try that, but I have my doubts <g>. I've run all the different troubleshooters and nothing seems amiss. If this was only happening on ONE machine I would be less concerned, but it's happening on all the Win7 boxen and my Win 2K8 server on the VM. EXCEPTION: One VM (server 2k3) sees everything, exactly as others should, but it's host (the machine I'm typing this on) cannot. Gaaaah.

I'm using a 192.168.0.x network with a 255.255.255.0 subnet. Desktops and VMs have static IPs. Laptops and printers have DCHP-assigned addresses, all assigned from one WRT-54g router. The only firewall present is whatever Windows configured when the OS was installed (it was never tinkered with).

Please, guys, help save what's left of my sanity. This is by far the most frustrating networking issue I've ever faced. Thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #5
Solidwave

Win7Ultimate x64 + x32, Win7Pro x64, XP x32, Win 2003, Ubuntu and OpenIndiana
 
 

IIRC, Win7 won't see workgroup-style network shares if homegroup functionality is enabled. Homegroups are for pure Win7 LANs--they don't work with mixed networks. Leave the homegroup or disable both homegroup services and see if that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #6
PeterD

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Tried it with Homegroups enabled and disabled and no change (reboots after each change).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #7
PeterD

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

OK, progress!
It's a firewall issue for sure. I dropped the firewall on the one problem Windows7 PC (the one that had nothing in its Network window last night) and suddenly every machine can see most, if not all Workgroup resources. I re-enabled the Firewall, refreshed on all machines after about a half-hour and things were back to the way they were (except the problem machine got its Network icons back, although only for the Win7 computers).

So where, within the firewall settings, should I be looking? I obviously can't run without the Windows FW. And now I'm really curious as to which program or "fix" disabled the appropriate firewall settings?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #8
2xg

Win7 & Win8 64bit
 
 

I'll be looking what needs to be excluded in your Windows Firewall. Mine has File and Printer Sharing, Homegrop & Network Discovery excluded.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #9
PeterD

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I find the firewall interface a little beyond my grasp (which is why I've generally left it alone). Might I ask you to help me understand the settings in there a little better?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #10
2xg

Win7 & Win8 64bit
 
 

Here's the location: Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Firewall\Allowed Programs. Check the box on what's need to be excluded or to be allowed, as I've mentioned in my previous post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cannot see anything except Win7 boxen in Explorer




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