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Windows 7: Most used network pc being shunned by its peers

10 Jan 2014   #1
stony41

windows 7 home premium 64, windows 8.1 home premium 64
 
 
Most used network pc being shunned by its peers

I have raised some networking issues in other threads but feel it best to start another one as the problem seems to be becoming clearer.

MY most used PC, running Win 7 Home Premium 64, can see my other three PCs - two Win 7s (also Home Premium 64) and one XP (Home Premium 32) - but these cannot see it. By this I mean that the icon for it appears in the Network list of icons on each machine, but an error message says that the PC isn't available, despite its icon appearing in Network (Win 7) or My Network Places/View workgroup computers (XP). All other connections are OK.

Icons for workgroup computers seem to be a moving feast as not all appear consistently on all the PCs. Eventually Windows gives in and shows all four, but fortunately I have created desktop icons on each machine for each network machine and usually use these.

The crux of the problem is that my PCs are in the same network and in the same workgroup and initially all could see each other constantly but gradually gremlins have crept in. I can handle my network when sitting at my most used PC, but it would be nice if all PCs were shaking hands as they should. I can also use TeamViewer successfully from each PC.

A related issue is that my PVRs (Beyonwiz P2s) have just started to join in the fun and suddenly won't find the main PC as well. This may be a coincidence, as all four PCs have been listed consistently in the past.

I can't see a solution at the moment, although a temporary solution was to 'refresh' the workgroup by changing the workgroup name and then returning to the original name. Lasted for a week or so. If all the PCs had refused to recognise each other from the start, then it would be a different problem. But what I have now is a once-perfect network becoming a hit-or-miss network where Windows picks and chooses when a PC can be seen by its workgroup peers.

I have checked and rechecked network settings and can't see the cause. I would be very grateful for assistance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jan 2014   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would scrap the current homegroup/ workgroup and start anew. I found that it seems to be important to use the system generated password rather than your own password - no idea why though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #3
stony41

windows 7 home premium 64, windows 8.1 home premium 64
 
 

Thanks for your suggestion. I have already tried renaming the workgroup, which worked last time, but not this time. I didn't rename the PCs. When the new workgroup name was on all the PCs nothing happened. Went back to the old name pronto.

What password are you referring to? I don't like having passwords on a home network, but the XP insists on a password with one of the Win 7 PCs, which is strange. Each PC has the same user and password, so it is not a real hassle. But I wouldn't seriously want to open any of the Win 7 PCs on the XP. Easier to open the XP, on rare occasions, from one of my Win 7s, especially the main one I use. I intend sacking the XP eventually and replacing it with another Win 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jan 2014   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
What password are you referring to?
I am talking about the password that is generated when you define a homegroup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #5
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

But I thought you could only use a Homegroup if all the PC's had Windows 7 (and presumably 8 now) One of stonys PC's has Windows XP installed, I think! Does it not need a Workgroup?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mitchell65 View Post
But I thought you could only use a Homegroup if all the PC's had Windows 7 (and presumably 8 now) One of stonys PC's has Windows XP installed, I think! Does it not need a Workgroup?
Yeah right, missed that little detail. Sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #7
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Actually you can use a Homegroup and Library's with XP, you just need to set up an account on the Win 7 machine with the same User name and password as is being used on the XP machine. Then add the Everyone share to the Library folders that you want to share. This will allow for access to the Homegroup Library's from the XP machine.

In this case I don't think the Homegroup is part of the problem.

When I see machines mysteriously disappearing from the network list it's either an anti virus problem or the harddrive on that particular machine is on it's way out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #8
stony41

windows 7 home premium 64, windows 8.1 home premium 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
In this case I don't think the Homegroup is part of the problem.

When I see machines mysteriously disappearing from the network list it's either an anti virus problem or the harddrive on that particular machine is on it's way out.
Thanks, guys.

Yes, I have a workgroup since an XP is involved, at least at present.

The PCs not able to connect with my main Win 7 PC include two fairly new all-in-ones, so I don't think harddrives are the problem with them. And the Win 7 AIO I am keying this on can always open them.

All PCs are listed as icons on all the PCs (although sometimes they may not show up immediately but will take their time to show). Fortunately I have copied all the icons to the desktop on each PC, so their haphazard listing in Explorer can be circumvented.

My PVRs have until recently shown all my PCs but just days ago this PC dropped off its list. So it seems that there may be a setting on this PC that is upsetting three PCs and four PVRs. As far as I know, I haven't changed anything to cause this.

Could my antivirus program be involved? I suppose so, but again I don't think I have changed anything on this front. I have Norton IS on each PC and I don't think any settings have changed, certainly not by me. It is common on forums to blame Norton for everything, but I have never had problems with it. It finds nasties and zaps them, so I am happy with it. And, of course, I run other antivirus and antimalware programs from time to time as a backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2014   #9
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stony41 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
In this case I don't think the Homegroup is part of the problem.

When I see machines mysteriously disappearing from the network list it's either an anti virus problem or the harddrive on that particular machine is on it's way out.
Thanks, guys.

Yes, I have a workgroup since an XP is involved, at least at present.

The PCs not able to connect with my main Win 7 PC include two fairly new all-in-ones, so I don't think harddrives are the problem with them. And the Win 7 AIO I am keying this on can always open them.

All PCs are listed as icons on all the PCs (although sometimes they may not show up immediately but will take their time to show). Fortunately I have copied all the icons to the desktop on each PC, so their haphazard listing in Explorer can be circumvented.

My PVRs have until recently shown all my PCs but just days ago this PC dropped off its list. So it seems that there may be a setting on this PC that is upsetting three PCs and four PVRs. As far as I know, I haven't changed anything to cause this.

Could my antivirus program be involved? I suppose so, but again I don't think I have changed anything on this front. I have Norton IS on each PC and I don't think any settings have changed, certainly not by me. It is common on forums to blame Norton for everything, but I have never had problems with it. It finds nasties and zaps them, so I am happy with it. And, of course, I run other antivirus and antimalware programs from time to time as a backup.
Yes, it's very likely that Norton is to blame, combining different A/V software can also cause problems. It's happened so many time's I've lost count but it's well into the thousands of times just on this forum so can't really provide support when working around these AV software's as they are far to unreliable and problematic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2014   #10
stony41

windows 7 home premium 64, windows 8.1 home premium 64
 
 

It does seem that this time Norton was involved. I intended to turn off Norton to see if it had any effect. The installation on my main Win 7 announced that it needed upgrading. The other installations were said to be up to date. I did the upgrade and as a result the other Win 7s could again see my main PC. Now only the XP has any difficulty: it can't open one of the Win7s, but since it doesn't have to do so and is facing the sack from the network, this is neither here nor there.

Many thanks for your advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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