Hi all -
I struggled with this one for two full days. Thanks to all for all the suggestions, and I tried each and everyone of them systematically... to no avail. Here's my home network:
- Linux box as the internet gateway and firewall (also a place to store some archived files), with Samba installed and a couple of directories enabled for Windows browsing
- A second Linux box on the internal network, mainly for data storage
- A laptop with XP SP3 (32-bit), on the internal network
- A workstation with Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, on the internal network
ALL were set to the exact same workgroup, each had a unique internal IP address, and each had an entry in the *hosts* of all the other machines. Each could successfully ping all the other machines in the network. When browsing the workgroup, the Linux and XP boxes could see and browse all other machines on the home network, while the Windows 7 machine could only see itself. All were able to ping the others fine, and all had full connectivity to the internet.
Long story short... I tried everything here, and from other forums, to get the Windows 7 workstation to see the other machines on the network, with no success. The Windows 7 machine would not see the others, even though the reverse was true and it could successfully ping every one of them!
*THE ONE THING THAT WORKED* that I discovered by trial and error -- going into Services (under Control Panel/Administrative Tools) and locating TCP/IP NetBios Helper. Setting its startup to "Automatic" and starting it as a service made everything work. I mean, immediately, without a re-boot. Woo-hoo!
So... if nothing else here works, try that one. It was absolutely the only thing that solved the problem on my system.
P.S. - why is Windows 7 such a frustrating piece of junk when it comes to networking? You'd thing that successive versions of Windows would get BETTER, EASIER, AND MORE ROBUST?!? Compared to Windows 7, Linux was a snap to set up to access a WINDOWS NETWORK. But I guess I shouldn't expect too much from an OS whose biggest selling point is, "Hey, at least it's not Vista!"