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Windows 7: Annoying Strange Network Issue

30 Sep 2010   #1
Avatar

Win7 64
 
 
Annoying Strange Network Issue

I'm hoping one of you experts will be able to help me. I've got Win764 on 3 computers (one Pro and 2 Home Premium) and Win732 on a laptop. I use a 3rd party Firewall called Vipre Premium (does antivirus also) and have found that the Homegroup has never worked well for me, plus my laptop could never join my homegroup... So I have disabled the homegroup on all computers and assigned individual static IPs for all and created a workgroup that all belong to. I have also setup shared folders and hard drives for them to access. Now for the weird part. When I had the homegroup installed and running when the computers were actually able to see each other (it would be hit or miss and some would lose the ability to see the one or more of the other computers) I could access the shared folders and hard drives. Now, after disabling the homegroup most of the computers can no longer access the shared root hard drive. It can access any shared folders but not the hard drive. For example, I have a hard drive that I named "Backups" but despite having it shared with "Everyone" and having full read/write access I will get an error saying unable to access it and to check my shared settings... Some of the computers actually can still access one of the shared Hard drives in addition to the folders and one computer seems to be able to access hard drives on all computers except the laptop. It's very frustrating and nothing I've tried fixes it. I didn't have this issue with using the homegroup but had the issue of disappearing computers (though I have a program that synchronizes data/folders and it would still work just fine when Explorer couldn't see/access them...). I've checked settings so many times and am stumped why this is. I have also turned off passwords for them and have tried shutting off the firewall to see if that's the issue and it's not. Any ideas what's going on or how to fix it? Thanks for any help you can provide!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Sep 2010   #2
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Most likely the reason that those machines seem to dissapear is that most third party firewalls aren't configured correctly for Homegroups. Usually you would need to allow the IP's or a range of IP's being used through the firewall. The Viper A/V and firewall are no doubt the cause of your Homegroup problems.

Secondly, if you can't access harddrives from networked machines it's usually because you need to use the Security tab of the drive itself to enable sharing for that drive.
Sharing the root of a drive is considered a security risk which is why it takes more effort to share a drive. You would be far better served sharing the entire "User" folder instead.

To share the entire drive:
Open My Computer -> right click Local Disk D or which ever drive letter your drive is using -> select Properties -> select Security tab -> click Edit button -> click Add button -> enter the name of the User you want to set Security permissions (it is the same user name you've set the sharing permissions for, ex. Everyone will set the read permissions to every user. Put check marks in the boxes for full access and control -> click OK hit apply-> select the desired permissions -> click OK -> wait while permissions are set -> and your Done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #3
Avatar

Win7 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
Most likely the reason that those machines seem to dissapear is that most third party firewalls aren't configured correctly for Homegroups. Usually you would need to allow the IP's or a range of IP's being used through the firewall. The Viper A/V and firewall are no doubt the cause of your Homegroup problems.
I totally agree with you and that's why I disabled homegroups. Vipre has claimed to have fixed this but they obviously haven't yet...

Quote:
Secondly, if you can't access harddrives from networked machines it's usually because you need to use the Security tab of the drive itself to enable sharing for that drive.
Sharing the root of a drive is considered a security risk which is why it takes more effort to share a drive. You would be far better served sharing the entire "User" folder instead.
Ah! I didn't even think of looking at that tab any more as I erroneously assumed it would have been enabled by using the Share option. Just added everyone and bingo! Full access to all computers again. Thank you very much for your help!! Wish I came here a long time ago to ask as it would have saved me a few gray hairs! lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Sep 2010   #4
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

No problem at all Avatar, The drive sharing and Security settings messes up everyone at first.

I wish I could help with the A/V problem more, but there are so many of them and I can't possibly figure out how to configure them all to work with Homegroups. All I know is that it's usually done by allowing the range of IP's your machines are using through the firewall.

I can tell you that I've been using Homegroups for over a year and a half now and it works absolutely flawlessly for me on 8 different machines. Of course I don't use a third party firewalls or any type of realtime A/V's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #5
Avatar

Win7 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
No problem at all Avatar, The drive sharing and Security settings messes up everyone at first.
I'm sure!

Quote:
I wish I could help with the A/V problem more, but there are so many of them and I can't possibly figure out how to configure them all to work with Homegroups. All I know is that it's usually done by allowing the range of IP's your machines are using through the firewall.
No worries. It's definitely not the IP issue as that has been set proper from day one. All the suggestions from the company haven't helped either. It's a hit or miss whether things will show up in Explorer when homegroups are enabled and it can disappear during a session for no apparent reason that I can see, too! Quite weird. But I have no problems doing it the "old way" so now that you solved my only remaining issue I'm a very happy camper!

Quote:
I can tell you that I've been using Homegroups for over a year and a half now and it works absolutely flawlessly for me on 8 different machines. Of course I don't use a third party firewalls or any type of realtime A/V's.
LOL Yes, sticking with MS products should solve those kind of issues. I've just had better luck/security with the 3rd party software that I've used over the last several years and like not putting all my eggs in one basket. Guess I'm just getting more paranoid in my advancing years...

Thanks again for your quick help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #6
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

It might help to change the settings of your networking services to "Automatic" rather than manual.

If you ever feel like messing with Homegroups again this might help to make the folders appear all the time.

6. The following services need to be started for Homegroup networking to function properly. It sometimes helps to change them from Manual to Automatic.

First open a command prompt and type in services.msc then hit enter. Scroll down the list and locate the following services, right click on the service and choose properties, set the service to Automatic rather than Manual.


Right click the sevice, go to properties, make sure that all these services are started then Set to Automatic> DNS Client, Function Discovery Resource Publication, SSDP Discovery, Peer Networking Grouping,UPnP Device Host services, Homegroup listener, Homegroup provider.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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