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Windows 7: Windows 7 computer can't see other networked computers

01 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Windows 7 computer can't see other networked computers

I've been banging my head on the wall for several days on this one. I did a lot of searches and tried numerous suggestions, but have had no luck as of yet.

My Windows 7 Ultimate x64 machine recently stopped being able to communicate with any other machines on the network. It can ping them by name, but can't browse to any shared folders or use any shared services. I do have one networked printer, but access was via http so it seems to work. The big problem is that I have some Windows XP machines that have shared folders and shared printers and I can not access them.

Here are the details of my setup.

- Linksys WRT54G router drives the internet (updated to latest firmware)
- Windows 7 Ultimate x64 machine plugged directly into WRT54G ethernet port
- Epson Workforce printer plugged into ethernet port
- 2 Windows XP machines connected via wireless
- 1 Windows 7 32-bit laptop connected via wireless

Since the Epson worked fine I thought may it is a wireless issue or maybe an issue connecting from Windows 7 to Windows XP. I went through hundreds of forum posts about people with issues connecting to XP with no luck (i.e. network discovery is on, file/print sharing is enabled, all machines on the same Workgroup, etc.). All of the various XP machines can see each other, ping each other, and browse each other's shared folders. In fact, all of said machines are capable of browsing the Windows 7 64-bit machine's shared folders, but it can't browse theirs.

From the Windows 7 machine I can ping all of the others by IP or even by hostname, but if I put "\\hostname" in the run dialog, it can't make a connection. In the Network & Sharing Center I do see the other Windows 7 32-bit laptop in the network map, but I can't browse to it's shared folders. I can RDP this laptop by connecting to the IP address with remote desktop.

I can ping the XP machines by IP or name, but they do not show up at all in the network map and I can't browse to them from the run dialog.

A few months ago I could never access these machines by "\\hostname" but if I put in "\\IP_ADDRESS" it would pop up a username/password box and I could get in. This is now no longer working either.

Sorry for being long-winded on this. I just wanted to get all the details out there. Hopefully others have seen something like this. I've tried numerous things and from the firewall/network settings it seems like everything is set up to be able to discover other machines, but it still won't work. Something changed on my Windows 7 machine that has locked it from doing any outgoing connections.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional 64Bit

Sorry to hear about your problems, I recently had a problem with this especially trying to communicate Windows XP Home 32 to Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit. IT sounds like you have all your bases covered but I would recommend disabling your firewall(s) temporarily and seeing if you can communicate. Lemme know how this goes for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,

You can try this on the Win7 machine.
Navigate to the following key and make this adjustment on the Win7 machine.

create or modify 32-bit DWORD: LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy
set the value to: 1

It can also help to turn off simple file sharing on the XP machines.

As for getting your XP machines to show up on the network map of the Win7 machine, the tutorial below is helpful for that.

XP Computers in the Windows 7 Network Map

These guides can also be helpful.

It's important to note that which ever A/V software you have installed can also cause problems with sharing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for posting those links. I will check them all out.

For whatever reason, I booted one of the Windows XP machines up today and the Windows 7 machine and bam, they saw each other. As far as I know I hadn't done anything. Perhaps one of the things I had been doing all day yesterday finally stuck after allowing both machines to sleep for a while.

I really don't know which step fixed the issue and I don't know if it will stay working, so for those who stumble into this thread with the same issues unfortunately I don't have a good answer.

I am running only Windows firewalls and Microsoft Security Essentials on all machines, so I don't think the AV programs or firewalls are the issue. Here are a few steps I tried, which didn't seem to work yesterday, but may have helped.

1. Make sure network discovery and file sharing are turned on in Windows 7, and turn off Homegroups.
2. Make sure firewalls on both machines allow file sharing.
3. Update the network card drivers to their latest versions.
4. Make sure all machines on the network are in the same workgroup.
- Try changing the workgroups to something else, then changing them back.
5. Turn on NetBIOS over TCP/IP in the IPv4 settings for the network adapter.

Unfortunately it seems that the networking pieces of Windows 7 are not as easy to configure as it used to be in the XP days. Getting several XP machines on a network and in a workgroup is extremely simple. Windows 7 with the new homegroups and sharing security settings makes it difficult to know which setting to turn on and which to turn off. From my experience browsing other forums to find an answer to this issue, most people had no better answers than what I can give. "Try this or that and just maybe Windows 7 will figure it out."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64Bit

Can't rule out firewall till you try it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2011   #6

32 bit Windows7 professional 6.1.7601 SP1
Is Ping the answer

I had a similar problem neither XP machine or windows7 machine could see each other.

Tried 1-4 in SteveSharpe post and many other things all to no avail. Then I saw a post about pinging, tried to ping from XP to 7 machine and it worked, tried the other way round also worked so was even further mystified that they couldn't see each other.

Then bonanza when I went back to my computer they saw each other. I have re-started both several times since and each time they see each other, file access is fine as well. So was it the pinging that did it? Who knows but worth a try I think.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 computer can't see other networked computers

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