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Windows 7: computers randomly disappear over wired network

13 Nov 2015   #1

windows 7 home x32 x64
computers randomly disappear over wired network

Hi Guys
Have a networking problem that seems to have gradually made its way to the point of utter annoyance. Our small business of 7 computers and growing is networked via wired Ethernet, our ISP is a cable based provider (Shaw). For several months now since the introduction of two pre made HP windows 10 desktop machines our network has started to act erratically. Computers are disappearing when viewing them under networking. They spontaneously reappear throughout the day. Our full network map is different from each computer. The strange thing is that the computers are there. I saved shortcuts to each shared folder and placed them on each computer and they are accessible consistently, but the computers pop in an d out of existence when viewing them under the network view and arenít accessible that way. There is no interruption or slow down in access to the internet. This problem only affects local networking.

Please see the attached picture of our network. This big "?" you see in the picture comes and goes and varies when you view the network from the other computers.

Our machines are all windows7 home premium, a mix of 32 and 64 bit and now window10 home 64bit. 3 have Kaspersky virus protection (purchased) , the others have Avira free and MacAfee (preinstalled only on the two HP windows 10 machines). The problem does not seem to be specific with any of the machines running a certain virus protection. We are not using windows Homegroup. Our advance sharing/network discovery is enabled on all the computers share the same settings throughout; see here.
Months before I have noticed the the network taking a long time to show files on one computer or the other but just brushed that off. So I donít think this is entirely related to the two new windows 10 pcs. Our network and firewall setting shave been untouched for years now. So what could be causing this?
You can view all our hardware in the above mentioned pictures or Listed below:
Modem: Motorolla 5B 5100
Router: Dlink DIR 826L
Switches: Netgear FS 116 ProSafe 16 port 10/100
Any help would be appreciated, Iíve never had this problem before.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2015   #2

Windows Vista Home Premium x64

I would check to make sure IPv6 is disabled on the new devices.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2015   #3

windows 7 home x32 x64

I turned IPv6 off on ALL machines. I had it off on some machines a while back initially but did not follow through with all.
Within half an hour, all the the windows7 machines were showing up in each other's network. the windows10 machines were not showing up. I had to go in and disable the expired McAfee antivirus that was packaged with the machine, The McAfee firewall was hiding the machines from the others on the network. The Windows10 machines were view-able now but their shared folders were not accessible and password protected. I had to go back into advanced sharing and change the settings again (turned off 'use password protection' which got re-enabled somehow).

So all in all, turning off IPv6 seems to have fixed the problem. My question remains, why did this gradually become a problem in the 1st place? Why didn't it happen right away? Or is there something else wrong with my networking? When will IPv6 be a necessity though and how will I get around this problem with our network? Should I be using homegroups? Does anyone here use them?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Nov 2015   #4

windows 7 home x32 x64
problem still there.

Well I stand corrected. I was going to mark this as solved but I checked everyone's computer and they're not seeing anyone else on the network. Why is this happening? Can anyone offer some other advice? Should I put everyone on a homegroup?? Should I look at the router settings? Should I check firewall settings? Networking is so frustrating.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 computers randomly disappear over wired network

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