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Windows 7: Small Win7 network and Raspberry Pi4

07 Mar 2020   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
Small Win7 network and Raspberry Pi4

This issue is both a (sort-of) fun puzzle and annoying. I'll try to describe the layout so people don't waste their time on stuff not related.

I've developed a small network of two Win7 machines, both HP250 laptops, and a Raspberry Pi4. Pi4 was the most recent addition, running on a version of Linux.

Both Win7 machines have been networked for several years. In my mind, there is the "main" machine and a "backup", but this is only determined by room geography. In fact, both are close to twins. I had to restore the 2nd machine, the "backup" a few months ago since I came close to losing it in a severe electrical storm in the middle of a complex report tightly deadlined.

That near death decided me to use a cheap Pi4 as belts 'n braces. Once stable, my plan was to simply update email, reports, spreadsheets, maps etc perhaps per fortnight. After fiddling with various Linux setups, I had all three machines freely talking to each other. A sync programme allowed me to update email etc on the two "remote" machines, including little Pi, from the "main" Win7 machine.

So ? The issue bugging me now is that the "main " Win7 has increasingly refused to see Raspberrypi on the network, even though both can ping each other, I can sync email etc from the Win7 to Pi, and run a Pi terminal screen remotely in Win7. So "main" Win7 knows Pi is there - and as of yesterday, recognised it on the network - but today for no reason I can understand, when both machines were booted, "main" Win7 cannot see Pi on the network. Refreshing 100 times doesn't do it.

And the hair-tearer ? Win7 "backup" sees Pi perfectly and instantly on the network. Pinging, syncing etc from Win7 "backup" is fine too. Both Win7's have the same wifi card (AC3165). All three machines have stable DHCP IP addresses in the router table.

Win7 "main" recognised Pi as an object on the network until today, when it stubbornly refuses. Win7 "backup" sees Pi instantly. All three machines can ping each other. Both Win7's can run a Pi terminal screen remotely.

Suggestions please ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2020   #2

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone

Hello ian50,

Firstly, is Network Discovery Enabled on the troublesome Windows 7 computer?

If that is not the issue, then check/disable Firewall, and see if that enables Raspberry Pi on the network.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2020   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64

Thanks iko22

As noted, the Win7 machines have been networked for quite some years now so those basics are well in place.

The Pi machine had also been accessible from both Win7's until a few days ago, when the "main" Win7 seemed to lose sight of it, although "backup" Win7 never lost access.

Again yesterday pm, Pi suddenly reappeared on "main" Win7 without reason that I could see. Disappeared again this morning at boot time. I had managed to copy an accessible Pi object link from "backup" to "main" yesterday and this works.

And just now I mapped Pi to Drive Y in Win7 "main" (option: Map Network Drive). This works fine, just doesn't appear in the Network folder. So although Pi is not an object in Network, it is fully accessible on a Drive Y.

I don't pretend to fully understand this (likely to do with crossed-up Win7 "Permissions", is my best guess) but until I sort this what I have now will do very well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Mar 2020   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64

An addition to my comment on the "disappearing" Pi network object in the "main" Win7 machine.

It (Pi) unexpectedly reappeared on the Network screen of "main" Win7 again this pm - nothing I did. Perhaps not crossed-up permissions at all, but a machine conflict over which is to be master network server at any one time. I need to check all the event logs on the Win7 machines. I know the software causes a periodic "election" between the machines for this position, with varying criteria. Archaic ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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