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laptop LAN connection problem


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#1
tatrader

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I am having trouble getting my laptop computer to talk to either of my two desktop computers using my home wired local area network. My goal is to have file and printer sharing among the three computers.

Laptop history.

I used to have a wireless Wi-Fi card plugged in the laptop and was successful in getting a wireless connection to wireless hot spots. I removed the Wi-Fi card and uninstalled the D-Link wireless software used to run the Wi-Fi card. I am now not able to establish a workgroup LAN file sharing over a wired connetion to my router. Prior to the removal of the wireless software I could establish a wired LAN workgroup sharing with my other computers. I am guessing that perhaps some required Microsoft windows service was turned off by the uninstall/removal. Or ???

All 3 computers are connected via my router to the internet by a broadband cable modem. All three computers are running: Windows XP home, SP2, with all critical updates installed; Zonealarm as a firewall in which all of the possible assignable IP addresses to the computers have been entered as a trusted IP range in Zonealarm; Microsoft firewall OFF on all. I have tried turning off Zonealarm on all computers but this does not affect the outcome described below.

All 3 are assigned to the same workgroup and subnet. The 2 desktop computers see each other and file/printer sharing between these 2 is working. Neither of the desktop computers can see the laptop as part of the workgroup, and the laptop cannot see either of the 2 desktops as part of the workgroup.

All three computers connected by wireline to the router have no trouble accessing the Internet through the WAN port of the router.

I went to each of the 3 computers and was able to ping the other two successfully (test showed 0ms average reply times).

All three computers have NetBIOS enabled and all three computers show under "local area connection properties" the appropriate items enabled: client for my for Microsoft networks; file and printer sharing for my for Microsoft networks;/qoS packet scheduler; Internet protocol (TCP/IP).

I have tried to map a network drive on my business computer to the laptop computer, and select browse for folders in the map drive setup, I see my workgroup and it expands into 3 units: busniess computer, family computer, laptop; all with + signs indicating further expansion is possible. However, when I click on laptop in the network map browse window, there is a pause and then the + sign next to the laptop in the browse window disappears and I cannot setup a network mapped drive to the laptop. I tried the same procedure from the family computer attempting to set up a network map drive to the laptop and get exactly the same ressults.

I tried to force a network map drive to the laptop on the business computer by typing in the path \\laptopname\sharedfolderpath to a shared folder on the laptop but got a path not found error.

Similarily, I am not able to setup a network mapped drive on the laptop to the business computer. On the laptop when in browse for a folder window in setup a mapped drive, I see my LAN workgroup name with a + sign, but when I try to expand there is a hesitation and then the + sign disappears next to the workgroup name indicating that none can be seen/found.

Help please.
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#2
kd1966

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I have found this problem with people that are "upgrading" to wireless, but can work both ways. Computers tend to be pretty obstinate about keeping old network settings and sometimes a forced reset of said settings is needed in order for your new network card to work properly on your network.

First, you should take down(Write) your network settings for at least one of the systems that IS working properly - then take those settings and check your system that is not working and rectify those settings to match the working systems. Assuming this is an XP system, you can "Repair" the network connection if you reset the network settings and it still won't work, otherwise, you will need a command prompt and manual commands to reset network setttings on the non working system
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#3
Fenor

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I used to have a wireless Wi-Fi card plugged in the laptop and was successful in getting a wireless connection to wireless hot spots.  I removed the Wi-Fi card and uninstalled the D-Link wireless software used to run the Wi-Fi card.  I am now not able to establish a workgroup LAN file sharing over a wired connetion to my router.  Prior to the removal of the wireless software I could establish a wired LAN workgroup sharing with my other computers.  I am guessing that perhaps some required Microsoft windows service was turned off by the uninstall/removal.  Or ???

For one, never use the included wireless software that comes with a wireless card. The built-in wireless conneciton wizard in Windows XP works much better. Only have had problems when using wireless software on XP machines. They work great on 98, 2K, ME, etc... but that's most likely because they don't have to fight with a built-in connection wizard like in XP

As for the rest of your problem I suggest you disable the wireless card on your laptop for the time being until we can get a wired connection working properly. What I suggest you do is to disable the wireless network adaptor from DEVICE MANAGER (right-click---->DISABLE). Reboot your computer. Once rebooted, double check the laptops settings and also make sure that your network connection is set to
OBTAIN IP ADDRESS AUTOMATICALLY (Right click MY NETWORK PLACES, select properties, then right click your network connection and select properties. Highlight TCP/IP and click the PROPERTIES button.)

Then go to START-->RUN and type: cmd
At the command prompt, type: IPCONFIG /all
Make sure PHYSICAL ADDRESS, IP ADDRESS, SUBNET MASK, DEFAULT GATEWAY, DHCP SERVER AND DNS SERVERS has valid information in it and not all zeroes.

Then try to get on the Internet. If you can get on the Internet, good. Next thing you need to make sure you do is share a folder on the network. Right Click MY DOCUMETNS and select SHARING. Ifyou need help in setting it up, or just something to follow to make sure you don't miss anything, go HERE You won't be able to access anyone else on the network if you don't have something shared.

Good luck and let us know how things go!

Fenor

Edited by Fenor, 05 October 2005 - 08:56 PM.

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#4
tatrader

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Hello,

First, the Wi-Fi plug-in card has already been removed from the laptop and the D-Link software that had been installed to operate the card has been uninstalled.

A check of the IP status shows all parameters are ok. DHCP IP address is assigned, subnet, etc. I can assess the internet from the laptop through my router (by wired connection) with no problem.

All of the typical XP windows involved with workgroup configuration on the laptop have been set to match my desktops that support file sharing between desktops over the LAN. The laptop shows it is in the same workgroup as the desktops and has the same subnet address.

The laptop has two folders that are marked for sharing, i.e. the "hand" shows underneath the folder name. So I know some folders are set for sharing on the laptop. Of course, folders are set for sharing on each of the desktops.

Same problem status, i.e. lack of ability to share files, remains.

The laptop had also at one time been set up with another user id so I could log in at a work location using a password. That is no longer needed, and the other user account has been totally deleted. The laptop now comes up with the Welcome screen w/o asking for a user id and password. It has only on user now, owner w/ full admin privileges.

I am guessing that something more subtle got changed. Perhaps, some System Service needed to enable file sharing/workgroup access got turned off? I do not know what to look for in the long list of System Services.

Further help would be appreciated.
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#5
kd1966

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To add to the above recommendations, ONLY USE THE INCLUDED WIRELESS CARD SOFTWARE IF XP CANNOT DETECT YOUR CARD

And even if you do use the software, as I have some experience using cards that sometimes require the drivers to be loaded - XP will AUTO "kill" the cards setup software and XP will take over, still using the installed drivers, so don't just "azzume" you do not install wireless card drivers just becuase XP is better at handling the wireless setup.
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#6
tatrader

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Anyone have a suggestion for attempting to solve the current problem?

If I consider setting up a wireless connection in the future, I will heed the recommendations about 3-party drivers.
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#7
kd1966

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I know lots of people hate to do this, but start out by reading the instructions on the wireless card; it should include instructions for all the supported Windows OS's, including XP. Some cards you just pop in and let the hardware wizard take over, and others, you have to install the software FIRST, before popping in the card. Make sure you follow the directions; it will save you hours of trouble in the future.
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#8
tatrader

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Let me clear up this situation regarding the laptop networking problem.

I do not currently have a wireless card installed in the laptop and have removed all prior setup (software/drivers) from the laptop relating to the use of a wireless card. I am NOT looking to reinstall the wireless card in the laptop.

I just want the laptop, using a wired ethernet connection between the laptop and my router, to be able to share files with wire connected desktop computers also connected to the router. That is, the laptop to be on the same Workgroup/subnet with file sharing enabled as the desktop computers.

All typical settings to enable the laptop on the same Workgroup/subnet as the desktop computers have been made. For more details on this, see above.
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