At Wits End with Simple Windows 7 Network (Laptop sees network, PC does not; everything ethernet).

My setup: 3 year old HP Pavillion PC, 3 month old Acer Aspire Laptop, 1 month old E3000 Cisco router, HP Printer, 3 month old Windows 7 on both computers, latest downloads, etc. Current configuration: both computers connected to router via Ethernet cable. Printer connected to router wirelessly. Media streaming is on, Public folders are off, all settings dealing with sharing files and printers properly configured. Problem: each computer appears to be connected to a different network, but some communication between them is evident. However, cannot get PC to show Laptop as being part of network. Not using Homegroups; each computer is assigned to workgroup named WORKGROUP; individual files have all been configured for sharing, permissions, etc.

Here's what works normally: Each computer can ping the other computer using names or IP addresses. Laptop network display shows PC as part of a network; PC is shown on the left with proper name and network shares listed. The PC shown on this laptop network page, media devices, "network infrastructure" and printer all show network location as "BusyBody." This is also the name of the router. WMP12 will recognize and play music in the PC's music library. Internet access OK on both boxes.

On the other hand, the PC Network display shows an entirely different "network;" it is Ciscoxxx, which is the name of the PC's network adapter. The PC, all Media Devices, Network Infrastructure are all shown with Ciscoxxx as the network location. While the laptop shows the PC's IP address as in its network list, the PC lists its address in its own network list as 127.0.01, apparently the "loop back" or self identification IP.

Each computer, PC and/or laptop, when queried with "net view" command, generates a System 53 error - "The network path was not found."

I'm baffled because the laptop appears to work and recognize a wired network, of which the PC is a part; but the PC does not. :(

What should I try next? I've seen a lot of traffic concerning DHCP and using fixed IP addresses, turning off or hiding from view Microsoft Network Services, etc. It seems as if I have a really simple network, and I shouldn't need to do anything exotic. I must be missing something very simple and obvious.


Noob Whisperer
Hi and welcome to the forums;
On both machines
Type ncpa.cpl into the search box and hit enter
Select then right click the adapter you are using (local area connection) and choose properties
Make sure that File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks is check
Select Internet Protocol Version 4 and click the properties button
Click the advanced button
Select the WINS tab
Select the radio button next to Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP
Ok your way back out of there
Type services.msc into the search box and hit enter
Scroll down to TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service and double click it
Set the startup type to automatic and click the start button
Close the services console
Open network and sharing center and in the left colum choose "Change advanced sharing settings"
Turn on Network Discovery and
Turn on file and printer sharing
Make sure at least one folder is shared on each machine.

Some things changed since I wrote the first message. Recall I said both machines were logging on to differently named networks. I reset my router and then networked the PC via ethernet to router selected name PeachPine. With laptop, I just turned it on and let Windows find and connect to a network wirelessly. It did --- it found PeachPine; I entered the security word and I had at least, at that point, eliminated what I saw as a problem --- two different networks.

I went through your list and found that I had already configured for TCP/IP. One thing I did notice was that when looking at the settings for the PC LAN, in the IPv4 properties, General, an IP address and a subnet mask are entered under "Use the following IP address" But there are no entries below that section although the buttom "Use the following DNS server addresses" is active.

Here's the situation now: for the first time, the Laptop shows the loop back address in its Network display. When booting up the laptop, it takes about five minutes for it to connect to the Internet. From the laptop, you can successfully ping everything, by name or IP. As before shares and the desktop PC are properly displayed. Other than the slow connection to the Internet, everything OK.

The PC on the other hand, does not list the laptop in the left column of "Network," but it does show a network device for the laptop ("MYLAPTOP:personal Media) under Computer in the right handcolumn (Network location is the Cisco adapter rather than PeachPine). Clicking it opens WMP12. Pinging works EXCEPT the PC will not ping 127.

Still can't show Laptop as part of network from PC. I do appreciate the time you are taking to help me out!


Noob Whisperer
Sounds like there may still be an issue with some services settings.
Check both machines and make sure the following services are running.
Plug and Play
Network Connections
Network List Service
Network Location Awareness
Network Store Interface Service
Also check the router, if it has UPnP and or QoS, turn them both on.
See if that helps.

I've done some reconfiguration: both the desktop and the laptop are now completely identical in all settings. Use DHCP. TCP/IP Net Bios authorized. Eliminated a "connect to the Internet through this computer" setting on the PC; laptop now fires up and is immediately connected.

Still have the original problem: PC does not see laptop as part of the network; does see a device (media server, WMP) that is hosted on the laptop. Both PC have sharing enabled and both have shared folders. I completely removed --- uninstalled --- 3rd party virus software on laptop, now only have Windows Defender running.


Noob Whisperer
Look into using MSE as your antivirus solution. Haven't seen it produce much in the way of problems with networking or Windows 7 in general.
Flush the local netbios cache on both machines
Command prompt type
nbtstat -R
ping both machines from and to one another by ip and name to re-populate
then check the local netbios cache
command prompt type
nbtstat -c
are the appropriate names and ip addresses associated correctly?
refresh your explorer view and see if they are populated correctly.

I paid for someone to take over the machines remotely. He fiddled with some settings in Workgroups; didn't touch anything else. Now it works. Thanks for your help.

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