Can't see shared folders in the Navigation Pane in File Explorer on either of two networked laptops

mjw72652

New Member
I have two HP laptops, both running 20H2 with the latest updates. A problem that existed before the upgrade did not go away after the upgrade like I thought it would.

Both machines are networked through an Ethernet switch to the router and to a printer. I have shared folders on both laptops, and printer sharing is also turned on. When I first turned on sharing, all my shared folders appeared in the File Explorer navigation pane under the Network on both machines, and also in the main pane when I opened the network folder. Sporadically they would stop appearing on either of the machines, sometimes on one, sometimes on the other, sometimes on both. I haven't seen the shared folders in the Navigation Pane for several months now. I was wise enough to map the shared folders as drives on the appropriate machines, so I know my network is good- I can access everything through the mapped drives in My Computer on both machines, and the mapped drives appear in the Navigation Pane on both. i have no problems reading or writing to anything. I have no trouble printing from either machine- basically the network runs just fine. In the opened network view, the two laptops appear as media servers only- the laptops themselves do not appear like they used to.

It's more of an annoyance than anything- it doesn't affect functionality at all, but it just irritates me that what used to work now no longer does. It appears to me that this is just a problem in File Explorer itself. I tried a half dozen or so File Explorer replacements, and they all do the same thing.

Any suggestions?
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member

I would also make sure both devices are connected and the firewall profile is "Private", if set to "Public" it will block a lot more things including device discovery.
In a Powershell prompt run the command Get-NetConnectionProfile to see what the firewall is set to.

Also on your router has a AP Isolation or client isolation feature you will need to turn that off.
 

mjw72652

New Member
The network works perfectly. All sharing is working just fine. Device discovery can't be the problem, or the machines wouldn't be able to see the mapped drives from the other laptop. Reading from and writing to the shared drives has encountered no problems whatsoever for several months, either before the upgrade to 20H02 or afterward.
 

mjw72652

New Member
I tried Get-NetConnectionProfile in Powershell, and also running Powershell as administrator. I get "Cannot connect to CIM server. Not Found" as an error.
I am using McAfee for my fiurewall, not Windows Defender.
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Network discovery and mapping a drive are very different things. One can work without the other.
Accessing a network share require port 445 TCP, network discovery requires a ton of different ports to work.
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Network-Discovery.png
 

mjw72652

New Member
I finally noticed the link in your 5:26 response for the article from PureInfotech. All my discovery enabling was turned on on both laptops. All the required services were running on automatic on both laptops. I enabled the SMB protocol on both laptops, which wasn't running previously, and restarted them. My HP 15-da0053wm laptop now shows both devices in the network tab, and all the shared folders as well, so for now that problem is fixed on that machine. That's the one with all the data drives attached, which are mapped onto the other machine, an HP15-bs234wm. That one, however, still has the problem. I ran the network troubleshooter on my ethernet adapter, which told me that my internet connection is broken (it isn't- i have no internet connectivity issues), so that was no help. I may or may not try the network reset on this machine tomorrow.
 

mjw72652

New Member
I tried the network reset. It didn't completely help on the bs234wm. In File Explorer on this machine, I can see the 15-bs234wm on the network now ("BACKUP"), both laptops as media devices, my Roku streaming device, and that's all. Moreover, the main pane display in the tiles view separates these into categories, Computer, Media Devices, and Other Devices.

On the 15-da0053wm I can see both computers, both as media devices, my router, my phone, my Roku TV, my Roku streaming device, and all the shared folders on both laptops, but the Tiles view does not separate into categories, everything is all mixed together.

On the 15-bs234wm, the navigation pane under network just shows the 15bs-234wm and the folders on it that are shared, On the 15-da0053wm navigation pane I can see both computers and all shared files on both laptops.

This is the 15bs-234wm view:
15-bs234.jpg
 

mjw72652

New Member
Today the same problem I have been having all along reappeared. Today, I can see both laptops and all the shared folders on both of them in File Explorer in the navigation pane and in the main network pane on the 15-bs234wm, whereas yesterday I couldn't see anything from the 15-da0053wm on the 15-bs234wm. On the 15-da0053wm I can't see any of its shared folders or the 15da-0053wm itself in File Explorer in either the Navigation Pane or the main network pane, but I can see the 15-bs234wm and its shared folders in both panes. Both laptops did a restart in the interim period. They're both still connected to the same Ethernet switch on the same network- there have been no changes to the network setup. However, the 15-da0053wm still identifies the network properly, but the 15-bs234wm now calls it just "Network" instead of by it's proper name. Yet the 15bs sees everything properly, while the 15da does not. Sometimes these changes will occur randomly and spontaneously without any restarts or reboots at all.
 

mjw72652

New Member
Also, both laptops now show the view in the Main Network pane divided into categories, Computer, Media Devices, Other Devices.
 
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