Can't seem to join network

OK, I need some help in simple terms.
I have a desktop and 2 laptops, all running XP. I have a network where my laptops can see shared files from my desktop. I have a printer connected to the desktop and each laptop can access the printer.

I recently bought a new laptop with Windows 7. It found and joined my wireless connection and I was also able to add my printer (which is an old trusty LPT1 Epson!).

But I can't seem to access my shared files at all. In fact, using Windows Explorer, it does not find my network files.

In fact, when I view my basic network via control panel, it says:

MEL-PC(this computer)----Mel---Internet

When I look at View your active networks, it lists mel (home network). In fact, I JOINED it and have a password for other Windows 7 computers.

I am not sure what to do next. All my computers have Zone Alarm. I thought it might be that. But I shutdown ZA in both computers and that made no difference.

Any ideas/suggestions?



Noob Whisperer
It might be as simple as making sure that all your computers are in the same workgroup. Check the workgroup name on all computers. Right click "Computer" choose properties on XP look under the "Computer Name" tab for the workgroup name, on Windows 7 Right click "Computer" choose properties at look at the area called Computer name, domain and workgroup settings, to adjust click the Change settings link. It needs to be the same across all network computers.
If you have accidently joined a "HomeGroup" with the Windows 7 PC, open up the Network and sharing center and click the HomeGroup link and choose leave home group. It doesn't work with downlevel clients like XP anyway.
To ease some of your pain a common username and password will generally help. So if you are logging on to the MEL-PC as username = "mel" and a password of "password" just make sure that, that username and password exists on the other computers you are trying to access, and that, that user has sufficent privledge levels to access those files or folders.
Also make sure you know how to configure zone alarm on all your computers to support trusts between network nodes otherwise sharing attempts will be misinterpreted as intrusion attempts and be blocked. Read the vendor documentation, or else uninstall zone alarm.
Keep us posted and good luck


Thanks so much for your quick response.
When I check the workgroup on this computer (the Windows 7 laptop) it just calls it Workgroup.
I guess that must be a default and it means I have not joined a workgroup???

Anyway, the problem appears to be strangely resolved. I clicked on troubleshooting network problems. It then said that no problems were found but then another window said problems were corrected. Anyway, it is now showing on windows explorer anD I do have access.

I still have no idea what just happened!



Noob Whisperer
Glad to hear that your problem seems to have automagically resolved itself. If it reappears, please don't hesitate to post back and see if there is anything else we can help you with. Thanks for updating your thread and letting us know how you were doing.

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