Desktop computer does not appear in Explorer's "Network"


Senior Member
The computer name of my Win7(64b) Desktop is called "AVA". For the purposes of debuging, I've disabled AVA's LAN adapter and connected it to the network by enabling its Dlink DWA556 wireless adapter. The attached system config file represents this decision. In addition to AVA I have 3 other Win7 computers and on WinXP computer on the network (all wireless) and all on the same workgroup.

In the network section of explorer (no matter which computer I am using) I see ALL the computers except AVA.

If on AVA, I start the network sharing center and do a network map, I see my router in the middle, the internet on the right, and then dotted lines (showing wirless) to the left to just two computers (AVA and one other Win7 computer). Hovering the mouse over those computer icons shows me their IP4 and IP6 addresses as well as the mac address. The other Win7 computers and my networked printer show up at the bottom under the note that says "The following devices can not be placed in the map". (However those computers and the printer are still networked just fine). The winXP computer does not show up on this map.

All in all, you can see that this is a pretty successful home network. Most of the drives an all the computers are shared and explorer can easily see them (including the XP computer) and files can be transfered back and forth, with the exception of the AVA desktop. Even the AVA shared drives can be accessed however if one is willing to type in "//AVA" into explorer at which point all its shared drives can be seen. Also every computer (including AVA) can see the internet and can print.

With so much success, perhaps I shouldn't be annoyed, but still I am very annoyed and have been working for days on this problem with no luck. I know I shouldn't have to type in the computer name every time. Why isn't AVA seen in the network just like all the other computers? By the way, I can ping the AVA computer just fine from itself or any of the other computers.

Of course I've looked at all the services, and the only one that doesn't look right on the AVA computer is the computer browser service. It is not running despite the fact that it is set to start automatically. If I try to start it, it indicates "Started" for a few seconds, but then just stops. The warning message it produces in the event viewer is useless since it just informs me that the service has stopped. This seems broken, but it is hard for me to see how this would cause the problem I'm having.

By the way, the problem doesn't seem to be related to AVA's wireless adapter because if I turn off that adapter and enable it's 82579V Gigabit Network adapter, the problem looks exactly the same. In this case the AVA is shown in the map with solid lines instead of dotted and there also is a "switch" shown in the path. I don't know what this switch is, as the ethernet cable is connected directly from the router to the desktop with no other hardware in between. At any rate, the networking works just as well this way, but still AVA does not show up under the network using explorer on any of the computers. (The problem is also the same if I enable the wireless and the Lan port at the same time, although I'm not sure that this is recommended).

I would really appreciate some advice on how to trouble shoot such a problem.





Senior Member
Ok, I think I fixed the above problem. When I look at the network adapters in the network and sharing center, I see four of them. My wireless adapter, my Gigabit Lan Connection, and two VMware adapters. (I had installed the free VMware player a week or so ago). I wasn't using VMware at the time so I didn't think this could be the problem. However I disabled these two extra adapters and viola! I can now see my Desktop (AVA) in explorer again. Strangely enough when I now start XP in the virtual machine, I can see the shared drive I had set up in the virtual machine and the VM can also see the whole network from explorer. So apparently these extra network adapters are not really needed and just seem to be in there to screw you up in one way or another.


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