Error message: "Windows cannot access //desktop

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Networking' started by fastartcee, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. fastartcee

    fastartcee New Member

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    I'm running Win7 on my laptop (Pavilion), wireless; have access to internet & my home server.

    My desktop (Acer) is running Vista; network printer is connected to desktop; the desktop machine can access the internet, and my laptop, and my home server.

    From my laptop I can ping my desktop by IP, but not by name; if I try to open the desktop I get "Windows cannot access //desktop"; Win7 diagnosis does not resolve the problem.

    My router lists both the laptop & the desktop--both by IP and by computer name--in the LAN list. I usually use the built-in wireless in my laptop, but sometimes use an N-band USB wireless adapter, disabling the built-in; I notice that in the router LAN list my laptop is listed twice, with the same name, but different IP addresses. I don't know if this is related to my printer access problem, or not.

    From my laptop I CAN access the desktop's Media Server, which shows up in 'Network & Sharing Center" & the Nework Map ; but although my desktop is on the map, I cannot access it.

    I have turned off both firewalls, rebooted both computers, checked all the cables, rebooted the router, and triple checked desktop name and workgroup; nothing works!

    I am baffled ...but I need to access my network printer (and would like to be able to access the shared folders on the desktop).

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    If I'm understanding correctly, your only issue is that your Win7 Laptop, cannot access your Vista Desktop, which is hosting a printer and presumably some shared folders, Is that correct?
    Please open a command prompt on the Win7 laptop and type "ping -a 192.168.nnn.nnn (the actual IP address of the Vista Desktop) the first line you should see in the results should contain the netbios name of the Vista Laptop. Now ping again just using the netbios name that was produced by the first ping (ping VistaMachineName) let us know if that is successful.
     
  3. fastartcee

    fastartcee New Member

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    "Windows cannot access //desktop

    Thanks, trouble. Here are the results:

    Pinging AllieArt-PC [192.168.0.195] with 32 bytes of data:

    (four replies - 1 to 2ms)

    Then:

    ping AllieArt-PC

    Ping request could not find host AllieArt-PC. Please check the name and try again.

    Also: This morning I unplugged/replugged my router, and then signed into it as administrator. In the LAN list my desktop, my home server, and my laptop were all there, both name & IP (and my laptop was only listed once). But using the system check in my router (D-Link 655), I could ping the IP addresses, but could not ping any computer by name (unresolved error... check name). Maybe the problem is with my router?

    Again, thanks for helping.
     
  4. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    OK, it would seem that something is blocking netbios, probably something on the Vista Machine. Check to see if you have any third party firewalls and or third party AntiVirus / Internet Security Suites running on the Vista Machine, if you do, temporarily uninstall them (you can always put them back later) it seems that turning them off and or disabling them is not sufficient and an uninstall is recommended to make sure that they are not inhibiting network traffic.
     
  5. fastartcee

    fastartcee New Member

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    I can certainly do that, trouble, but, first, just to clarify (and for my understanding): other than Windows Firewall (which is currently disabled on both machines) the only security software I'm running is AVG Free, and the identical version is running on both machines. From my desktop I can ping my laptop by name, but not vice-versa. So if AVG is the problem, why wouldn't it gum up both machines?

    But if you think uninstalling AVG is the thing to do, I'll get right on it (on both machines, if that is your advice).
     
  6. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Good question and I'm not certain that I have a good answer, usually the problem is caused by something a bit more robust that AVG free, like Norton or McAfee etc., (and if you have ever had any of those types of programs installed on the vista machine there may be remnants remaining and I would suggest running their respective removal tools even though they appear to be not installed) but getting back to your original question and this is just a best guess on my part, these programs, when installed seemed to be network aware, at the time of installation and don't seem to cause a problem for any machine or device that exists on the network at the time of their installation, however, when a new machine is introduced into the network then the respective program seems to need additional tweaking to support the new node and many people are not good at making those adjustments to the program, so uninstalling them, getting the network functioning, including the new machine and then reinstalling them seems to make everything work again. Just my best guess. And yes I have seen reports on even AVG causing this problem, although normally it's there paid for suite. Keep in mind, this may not be the issue, it's just a step in a process of several. And a pretty simple one to check
     
  7. fastartcee

    fastartcee New Member

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    Excellent answer. I've never had any other security software running on the desktop. The Acer did replace another machine about a year ago, but since then--and up to just recently--I've had no problem with my home network; the Acer and the printer were regularly available; and AVG has been installed & active all the way along.

    Another strange aspect: about three days ago (after I started wrestling with this problem) the Acer--and printer--were suddenly available when I booted the laptop first thing in the morning. Then a few hours later they were unavailable, and I was back to the 'Windows cannot access...' error! The only thing that had occurred was that I had switched to my N-band wireless adapter (because I had some big media images on my home server to work with); my home server remained available (as it has always been throughout this mystery), but I could no longer access the Acer or printer.

    I just recalled another bit of info: when I go to 'Network and Sharing Center' on my Win7 laptop, and map the network (I tried it again right now), there is a big blue question mark labeled 'Unknown' between my laptop and my router. My Acer desktop is shown connected to my router, but I cannot access it.

    I've got another home chore I have to get at right now, but I'll proceed with uninstalling AVG on the Acer in about an hour.
     
  8. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    That's fine, just keep us posted. You need to understand something basic about netbios information. Netbios is kind of like WINS server on a larger network and is used to resolve netbios names (friendly names) to IP address, changing out network cards will result in a new resolution being required since the netbios name is now associated with a new and different IP address. So the netbios information on other computers will be erroneous until it is updated. You can usually force this by opening a command prompt and typing
    nbtstat -R on all machines then
    nbtstat -c which should show that netbios name table empty
    then pinging each machine by ipaddress and by name and then
    nbtstat -c should show you the current updated netbios information
    You should also probably disable any network adapters, especially wireless adapters, that you are not currently using to avoid problems with the proper resolution of netbios information.
    You can also try this
    On the vista machine create a new folder in the root of the C drive, call it Share.
    Right click on it and choose properties
    under the sharing tab select advance sharing (if it's there I don't remember Vista options) if not just select permissions button
    Select permissions button as stated above
    make sure "Everyone" is selected in the top pane
    in the bottom pane select the check box for full control under the allow column and ok back to the properties page
    Select the security tab and select everyone again in the top pane
    If it's not there click edit, then add, then advanced, then find now and scroll down to Everyone select it and click ok back to the properties page
    Make sure that the Everyone group is selected in the top pane and again select the full control check box under the allow column
    Now back to the Win7 machine
    Hold the Windows Logo Key on the bottom left of your keyboard between the Ctrl and Alt keys while simultaneously striking the "r" key
    This will open the run dialog box
    Now type \\AllieArt-PC\Share if it opens make sure you can create and edit and save a new text document there.
    If it doesn't open then try the same thing only using the ip address for the vista machine
    \\192.168.nnn.nnn\Share and see if that opens
     
  9. fastartcee

    fastartcee New Member

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    I have uninstalled AVG, and rebooted the desktop Acer; I still can't access my desktop machine or network printer.

    As to your suggestions:

    On the laptop:

    nbtstat -R: Failed to Purge the NBT Remote Cache Table

    nbstat -c : ARTS-HOMESERVER<20> 192.168.0.146 (BTW... I've set a fixed IP on my home server)
    192.168.0.111 <20> 192.168.0.111 (this is my laptop Pavilion)

    After pinging each by IP & by name (all successful except desktop by name, ie, ALLIEART-PC):

    rbtstat -c: ARTS-HOMESERVER<00> UNIQUE 192.168.0.146

    (ie, ALLIEART-PC was not listed, either by name or IP.)

    On the desktop Acer:

    nbtstat -R: Failed to Purge the NBT Remote Cache Table

    nbtstat -c: No names in cache

    After pinging each by IP & by name (all pings, by IP and by computer name) were successful:

    rbtstat -c: ARTS-HOMESERVER<UNIQUE> 192.168.0.146

    (ie, PAVILION900 was not listed, by either name or IP)

    =============
    I set up the 'Share' folder on the Acer desktop, as per your instructions.

    When I 'RUN' \\ALLIEART-PC\Share I get "Windows cannot access..."

    When I 'RUN' \\192.168.0.195\Share I get total success! If I use WinExplorer I see all the shared folders AND my HP Deskjet.

    (I immediately tried add a network printer using the IP address... but the wizard couldn't find it!)

    =============
    Any suggestions on what I should try next? I REALLY appreciate the time you are taking to try to help me solve this!
     
  10. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Did you try to add the printer using the local printer head fake technique
    Open Devices and Printers
    Select add printer near the top menu bar
    Select add local printer
    Choose Create a new port and local port from drop down arrow Click Next
    In the enter a port name do one of the following
    1. \\MachineNameHostingPrinter\Printer'sShareName or (THIS ONE PROBABLY WON'T WORK FOR YOU)
    2. \\ipaddressOfMachineHostingPrinter\Printer'sShareName (YOU SHOULD USE THIS ONE FOR NOW)
    In the install printer driver dialog box do one of the following
    1. In the left panel select you printer manufacturer and in the right panel select your printer model (to use Win7 native drivers) or
    2. Select the have disk button and direct the install process to the folder where you have download and extracted the Win 7 drivers for your printer.
     
  11. fastartcee

    fastartcee New Member

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    Thanks, trouble.

    I've followed your instructions, and now I have a network printer again! (When I tried, I had selected the 'Network Printer'... and got nowhere. Your method worked.)

    I've been messing with personal computers since 1981; I've had a home network since 1996, and have gone through six or eight PCs & laptops, and through four routers, and I've never been so baffled on a problem like this access problem ...I've eventually solved all problems (sometimes with help from great forum contributors like you, Trouble.

    I would still like to be able to access the shared folders on my desktop machine, though. Do you have any ideas on that issue? Where does the name resolution occur, in the router? In the Acer desktop? Why can I access the media server on the Acer? (It is identified as 'ALLIEART-PC: ALLIEART.)

    BTW, when I first set up the user accounts on the Acer, I used, for my wife's account, "AllieArt". When this caused a sign-in problem with our home server, I changed the name of that user account to "AllieArtCee" (to correspond with a user account on the home server), which solved the sign-in problem. But I noticed that on the Acer, the user folder was still called "AllieArt", even though the user account had been changed to "AllieArtCee". I don't think this is related to the access problem, though, because for months I had no access problems with respect to the desktop Acer. Then, for reasons I don't understand, the existing access problem popped up ...and I haven't licked that problem yet.

    Thanks for getting my network printer back!
     
  12. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    I don't quite understand what I've highlighted above. I understood that the netbios name of the Vista machine was allieart-pc so I'm not sure where the other ALLIEART is coming from, is that the work group name of the SSID from the router, For netbios to work properly and reliably you need to make sure that any network adapter that is not being used is disabled, that all computers are members of the same workgroup and that there are no conflicting netbios names and believe it or not, no missing or conflicting mac addresses on the network. It seems that something is still inhibiting netbios information from being propagated properly, sometimes if you map a network drive it will help this issue so on the Win 7 machine open computer and either on the tools menu or the other tool bar, select map network drive, choose S or anything else that's not being used and in the location type \\192.168.nnn.nnn\share (the address of the Vista machine) check the box to reconnect at logon and then reboot your entire network bringing up the Win7 machine last after everything else is up and running.
     
  13. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    You know, I just realized that I might have missed suggesting something so basic that I feel a little dumb bringing it up at this point, and you've probably already checked but if you would
    1. Type services.msc in the search box or the run dialog box on all machines and
    2. Scroll down and make sure that the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Services is running and set to Automatic.
    AND
    3. type ncpa.cpl in the search box or the run dialog box on all machines and
    4. Select and then right click on the network adapter that you are using and choose properties
    5. For now uncheck IPv6
    6. Select IPv4 and click the properties button
    7. On the resultant page select the advanced button near the bottom
    8. At the top select the WINS tab
    9. Put a dot in the radio button next to "Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP
     
  14. fastartcee

    fastartcee New Member

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    Trouble... did you ever experienced that I-must-have-been-brain-dead feeling? I was CERTAIN that I had netbios enabled on the desktop ...I didn't. And I have no idea how it ever got disabled. You definitely shouldn't feel "...a little dumb", but I sure as hell do! Everything is okay now, but I have big welts on both my wrists.

    BTW, in your previous reply, you wondered about the "ALLIEART-PC: AllieArt" label for the media server on the desktop Acer. If I use WinExplorer, and select Network, I get a list that includes:

    Computer (3)
    ALLIEART-PC
    ARTS-HOMESERVER
    PAVILION9000

    Media Devices (3)
    ALLIEART-PC: AllieArt
    ARTS-HOMESERVER: 1: Windows Media Connect
    PAVILION9000: FastArtCee

    (I have media servers in all machines to provide content for my PlayStation 3, which I use as a media center.)

    As to the "AllieArt" appended to "ALLIEART-PC", above, I can only speculate that it is because, as I mentioned, when I set up the Acer, I created a user account--"AllieArt"--for my wife, but subsequently renamed it "AllieArtCee" for reasons related to accessing our home server.

    You have put SO MUCH effort into helping me today that I should send you a bottle of fine British Columbia wine! Thank you, again. (And I'm feeling very sheepish over the netbios thing.)

    Art
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
     
  15. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Glad to hear that you've got it all sorted out and thanks very much for posting back and letting us know that your issue is resolved. I do the same thing occasionally and overlook the obvious and just so you know, I have heard of some reports of that setting going back to default, I think it has something to do with removing or uninstalling the adapter and then reinstalling it or maybe updating a driver, or perhaps even something as simple as disabling and re-enabling the adapter just goes back to default. So if the problem presents again, at least you'll know the first thing to check. You will remember right?
     

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