Network discovery is slow, and cannot connect to NAS share

Hi, everyone,

I am having some issues with Win7 Starter on my ASUS EEE PC being able to carry out network discovery on my home network.

When I go to Network, the status bar across the top fills veeeerrrry slowly. Also,the computer cannot readily identify other computers on my home network. It can always find itself, and that's about all I can count on. Sometimes my printer appears, sometimes it does not. Most of the time, my router doesn't actually appear, even though the computer must be connected to it, since I can access the internet. Also, sometimes a strange router I do not recognize appears. It could be a neighbor's, but that's unlikely — I'm in a rural area, so the nearest neighbor is some way off.

Most importantly, I have an NAS share drive mounted to my router. I cannot see it, nor can I connect to it by manually entering either the sharename or the IP address.

I do not think that this is an issue with network configuration at the router. My wife's almost identical netbook runs through the network discovery process quickly and successfully finds everything. She can see and access the NAS share without having to first map to it — it just appears in the sidebar on her Network.

I don't think that this is a hardware issue with my netbook, either. It is dual boot, and the Ubuntu Linux boot can connect to the NAS share just fine. Also, if I try to view the NAS share via http in Win7, I can see it.

Does anyone have any ideas that can help me troubleshoot this?

Both netbooks are: ASUS EEE PC 1001P running Win7 Starter.
My router is a Netgear WNR3500L, running the factory firmware.
The NAS share is just a 2 GB USB drive, formatted with FAT32.

My PC is connected to the network using the Home profile. Network discovery, file/printer sharing, Public folder sharing, 128 bit encryption, and password protected sharing are all turned on in this profile. Media streaming is off. The settings on my wife's netbook (which is working) are identical.

My computer is set to the same workgroup that I set the share to on the router. My wife's, which can see the share, is not; it is still in the default "WORKGROUP" workgroup. I tried setting my PC back to that, but it did not help.

Both Win7 machines (the one having problems and the one that isn't) are running Avast antivirus and ZoneAlarm firewall. Windows firewall is turned off on both.

The best way to speed up your network and make it extremely reliable is to set a static ip address in Windows for all wired adapters. Then in the hosts file, make entries (edit with notepad and make sure it saves as hosts instead of hosts.txt - rename if necessary after) for all of these ip addresses and computer names. For example:


Do that for all computers and even include the local machine in them. For example, if you're on a computer named ThisComputer, even put this in the hosts file:


Of course, use the correct names and ip addresses you've assigned, instead.

The hosts file is at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

If you don't use any wireless, turn off the radio in the router and disable the DHCP server (only if you've already set static ips on all machines.)

OK, I have the DHCP server set to assign static IPs to all the machines in my network already. Should I make an entry in the host file for the printer? It's connected to the router via ethernet, but isn't a host per se.

Of course, the NAS share is at, since it's on the router. And I'm guessing I shouldn't put the router in the hosts file. Am I right?

Yes, you can put the router in each machine's host file. It's great. Name it "router" without quotes. (Then type router into any browser's url field and press enter. It will be there.)

Also yes about the printer, as long as it truly is a static ip address that never changes.

Reboot any machine to set the changes fully active.

OK, done.

Network discovery was still painfully slow. It did pick up the printer, but still could not find the router, even with the router in the hosts file.

I still cannot connect to the NAS share.

Then it's your ZoneAlarm config interfering with things. You might have the network adapter in the internet zone (good) but didn't add the local ips to the trusted list.

There could be lots of other ZoneAlarm reasons causing this. I'd uninstall it to test.

Well, that was it. Without ZoneAlarm I can see all the other computers on the network, and I can easily connect to the NAS share.

I still can't see the router, which is a little mystifying.

Now, I just have to find out what ZoneAlarm setting was bollixing the whole thing. That should be easy enough by comparing the settings between the two netbooks.

One more quick question: from the Network view, is there a way to identify the IP address or MAC address of another computer in the network. I've got a mystery machine appearing on my Network. I can't connect to it. I'm trying to figure out if it is the router misidentified as a computer, or something else entirely. The router administration doesn't list any computers connected to my network that I don't know about, so it's not a neighbor pirating my internet.


Simply go to your router's configuration ip address in any browser and check in the settings for the current connections.

If you named it Router in the hosts file, all you need to do it type router in the url field then press enter.

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