sharing issue

Perhaps this should be posted under networking. I'm not sure. I have a desktop and 3 laptops, all with XP. I have folders on the desktop that I share with the laptops.

I recently got a new laptop with Windows 7. I thought I did everything right to have it join my network (frankly, I can't remember what I did; it was 6 months ago).

Anyway, it recognizes my desktop and shared files about 80% of the time. I like to back up certain files from this new laptop to a shared desktop folder. I use Windows Explorer. It works perfectly 80% of the time. But about 20% of the time my desktop is not recognized.

I can't seem to figure out what causes this. I might do other stuff, shut down the new laptop, boot up a few hours later, and it recognizes everything perfectly. I generally keep the desktop on all of the time. Once in awhile, I'll reboot the desktop.

Any thoughts on what I can try when the desktop is not showing up?


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