Windows 7 cannot "see" Win XP on home network.

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Networking' started by wimpy, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. wimpy

    wimpy New Member

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    I have a small home network of 2 XPs and some linux PCs. One of the XP PCs ( XP1, say ) has a printer. This printer is shared on the network and works OK. I've recently added a Windows 7 PC and made it use the same Workgroup as the others for networking purposes. All the Windows PCs can ping one another by name. I've even managed to get the networked printer added to the Win 7 PC, and that works as well. However, the win 7 PC can "see" the other XP in the network map and access shared folders on that machine, but not XP1.. It seems impossible that the printer shows up with XP1's name in the CP printer section but does not show up on the CP network map.
    I would be grateful for any help or suggestions.
     
  2. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    Hi and welcome to the forum:

    Well home networking can be tricky--I've been doing it for 35 years. The most common 2 problems causing this sort of problem are:
    1.) You added the Windows7 pc to an existing XP network without establishing the Homegroup in Win7 first. Best thing to do to fix this, is to "rip" out all of your networking references on all the XP PCs, disconnect all the Linux PCs when you do this, and remove and reinstall your Win7 PC Homegroup. Make sure your write down or print out the new Homegroup password. Then reconnect all the XP PCs to the Win7 PC on the network using a disk or USB drive with the Homegroup creation files on them 1 at a time. Once working all shares in both directions, then add the Linux PCs back 1 at a time into the network. If your Win7 or XP PCs stop working on 1 or more shares, that Linux PC has a problem you'll have to troubleshoot separately. Once fixed, repeate the fix on all connected Linux PCs.
    2.) You're anti-virus, personal firewall, Internet Security firewall, anti-spyware, or adblocking software(s) are blocking your networking traffic from propagating along your home network (LAN), and must be temporarily disabled or reconfigured. This can often be accomplished by examining the options of each of these products you are using on each PC connected to your network. Specifically, you need to look at the Whitelist contained in each of these. AND remember that you cannot be running more than 1 primary anti-virus program at a time on each computer in the network. Example here would be to be running Norton Anti-Virus and McAfee anti-virus simultaneoulsy; whether one is outdated and the other is new and active or not. You can only have 1; otherwise you'll get TCP and UDP packets blocked spuriously by the one AV when it should be passing those packets unrestricted out to the network backbone. In short, you'll need to remove or disable each of these programs one at a time on each of the PCs that you have on the network to fix this kind of problem. If that fails, you'll be left with testing each of the XP PCs for failed hardware (RAM & hard drives) and corrupted Windows system files; this requires a great deal of troubleshooting on these old PCs 6-14 yrs. old computers, and quite probably multiple WinXP OS reinstalls.

    Try starting with these 2, and if you get stuck, you can always ask us for more advice. There are lots of us skilled in networking and home networking here to help you.

    If you hit the wall, and just can't figure it out, you can always pay a licensed network engineer (such as Best Buy Geek Squad A+/Net+/MCNE/MCSE) to come out to your home and sort things out for your. Be aware that it costs $125 for them just to walk through your door, and each day they are there will cost you the same, not including any failed hardware components that they have to fix (the above-mentioned failed RAM memory or hard drives).

    Lastly, and I'm sure you're aware of this, but some people are not still; that XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, and you'll need to make sure that each of the XP machines is at SP3 level, as well as post-SP3 updates, which can often be quite troublesome to get on very old XP machines (built prior to 2006). It might be in your best interest to retire 1 or more of the oldest XP machines, if not upgrade to Vista or newer, in order to resolve these kinds of network problems.

    Best of luck to you,
    <<<BIGBEARJEDI>>>
     
  3. wimpy

    wimpy New Member

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    Thank you for the reply. Starting from scratch is not really an option. As I said, I have a working system, where all can access the printer without passwords (including the Win 7 PC and the occasional puppy linux machines). I'll have a look at your other suggestions and report back here.
     
    #3 wimpy, Nov 3, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  4. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    You're welcome. Since the problem isn't catastrophic in nature (like trying to turn your key on your car and it won't start), you can certainly go that way. Repairing and installing home and office networks for many years tells me that if you try all suggestions, the rip-out-and-start-over method works 99% of the time, so it just depends on how annoying your problem really is to you. Quite possibly some of my suggestions may help. I've worked on many networks that use Macs, Windows, Linux, Unix, Mainframes, VMS, and even Supercomputers like Cray, and many others all working together simultaneously on the same enterprise network. The best thing to troubleshoot that kind of multi-protocol network is to isolate 1 OS at a time and diagnose fix that first, before reconnecting all the other types of OS platforms needed to run together on the network.

    When I worked for the phone company back in the 80s, the County of San Diego had many problems at sites running dual OSes; such as Windows and Macs. They didn't embrace my method, and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars trying to fix their problems without success using other contractors. The divide-and-conquer method proved to be successful in multiple County agencies where I repaired their problems by troubleshooting the Windows network problems separately from the Mac network problems. It's been proven to work over and over and over again. Reason I reitterate this to you, is that you need to REMOVE all those Linux machines from your network backbone (router or routers) until you can resolve your printer/file sharing on the Windows portion of the network AND then reconnect the Linux PCs into your network.
    You can choose to not take my advice on this or not, that's certainly up to you. But, it's very unlikely you'll solve your problem if you don't. Notice I didn't say "impossible", rather "unlikely".

    Let us know your final result so we can share it with our other forum users.

    Best of luck, :thumbs_up:
    <<<BBJ>>>
     
  5. wimpy

    wimpy New Member

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    I may have given the wrong impression so perhaps I can rectify that. I have cut the network down to just those 2 XPs and the Win7, for troubleshooting purposes. The problem is that the WIN 7 can see one of the XPs but not the other. The question is what is the difference in configuration between the 2 XP PCs. I tried removing the AV form the errant XP PC (XP1) as well as shutting down the firewall. It made no difference. The XP that can be seen (XP2) is blissfully running an AV and a firewall. It was also running 2 protocols which XP1 did not have. I added these to XP1 but still no joy. At present the 2 XPs are connected by cable to the hub router, while the Win7 has a wireless connection to that hub. There is clearly something wrong with XP1's configuration. Both the Win 7 and the XP can ping and print to XP1's printer, so they can "see" it at some level. Neither can access its shared files, though the XP and the Win 7 can access each other's shared files.
    Thanks again for your advice. I'm sure that ripping up the network and starting again would work. I was just hoping that there might be a less drastic solution.
     
  6. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    No problem. Thanks for your clarification on what you are doing to troubleshoot the problem. Well, one thing is probably for certain, and that is the hARDWARE in XP1 PC is different than XP2 PC. There are subtle differences there that can cause problems too; even if say both XP1 & XP2 are both Dell PCs, or both HP PCs, etc. I agree that you have a configuration issue with that one PC as you suggest. I've given you the tools you need to fix that--run SYSTEM RESTORE, Windows RESET, and various software/hardware troubleshooting and various repair tools.

    Another shortcut I could suggest, besides junking the bad XP PC, is to simply replace the hard drive in the bad one, and reload XP onto it with SP3 and all other updates. Takes 1-2 days to do this. Retest for your network problem. If you have an old hard drive lying around you could do this, if not, you can buy one on ebay for under $50. If the problem is resolved, and it's fixed, you can bypass all the hardware testing I usually would do (the RIP-OUT step) and there you go! :up::up:

    If however, the problem persists, then you have to consider my other suggestions in my previous post to get to a resolution to that problem. It might cost you a couple of days of your time, and possibly zero-dollar cost if you have an older hard drive you can use for testing (might need to be an IDE drive instead of the newer SATA drives). That's certainly cheaper than hiring a network engineer like me to come and out fix your whole network for hundreds of dollars.:p Just a thought.

    Sometimes, drastic solutions are the only solutions of last resort if you try everything else and can't spend any money to fix the problem or simply don't have the money to do so. Being on a fixed-income myself, I get this.

    Cheers!
    <<<BBJ>>>
     
  7. wimpy

    wimpy New Member

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    Thanks again for your help and insights. From what you've said, the hardware cost would be about the same as the callout charges for an engineer:). I shall just replace XP1 with another Windows 7 PC.
     
  8. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    Sure thing, wimpy. That's about right. That would be a timesaver if you've got one laying around you can just plug into your network. If you do replace the XP1 with another Win7 PC, remember to add in the Win7 PC to your existing Homegroup first(defined by your original Win7 PC). You can do it with a USB flash drive as I mentioned, or simply go into your original Win7 PC and print out the existing Homegroup password. (let me know if you need help finding it).

    Lastly, I would strongly urge you to turn off your AV and firewall (both Microsoft firewall and AV or IS firewall or Personal firewall); whichever you are using on that new Win7 PC, prior to plugging it into the network, either by cable into your router (hardwire) or via wifi. If the new Win7 PC is a laptop, it's best to turn on AIRPLANE MODE, immediately after you first boot it so it doesn't have a chance to join the Homegroup network before you can disable your AV/IS/Firewall programs!! Once you disable your security software, re-enable AIRPLANE MODE, and connect to your existing network, connect to your existing Homegroup with your password from the 1st Win7 PC, and test your printer/sharing setups. Hopefully, it will work out for you.:encouragement:

    Best of luck, let us know how it goes.
    Have a great week!
    <<<BBJ>>> :brew:
     

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