Windows can't find "MY-LAPTOP".

Hello, I've tried searching the plentiful problematic posts, but I cannot find my exact dilemma. When it comes to networking, I'm as lucky as the man who played Russian Roulette with a loaded glock. Nothing ever goes my way.

I have an XP laptop set up, I used to disable sharing because I couldn't afford to buy any friends for it. But now, I have a new friend running Windows 7. I've run the Network Setup wizard on the XP so, I think I've re-enabled sharing on it. Then I walked over to my 7 machine and ran the network setup disk I made from my XP. I got an error at the end and it told me to manually configure the network. I work with computers all day so I figured I could bang this out no problem. I checked and saw the setup wizard at least changed my workgroup correctly for me. I checked in the networks and I could see my XP laptop, but when I click it to try to access it, I get this error: "Windows cannot access "\\MY-LAPTOP" Then I click Diagnose and it says: "Make sure the computer or device is connected to the network. Windows can't find "MY-LAPTOP" make sure it is turned on blah blah blah..." I looked over and it's still on.

Then I learned I needed to set my 7 machine up to use the Work Network, so I did that. But it still is giving the same error I've been getting all night. So then I hit the forums and decided to make this post. I have run out of ideas and given my luck with networking, I'm quitting while I'm ahead and submitting to some more knowledgeable folk. Some other things to note: While setting up my XP network, I changed my computer's name, but then it had to reboot. Also as I said, my XP machine shows up in 7's network screen, but my 7 machine doesn't show up in my XP's network connections screen.


Noob Whisperer
If you can see one machine from the other (in the sense that they are present within each other's network console "NetHood") then most often this issue is a result of third party programs like firewalls (Comodo, ZoneAlarm, etc) or overzealous AntiVirus / Internet Security Suites that contain sometype of packet inspection firewall applet. Unless you are very familiar with all the nooks and crannies, concerning the proper configuration of such software then I might suggest uninstalling these types of apps temporarily inorder to help in diagnosing the issue.

Thank you for replying, Trouble. Unfortunately your advice has only confused me more :confused: I feel like the best thing I can do is explain some details more.

I'm running ZoneAlarm on the XP computer, Comodo on the 7 PC, and AVG Antivirus on both. I also have an Xbox 360. On the XP, I am connected to the network wirelessly, but the 7 PC and Xbox are hardwired. I'm connected through a Cisco E1000 router. (of which, I conveniently forget my username and password)

I tried uninstalling Comodo on the 7 PC but that didn't help connect to the XP, but my Xbox could play files from my 7 PC. Then I uninstalled ZoneAlarm on my XP, and I was still getting the same problems as last night. I'm not sure if AVG does anything to interfere with networking like you said, but I was too lazy to uninstall and reinstall it. So I reinstalled Comodo on my 7 PC, then for fun I tried to connect from my Xbox and it worked. So I want to assume Comodo isn't my problem so much as ZoneAlarm/something else on my XP. My Xbox also cannot detect my XP either, but I think it used to be able to.

When I first realized I could connect to my Xbox (when it popped up in the Networking page) I clicked on it, and changed a simple drop-down box from Deny to Allow and I was able to share my files with it... Why is everything else so much more troublesome?


Noob Whisperer
I tried uninstalling Comodo on the 7 PC but that didn't help connect to the XP, but my Xbox could play files from my 7 PC.
No it probably wouldn't since the XP machine was still running ZoneAlarm. But the fact that your Xbox could then connect to the Win7 machine should have given you some idea of what the issue might be.
The reason why I suggest uninstalling such products (and often a simple uninstall using the programs and features utility within the Control Panel is insufficient and a proprietary uninstaller often offered by the Software Vendor which is specific to their applications is required) is because we want to simplify the process of getting your network up and running and introducing various and sometimes multiple different products only complicates the process. So if you uninstall any such program we're able to eliminate them as potential causes to the underlying issue. And once the network is established and all machines are able to communicate as they should, then a simple reinstall of the product will often allow you to more efficiently diagnose any subsequent problems and as you have already seen in the example you stated above will function as you would expect with prompts and messages that are more easily understood, so you make make the necessary adjustments to the programs as the situation requires, through their respective interface prompts.
Sorry if I have confused you any further, but basically all I'm suggesting is that you eliminate some of the complexity introduced by third party programs to make your task easier.
As far as the router, username and password, you can use the reset button on the back to return it to factory defaults which should fix the username and password issue by restoring them to their respective defaults which should be available in the router documentation or online at the vendors (linksys/cisco) website.
Hope this helps.

No it probably wouldn't since the XP machine was still running ZoneAlarm. But the fact that your Xbox could then connect to the Win7 machine should have given you some idea of what the issue might be.
It did, which is why I continued with uninstalling ZoneAlarm afterwards, as I said before, but I was still getting the same problem. So I'm still sitting here, firewall-less on both PCs and I still can't connect. Browsing some other forums for help, I've collected this data to see if it can offer some help:

  • XP ping Win7 IP address: works 100%
  • XP ping Win7 computer name: works 100%
  • Win7 ping XP IP address: works for about 60 seconds after XP pings Win7, otherwise "Destination host unreachable" error received
  • Win7 ping XP computer name: never works, "Ping request could not find host MY-LAPTOP. Please check the name and try again." error received

I decided to reinstall Comodo and uninstall it with their uninstaller just now, and now my 7 PC couldn't even see the XP in the Network until I pinged my 7 PC from the XP laptop. I used the network map feature in Windows 7 and it told me it could not place the XP laptop in the map. Another interesting thing I've just discovered, is that my laptop shows up under Media Devices in the Network page during the 60 second window that I can ping it. Although, when I click it, it just opens up Windows Media Player and displays my local promotional songs.

The 60 second window is also reset after every time I successfully ping the XP laptop.

I still receive the same ping statuses after correctly uninstalling both ZoneAlarm and Comodo. I don't get why there's this 60 second window either. This is just getting more and more complicated...

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Noob Whisperer
Win7 ping XP IP address: works for about 60 seconds after XP pings Win7, otherwise "Destination host unreachable" error received
This is the most troubling of all the diagnostic steps you've shown to this point. The ping utility should produce consistent reliable results and since it is not then that is a problem that needs our focus. Since it seems to be presenting it self in only one direction it's very confusing and problematic to diagnose. This type of problem is usually the result of an issue at the physical layer of the OSI model, and requires assessing the physical components of the network, so if you could please connect both PC's with a physical Cat5 cable to the network concentrator (hub, switch or switch ports of router). Physically examine any lights available at both ends (network card, and wire port on concentrator) that may indicate issues with connections or activity interruption. Examine closely, the wire itself for areas of physcial damage and inspected the ends for bad crimping or damage. Assign static values for both network cards for IPv4.
Use the ping utility with the -n switch followed by a space then a number and then another space and then the IP, like:
ping -n 100 (substitute the number of your choice for the 100, and use Ctrl + C to interrupt the process as required) (substitute your actual IP address as required) this might help in exposing any physical interruption that may be occuring (use it in both directions from / to both machines) also include the default gateway as a third device in your ping diagnosis.
Does either of the two machines exhibit any other symptoms regarding network connectivity, have you been able to complete large file downloads from the internet on both without issue? Are either of the two machines running any supplemental network software, network managers, or download managers. Finally, have you tried booting both machines into safemode with networking just to see if the problem is present with a minimal OS boot option?

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