PDA

View Full Version : Why does XP home networking hate me? HELP!



jwramc
06-25-2006, 05:49 PM
For all the useless tidbits of info I know about PCs, my Achilles heel is networking...in all forms. As such, my two home systems aren't speaking.

I ran the XP wizard on both systems, and in the end what I have is both systems telling me the cable is unplugged. I've got a pair of icons in the system tray, both sporting big red Xs, on my main system and one more on the second system.

I'm beyond frustrated trying to get this supposedly-simple and automated task to work. If I wasn't the guy that paid for this equipment, I'd have tossed it all out the window by now. :mad:

Can anyone walk me through troubleshooting this non-sense? XP's own trobleshooting thingie is totally useless.

<insert angry, vulgar rant here>

classicsoftware
06-25-2006, 05:53 PM
You need to give us a little more information.

Hub/Router/Switch

Crossover cable?

Sharing broadband Internet access?

XP pro or home?

jwramc
06-25-2006, 06:02 PM
XP Home SP1 (yea, yea...I know)

One PC has on-board 10/100 by Realtek (Abit AI7 MB) plus an Intel 10/100 PCI card (which is currently the one connected by direct cable to the 2nd PC which has on-board 10/100 also (an SiS MB).

Sharing plain ol' dial-up...but not for much longer.

jwramc
06-25-2006, 06:07 PM
BTW- a little side-note-

How do I eliminate the extra icon in the system tray? There's no 'delete' option under properties...only 'disable'. Once the connection is corrected, I'd like the 2nd icon gone.

classicsoftware
06-25-2006, 06:57 PM
If you are sharing dial-up but not for much longer, go and get a router. Otherwise if it says cable unplugged, you most likely have a patch cable and not a crossover cable.

jwramc
06-25-2006, 08:15 PM
Yup....it says 'patch'. So, what's the difference?

Erik
06-25-2006, 08:30 PM
First off basically every network cable will say patch on the sheath. This is because technically speaking all network cables are patch cables, and it is the way in which the ends are wired are different. So when by patch cable what is actually being called for is a straight through cable. So for general usages patch cable and straight through cable are the same thing, it is just a matter of symantecs.

A straight through "patch" cable just means that both ends are wired to the same standard (TIA 568B in case you were wondering). A crossover cable wires each end to a different standard (one TIA 568B and the other TIA 568A). This is so that like devices can be directly connected, two PCs in your case. The problem is that both PCs are using the same pair of wires to transmit/receive data. They are expecting to transmit on one pair and receive on the other. Well since you used a staright through cable PC A transmits to the NIC on the pair that PC B would use to transmit too, and PC B doesn't see the incoming data. A crossover cable will cross these pairs so that when PC A transmits data it gets to PC B on the pair that PC B is expecting to receive on.

Here is some more info on it if you want to be a real geek and know more than you ever know was possible on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TIA-568B

As far as removing the extra icon for the unused connection just disable it. That will remove the icon, and if you ever wanted to use it later you can enable it easily.

I will second the router recommendation. It will make things much easier for sharing internet, files, and printers. It also gives a simple firewall for when/if you ever get broadband service.

mjc
06-25-2006, 08:41 PM
Or if you know you are going to be stuck with dial up...

http://www.bestdata.com/index.php?file=c-allproddesc&iProductId=16156

(My old dial up ISP actually used to provide those to customers...upon request)

classicsoftware
06-26-2006, 05:43 AM
Yup....it says 'patch'. So, what's the difference?

To keep it simple, a patch cable connects a PC to hub/switch/router. To connect two PC's together you will need a crossover cable.

jwramc
06-29-2006, 07:13 PM
I just wanna kill something...preferably someone connected to the creation of networking and the pointlessly complicated design of the whole thing. 'Wizard', my a$$!

Got a crossover cable, cutesey icon in the tray says all is just peachy. I've gone to the other PC and it shows the same. I've shared every dirve and folder on the second unit, the network name is the same, each system has a unique name for itself, my 'View Workgroup Computers' link shows the other system's name, but all attempts to access it come up with an error suggesting I may not have permission to access the other PC. Since the only login on my PC is me (no separate admin), there are no such restrictions.

Why oh why won't I just bite the bullet and buy a Mac.....I hate this crap!

Erik
06-29-2006, 09:51 PM
Couple of things to check:

Any firewalls on either PC? XP SP2 has one enabled by default that will block traffic.
To share files in a workgroup you will need to create identical accounts with matching passwords on each PC involved.

jwramc
07-01-2006, 10:40 AM
I'm running SP1, and I have McAfee's firewall running for obvious Inet safety. XP's own firewall is disabled.

As for accounts...I've got many new, pointless, non-working icons added this week in this monumentally surreal project that I'm forced to ask exactly how does one go about setting up such a workgroup? XP's help continues to run me in circles without accomplishing a damn thing. My latest reward for my efforts is both systems telling me 'Error 800: Unable to establish the VPN connection'....aka, 'No Sh*t, Sherlock'. 'My Network Connections' currently boasts seven, count them, SEVEN icons...one working dialup (which will likely disable or vanish if and when a working PC-to-PC connection accidentally occurs), two LAN (one unplugged, one enabled and seemingly connected (I get the little tray icons telling me all is good ...when it isn't), another LAN connection and my 1394 connection grouped in with a Network Bridge icon..all three of which serve no obvious purpose and which have no apparrent origin) and my new VPN icon that won't connect up.

Talk about built-in job security. Network ITs need never fear layoffs with all this nonsense. :mad:

If I didn't like animals so much, I'd have kicked my dog to death by now.

Variable
07-01-2006, 01:40 PM
I think you are blaming the wrong component in this scenario. The issue appears not to be the pc but the person who configured your computers.

Look here for help:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/default.mspx

jwramc
07-01-2006, 02:09 PM
Well, both systems were built by me, all SW installed by me and then the network setup was handled entirely by XP's wizard. The Ethernet cards are all recognized just fine, so with a proper crossover cable, the only blameable component is the ninnies at MS that created a waizard that can't do what it's supposed to.

But I'm game. I'll gladly surrender and start with MS's beginner's tutorial and see where it leads (thanks for the link). In the interim, tho, how can I get all these damn icons deleted? Disabling doesn't do it and no 'delete' option is shown. I expect the tutorial will once again have me running the damn wizards again, creating still more icons to clutter things up. Is there no way to kill these things?

jwramc
07-01-2006, 02:25 PM
Well, that took no time at all. That info is totally cursory and does nothing but desribe the basics of networking without addressing any actual 'how to' directions. "Networks can do this and that, etc" with no hard info on how to actually make it happen.

If I were some novice looking for the 'any' key, this situation would be expected. But after 25 years of PCing, managing a PC repair shop for 3 years, building my own PCs and those of several family members (and being informal tech support for nearly everyone I know)...it is nothing but enraging that XP's networking processes can so completely confound me at every turn.

But then, I've never known any premise this simple to be made so pointlessly complicated. There's no good reason for why I've had to devote this much time to so basic a want. Two average home PCs, on a direct crossover line, and I just want to swap files and share printers and a dial-up connection. I'm not trying to hack the space shuttle. Totally ridiculous.

Erik
07-01-2006, 04:22 PM
A crossover cable connecting two PCs is pretty simple. Just buy a crossover cable, connect the two PCs and manually assign an IP to each that is in the same range. So:

PC 1:
IP Address: 192.168.0.100
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: (blank)

PC 2:
IP Address: 192.168.0.101
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: (blank)

That should get them talking.

The real answer though is just that directly connecting two PCs is possible, but not as simple as all that. If you want plug and play without digging into the networking process just buy a cheap router.

alex666
07-02-2006, 02:29 PM
I setup my first network a few weeks ago using a router, connecting two homebuilts and my wife's dell to the router which was connected to a cable modem. I'm very comfortable building computers and tweaking windows et al, but networking was new to me, I had never owned a cable modem or a network router. I was starting from scratch and having similar problems to you. It ultimately came down to my firewall settings. Here's what I did with the help of others on this forum. Here's the thread:

http://www.pcguide.com/vb/showthread.php?t=47266

If you read this all the way through, you'll probably find the information that you need.

But first, I'll be blunt: ranting and raving and whining will gain you nothing and alienate you from others on this forum. All of us struggle with the weirdness of Windows, but we get over it. If you're all pissed off, you won't be in problem-solving mode, and that's what you need to be. My 2 cents (Geez, do I sound like a parent or what . . . :D ). Good luck and be sure to post back.

marty

jwramc
07-02-2006, 04:27 PM
Yea, let's just say that even if I'm having a good day (rainbows and butterflies, etc), all I have to do is THINK about sitting down to troubleshoot this situation and my blood is boiling even before the PCs finish booting. Right now Im just answering Emails and replying here, but once glance at the crossover cable on the floor and I start grinding my teeth. Heck, all this time and I still have no answer on how to just delete the non-working icons. ....zoinks...there goes the BP again.

I'm looking through the other thread, but as I'm not dealing with a router nor Cable/DSL, it isn't really addressing my situation so far.

alex666
07-02-2006, 05:23 PM
Check out the part toward the end re. Zonealarm and firewall settings. That may apply to you as it did to me. Zonealarm totally prevented me from getting the home network to function, but once I resolved, which was easy and which I describe, it's been a snap. You will need to know the ip settings of both computers.

marty

jwramc
07-02-2006, 07:03 PM
Still nowhere...sort of.

*MY* PC can transfer files to/from the other PC and can access the other PC's printer. But the 2nd system can't do anything with the 1st system. I need the 2nd to share the 1st's dial-up connection and printer. The printer is set as 'shared'.

If the LAN connection shows properly connected on both PCs, why wouldn't the 2nd see the 1st? Everything was 'default' setup by XP's wizard, and I've shared everything sharable on both PCs. Both are using on-board LAN devices.

No third-party networking SW is involved.

alex666
07-02-2006, 07:46 PM
Have you tried turning off both firewall programs, temporarily, to see if they're causing problems? As I recall, you said one system had mcafee.

BTW, it sounds like you're making progress.

jwramc
07-02-2006, 10:23 PM
All XP's firewall stuff (that I can locate) is disabled. Turning off McAfee's firewall changed nothing. It works only one way.

Meanwhile, just to keep things interesting, all sound on the second PC has now stopped functioning without my going anywhere near any sound settings. Who knew sound was part of my network settings, eh?

In related news, FX is doing their annual Twilight Zone Marathon this weekend. My office is the apparent epicenter this year.

alex666
07-02-2006, 11:30 PM
Geez, what a mess. Don't know what to tell you at this point. Perhaps disconnect the systems and try to get back to your original settings. Do you use system restore? As for your sound settings, I get some weirdness on my 939 a64 system sometimes when I watch tv via my vcr > video capture card > video capture software. Whenever I turn on the software, for some reason it completely shuts down my line-in on my sound card software. A simple switch and all is well, but why it does this is inexplicable to me. Ghosts in the machine.

Have a good fourth, jwramc. Sounds like it's time to just let it go for a while. Take care.

marty

FastLearner
07-03-2006, 03:30 PM
Before you can possibly expect these PCs to talk, you will need to make sure that each one is equipped with a fully-functional NIC with correct drivers, etc. Have you even checked Device Manager yet? (Start-> Run -> devmgmt.msc -> click OK)

The fact that your sound went out tells me that something is not right with the computer in general, as adjusting NIC setings should never have any effect there.

Check Device Manager on both PCs and report if you see any yellow or red exclamation points under any of the entries...

Also you have not yet stated if you have followed Erik's directions of setting up your manual TCP/IP addresses. If you don't follow his directions, we could keep this thread going for 10 more days and we will have gotten nowhere.

Also, try a ping localhost command from a command line of each machine to make sure your TCP/IP stack is working properly.

Believe me, getting angry at MS will get you nowhere...:D

alex666
07-03-2006, 06:30 PM
XP Home SP1 (yea, yea...I know)

One PC has on-board 10/100 by Realtek (Abit AI7 MB) plus an Intel 10/100 PCI card (which is currently the one connected by direct cable to the 2nd PC which has on-board 10/100 also (an SiS MB).

Sharing plain ol' dial-up...but not for much longer.

If the on-board is enabled in your bios, and you also have a pci network card, you probably want to disable your on-board adapter. That's why you're getting the two icons, as you have two network adapters operative. I'm not sure why you have the pci card in there if the on-board is functioning properly. But sort of consistent with Fast Learner's post, you probably want one adapter per system, and make sure that each adapter is showing up correctly in your device manager.

Personally, if the on-board network adapter is functioning properly, I'd get rid of the pci card. It's using up a pci slot, and could be causing irq conflicts. If this is the system where you had sound problems, this may account for it as you may be sharing irq intercepts with two adapters and your sound source.

One other thought. You only have sp1. I'm not sure if that's an issue or not re. connecting your network.

Erik
07-03-2006, 07:42 PM
You can have as many NICs in a system as you like to, and can physically fit. Only the ones that are connected will get an IP, and only if you connect multiple NICs to the same network will it cause conflicts.

The most important thing is to make sure that everything is using the same IP address scheme. If that doesn't happen nothing else will ever work. So go to each PC and open a command prompt. Type in ipconfig, and hit enter. Post the results.

alex666
07-03-2006, 08:33 PM
You can have as many NICs in a system as you like to, and can physically fit. Only the ones that are connected will get an IP, and only if you connect multiple NICs to the same network will it cause conflicts.

Granted, but he's trying to get his network working, hence, keep it simple, one nic per machine, stay in trouble-shooting mode for now. Once that's straightened out, then . . .


The most important thing is to make sure that everything is using the same IP address scheme. If that doesn't happen nothing else will ever work. So go to each PC and open a command prompt. Type in ipconfig, and hit enter. Post the results.

jwramc
07-04-2006, 11:10 AM
OK, here's the info I got from ipconfig.

Bear in mind, I'm so confused now, I couldn't tell you where I'd find and adjust/correct these settings, so if it's wrong, I'd love some help getting it straight...as in 'for dummies'. :)

Main PC:

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection specific DNS suffix:
IP address: 192.168.0.101
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Default gateway:

PPP adapter nac:
Connection specific DNS suffix:
IP address: 64.21.104.155
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.255
Default gateway: 64.21.104.155



Second PC:

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection specific DNS suffix:
IP address: 192.168.0.102
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Default gateway:



Also- regarding the PCI adapter, I disabled it last week via device manager, so it shows a red 'X' as does what I assume is a related entry, the MS loopback adapter. I didn't disable that one manually- it went with the PCI card. Any chance it is part of the trouble?

Variable
07-04-2006, 01:45 PM
Are both PC's XP Home?

jwramc
07-04-2006, 01:46 PM
Yes, Home SP1

Variable
07-04-2006, 01:59 PM
Open My Computer, Open the Tools menu and choose "Folder Options.." Click on the View tab and scroll down and locate "Simple File Sharing" make sure the check box is checked for both machines. Click OK.

On both machines go to Start, Click Run, type cmd and hit enter
From the command line type net user guest and hit enter
This will tell you if the guest account is active. It should say Account active Yes
If it is not active type net user guest /active:yes
It should say The command completed succesfully...
Close the screen.

Now test the connection. You need to know the computer name

Click Start, Run and type sysdm.cpl then click ok
On the Computer Name tab write down the name on Full computer name...
On each machine.

Click start, run and type \\"the name of the other computer"
If you see nothing, type the name of the computer you are on now. This will show what folders are shared.

If you receive an error message post it.

jwramc
07-04-2006, 04:39 PM
No "Simple File Sharing" option is listed.

alex666
07-04-2006, 04:53 PM
No "Simple File Sharing" option is listed.

I noticed that, too, and I have XP home. Another way of designating a folder that you want shared is as follows: open windows explorer, pick a folder that you want to share and right click that folder. You'll see an option that says "sharing and security". Left click that, and then click on the "Sharing tab", and then check the box that says "Share this folder on network". That folder now will be available to the network. For starters, until you know everything is running correctly and your system is secure, simply create a new folder, put some incidental files in there, and then go through the above procedure.

Variable
07-04-2006, 04:58 PM
Try the rest of the instructions...

jwramc
07-04-2006, 11:27 PM
Main system acts as it should, showing it's own drives that are shared, and then showing all the other PC's shared drives.

The second system shows it's own shared drives, but gives the following error when I try to access the first system-

"\\jwr1" is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions.

Access is denied.

...which is the same error I've gotten everytime I tried to see the first system from the second.

Both systems already have the appropriate drives 'shared'. It's just a matter of seeing them from the second system.

jwramc
07-08-2006, 12:37 PM
Still nowhere on this. No further thoughts? :(

alex666
07-08-2006, 08:22 PM
Hey, I'm not sure what else to suggest. Hell, I'm having my own problems (see my new thread). It sure seems like you're close. Something about that second computer.

classicsoftware
07-09-2006, 10:53 AM
Please save yourself any further waste of time and talent. Go out and get a router. You will need it anyway, since you will not be on dial-up much longer. The router will assure all IP settings are OK.

If you can't do that now, We'll go through a step by step toubleshooting exercise. But It will have to wait a few days as I am out of the country and Internet access is limited.

You will also have to agree to perform all of the steps I ask. Variable asked you to do things earlier and you did not....

Variable
07-09-2006, 02:35 PM
I'll try one more time.

The problem looks to be with permissions on jwr1. You need to make sure that the guest account is enabled.


On the jwr1 machine..

From the command line type net user guest and hit enter
This will tell you if the guest account is active. It should say
Account active Yes
If it is not active, type net user guest /active:yes
It should say The command completed succesfully...
Close the screen.

XP home does not send network credentials. It uses an unauthenticated login. If you get a permission error either the problem machine is not using simple file sharing or the guest account has been disabled. XP home only uses Simple File Sharing. Turning off the guest account in the control panel only stops unauthenticated (no user and pass) to log into the machine itself i.e. sitting there in front of it. It does not affect file and print sharing. You can password protect the guest account. Have you or someone else done this?

You can check it through the registry but I am not going to walk through that with you. Mistakes editing the registry can cause more issues.

I would also suggest you try to access the machine through the \\192.168.x.x instead of the name. If you can get to it via the IP but not the name it is simply a matter of adding the host name and IP to the machines host file.
This file tells each machine what the other machines name and IP are mapped to. If you have DHCP and the IP changes periodically, this won't work for very long. If you have static IP's then it will work.

You can also look here. It walks you through it step by step.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308007/

V

jwramc
07-09-2006, 07:12 PM
Please save yourself any further waste of time and talent. Go out and get a router. You will need it anyway, since you will not be on dial-up much longer. The router will assure all IP settings are OK.

If you can't do that now, We'll go through a step by step toubleshooting exercise. But It will have to wait a few days as I am out of the country and Internet access is limited.

You will also have to agree to perform all of the steps I ask. Variable asked you to do things earlier and you did not....

Actually, I did and posted the reults shown immediately after he said to 'try the rest'.


Variable- I'll give that try next and will post results (tho it may be Friday before I do so- headed out of town at 5AM, back Thursday eve).

Thanks to all for the lengthy effort thus far.

jwramc
07-09-2006, 08:26 PM
I went through the MS support walk-through...nothing is different. Both systems see the 2nd PC's shared resources, but only the first can see it's own. The 2nd system still doesn't see the first. Every test the MS page suggested gave back a passing result except when it came time for PC2 to see PC1, whether by name or by IP. The only exception is that both can successfully ping each other from the command prompt by name and by IP. But within XP, 2 can't see 1.

Mini-Me
07-16-2006, 02:10 AM
If I may digress a little here: jwramc - you remind me of me about a year ago. :) I hated networking, untill I understood a more about what the whole IP address thing is trying to do...

There was a time I would never use anything other then netBEUI, but it has it's limitations...

The ping command is extremely useful.
If you can ping both machines from each other, then the connection is actually valid and is working.
:)

The reason you may not be able to see anything, is that the sharing is not setup correctly. If you want to see folder-x on PC1 from PC2, you must have folder-x shared - you do this via PC1 itself. The important thing to grasp at this point, is that if you can ping both machines' IP addresses from each other, then the connection is established.

Also, goto WINDOWS EXPLORER file manager, right click MY NETWORK PLACES, and select SEARCH FOR COMPUTERS. Type in the name of the computer you are looking for, and click search. If it pops up in the right-pane of the window, drag the icon to MY NETWORK PLACES, and a link to it, will be placed in the network tree, allowing you to find it again quickly later.

Personally, I don't think much of the network-wizard that comes with XP - it's a nice idea, but more often then not, it gets it wrong anyway, then the machines won't talk to each other, and you're back at step one...
:(

I followed the advise of other members here, and setup my adsl router so that the router itself assigns IP addresses automatically - no windows network-wizard needed, and it's fully transparent(happens in the background, and you don't have to enter digit-one!)

If you don't have an adsl modem, setting up a network is actually lots easier then I thought it would be, once you grasp the IP address concept. I made all my machines 192.168.0.xx, where xx was a different number for each machine - this worked a treat.

Anyway, as I said, I digress from what you are actually asking about, but I just wanted to say that I know where you're at at this point in your TCP/IP experiment, so just hang in there - the benifits will outweigh the frustrations, once you get it up and running.(and you'll be able to help others in trouble with similar problems!)
:)

Best of luck...