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How to restore Microsoft Windows Network in XP Home?

By jim.poltrone ·
I want to network my laptop and desktop computers together so I can share files and printers. I have a crossover cable connecting the two. The desktop computer runs XP Home w/SP3; the laptop runs XP Pro w/SP3. I used the Network Setup Wizard on both systems to establish a workgroup connection, called MSHOME. I can ping each of the machines, regardless of which machine I'm on.

The problem is, when I go to the desktop, I can't see its own shared folders or printers, and "View Workgroup Computers" is empty. I traced this to a missing "Microsoft Windows Network" icon under "Entire Network". I've tried several things to restore this, including removing SP3, reinstalling Windows, and reinstalling SP3. But that didn't work.

I'm stumped. I'd rather not have to resort to thumb drives to move files across the machines.

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Checked; no such service "Client"

by jim.poltrone In reply to Check this

Workstation Services was running; was stopped and restarted. No errors.

Can't find a service called "Client", but I found DHCP Client, DNS Client and WebClient.

As for the reinstall, I'm not sure. I didn't use the Recovery Console; I just used the menu from the XP CD. I'll assume it was a full reinstall.

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That was a Repair

by Jacky Howe In reply to Checked; no such service ...

Go to Control Panel, Network and Internet Connections, Network Connections, right click on Local Area Connection, click Properties. Now look at what you have in front of you.
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On the General Tab you should have Connect using. And there will be a description of your Network Card. And under that you should see. This connection uses the following items: Below that you should see Client for Microsoft Networks with a box to the left of it with a Tick in it.
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If Client for Microsoft Networks is not there or it hasn't got a Tick in it put a Tick in it or you will have to add it by clicking Install, select Client and click Add. Select it from the list and click OK.
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It's ticked

by jim.poltrone In reply to That was a Repair

Client for Microsoft Networks, File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks, and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) all appear and are checked.

And still nothing appears in My Network Places.

Ready to give up yet? :)

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Not just yet it really sound like something is seriously wrong with your PC

by Jacky Howe In reply to Check this

Did you replace the wkssvc.dll file from the XP CD and try to register it.
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On your orac PC create a Share and give everyone permisssion to access it.
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Step 1: Click the Start button and select Run. Now type the following text in the Run box and press Enter:
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notepad c:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
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Step 2: You will see a new notepad window on your screen containing some information. You should have a single entry of 127.0.0.1 localhost.
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Add an entry 192.168.0.1 orac save the file and restart the PC.
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Now go to a command prompt and type net use J: \\orac\sharename
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Let us know what the error message is. Also look at your Event Logs with event viewer to see if there are any errors.

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You're probably right

by jim.poltrone In reply to Not just yet it really so ...

wkssvc.dll was replaced and am still unable to register it.

I also added a new share called Outgoing, added the entry for orac in hosts, and rebooted. When I tried to map the drive in the command prompt, I got "System error 53 has occurred. The network path was not found." I had a similar error when I tried to map it from My Computer|Tools|Map Network Drive: "The network path \\orac\Outgoing was not found."

The only thing i could find in the security log was this:
Logon Failure:
Reason: Unknown user name or bad password
User Name: jim
Domain: ORAC
Logon Type: 2
Logon Process: Advapi
Authentication Package: Negotiate
Workstation Name: ORAC

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

You're right; something's really messed up here. I guess it's to be expected for an 8-year-old machine that was upgraded from Win 98 SE. I'm considering running a registry scrubber to get rid of the cruft that's accumulated over the years.

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You are lucky that it has lasted this long

by Jacky Howe In reply to You're probably right

and I think that it is beyond a registry clean. Get your XP Motherboard and extra drivers ready. EG: NIC and Video. Then try setting up your network connection.
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Perform a clean install of Windows XP and delete the Primary Partition and recreate the Primary Partition on the fly. By doing it this way you will have XP from the onset and you will need to have your Win98 CD handy because you will be asked for it during the install. Just insert the Win98 when you are asked for it and follow the instructions. Backup your Data before proceeding.
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1. Start your computer from the Windows XP CD. To do this, insert the Windows XP CD into your CD drive or DVD drive, and then restart your computer.
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2. When you see the "Press any key to boot from CD" message, press any key to start the computer from the Windows XP CD.
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3. At the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to start Windows XP Setup.
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4. Read the Microsoft Software License Terms, and then press F8.
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5. Follow the instructions on the screen to select and format a partition where you want to install Windows XP. At this stage you can select to delete the Primary Partition and recreate it. Then continue with the install.
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6. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Windows XP Setup.
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http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316941/en-us
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<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>
<br><br>
<i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome.
</i>

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I'd rather not do that

by jim.poltrone In reply to You are lucky that it has ...

I was hoping to avoid a full reinstall. I have so many pieces of software on my system that it would take me days, if not weeks, to reinstall everything.

I did find an XP network diagnostic tool (MS Knowledge Base #**4440), but alas, it only works under SP2. I already installed SP3 and it won't work for me. I may have to rollback SP3, run the tool, and then reinstall SP3.

Thank you for your time and effort in trying to help me fix this problem. I really do appreciate it.

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The Network Diagnostic Tool

by Jacky Howe In reply to Something else to try

is compatable with SP3. I am going to leave the ball in your court. With what we have already tried you should have a connection. You can try a registry cleaner like ccleaner which I doubt will achieve anything. I think that you have a corrupt registry. If it were me I would do the reinstall and start fresh. That way you only have to reinstall what you currently need to use. You should have a Backup plan for when situations like this occur. The only other suggestion that I can think of is malware. It wouldn't hurt to try this.
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Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
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http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/malwarebytes/mbam-setup.exe
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* Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.<br>
* At the end, be sure a checkmark is placed next to Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, then click Finish.<br>
* If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.<br>
* Once the program has loaded, select Perform Quick Scan, then click Scan.<br>
* When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.<br>
* Be sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.<br>
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I would keep scanning with it until it is clean by closing out and rebooting and running it again.
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Just to be on the safe side when you finish do an online scan with Bitdefender.
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http://www.bitdefender.com/scan8/ie.html
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I will have another look at you ipconfig files.
<br><br>
<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>
<br><br>
<i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome.
</i>

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I found a workaround

by jim.poltrone In reply to The Network Diagnostic To ...

I wish Microsoft's diagnostic tool was compatible under SP3. Instead, I get the message "Setup has detected that the Service Pack version of this system is newer than the update you are applying. There is no need to install this update."

In the meantime, I had an idea. I have a working network, even if the application layer of Windows thinks I don't. Why not run an ftp server on the laptop and an ftp client on the desktop and use them to transfer files? I have a rudimentary version working on both systems. I'm in the process of switching over to the FileZilla client and server. It's not an ideal system, but it will get the job done.

I also have a testbed system on which I performed a brand new install of XP. I created a couple of shared directories, called Incoming and Outgoing. They're not automatically visible in My Network Places. When I view my workgroup computers on the testbed, I get the workgroup name with no computers, not just a ding (which is what kept happening on the desktop).

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CG IT has the right idea

by Jacky Howe In reply to I found a workaround

for a small outlay you can connect a couple of PC's to the ports on a hub. I consider using a crossover the next step up from null modem. Very limited.

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