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  • #4004944

    Network visibility

    by tfurnivall ·


    I recently added a new Win 11 (Home) machine to my network. Previous workstations included Win 8.1 Pro (Surface Pro 3), Dell Optiplex (Win 10 Pro) and Win 11 (Home) my wife’s Surface pro 8. The new machine is a Surface Pro 9.

    All machines are pingable on the network (ie, I know they are there and alive).

    File Explorer on the Dell (W10) can “see” everything. but my new machine W11) can not “see” the Win 8.1 machine.

    I’ve set up credentials for all the other machines, but Win 8.1 is stubbornly absent from the Network display.

    Any ideas?



You are posting a reply to: Network visibility

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    • #4004948
      Avatar photo

      It’s been a while but from memory.

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to Network visibility

      For machines to show up in the old Network Neighborhood the machine had to “share something.” There was a lot of complaints about this requirement along with how the Network Neighborhood can take 45 minutes to days to populate. I won’t rehash that area again but it’s far from instant.

      Even today I know to never rely on Windows File Explorer for this. Instead I’ll use NET VIEW if I want to see if shares are active. See

      Again, Windows then and now does not consider machines without shares to be eligible to be in these views.

      • #4004954

        Reply To: Network visibility

        by tfurnivall ·

        In reply to It’s been a while but from memory.

        Yes – I was aware of this behavior, but when my wife’s Win 11 machine showed up *with no shares) I thought it might have been fixed. I guess fixing it on Win 11 does not mean that it is fixed on Win 8.1 (ie the 8.1 machine says to itself “I have nothing to share, so I’m not going to respond to the Who’s out there?” request.)

        Thanks for the perspective, rproffitt, I’ll try and see if NET VIEW is more helpful for checking the presence of a machine (more than “ping”, that is).


        • #4004957
          Avatar photo

          Yes, a Windows machine can show with no shares.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Reply To: Network visibility

          I consider why this is, an edge case and would have to refresh my memory why it does that.

          Do try the NET VIEW command as it’s more reliable than the old GUI methods.

          (Story) I know a company that tried to base a management system off “Network Neighborhood” and burned their capital up trying to make it work. This was over a decade ago but it forever seared the problem into long term memory cells. Microsoft? Didn’t care because they wanted everyone to use Microsoft Server so why fix Network Neighborhood? (/Story)

        • #4004979

          Network visibility – the next step

          by tfurnivall ·

          In reply to Yes, a Windows machine can show with no shares.

          So we have a slightly different problem now! my Win 8.1 machine (IOTA) now shows on Network Discovery, but Win 11 reports Incorrect password or Username.

          I signed in to IOTA to do the work to make a share available, and used the Username and Password that I set up lo these many months ago! IOTA loves me, and accepts all my affections.

          My new Win 11 machine (SIERRA) now ‘sees’ IOTA, but whenever I try to access it I’m told that I have supplied in incorrect User name or Password. (Obviously I haven’t, I just established that te values I am using are correct!

          I set up a new set of credentials on SIERRA, for IOTA, but these too are rejected.

          I need to have the share visible in File Explorer because I’m transferring half a terabyte off my soon-to-be-unsupported system (IOTA). (And no, don’t ask about external drives; Microsoft sold me a bloody network, and I bloody well want to use it 😉

          There are several instances of this showing up on the web, but they are not as clear as (I hope) this is.


          PS One of the things I want to transfer is a protocol analyzer, then at least I can see what the traffic is! Bah!

        • #4004982
          Avatar photo

          Actually that sounds correct.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Network visibility – the next step

          Windows 11 was a seismic shift away from local accounts. I won’t get into workarounds for that here as you can use the web for that.

          So with W11 most will log in with an email account and the account login on Vista would be a local account so no reason to expect the login and share to function.

          -> Let me be clear that the problem statement up top was about the Network Visibility and not about accessing network shares. These are two different problems which I know access to a network share from say 8.1 to 11 has fundamental brokeness designed in by Microsoft. You can research if anyone has an easy fix but for now my fix if I need network access to files on another PC is to use FTP servers.

          Filezilla works for me.

        • #4004986

          Reply To: Network visibility

          by tfurnivall ·

          In reply to Actually that sounds correct.

          Thanks, rproffitt!

          When I was a dinosaur developer, we were told “Don’t break things that work”. I guess that for some things the new network security is an improvement. But wouldn’t it have been nice to offer a “Continue to do things the way they were working for you?” option.

          Bah! Bah!!

          Thanks again,

          Lots of reading in my future, I guess!


        • #4004984

          Update to new situation

          by tfurnivall ·

          In reply to Network visibility – the next step

          I put WireSniffer on the new system (SIERRA), and ran it. Then I tried to connect to IOTA (the Win 8.1 machine). Last, I closed WireSniffer.

          No packets were sent on the network!

          I know what I think that means:

          SIERRA (Win 11 really) says to itself. This looks like a network remote sign-on, so I’ll check the credentials I have.
          Hmm, doesn’t look right, so I’ll save time and reject it from here.

          Please, someone, tell me that this is not so!


        • #4004989
          Avatar photo

          Network Visibility. Done?

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Update to new situation

          That’s complete from what I’m reading and now onto the next problem.

          But I don’t have a clear view of what’s in play yet since:
          1. SIERRA is/was an Apple OS so I’d be guessing why SIERRA was noted here.
          2. IOTA could mean Internet Over The Air.
          But they these could be machine network names and about all I can write is that in Jurassic days such as Windows For WorkGroups days that it was “a good idea” to keep names short.

          I’d start a new discussion about file sharing from W8.1 to W11 but remember that we have the web about that too.

          While it writes about W10, covers many of the changes we need to make on the share. But for access from W11 to W8 since … Putting the next thing on it’s own paragraph because it’s a really big deal……

          W8.x and W11 don’t share a common login system and we get the reminder that “Everyone” is “Everyone with an account.” This is a very hard concept for some but let’s move quickly to what some use to fix that and while dangerous it’s the GUEST account. It should be all we have to do is enable the W8.x Guest account, set the permissions as noted in the linked article as we wish (be sure to add that Guest account) along with matching SMB/whatother protocol and we might gain access to the old file share system.

          I have no way to replicate this as the office is all W10 for now. But when we need to do a file share, it’s with Filezilla. We don’t like rabbit holes.

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