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Last post Author Topic: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery  (Read 12822 times)

MerleOne

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Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« on: April 25, 2009, 09:14:54 AM »
Hi all,

There is one thing I liked about XP, it's that it used to be easy to setup a small home network by just making all PC connected to the wifi router have the same workgroup name, by default MSHOME. 

I just installed a brand new Samsung NC10 running XP SP3 and this time, it doesn't work.  The NC10 doesn't see the other XP but the other ones see it.  The problem can also be seen doing the following thing :

I open a command window (execute cmd), then type net view.

On the NC10, I get an error message after 10-20 secondes : "System error 6118, the workgroup server list is not currently available" (translated from French).
On the other PCs net view immediately returns a list of machines, including the NC10, like
\\SamsungNC10\ ...

I have used Google to look for solutions but found no clear cause.  This is all the more surprising since it is a brand new machine that I have not already "tuned".

I'd like to know if any of you has already encountered a similar problem and would gladly like some advice on how to solve this.  Thanks !
.merle1.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2009, 09:48:01 AM »
Try running the network setup wizard on the new computer. I have had similar problems in the past and that seemed to cure it. You can even export the settings to USB stick and apply those settings to every XP based computer on your network.

Shades

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2009, 11:20:11 AM »
Windows is kinda slow with refreshing the list of available LAN computers. Does your new system receive an IP number from a DHCP server somewhere in your LAN (likely your router will be setup to handle this function)?

If so, try the IP number (like this: \\192.168.0.xxx in explorer) on one of your 'tuned' PC's and see if you can get access to the new PC and/or get an overview of available shares.  That way you know if the basics are working right.

Updating of the list goes a lot faster when you also enable a WINS server somewhere in your network. Current routers do not require the use of WINS since it is old, but if you do use one, networking does seem to work smoother using XP and below. How Vista and Win7 handle networking is unknown to me, I only know that the software for networking has been adjusted and that in those cases the use of the wizards is preferred.

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2009, 01:02:42 PM »
Thanks !  I'll will experiment with that and let you know.  I forgot to mention something very strange : sometimes it does work, for a few minutes, then it is off again.  I also tried on someone else network with just one XP Home PC connected to a Wifi router (another brand than the one I am using) and I got the same result.  When I turned off the other PC, suddenly net view started to work again, giving as result only the NC10.

I have also seen strange error messages in Windows logs, that I'll try to post, they are clearly related to this problem.

BTW, I did try the network wizard several times, to no avail.  I didn't export the settings to other machines since they already network OK.  The challenge would be to solve this without changing the configuration of other machines.
.merle1.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 01:06:24 PM by MerleOne »

Shades

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 06:38:51 PM »
Can it also not be that there is a firewall active on the new PC?

After all, they come nowadays with (a lot of) crapware. Maybe one of those software packages tries to solve a problem that is not there.
Google told me that this error can appear because of firewall settings.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2009, 08:34:26 PM »
Good idea - if there is a security suite installed (I think most Samsung's include MacAfee) try deactivating the software and see if that makes a difference.

Another thing you might want to check is in Control Panel / Folder Options / View tab check at the bottom that easy file sharing is enabled (it should be by standard but Samsung's OEM installation may have tweaked settings).

Failing all this I would be tempted to download the latest drivers for your network adapter and then uninstall the network adapter from Device Manager completely, reboot and install the drivers and network setup wizard from scratch.

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2009, 05:25:16 AM »
There is no apparent firewall but XP's. The NC10 came with McAfee Security Suite installed but was slowing a lot this low perf. machine so I removed it and installed Sunbelt's VIPRE, which, after some tuning, gives me what I want.  McAfee has a firewall but was set to allow file/printer sharing and VIPRE has no firewall.  Also, since it sometime works without me changing anything, I don't see how it could come from that.

There is some kind of network management built in McAfee, and when I activate it I see the other connected PC and IP address.  Same thing when I install the demo version of network magic.  It's just the Windows mechanism that seems broken.

I have looked into folders parameters, there is no "easy file sharing" parameter but rather "look for shared files and printer" option which is selected.

I would like to test networking using ethernet cable and not Wifi.  But I have to stop investigating for a week, my wife is going on a trip with it...

Anyway, thanks a lot for your support, it gives me a lot of new possibilities to investigate.
.merle1.

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 04:33:40 PM »
Just an update : I noticed that the included Samsung Software Updater proposed to update the Wifi Card driver.  After the update, it seems that the network is working fine.  I have to experiment a bit more to be sure it now works fine.
.merle1.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 07:14:30 PM »
Good news - glad you got it sorted out  :Thmbsup:

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2009, 04:01:49 AM »
Good news - glad you got it sorted out  :Thmbsup:
Bad news : problem has returned.... I am going to try something else....
.merle1.

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2009, 08:14:27 AM »
I found a temporary workaround : I can share files/folders using the ip address of connected PC, like \\192.168.1.x\<shared name>, as Shades suggested here.  So it's really just the names that are not seen/transmitted correctly.  I found some kind of error message in the system log (or app log ?), i'll post it here soon.
.merle1.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 05:07:01 PM by MerleOne »

Shades

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 01:22:24 PM »
So the basics work, but Windows itself is the problem. By using WINS in my mixed (Windows/Linux) network the updating of available PC's (and their name) in the network goes a lot more smoothly...but still not perfect.

Now I know that the 'Computer Browser' service is responsible for getting and updating this list. Here is a link that provides a lot more info about this service and how to troubleshoot it. Likely you will have to download a Resource kit from Microsoft, but those are free as far as I know.

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2009, 05:09:49 PM »
Thanks Shades.  Do you by chance have a link on how to activate WINS ?

Also thanks to cranioscopical, he knows why...
.merle1.

Shades

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2009, 06:57:51 PM »
You have by any chance a Linux PC that is setup as a Samba server?

To be more clear, I used Webmin to control all services on my Linux PC including Samba, which gives you an option to enable WINS. Having said this, I just learned that there are subtle differences between the WINS from Samba and the WINS  functionality from a Windows server.

With server I mean a server edition of the Windows Operating Systems (Windows 2000 and up). More specific info about how to enable WINS on a Windows server can be found by following this link (MS TechNet). After having done this, you still have to configure WINS on the PC that will act as a client. This you can do in the advanced network configuration settings.

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Edvard

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2009, 07:02:09 PM »
Have you tried turning off the Windows firewall?
Turning it off magically solved our VNC problems here at work...

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2009, 02:36:06 AM »
Have you tried turning off the Windows firewall?
Turning it off magically solved our VNC problems here at work...
Yes, no improvement, plus I get the system security warning (the little red shield).  Thanks.
.merle1.

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2009, 02:36:42 AM »
So the basics work, but Windows itself is the problem. By using WINS in my mixed (Windows/Linux) network the updating of available PC's (and their name) in the network goes a lot more smoothly...but still not perfect.

Now I know that the 'Computer Browser' service is responsible for getting and updating this list. Here is a link that provides a lot more info about this service and how to troubleshoot it. Likely you will have to download a Resource kit from Microsoft, but those are free as far as I know.


Thanks, I have started to look into it.
.merle1.

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2009, 02:38:13 AM »
You have by any chance a Linux PC that is setup as a Samba server?

With server I mean a server edition of the Windows Operating Systems (Windows 2000 and up).
Thanks.  Alas I just have home versions : XP & Vista, no single pro/server, and no Linux.
.merle1.

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2009, 06:58:13 AM »
BTW, the error message in the System Log : ID 8032

Le service Explorateur d'ordinateur a rencontré un nombre d'échecs trop important en essayant de retrouver la copie de sauvegarde de la liste sur le transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{4AB15129-AB97-44AB-938D-390E1B415469}. L'explorateur secondaire s'arrête.

which gives

The computer browser service has encountered a number of failures too important to retrieve the backup copy of the list on transport \ Device \ NetBT_Tcpip_ (4AB15129-AB97-44AB-938D-390E1B415469). The secondary browser is stopping.

I am still exploring http://www.chicagote...er%20and%20Protocols ...
.merle1.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2009, 12:54:24 PM »

MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2009, 02:33:47 PM »
Have you tried http://kb.monitorwar...nt-id-8032-t529.html
Not yet, but I will.  What troubles me is that I am almost sure that the problems comes from the new pc, not from the existing network, because the same think happens when I try to connect to another network.  And the indicated solutions mention modifying all machines.
.merle1.

Shades

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2009, 03:48:39 PM »
According to the chicagotech link it is possible to have too many Master browser systems. Only one PC should be setup as master browser and all other PC's should retrieve the list of available network computers from the Master browser PC.

Besides that, you should make sure if the following network protocol is installed/activated on the network card that you use to connect to your network: Sharing of files and printers on a Microsoft network (roughly translated from Dutch).

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MerleOne

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2009, 05:12:24 AM »
Thanks.  What is still unclear to me  is how to identify the master browser...

Update : I am trying to do with browstat - will update later

Update 090503-1325 (GMT+1 ; DST).  Using the browstat command, I got :

CMD> browstat status mshome

Status for domain mshome on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{480C85BF-6CB0-472D-9F
2F-0541B12DE25D}
    Browsing is active on domain.
    Master browser name is: DELL4700
        Master browser is running build 2600
    1 backup servers retrieved from master DELL4700
        \\DELL4700
    There are 3 servers in domain mshome on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{480C8
5BF-6CB0-472D-9F2F-0541B12DE25D}
    There are 1 domains in domain mshome on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{480C8
5BF-6CB0-472D-9F2F-0541B12DE25D}

So I know who is the master browser.  To be continued...
.merle1.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 06:28:48 AM by MerleOne »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2009, 05:15:05 AM »
Me too - it seems to me that the first computer active on a Workgroup seems to accept the role - but there doesn't seem to be any way to have any control over Master Browsers.

Shades

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Re: Help for solving a XP home lan mystery
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2009, 01:50:40 PM »
Maybe it would be smart if you designate a PC in your network to become the Master browser (the current Master browser for example) by altering settings in the registry:
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\Browser\Parameters\IsDomainMaster (should be:TRUE)
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\Browser\Parameters\MaintainServerList (should be:AUTO)

Alter the same registry settings on on each of your other LAN PC's:
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\Browser\Parameters\IsDomainMaster (should be:FALSE)
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\Browser\Parameters\MaintainServerList (should be:AUTO)

By doing this you have clearly specified which PC is the MB (Master browser) in your LAN. In my point of view the MB should be a PC that is either always on or started before any other PC in your LAN. Granted, all this is way too much trouble to go through for getting a list of network nodes communicated correctly (on a WorkGroup based LAN, anyway).

Also, Microsoft's documentation tells me that it can take 12 to 36 minutes for changes in the network to be communicated to all LAN PC's.