Having Problems Accessing Other Computers on my Home Network


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I plead considerable ignorance when it comes to networking, and I'm having problems that I hope someone can help me with.

First, my situation. I have three computers: The first, a brand new Windows 10 system that I'm still trying to find my way around in; the second is an old (2010) Windows 7 system that I plan to retire (because it is experiencing some weird hardware problems); and the third is an ancient Windows XP sytem that I have kept because it has a few old DOS and 16 bit Windows progarms on it that I want to keep, and that the newer systems won't run. Right now, the Windows 10 and the Windows 7 systme are sitting side by side, each connected to a Netgear Router with an Ethernet cable. The XP machine is in another room, and connects to the router with a Realtek USB Wireless adapter. The Windows 7 and the Windows XP systems have been set up this way for a long time, and I can access either computer from the other.

Now for the problem. When I initially set it up, the Windows 10 system found the network connection to the router with no problem, and configured itself to connect to the internet with no problem. Now, however, I cannot see the other two systems from the Windows 10 computer. What I CAN see is my Samsung Smart TV which also connects to the router wirelessly. In fact, it appears 3 times in the Other Devices section on the Windows 10 system. If I fire up the Windows 7 and/or Windows XP systems, they both show the Windows 10 system, but neither can access it.

I have done the simple things I think I need to do on the Windows 10 machine (obviously not all of them). I've made sure that they all have the same workgroup name (WOKGROUP), that I have folders marked to share, that the connection is set to Private, that Network Discovery is turned on, and that File and Printer Sharing is turned on. (At this point, I might mention that I also have two wireless printers connected to the router. When I installed them, the installation program found both of them without a problem, and I can print without a problem to each of them).

So, what do I need to do next? If you can tell me anything that you need to know that would help solve this problem, I'll try to find it out and provide it. Any help gratefull appreciated.
 
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Trouble

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First see if you can ping the individual machines from one another.
Determine each unique IP address IPv4 and then use the command prompt and ping each.
Next see if you can UNC each individual machine from the other (Universal Naming Convention). The NetBIOS name of each machine.
From the Run dialog box simply type
\\MachineName
Hit enter or click OK
See what happens.
IF that works then try an UNC to a share
\\MachineName\ShareName
You can also use the IP addresses of the machine in an UNC
\\192.168.1.222\ShareName

Your main problem will likely be the older XP machine as it uses an outdated SMB version (Server Message Blocks) which virtually everyone has decided is a serious attack vector for miscreants and malware.
Although not advisable, you can enable the older SMB version on Windows 10

Capture.PNG
 
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First see if you can ping the individual machines from one another.
Determine each unique IP address IPv4 and then use the command prompt and ping each.
Next see if you can UNC each individual machine from the other (Universal Naming Convention). The NetBIOS name of each machine.
From the Run dialog box simply type
\\MachineName
Hit enter or click OK
See what happens.
IF that works then try an UNC to a share
\\MachineName\ShareName
You can also use the IP addresses of the machine in an UNC
\\192.168.1.222\ShareName

Your main problem will likely be the older XP machine as it uses an outdated SMB version (Server Message Blocks) which virtually everyone has decided is a serious attack vector for miscreants and malware.
Although not advisable, you can enable the older SMB version on Windows 10

View attachment 9595
Trouble, First, let me say I very much appreciate your effort to help. But I have to also admit that much of what you suggested went way over my head. I'll do some digging and try to learn both the what and the how of what you have offered. But in the meantime, I have some interim (and confusing, to me at least), results to report.

First, I did find out how to ping, and the results of that is that all three computers successfully pinged the other two. Second, since it didn't require a lot of research, I found out how to turn on the SMB in Windows 10, so thought I would try it, just to see if it made a difference. And it did. Immediately, I could access both the Windows 7 and the Windows XP systems from the Windows 10 system. HOWEVER, once I had done that, I could no longer access either of the other two computers from either the Windows 7 system, or the Windows XP system. From Windows XP, if I worked my way down from My Network, Places to Entire Network, to Microsoft Windows Network, to Workgroup, I got a long hour glass, then an error box that said Workgroup was not accessible, that I might not have permission, etc. Then, below that, on a second line, it said, "Service has not been started." So I went to Services to see if I could identify anything that might be related to networking. I tried stopping and restarting some of them, but that made no difference. Now, from the Windows 7 system, If I go to the Network and Sharing Center, then click the Map the entire network, I get odd results. It shows istelf, the router, a double green line to the Windows 10 machine, lines to the printers and the TV, then it shows the Windows XP machine, but the double green line to it is broken, whatever that means. If I try to access the Windows 10 machine from Windows 7, (it does show up in the Network, but not in Windows Exporer under Network), I get an error message that starts out like the one from Windows XP, except that under the Not Accessible, it said, Login failure. User Account Restriction. Possible reasons are login without password not allowed, login hour restrictions, or a policy restriction has been enforced.

To add to my confusion, I tried this AFTER I had turned on the SMB on the Windows 10 machine, so I don't know whether the two things are even related. Anyway, as it stands right now, I can access both the Windows 7 and Windows XP machines from the Windows 10 machine, but cannot access either of the other two machines from either the Windows 7 or Windows XP machine (both of which worked OK yesterday). Perplexing, no? If any of this rings a bell, feel free to say so. Meanwhile, I'll see if I can educate myself enough to take advantage of some of the rest of your advice.
 
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First see if you can ping the individual machines from one another.
Determine each unique IP address IPv4 and then use the command prompt and ping each.
Next see if you can UNC each individual machine from the other (Universal Naming Convention). The NetBIOS name of each machine.
From the Run dialog box simply type
\\MachineName
Hit enter or click OK
See what happens.
IF that works then try an UNC to a share
\\MachineName\ShareName
You can also use the IP addresses of the machine in an UNC
\\192.168.1.222\ShareName

Your main problem will likely be the older XP machine as it uses an outdated SMB version (Server Message Blocks) which virtually everyone has decided is a serious attack vector for miscreants and malware.
Although not advisable, you can enable the older SMB version on Windows 10

View attachment 9595
Trouble, Well, I've been trying to experiment as you suggested. Don't know if I got it right, but I'll share with you what I've done, and what the results were, hoping that it will mean more to you than it does to me, because if it's possible, I'm more puzzled and confused than I was before.

Let me start by recapping a bit. I have three systems that I'm trying to get to talk to one another. One has Windows XP, one has Windows 7, and one has Windows 10. They all have names, of course, but for the sake of clarity, in the discussion below, I will substitute the names WinXP, Win7, and Win10 for the actual names of the computers. In addition, all three computers have a Drive G, which is a shared drive. The Share name for this drive on all three machines, is simply g. Also, none of the 3 computers have, or ever have had, a passsword. So, let me go though, as best I can, what I did and what happens with each machine.

First, the Win10 system. As I mentioned earlier, I did turn on the SMB feature, as you outlined, and once I did that, the Win10 system showed both other computers in the File Explorer, and I could access all of their shared drives and folders. So, that being the case, I didn't try anything else on the Win10 system.

Next, on the Win7 system. It shows WIN10 under Network in Windows Explorer, but if I try to access it, I get an error message that says (roughly), WIN10 is not accessible (etc). Login failure. Possible reasons are blank password not allowed, login hour restriction, or a policy restriction has been enforced. If I enter the command in the RUN box, \\WIN10\ or \\WIN10\G and press Enter, I get the same error message. The WINXP computer does NOT show up in Windows Explorer. However, if I type in the RUN box, \\WINXP\ or \\WINXP\G it opens a window to the G drive on the WINXP computer. In addition, in that same window, all three computers are listed in the left pane of Windows Explorer uner NETWORK. If I close that window, however, then open Windows Explorer again, only the WIN7 and the WIN10 are visible under NETWORK.

Now for the restuls from the WinXP system. First, just in case I'm looking in the wrong place, Windows Explorer in WinXP shows, in the left pane, MY NETWORK PLACES. If I click the expand + sign next to that, I get ENTIRE NETWORK and MY WEB SITES ON MSN. If I click the + next to ENTIRE NETWORK, I get MICROSOFT TERMINAL SERVICES, MICROSOFT WINDOWS NETWORK, and WEB CLIENT NETWORK. Clicking the + next to either the terminal services gets nothing (an empty right pane). Clicking the web client network gets an error message that says Unable to browse the network. The network is not present, or not started. Clicking the + next to the Windows Network, I get an hour glass for several seconds, then WORKGROUP. Clicking the Workgroup gets me another hour glass for several seconds, then the error message I outlined earlier, that starts out like the one from Win7, but instead of the Login failure portion of the message, it says The Service has not been started. With that lengthy introduction, if I type \\WIN7\G in the RUN box, a box opens for me to enter a user name and password. If I enter my user name, and leave password blank, then I get the same error mesage I got from the Win7 system. If I type \\WIN7\G in the RUN box, it opens the G drive on the Win7 system.

So, to recap. The Win10 system can access both of the other 2 systems from within File Explorer. The Win7 system shows the Win10 in Windows Explorer, but cannot access it. It does NOT show the WinXP system in Windows Explorer, but can access it if I type \\WINXP\G in the RUN box. The Win XP System shows NEITHER of the other 2 systems in Windows Explorer, and cannot access the Win10 system from the RUN box, but can access the Win7 system from the RUN box.

All of this has me terribly confused, but I hope it may offer a clue to you about what might be happening. As I said previously, before I began this errort, both the two old computers (WinXP and Win7) had been showing each other in Windows Explorer, and I had been accessing each from the other for several years. It seems to me that some setting in Windows 10 is preventing access from the other two, but why it would also be causing the changes in the way the others appear in the respective Windows Explorer, does not seem particularly rational to me. Maybe it will to you.

Appreciate your patience in wading through this lengthy description, and any input or insight you might have.
 
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AH YES, networking. I am pretty technical and it still drives me crazy.
I have long forgotten most things about XP (almost can't spell it anymore) and W7 is fading, but even with all W10 machines I still get issues. W10 updates have also created issues by resetting settings.

Anyway, It appears like your W7 and XP systems are set OK, but there are two things on a W10 that need to be set. The sharing and the security. You need to be shared with EVERYONE and have EVERYONE enabled under security.
Open File Explorer>>rt clk the drive or partition to share, click Share this....>advanced sharing> permissions, verify everyone is there and has the permissions you want. OK, OK >security, verify everyone is there and has the permissions u want. If not EDIT and ADD.
That should do it.......
There may be other more complex ways to do this, but I get too confused researching it and do not find reasonable solutions. Lots of people are confused.......
 
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Ruggb--Thanks very much for the input. When I read it, I was excited, since it sounded like it was probably the source of the problem. I was even more hopeful when I went to check the Permissions and Security settings, and found that I did NOT have them set as you suggested. So I changed them. However, alas, that did not let me access the Windows 10 system from the other two computers. I do need to verify that I did the change correctly. Changing the Permissions under the Advanced Sharing settings was no problem. However, when I went to set them under the Security tab, there was no listing for Everyone. So I just added it, then set it as you suggested. Did I do that correctly? If so, is there possibly something else I missed in the process? Oh yes, and one more thing (not a big concern, but thought I'd mention it), when I went to make the changes for my external USB drive, had no problem doing so for the Advanced Sharing area, but the properties sheet for the drive had no Security tab. I assume that is because it is seen by the system as removable storage, and if so, that's fine. If I could get the rest of it working, I wouldn't sweat not being able to connect to the external drive.
 
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RP, don't feel bad. Back in the day, I held multiple Microsoft and Cisco certifications and managed a large network. Now, Windows 10 is driving me nuts at home. I've got 4 W10 machines, 2 printers, 1 Linux machine, Samsung TV, and a few wireless devices. Everything converses pretty well -- except the W10 machines. Although they all can ping each other. W10s don't all see each other, and can't see the LInux machine except by using its IP address. When I try Step 1 in @Trouble's suggested scheme, I get:

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17134.472]
(c) 2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
C:\WINDOWS\system32>\\RC690
The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.
C:\WINDOWS\system32>

I used to run all these things fine in a Workgroup or Homegroup, but those features got updated out of existence. I suspect some remnants might still be there, and interfere with "modern" W10 networking, but haven't had the timeor tools to really pursue it. I move a lot of USB sticks around for filesharing :(.
 
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RP, don't feel bad. Back in the day, I held multiple Microsoft and Cisco certifications and managed a large network. Now, Windows 10 is driving me nuts at home. I've got 4 W10 machines, 2 printers, 1 Linux machine, Samsung TV, and a few wireless devices. Everything converses pretty well -- except the W10 machines. Although they all can ping each other. W10s don't all see each other, and can't see the LInux machine except by using its IP address. When I try Step 1 in @Trouble's suggested scheme, I get:

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17134.472]
(c) 2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
C:\WINDOWS\system32>\\RC690
The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.
C:\WINDOWS\system32>

I used to run all these things fine in a Workgroup or Homegroup, but those features got updated out of existence. I suspect some remnants might still be there, and interfere with "modern" W10 networking, but haven't had the timeor tools to really pursue it. I move a lot of USB sticks around for filesharing :(.
PhoebeAnn-- Thanks for the encouragement. Makes me feel a bit better knowing that folks who know this stuff have problems as well. Of course, if I have to, I can live without the systems being networked. What drives me absolutely nuts is that before I got the Windows 10 system, the Win 7 and XP systems had been accessible to each other on the network for several years, and the only problem I ever had was when the wireless adapter on the XP machine died, and I had to replace it. Now, it's frustrating that the Win 10 machine sees BOTH the XP and the Win7 machine, and can access all the shared drives and folders. The XP machine can't even see the Win 10 machine. The Win 7 machine can see it (it shows up under Network), but can't access it. But what REALLY blows my mind is that now, the Win 7 and WinXP machines can no longer see each other. I didn't do anything to them, and it boggles my mind, at least logically, how having the Win 10 machine connected to the router could screw up the ability of the other two machines to see each other. In addition, everything else seems to be working OK. All three machines access the internet through the router with no problem. I too have a Samsung TV, and it updates through the router and accesses the internet with no problem. I have two wireless printers, and all three systems can print to both printers without a problem. And I have a Samsung smartphone, and it uses the router to access the internet with no problem.

To add to my frustration, I'm trying to use a program called PC Mover to transfer applications from the Win7 to Win10 system, and am having problems with that. I used an earlier version of the program way back when I moved from XP to Win 7, and it worked well. It's made by Laplink, and I'm working with their support folks to try to figure out what the problem is there. Makes a body want to pull their hair out.
 
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RP-- I feel your pain. I have the feeling that there's some debris left over from Workgroup and Homegroup in 2, or maybe 3, of the W10 machines, and it may also be related to SMP support somehow, because that's what my Linux machine is using. I used to use Laplink as well, and I don't recall having any problems with pretty-much any machine. I'm almost to the point of firing up a network sniffer to see if I can find out exactly why it's failing. Like you, I can live without the networking capability, but what's left of my professional pride is hurt by not being able to figure it out.
 
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Ruggb--Thanks very much for the input. When I read it, I was excited, since it sounded like it was probably the source of the problem. I was even more hopeful when I went to check the Permissions and Security settings, and found that I did NOT have them set as you suggested. So I changed them. However, alas, that did not let me access the Windows 10 system from the other two computers. I do need to verify that I did the change correctly. Changing the Permissions under the Advanced Sharing settings was no problem. However, when I went to set them under the Security tab, there was no listing for Everyone. So I just added it, then set it as you suggested. Did I do that correctly? If so, is there possibly something else I missed in the process? Oh yes, and one more thing (not a big concern, but thought I'd mention it), when I went to make the changes for my external USB drive, had no problem doing so for the Advanced Sharing area, but the properties sheet for the drive had no Security tab. I assume that is because it is seen by the system as removable storage, and if so, that's fine. If I could get the rest of it working, I wouldn't sweat not being able to connect to the external drive.
I just updated W10 to 1809 -- why Windows thinks it has to reset my registry settings, IDN. One thing it does is to change the network sharing, but I think you already covered that. If not...go to network sharing, advanced sharing and insure that the buttons for All networks are top, top, bottom, and Guest or Public are top, bottom -- and Private are top, top.
You should not have homegroups set up on any system. An external drive should have no issue in connecting. You may have problems reading the files if they were created someplace else and you don't own them. There is a reg file to change the registry for that called TAKEOWNERSHIP. WARNING, do not use it on system files. Strange things start happening.
I do have a laptop with XP on it. If I have to I will connect it.
There is a remote possibility it is something on the W7 and/or XP systems. We have ignored those cause they are talking, but ......
 
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In advanced sharing settings click the link "What are the public folders" lot of info there.
as i still run xp in the advanced sharing settings set the encryption setting to the 40-56 bit i found this allowed my network to share with xp.
for my settings homegroups are OUT and i only use WORKGROUPS set a net work name on all machines i don't use the default name it gets messy. switch off the password setting till all pc's sharing and is running smoothly.
Finally drive"C" is the root directory and is best not try to share only use the "Public folder"
 
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I move a lot of USB sticks around for filesharing :(.
Same here. After fighting with network features the last 15 years. I've given up on trying to come to a solution.
There is a reg file to change the registry for that called TAKEOWNERSHIP. WARNING, do not use it on system files. Strange things start happening.
I can vouch for that. lol
 
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RP-- I feel your pain. I have the feeling that there's some debris left over from Workgroup and Homegroup in 2, or maybe 3, of the W10 machines, and it may also be related to SMP support somehow, because that's what my Linux machine is using. I used to use Laplink as well, and I don't recall having any problems with pretty-much any machine. I'm almost to the point of firing up a network sniffer to see if I can find out exactly why it's failing. Like you, I can live without the networking capability, but what's left of my professional pride is hurt by not being able to figure it out.
PhoebeAnn-- Thanks for the reassurance. I know what you mean about not actually having to have it, but being frustrated that you can't figure out how to get it anyway. And unlike you, I have no professional pride (Well, that's not true of course. I do have professional pride--it's just that the profession has nothing to do with computer networking). If you see anything in any of this that rings a bell, don't hesitate to comment, and thanks for the continued encouragement.
 
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I just updated W10 to 1809 -- why Windows thinks it has to reset my registry settings, IDN. One thing it does is to change the network sharing, but I think you already covered that. If not...go to network sharing, advanced sharing and insure that the buttons for All networks are top, top, bottom, and Guest or Public are top, bottom -- and Private are top, top.
You should not have homegroups set up on any system. An external drive should have no issue in connecting. You may have problems reading the files if they were created someplace else and you don't own them. There is a reg file to change the registry for that called TAKEOWNERSHIP. WARNING, do not use it on system files. Strange things start happening.
I do have a laptop with XP on it. If I have to I will connect it.
There is a remote possibility it is something on the W7 and/or XP systems. We have ignored those cause they are talking, but ......
Ruggb--Thanks for your continued efforts to assist. I very much appreciate it. Well, I went to the advanced sharing as you suggested, and all of the settings there were as you describe except the one for Guest or Public were set to bottom, bottom. I honestly can't remember whether that was a change, or whether it has always been that way. In any case, I changed it. But it made no difference. I also changed the encryption level as suggested by John Steadman to 40-56, but that did not change anything either.

For your info, I'm providing the exact wording of the error message I get from the XP machine when I try to access the Windows 10 system.

In Windows explorer, I click the plus next to My Network Places. I get

Entire Network
My Web Sites on MSN

I click the plus next to Entire Network. I get

Microsoft Terminal Services
Microsoft Windows Network
Web Client Network

I click the plus next to Microsoft Windows Network. I get

A long pause and an hourglass, then
Workgroup

I click the plus next to Workgroup. I get

A long pause with an hourglass, then nothing (the plus just goes away)

I click Workgroup itself. I get

A long pause with an hourglass, then a popup error message.
It reads

Workgroup is not available. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the adminstrator of the server to find out if you have access permission.

Then, below that (still in the same error box), it says:

The Service Has Not Been Started.

It's that very last bit that seems strange to me. No clue as to WHAT service (or even on which machine). I checked Services on the XP Machine and there was nothing obvious that appeared to impact networking that wasn't running, but to be honest, I don't know what most of those services do, even after reading their descriptions, so it is possible that I missed something. I also checked services on the Win10 system. There are a lot more of them there, but again, I didn't see any that obviously might adversely impact the problem. Besides, it seems illogical to me that the XP machine would give me a message about a serive not running on another system, but I may be totally wrong in that.

Another long message. And perhaps with no useful information. But I figure better to tell you something useless than to not tell you something that I think is useless, but might be useful to someone else. Once again, thanks for your continued help and patience.
 
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In advanced sharing settings click the link "What are the public folders" lot of info there.
as i still run xp in the advanced sharing settings set the encryption setting to the 40-56 bit i found this allowed my network to share with xp.
for my settings homegroups are OUT and i only use WORKGROUPS set a net work name on all machines i don't use the default name it gets messy. switch off the password setting till all pc's sharing and is running smoothly.
Finally drive"C" is the root directory and is best not try to share only use the "Public folder"
John-- Thanks for the suggestion. As I mentioned in my note to Ruggb, I tried changing the encryption level to 40-56, but that didn't seem to make any difference. I couldn't find the link to "What are the public folders," that you referred to. I had read earlier that you can't use Homegroups to network Windows XP with system that have a later version of Windows, so I never even tried that. I also have nothing shared on my C drive on any of my systems. Appreciate your input.
 

Trouble

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Workgroups still work fine across Windows versions however....
You need to check and confirm that all machines involved have the same workgroup name (workgroup is fine for a name as long as it is consistent across all machines).

Do you have a mix of Home and Pro versions of the Windows OS
OR
Are they all Pro or all Home

I don't believe you are gonna fare very well across your current mix of machines without passwords on your user accounts.
My suggestion would be to add passwords to the accounts, you can keep it simple, something like P@$$w0rd is perfectly suitable

Another suggestion is to make sure that each machine has identical account names for authentication purposes.
Again you can keep it simple, JohnSmith is perfectly suitable or you can use an existing account already on one or two of your machines.

That way you can use, that UserName to authenticate across all machines, as long as that user is granted appropriate
Share Permissions which should be "Everyone" "Full"
AND
NTFS (Security) Permissions where you can make them as granular (restrictive) or open (again "Full" "Everyone") as you wish.

So when you are prompted for permissions for network access you will need to enter it in a format consistent with
MachineName\UserName
Password

Where MachineName is the machine you are attempting to access and the UserName is the account on that computer that has the appropriate permissions on that computer, something like
Win7\JohnSmith
P@$$w0rd

AS far as seeing all available machine in Network Neighborhood or File Explorer (Network), that may continue to be an uphill battle.
It depends on something called a Browse Master, which is a result of an election that takes place between machine, which typically is resolved without incident by bring the newest machine up first, but....
I don't even know if an XP machine can negotiate with an Win10 machine for Browse Master status

That is why, on a small workgroup of peer to peer members I always set static IP addresses for the individual machines and use UNC to get to the shares
\\192.168.1.###\ShareName (where 192.168.1.### is the IP address of the machine hosting the share). That takes NetBIOS and network browsing out of the picture.
AND
Then map network drives to those shares.

NOTE: The UserName suggestion above does not have to be used for local login it just needs to be present on the individual machines and the appropriate permissions to local shares granted to it, for authentication across the network.
 
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I don't believe you are gonna fare very well across your current mix of machines without passwords on your user accounts.
My suggestion would be to add passwords to the accounts, you can keep it simple, something like P@$$w0rd is perfectly suitable
Yeah I figured that is the issue I'm having. I'm have never used a password and never will. They are a pain in my ass. If someone brings me a machine that needs working on and is setup with a password. I might play with it abit. But I will soon choose to do a system restore, just to get away from the login page.

I never will understand why Microsoft requires a back door. When I leave the front door open.
 
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Workgroups still work fine across Windows versions however....
You need to check and confirm that all machines involved have the same workgroup name (workgroup is fine for a name as long as it is consistent across all machines).

Do you have a mix of Home and Pro versions of the Windows OS
OR
Are they all Pro or all Home

I don't believe you are gonna fare very well across your current mix of machines without passwords on your user accounts.
My suggestion would be to add passwords to the accounts, you can keep it simple, something like P@$$w0rd is perfectly suitable

Another suggestion is to make sure that each machine has identical account names for authentication purposes.
Again you can keep it simple, JohnSmith is perfectly suitable or you can use an existing account already on one or two of your machines.

That way you can use, that UserName to authenticate across all machines, as long as that user is granted appropriate
Share Permissions which should be "Everyone" "Full"
AND
NTFS (Security) Permissions where you can make them as granular (restrictive) or open (again "Full" "Everyone") as you wish.

So when you are prompted for permissions for network access you will need to enter it in a format consistent with
MachineName\UserName
Password

Where MachineName is the machine you are attempting to access and the UserName is the account on that computer that has the appropriate permissions on that computer, something like
Win7\JohnSmith
P@$$w0rd

AS far as seeing all available machine in Network Neighborhood or File Explorer (Network), that may continue to be an uphill battle.
It depends on something called a Browse Master, which is a result of an election that takes place between machine, which typically is resolved without incident by bring the newest machine up first, but....
I don't even know if an XP machine can negotiate with an Win10 machine for Browse Master status

That is why, on a small workgroup of peer to peer members I always set static IP addresses for the individual machines and use UNC to get to the shares
\\192.168.1.###\ShareName (where 192.168.1.### is the IP address of the machine hosting the share). That takes NetBIOS and network browsing out of the picture.
AND
Then map network drives to those shares.

NOTE: The UserName suggestion above does not have to be used for local login it just needs to be present on the individual machines and the appropriate permissions to local shares granted to it, for authentication across the network.
Trouble-- Thanks for your input. I appreciate your effort to assist. My Windows versions are Windows XP Home, SP3, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 10 Professional.

All 3 computes are designated with the same Workgroup name (WORKGROUP).

I'll have to say I share Clifford Cooley's view on passwords. I recognize their utility, (and in some cases, their absolute necessity.) But all of my computers have only one user. I live alone, and no one but me uses any of the machines. I've never created any new user accounts on any of the systems. The only thing close to that I have done is to create an entry of EVERYONE, as described in an earlier post here when checking and enabling Premissions and Security settings on the Windows 10 machine. If I have to use a system of passwords to be able to network the systems, I'll just live with a handfull of USB sticks. The truth is, the way I have used the networking in the past was PRIMARILY to access the XP Machine from the Windows 7 machine. That amounted to more than 90% of what I did over the network. And while I cannot now do that, what I CAN do, is acces the XP machine from the Windows 10 machine, and if I can ever get my programs migrated from the Windows 7 machine to the Windows 10 machine, then I will no longer even be using the Windows 7 machine, at least in the short run.

Finally, while I do very much appreciate your input, when you got into the issues of peer to peer and small networks, static IP addresses, Browse Masters, using NetBIOS, mapping network drives and the like, you are no doubt correct in what you are saying, but you are way above my head. I may just have to accept defeat (if not gracefully), and live with something less than an ideal solution. Right now, my status is more being frustrated at not being able to have it work simply, than it is a practicl impact of the problem.
 

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