Undiscoverable computer on workgroup network


MFL

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I have four Windows 10 computers on my ethernet network. One ("8910") can see all four in File Explorer. The other three can see each other but can't see 8910. They can ping 8910 but trying \\8910 in File Explorer does not work. 8910's advanced sharing settings in network discovery are on as is the "Make this PC discoverable" switch in the ethernet settings.

After I updated my ethernet adapter driver (odd because the computer is less than a year old), 8910 became visible on the other computers, but within a day that stopped.

Any suggestions?
 
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You could be having a hardware issue, like the lan card on 8910 failing?
How are you shares and Security set up? I have mine set to Autherized Users have full control. I have Identical users Account on all. I have found that Windows 10 after CU update is very fussy about these user accounts Clinton J. Wright is not the same as Clinton J Wright this drove me crazy for a couple of days not long ago.
 

MFL

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My LAN port is not on a separate card and it appears to function fully. All the computers have a single user local administrator account with default settings.
 

MFL

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Using \\8910 in Run on the other computers does discover 8910. It doesn't work in file explorer.
 
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Keep checking your settings win 10 is very particular and pain in the butt to get a Peer to Peer working. MS wants us to use Home group. Home group don't do it for me or you either. the issue is somewhere in your settings. Let me see if I can make some pictures of my set up.
 

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MFL

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Like yours, all the settings on all my network's computers allow discovery and file sharing. The problem is that the one computer (8910) simply does not show in the others' network folder in File Explorer, so I can't access that computer's folders/files through the network folder.
 
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Noob Whisperer
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On the problem computer, give this a try and see if it makes any difference with your issue.
Open Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows features on or off (left column)
Scroll down to SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support
If it is unchecked..... check it and click OK (enable)
IF it is checked..... uncheck it and click OK (disable)
Both will require a reboot
In the case of it being checked and you unchecked it.... go back and check it again (enable) after the reboot.
You'll need to reboot again.
See if any of that makes a difference.

Capture2.PNG


There is definitely some weirdness going on with normal "WorkGroup" peer to peer networking (not homegroups) and it seems to be at least partially linked to NetBIOS / Computer browser service / TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service and their reliance on Server Message Blocks version 1, which of course was the attack vector for the recent two serious Ransomware attacks.
I think possibly some recent cumulative update or hotfix or patch may have disabled it or otherwise deprecated it on some machines. Just guessing.
I'm sure that Microsoft would like all of us to use HomeGroups but for those of us old-schoolers who prefer WorkGroups I hope they do something to address whatever it is that is going on currently.
 

MFL

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I think I tried that - it was checked - but it was unsuccessful. I may not have rebooted after rechecking it, so I will try it again in a few days when I return to the place with the uncooperative network.
 

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Noob Whisperer
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OK.... keep us posted.
Failing all else......
Start -> Settings -> Network & Internet -> Status (left column)
Click the "Network reset" link and reboot.

Capture.PNG


After which you will need to re-establish file and printer sharing by switching on "Make this PC discoverable" again. See if that has any impact on the problem.
 
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MFL

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Thank you. I tried the SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support uncheck/reboot/recheck/reboot suggestion and it worked both after unchecking and rechecking. I hope the change sticks.
 
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MFL

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Tried network reset. 8910 shows again on other network computers, but no network computers, including 8910, show on 8910's file explorer!
 

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Tried SMB 1.0 procedure again, but there are still no computers showing in 8910's network file explorer folder. Any other ideas? Thanks.
 

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The puzzle grows. 8910 now shows only a wi-fi connected computer. Another ethernet computer shows itself, 8910 and the wi-fi connected one. The wi-fi connected one only shows itself.
 

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Noob Whisperer
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Check
services.msc
Make sure the computer browser service is running and set to automatic as well as the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper service.
Check IPv4 properties of all network adapters Advanced button, WINS tab, tick the Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP radio button.
 

MFL

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TCP/IP NetBios Over TCP/IP helped a bit, but the problem remains. 8910 File Explorer Network folder shows 3 of the 4 computers on the network, including itself; another computer shows 2, another shows 3, etc. 8910 is now showing in a couple of the other computers Network folders. I may not have mentioned that one of the computers is connected only by wifi though this shouldn't make a difference.
 
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Noob Whisperer
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I may not have mentioned that one of the computers is connected only by wifi though this shouldn't make a difference
Nope.... shouldn't make any difference at all.
As a quick test.
Disable IPv6 in the properties of the network adapter being used on all computers involved and then shut them down.
Afterwards, start first the dominant computer, that is, that computer most likely to be on most often and less likely to be rebooted often. It might also be helpful if that computer was also a superior version (pro versus home) of Windows 10 and it might also be helpful if that computer was more robust from a hardware standpoint.
That way you would have a stronger more reliable "browse master" able to keep the browse list when other computers came up on the network and all the NetBIOS advertiseing as to names and resources was going on, thereby hopefully, preventing continuous master browser elections.
IPv4 is all that is needed for common workgroup / NetBIOS operation
IPv6 is the backbone of homegroups and I'm wondering if there is some contesting going on that is complicating what should be a very simple and common workgroup type setup.
 

MFL

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8910 is practically always on except when Windows updates restart it. It is the most powerful computer on the network but is running on Windows !0 Home like the others. I will try shutting IPv6 off.
 

MFL

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The last suggestion did not work either. I guess I am left to reach the other computers by \\'ing them. Thank you for your ideas.
 
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Noob Whisperer
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Sorry, nothing seems to have worked out for you.
I am left to reach the other computers by \\'ing them
AKA as UNC'ing or Using the Universal Naming Convention to network resources.
Using that to simply "Map" network drives to network resources on other network nodes is not an uncommon practice among network administrators.
Mapping the shares as drives and then putting shortcuts to them on the appropriate client desktops is very common.

Hopefully at some point, Microsoft will get this all sorted or maybe we'll all be using Apple's bonjour service.
Ultimately, one day, I suspect we'll all have network adapters sophisticated enough to support SMB Direct. Maybe that will help.
In the mean time, you might want to read up on LMHOSTS file and how that might be able to help in resolving NetBIOS Names to IP addresses.
Which can be its' own type of problem if you're using DHCP, especially with short lease times.
 

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