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Thread: "unable to browse network" using xp in a college dorm

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    "unable to browse network" using xp in a college dorm

    Hi -

    I have a desktop running Windows XP SP2 which successfully connects to the internet using an ethernet cable to connect to the network at my college.

    I'm not able to browse 'Microsoft Windows Network' (My network places -> Entire Network -> Microsoft Windows Network). When I click on 'Microsoft Windows Network, a window reads: "Unable to browse the network. The network is not present or not started. For more information, click help."

    Of course, when I "click help," nothing happens. I know there are workgroups under 'Microsoft Windows Network' because I can see them on my XP SP2 Thinkpad. I've also made sure there are no firewalls blocking network access.

    How can I set up my desktop computer to browse this network, so that I can share files accross my computers?

    Please help, this is driving me crazy!

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Plainview, TX
    When I lived in the dorms a few years ago, the network of computers on my floor was visible for a while, and then after some file sharing/copying issues, other computers where no longer accessible over the network. Besides, theres way too many of both computer illiterate and those that are too literate on the network at a college, it is for the better to not have other computers accessible. I ran my computer fine using a switch in my room, which would allow you to connect other computers in your room to access each other, but no communication to the outside. You should ask your school's tech help desk, they can tell you for sure how your network is and can be setup. I know our school (Texas Tech) was quite helpfull in tech support for many issues, hardware, software, networking, etc. And it's generally free. (AKA, you paid for it in "mandatory" fees on your tuition!)

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    Thanks but that's not it. I think its a software problem.

    My brand new Thinkpad can view workgroups on the network easily. But my older desktop (running the same version of XP SP2 and connecting to the network the same way) for some reason can't browse the network.

  4. #4
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Somewhere along the shoreline in New England
    Once you get over 10, 15, 20 PCs...on a peer to peer network...without a domain controller running resolution is hit or miss.

    There are also master browser wars...

    Add to that...viruses/worms/unknown condition of the tcp stack/winsock on this PC....which plugged into a college network without antivirus or firewall protection...another unknown.

    And more (at least those with IT departments on top of things)...will be blocking netbios and VLAN'ing as much as possible...and redirecting PCs to an alternate subnet til they're caught up with windows updates and an approved antivirus product.

    In other words...waaaaaay too many unknowns.
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