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Thread: small office network problems

  1. #1
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    small office network problems

    hi

    we have a small network at the office that consists of 5 client workstations ( 4 are win xp home and the newest is a win xp media center machine).

    The so called server, is a win 98 machine which has no problems sharing files with the 4 XP home machines.

    However, the newest, the Win XP media center machine cannot see anyone on the network..although it recognizes its workgroups (mshome).

    The other Win XP machines can see the Media machine and pull files from it, but that is the only way traffic flows. XP media is blind to its net mates.

    The media machine has the newest version of Norton. Could that be the issue ?

    Please help

    Thanks
    E2200 Allendale @ 3160
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  2. #2
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Norton could be mucking things up..make sure that wizard Norton firewall has is run and the local network is fully trusted.

    Make sure on the other machines if it's just the XP firewall that F&P sharing is allowed in the exceptions.

    Workgroup has nothing to do with permissions or being able to share/pull files from other PCs. It's only a visual layer for network places. The quick test is if you click on the start button, run..then type in "whack whack other machine name"..in other words... \\server1 or \\workstation2
    Click OK..and if your PC can communicate with the other PC...it should come up and show any shares. To further troubleshoot...if netbios isn't functioning properly or name resolution, the other PCs name might not work..so instead of using the computer name, type in the other PCs IP address...such as
    \\192.168.1.101

    Once you're able to establish communication...the next step is to deal with permissions....user accounts. But since you're using XPHomeless...and Win98...you're going with full open shares anyways.....so user accounts shouldn't be an issue.

    As your peer to peer network starts growing, and you're mixing operating systems ...you start running into "funky" issues. Master Browser issues is one common one.

    To help with netbios..go into TCP properties on each one...advanced button, WINS tab, and enable netbios over TCP/IP.

    Since this is an office network...I highly recommend moving to XPProfessional. You can upgrade XPHomeless to Pro easily without losing anything.
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
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  3. #3
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    Hi

    Thanks for the reply. I plan on going in this morning to trouble shoot and will follow your instructions.

    This small company looks like it will soon be acquired by a local company I have worked for in the past. If this is the case, the network will soon be running XP pro, or some version of Vista when the dust settles.
    E2200 Allendale @ 3160
    10 x 316mhz
    MSI 7345
    2048 mg DDR2 ( 2 x 1024)
    Asus 8800 GT
    WIN XP (H) SP-2

  4. #4
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lght1 View Post
    This small company looks like it will soon be acquired by a local company I have worked for in the past. If this is the case, the network will soon be running XP pro, or some version of Vista when the dust settles.
    There ya go! I'd hold on Vista for a bit. And nudge them for a real "server"..like MS SBS2K3.
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
    Guinness for Strength!!!

  5. #5
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    hi

    i tend to store all my files locally, and recommend the others do as well due to the "unpredictable" behavior of win98.

    i have a copy of win2000 kicking around, if i thought their decrepit old k62 machine would handle it, i would replace win98 outright with 2k.
    E2200 Allendale @ 3160
    10 x 316mhz
    MSI 7345
    2048 mg DDR2 ( 2 x 1024)
    Asus 8800 GT
    WIN XP (H) SP-2

  6. #6
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    Storing files locally is just a bad idea in a business environment. What happens if a HD fails, how are you going to get all of that work back?

    I agree with YOSC, push them to get a server (a real server running SBS) and do scheduled backups, and all. You will be glad when Joe's PC crashes and all you need to do to fix it is install Windows and join to the domain. All of his files and settings will magically come back.

  7. #7
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    Hi

    I do frequent backups on my own..but what happens if the server takes a holiday ?

    Frequent backups depending on the workload and the amount of redundency of data storage.
    E2200 Allendale @ 3160
    10 x 316mhz
    MSI 7345
    2048 mg DDR2 ( 2 x 1024)
    Asus 8800 GT
    WIN XP (H) SP-2

  8. #8
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    Setup a server, have it do automatic backups each night after everyone leaves the office. You can do them to a network drive, USB drive, tape drive, DVD, etc.

    Also when you go for a true server you can do RAID setups. Even a drive failure would have minimal affect on you. Depending on the needs either RAID 1 or RAID 5. I usually prefer RID 5 plus a hot spare. So in this case a drive fails, there is another there to take over automatically, users won't notice a thing. You then replace the failed drive, and never lose a beat.

    Still the biggest thing is backing up. You might backup your PC regularly, but what about everyone else? Are you going to go around to each PC in the office and manually start a backup? Check to make sure it finished properly? If backed up to another hard drive (not just a different partition), will you transfer them all to a removable media and store offsite? For a single server it is easy. For 5 PCs it becomes a full time job itself.

    The last thing you want is to be caught giving the recommendation to store everything locally, and then have a users PC crash. I have had to go in and save peoples buts for doing things like that. One case the compnay owner had been directed to put everything on his laptop. Windows install got corrupted. I spent abut half a day there retriving data off of the drive, backing it up, reinstaling Windows, and then restoring the data. The IT guy that used to be in that office no longer works there. If they had everything on a server, like it should be, just reinstall Windows and connect to the server. Your data is intact.

  9. #9
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    hi

    unfortunately, the win xp home machine can see shares on the xp media machine, but the media machine is blind to all but itself.

    what is going on with this? the norton fire wall/anti vi has been uninstalled, the xp firewall is disabled.
    E2200 Allendale @ 3160
    10 x 316mhz
    MSI 7345
    2048 mg DDR2 ( 2 x 1024)
    Asus 8800 GT
    WIN XP (H) SP-2

  10. #10
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    Did you run the network setup wizard on the machine?

    Also you never answered the question of it could access other machines by IP. So what happens if you go to the address bar and do \\[IP address of some other PC] and \\[name of some other PC]? Without a real server often times there will be a master browser conflict, and you won't be able to see anything in My Network Places. But if you manully enter in another computer it works fine.

    The other possiblity is with concurrent connection limits. These are desktop operating systems that allow only a few connections to a shared resource, and then start refusing.

    The real fix is to setup a proper server. As you start adding computers, and different platforms it will only get worse as YOSC has already mentioned.

  11. #11
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    hi

    the wizard was done.

    The machine can ping but the ip address in the browser bar does nothing.

    It seems that only ping works.

    However, I downloaded the Dell netorking utility and for some reason, that allows this machine to see the Win 98 machine but not the XP Home machines
    E2200 Allendale @ 3160
    10 x 316mhz
    MSI 7345
    2048 mg DDR2 ( 2 x 1024)
    Asus 8800 GT
    WIN XP (H) SP-2

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