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Loss Of File And Printer Sharing After Recent Windows Updates


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#1 Harko

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 10:12 AM

Hi everyone,

Sometime in the past few days, I lost file and printer sharing capability on one computer of my home network.

The network consists of two MacBooks, an HP Compaq 6510b laptop issued to me by my employer, and my home workstation, a Dell Dimension 4700. All of these systems are wireless and connect to an AirPort Extreme, set up for NAT, which assigns IP addresses to all with DHCP. File sharing was enabled and functional among all of the computers, and there were two shared printers, also functional: one connected to the USB port on the AirPort Extreme, the other connected to my Dell.

The Dell came with XP Home, which I upgraded to XP Professional. The laptop came with XP Professional. The laptop also came with Windows Firewall disabled and Symantec Client Firewall (SFC) installed and operating. I set up an allowed IP address range, covering all of the computers on the network, in SCF for file and printer sharing. I had also disabled Windows Firewall on the Dell, installed Zone Alarm, and also configured it for file and printer sharing. I used Bonjour to configure the shared printers for the PCs with no problem.

To save desktop space, I often used Remote Desktop to run the laptop from my Dell without any problems. I'd share files between the two and also print from the laptop to the Dell's printer, no problem.

Like many others, I lost Internet connectivity when Windows Update automatically installed SP3 and KB 951748 this past week on the Dell. After researching the problem and reading through discussions here and at other formums like the Microsoft newsgroups and AumHa, I decided to uninstall Zone Alarm and enable Windows Firewall on the Dell. I made sure that the File and Printer Sharing exception was enabled when I did so. I also installed SP3 and KB951748 on the laptop.

Sometime since the Dell's upgrades and switching to Windows Firewall, however, I've lost file and printer sharing over the network for the Dell. It can no longer find the MacBooks or the laptop, nor can I print to the network printer connected to the router anymore. The laptop is unaffected; it can still see the MacBooks and print to the router printer. But it cannot find the Dell's share folder nor print to the Dell's printer anymore.

So far in my troubleshooting, I've done the following on both the Dell and the laptop:
  • The procedure in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304040/en-us to configure file sharing in XP professional.
  • The procedure in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/913621/en-us to set the Sharing and security model for local accounts policy to Classic - local users authenticate as themselves.
  • The procedure in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318030/en-us to enable NetBIOS and start the Computer Browsing service.
  • Placed the Dell in the same workgroup as the laptop and the MacBooks as they appear in the laptop's My Network Places. No luck with this; I have since restored to the original configuration. As far as I know, the Dell was in its own domain for all the time that file and printer sharing were working properly.
  • Used System Restore to go back to the point after installation of SP3 when I knew that I could still print to the router printer from the Dell. No luck with this either, still unable to file or print share from the Dell, so have since restored back.
My current symptoms for loss of file sharing are:
  • Trying to use the Add network place wizard on both the laptop and the Dell to navigate to the shares on the other, I get the error message "The folder you entered does not to appear to be valid. Please choose another." on both.
  • In the Dell's My Network Places list, all of the shared folders on the MacBooks and the laptop still appear, but when I double-click any of them, this error message appears: "\\ComputerName\ShareName is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions. The network path was not found."
I hope that all that is 1) not TMI, and 2) enough to get started. I'll be happy to supply any more information as needed.

Thanks,
Harko

Edited to add: looks like I might better have posted this in the networking forum. Dang.

Edited by garmanma, 20 July 2008 - 04:47 PM.
moved to appropiate forum


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#2 Harko

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:40 AM

I've made some progress and restored partial connectivity between the Dell and the other computers in my network.

I ran Seconfig XP on the Dell over the course of the week as a security measure, and it apparently closed a lot of ports and disabled a lot of network services like NetBios, etc. Fortunately, it saves the original configuration, and I was able to restore to that. After a restart, the Dell now has access to the shared folders on the laptop and the MacBooks, and those computers can now see the Dell as a network computer.

But the other computers are still unable to see the Dell's shares, they still can't print to the Dell's printer, and the Dell still can't print to the router printer.

I followed all the steps for troubleshooting listed here in Microsoft's Troubleshooting File and Printer Sharing in Microsoft Windows XP; the only thing not set right according to the guide was my Guest account not being enabled; I did so, but still no luck.

Any ideas in light of these new developments?

Cheers,
Harko

#3 Harko

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 06:20 PM

Since my last post, I've made a bit of progress after some more research.

The fellow posting here has a useful file-sharing checklist; working through it, I found out that the Security policies in the checklist:

- Access this computer from the network: add guest
- Deny logon locally: remove guest
- Network access:Sharing and security model... -> Guest only
- Deny access to this computer from the network-> check Guest is not here.

had been changed on the Dell; I pretty much had to set all four of those listed above back to the settings recommended. The only problem I had was not being able to (or knowing how to) add just "Guest" to the Access this computer from the network policy; it forced me to choose a location, which is the computer name, so now what's added is ComputerName\Guest.

After a restart, the MacBooks can now access the Dell's shares as they used to, connected as "Guest".

However, I still cannot access the Dell from the laptop; the symptoms are the same as in the first post.

Below are the result of trying to run "net view \\dellipaddress" from the laptop's command line:



c:\Documents and Settings\harko> net view \\10.0.1.197
System error 5 has occurred.

Access is denied.

c:\Documents and Settings\harko> net view \\10.0.1.197



I hope this helps further.

--Harko

#4 Harko

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 02:54 PM

Solved. Full file and print sharing restored between all computers on the network.

Apparently, the Dell had left the workgroup that all the other computers are in and joined its own domain at some point during my fiddlings. Once I switched the Dell back to the workgroup, everything was fine again.

My thanks to a very patient and pleasant Microsoft technical support person named Avinash over in India, with whom I spent four hours in a chat session this morning, to help figure that out.

--Harko

Edited by Harko, 22 July 2008 - 02:54 PM.





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