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WinXP network loses drive assignments +

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#1 trails38


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Posted 14 January 2009 - 07:19 PM

I have 6 PC's networked together; 3 desktops running WinXP sp3, 2 laptops running WinXP sp3, 1 laptop running Win Vista sp1. All except the Vista laptop are from 3-7 years old, but we cannot afford replacements. The oldest desktop has always been designated as the "server," where most files are stored. That desktop is backed up by Carbonite, so I am not too worried about losing data. All PC's are running Spybot S&D and AVG Free Virus protection with automatic updates and scans; I am assured that there is a firewall in the Linksys router.

This week, several things have happened:
1-One XP laptop keeps losing its video (blank screen even on attached external monitor); it sometimes comes back to normal after being turned off for 1+ hours;
2-The other XP laptop is very much slower that it was a week ago and when I try to run Firefox 3.0, it freezes the entire computer. I have uninstalled Firefox and will try a clean install when I return to the office next week. IE runs fine on it.
3-The Vista laptop seems normal for a Vista laptop.
4-One XP desktop is newer and faster than the others so I had put all "server" files there and was using it as the server for the last month. (Until I was confident of the arrangement's stability, it's changed files were transferred daily to the old server for Carbonite backup.) It's relevant file structure (\\PM\isa-files) was designated as "B:" to all the other PC's in the network. Today, the other PC's could no longer get to their B: drive - sometimes. A ghost drive \\PM\isa-files~1 appeared in the available network drives listing and I could connect to that - sometimes. My fix: I made sure the latest files are on the original "server" and pointed all other PC's to it. Now I'm waiting for another problem to crop up.

Could all of these things be related? Is there a virus or Trojan that could cause this? Or are we just the victim of a massive bad coincidence? Any suggestions are appreciated. - Thanks, Linda

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