I am in the process of replacing an ageing Hewlett Packard laptop computer. It has always connected wirelessly to the Internet via a local area network, which includes the following devices:
Huawei EchoLife HG520b wireless ADSL router. Wireless protocols 802.11b and 802.11g. IP address 192.168.1.1. I have configured the DHCP server on the router, so that it allocates a different fixed IP address to designated computers.
LAN Network storage drive. Host name "NAS". Fixed IP address "192.168.1.253". Group name "WORKGROUP". No domain. SMB Server enabled (Read & Write). User Name "Guest". SMB password = null. Documents are saved in the "PUBLIC" folder on “NAS”. Wired Ethernet connection to the router.
Medion Desktop Computer. Windows XP 32-bit Home Edition (SP3). IP address 192.168.1.13 (allocated by DHCP). Computer Name "DESKTOP". Workgroup name WORKGROUP". No domain. User Name "Bob L****". The User Account is not password protected. The Guest User account is disabled. This computer connects to the router with a wired Ethernet connection. File and printer sharing are enabled. Avast Antivirus. Zone Alarm free firewall. The firewall is configured to place the IP addresses of my specified computers and the LAN drive in the trusted zone.
HP LaserJet LJ1018 printer. USB connection to the "DESKTOP" computer, with printer sharing enabled.
(Old) Laptop computer. Windows XP 32-bit Professional Edition (SP3). IP address 192.168.1.11 (allocated by DHCP). Computer Name "HP-LAPTOP". Workgroup name "WORKGROUP". No domain. User Name "Bob L****". The User account is password protected. This computer connects to the router wirelessly. File and printer sharing are enabled. Avast Antivirus. Zone Alarm free firewall. The firewall is configured to place the IP addresses of my other specified computers and the LAN drive in the trusted zone.
I am trying to configure a new laptop computer:
(New) Laptop computer. Windows 7, 64-bit Professional Edition (SP1). IP address 192.168.1.12 (allocated by DHCP). Computer Name "SAMSUNG-LAPTOP". Workgroup name "WORKGROUP". No domain. Network type is "Home", without a Windows 7 Homegroup. (However, I have also tried "Work" - which made no difference.) User Name "Bob L****". The User account is password protected (same User Name and password as the HP-LAPTOP). I installed Avast Antivirus, but experienced networking problems. Consequently, I uninstalled Avast and installed Microsoft Security Essentials. Windows firewall.
The advanced sharing settings of the "SAMSUNG-LAPTOP" are:
Network discovery - on
File and printer sharing - on
Public folder sharing - on
Media streaming - on
File sharing for devices that use 40 or 56 bit encryption - on
Password protected sharing - off
Allow windows to manage homegroup connections - on (but not applicable)
The “DESKTOP” and “HP-LAPTOP” computers can access shared files on every computer (including the “SAMSUNG-LAPTOP”). They also have full access to shared files on the “NAS” drive via the SMB server. The “HP-LAPTOP” can print wirelessly to my laser printer (using the USB connection from the “DESKTOP” computer).
However, I am experiencing great difficulty accessing the network from the Windows 7 “SAMSUNG-LAPTOP”. The situation is as follows:
When I configured the Windows 7 computer, Network Discovery identified all of the other devices - and I was able to access shared files on the “DESKTOP” computer. I installed the HP LaserJet as a network computer and I also mapped four shared drives, which reside on the “DESKTOP” computer. Everything seemed to work OK.
However, the “SAMSUNG-LAPTOP” has never managed to access shared files on the “HP-LAPTOP” or the “NAS” drive. If I select either of these external devices, a Windows security pop-up asks me to provide the following information:
Enter Network Password - Enter your password to connect to: “DESKTOP” (or “HP-LAPTOP” or “NAS”)
The next field, which is labelled SAMSUNG-LAPTOP\Bob L..., asks me to enter a password.
However, I have never created a "Network Password" - and it makes no difference whether I enter a user name (and password for the “HP-LAPTOP” or “NAS” drive) or leave the fields empty. The error message always reads "Logon failure. unknown user name or bad password."
More recently, I have experienced the same problem, when I try to access shared files on the “DESKTOP” computer from the “SAMSUNG-LAPTOP”. Furthermore, when I open the Network & Sharing Center and click on "See full map", the menu reports that Windows cannot discover any computer or device.
However, the router and the other devices respond OK, if I ping them from the “SAMSUNG-LAPTOP”. Furthermore, the list of Network folders in Windows Explorer still includes:
I have discovered that following “workaround” usually enables the “SAMSUNG-LAPTOP” to access the network printer and shared files on the “DESKTOP” computer.
- Reboot the “SAMSUNG-LAPTOP”
- Following the reboot, the “SAMSUNG-LAPTOP” reports that it cannot open mapped drives. This might be because Windows Explorer attempted to open the mapped drives, before it had established a wireless connection to the router.
- Open Network and Sharing Center / Advanced Sharing settings. Turn off network discovery and file and printer sharing.
- Return to Windows Explorer and select Network in the folder list. This generates a pop-up warning that Network Discovery is turned off. Click on the warning to enable Network Discover and File Sharing. Click on View / Refresh.
- This workaround enables the “SAMSUNG-LAPTOP” to access shared files - and print via the laser printer on the DESKTOP computer. However, it does not allow me to access “HP-LAPTOP” or the “NAS” drive. And sometimes, I need to repeat the process several times.
I have Googled this problem - and it seems many people have experienced similar difficulties. Consequently, I have tried the following suggestions:
In Local Security Policy/Security Options -
Accounts: Limit local use of blank passwords to console logon only - changed to "disabled"
Network security: LAN Manager authentication level - changed to "LM and LTLM - use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated"
I have not changed:
Domain controller: LDAP server signing requirements (not defined)
Microsoft network client: Send unencrypted password to third-party SMB servers (Disabled)
Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts (Classic - local users authenticate as themselves)
I have also experimented, by disabling the anti-virus and Zone Alarm firewall on the XP computers (on a temporary basis). Unfortunately, none of these suggestions made any difference.
I have never experienced networking problems between the older Windows XP computers (Win XP to Win XP or Win XP to “NAS” drive). The Windows XP computers can also access shared files on the new Windows 7 computer. This problem only seems to affect outward networking from the Windows 7 64-bit computer.
I am at my wits end, and shall appreciate some help and advice, please.