Reader Tom Linton wrote about is problems that occurred when he installed Windows XP Service Pack 3 shortly after it was released:
I made the mistake of not being patient. SP3 had been out about a week and I hadn’t seen very much in the various email newsletters I subscribe to. A few friends had told me they installed SP3 and had no troubles. One even commented that his PC ran noticeably faster after the upgrade. So, I went ahead and upgraded 2 of my 3 PCs. Bad timing!
My primary PC (a Gateway GM5045H) did not appreciate the medicine, my secondary PC (my hand me down to my wife, a DELL Dimension 8200) upgraded with no know problems, and my third PC is to old to run XP.
My Gateway refused to run I.E.7, crashed my Media Center, would not let me connect to the Internet, and generally ran very slow. There may have been other problems I didn’t wait around to find out about. I did research (which I should have done before the SP3 upgrade, but I trusted MS to get this right since it was so long coming) with my wifes PC. The consensus was to uninstall SP3. I did this. My Media Center worked again but I.E.7 refused. I uninstalled I.E.7 back to I.E.6. It seemed to work OK. I upgraded to I.E.7 and it crashed again. Back to I.E.6. I only use I.E. for those pages that will not run properly in Firefox.
My real problem is my personal LAN. All the other PCs can see my main PC but my main PC cannot see them. Network Magic could not resolve the problem. I have searched the Internet and tried several suggestions on various forums. None have restored my ability to see my other PC’s on my LAN. I cannot PING the other PC’s. It is like the SP3 upgrade changed some settings to tighten up LAN security, but I cannot find how to undo them.
Tom said that he could not ping the the other compuers from his computer. — by name – or by ip address? If you can’t by IP address, then something is blocking them. If you can ping by IP address but not by name, you would know that it’s WIndows name resolution that is causing the problem.
I suggested that the IPv6 service, which I expected that XP SP3 set up, but he could not find the service “IPv6”.
It was probably listed as TCP/IP v6 service. For more about this service and other services, BlackViper.com is a great resource —
As far as pinging, he could not even ping his router by name or by IP address (his was the defaule 192.168.1.1) but he could access it through Firefox by typing in the IP address. Strange!
So, something is blocking he Ping command from working and is also interfering with name resolution on the other computers.
At this point, I suggested that he do some Google searching for
Windows XP computer can not see other computers on network
Google is really good about making sense out of long search strings. If you put the string in quotes, Google would search for that specific string of words. Here, we don’t want to use quotes, because we want to use the power of Google to find anything that may help.
There are some Registry settings that you’ll find references to, which you’ll want to check on all the machines to make sure they’re set the same.
Tom’s solution was ultimately the same as Delmer’s — reinstalling Windows XP.
This saga went on long enough. I was well overdue anyway for a wipe and renew. So I did a restore to original (out of box) system and went trough the exercise of reloading all the MS updates (except SP3) and reloaded my software. It was amazing how booting up was so much faster, but it gradually slowed some as I added updates and software. It is still faster than before.
I did find what was blocking the ping to the router. It was a setting on the router. From my main (renewed) PC I still CANNOT ping the other PC’s on my LAN and I cannot see them in “My Network Places”. They can all see my main PC and any shared folders I might setup.
Any new suggestions to get my main PC to be able to see my other PCs? I use the DELL (hand me down to the wife) as a backup for my data and image files. It has LOTS OF SPACE not used by my wife.
Strangely, this didn’t solve all of Tom’s problems.
I suggested that he check the firewalls on the other machines to see how they were set to allow (or block) other computers. Me might have an issue there.
If he did a restore from a restore CD, as opposed to a new install, clean might have had one of the trial versions of Norton or McAfee installed. For example, I found a couple years ago that the Norton trial install, even though it was not activated, still blocked home networking.
I suggested that he:
- Make sure you’re all on the same Workgroup.
- Make sure your firewall isn’t blocking access out to the others.
- Make sure your firewall is set to allow file & printer sharing.
Finally, other than that, I had to point him to Google. There are a lot of possible points of failure, and a lot of pages about them.