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Please help me with Home Networking

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by DaHaMac, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. DaHaMac

    DaHaMac

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    If I had hair I'd be pulling it out :)

    I am trying to set up a home network so I can communicate between computers. You know, share files and printers on all the computers.

    I have run the WinXP Home Network wizard several times and still have not achieved satisfactory results. At the current time, the wife's computer can see my computer and her computer can use the printer attached to my computer. I cannot see her computer on the workgroup. The laptop does not see either computer on the workgroup. I can see the laptop from my computer but cannot connect to it as I get an unable to connect error.

    The wife's computer is wired into the Linksys router, my computer is wireless-B, and the laptop top is wireless-G. Internet works on all computers.

    The wife's computer is running free zonealarm, mine is running zonealarm pro, and the laptop is running Charter F-secure.

    I would really love to be able to talk to all these computers and share files, I'm getting tired of burning CD's and transferring 200+mb files with jump drives.

    I would greatly appreciate any help, I consider myself a slightly above average computer user but this network stuff is new to me and is making my head hurt.

    Thanks,
    Daniel
     
  2. Darkmage

    Darkmage

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    Some troubleshooting tips:

    1) Make sure all computers are in WORKGROUP mode, not domain mode. You're probably already there as I don't think you have a domain server.

    2) Make sure all computers are in the same workgroup. Spelled the same way. In all caps, just to be sure.

    3) Check the IP addresses of all of your computers and make sure they're all on the same subnet. Most likely, your computers will have a local IP address of 192.168.123.xxx where xxx varies by computer. If you have something where there is a variation from each computer in the other numbers (anything other than the last three digits) then you may have a problem.

    4) Try turning off you computer firewalls. The computers may be blocking the network "who's out there" messages, keeping your computers from knowing the topography of your network.

    HTH.
     

  3. srhoades

    srhoades

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    Sounds firewall related. Check each firewall for a file/print sharing option. Also, some firewalls allow you to enter the range of your private IP's and will allways allow traffic from that range.
     
  4. DaHaMac

    DaHaMac

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    Thanks for the tips they have helped some, I am 66% connected right now.

    Darkmage I double-checked all of those things you mentioned and that helped, especially step 4. That was shroades suggestion also, and my gut feeling.

    I finally turned off the f-secure firewall as its configuration was confusing. I am letting Windows firewall protect my laptop, I hope the Windows Firewall is pretty good. Zonealarm I was able to configure to allow the specific workgroup computers to connect.

    However, here is my problem still.

    Computer #1 - Wife's computer (C1), which is connected via cat-5 cable to the router, can see and talk to Computer #2 - Laptop (C2) and can see and talk to Computer #3 - Office computer (C3). C2 is wireless and can see and talk to C3 but not C1, can't even see C2. C3 is wireless and can see and talk to C2 but can't even see C1. I have noticed when I check the workgroup on all the computers each computer shows up in the workgroup along with the other computer it can see, except C1 which does not show up in the workgroup even at its own location. Is this because C1 is a wired connection and the other two are wireless?

    At least now the wife can use the printer and I can scan pictures and upload the pictures from the camera to my computer and then distribute the pictures to the other computers. Except I can only get the pictures to wife's computer by physically going to her computer and downloading from C3.

    Wow, this is confusing just describing the problem. :supergrin:

    Thanks,
    Daniel
     
  5. Patrick Graham

    Patrick Graham Footlong Jr.

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    Not sure how free zone alarm handles it... but in Zone Alarm pro you have to set up a list of trusted IP address... under firewall/zones..

    that will allow systems with these IP addresses to have access

    Limit your DHCP pool to 5 on the router and enter that range of 5 addresses in the trusted zone on each pc's firewall..
     
  6. Generalcarry

    Generalcarry NRA Member

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    Does anyone know of a site or book, that has all these wireless "how to" steps?
     
  7. Darkmage

    Darkmage

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    Try www.practicallynetworked.com

    It's certainly possible. Your router should act as a switch/access point and allow computers on both networks to see each other. If something isn't configured properly and/or the router doesn't have the capability, that would explain why one network can't see the other. What model router do you have again?

    Have you tried pinging C1 from any of your wireless computers? Do you get a response?

    Oh, and one last little question... for the love of all that is holy, please do not tell me that C1 is running Windows 98.
     
  8. DaHaMac

    DaHaMac

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    Darkmage,

    No C1 is not running Win98. I agree that would be unholy :supergrin:

    The router is a Linksys WRTG54GL.

    I haven't tried pinging C1, but have tried connecting by typing in the IP address to no avail. Not sure I remember how to ping, been a while since I've pinged game servers. I used ping command in the windows command box and I get a request timed out answer.

    I'm not sure what setting it would be at the router, most of that language is new to me.

    It is strange that when I was adding the trusted zones in zonealarm that zonealarm was able to see C1 when I gave the proper name and description, but nothing else has been able to see it.

    I did manually add a network place at C1 that was located on C1. When I did this I noticed that in my network places the place added for C1 was shown as a "local network" whereas C2 and C3 are shown as "Internet".

    If I hadn't already overspent this Christmas it would be tempting to run down to Wally-World and get a Linksys-G wireless adapter and put all three computers on wireless. However, don't I need one computer hardwired to the router in order to communicate to the router? I did see an option for a remote connect to the router, maybe that would remove the need to be hardwired to the router.
     
  9. Ljunatic

    Ljunatic On The Fringe

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    I would recommend keeping a wired PC for this reason. IF you make a mistake setting up the wireless, until you get it right, you will lose access to the router.

    My little network has 2 XP machines and 1 Win98 amd 1 win98SE machine.
    One wired desktop and 3 wireless notebooks.

    I use the NETBEUI protocol for file and print sharing and networking. I have unbound TCP\IP from the network client and file\print sharing.

    This is a technique I got from GRC.

    I have no issues when I have properly established the workgroup, WEP encryption, MAC addressing restrictions.

    My only problem right now is a network printer that will play nice with both XP , win98 and Win98se.

    Next step is to setup my new HP C5180 on the routers ethernet port and that should work.

    BTW, I am using Netgear equipment.
     
  10. Darkmage

    Darkmage

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    Sweet! I have a similar router (minus the "L") and they work really well. In that case...

    Have you checked to make sure your router is running the latest firmware? Linksys has made updating the firmware on your router exceptionally easy. The only thing to remember is you want to update your router from C1, your wired computer.

    I flashed a third-party firmware onto my router a few months ago. It really expanded some of the capabilities of the router (including boosting the power output). It also let me assign static addresses via DHCP so the computers dynamically ask for IP addresses, but the router is configured to always give the same IP to my desktop and my wireless print server.

    The upshot of this is that if we continue having these problems, I can hook a laptop up to my router with a cable and see if I can duplicate your problem. :)


    That's pretty much how you ping. Remember to ping by IP address, because we've already determined that your computers can't see each other by name.

    If you were pinging by IP address... something is definitely amiss.

    No, you don't really need to have a computer hooked up physically to the router... but it helps under the rare circumstances. For example, if you change your wireless encryption key, it helps to have a wired computer you can use to access the router and turn off all the wireless security if something goes wrong. Additionally, if you upgrade the BIOS on the router, you really should (I want to say "must" but I'm not 100% sure) do it from a wired computer.