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 Post subject: Problems Sharing on Home Network
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:59 pm
Posts: 1
Ok, so first of all, we have a interesting network setup. We have a Linksys WRT54GL as our router. Connected to it is 3 Windows 7 laptops (wireless), a Windows XP pro Desktop (wireless), and a wire running from that router to a Linksys 16-port switch. From that switch is my desktop (running XP pro), then a wire running to a second wireless router (a D-Link) which is setup as an access-point. Connected to that are two xbox 360s. One wireless and one hardwired.

*Phew* I think that's best way to explain.

So now the problem... Two of the three Windows 7 laptops cannot access the two desktops with Windows XP. Weird thing is, my laptop (the third Windows 7 laptop) has no problem accessing the shares. The desktops can access the laptops and eachother.

I would list what we've all tried already, but there's been so much we've done and now we are at a stand-still. Has us stuck scratching our heads. Another weird thing is that we can access the files by typing the IP address into the address bar, but can't access the printer. So maybe a DNS issue??? Any insight would be great. Thanks in advance.

 Post subject: Re: Problems Sharing on Home Network
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:33 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Covington, La.
Good show, you answered your own question or came very very close to it at the very least.

I am sure you know that kind of setup is a network nightmare begging for trouble for most users. Many ugly things can happen on on a large broadcast domain, especially when not running spanning tree which most likely your devices are not capable of.

But anyways, unless you are using a dedicated DNS server at your home or something like Open-WRT on your router there is no DNS involved whatsoever. Your internet device/gatewayfirewall is probably only taking DNS requests for the internet and forwarding them out to the internet to be resolved it will not normally function as a local DNS server for your network.

So without that mechanism your machines are left to basically using netbios broadcasts and queries for name resolution. The thing about this protocol is while it functions fairly well for home networks it is for the most part in this instance layer 2 only. Meaning all your machines need to be on the same broadcast domain to see each other via netbios.

So if you are doing something on one of your switches like using different subnets or vlans this will not function properly and you will not have name resolution. I suspect this is what you have occurring.

There are ways around this if you must keep that config. Some router software (again for example Open-wrt) will allow you to put in static hostnames for name resolution but of course then you need to use DHCP reservations or static IPs for that to work properly. You could also go the static IP route and add entries to your host files on your windows boxes.

But probably the best and easiest solution is to (if possible) dump the different subnets or vlans.

I almost forgot. One last thing to check is if you are running a personal firewall on your machines whether Windows or otherwise. Sometimes those will purposely break netbios.

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