Simple Windows networking question from a simpleton

This shouldn’t be nearly as difficult for me to figure out as it has been, but I am too tired, too cranky, and/or too stupid to fix it on my own… :-(

I have a small network of 3-4 PCs at home (3 with Win2K, 1 with WinXP), one of which has a printer. In the past, file and print sharing worked fine on these PCs, no problems. Recently, though, I can’t get any of my machines to talk to each other, and I suspect the problem is due to the most recent batch of Windows security updates I installed. I can’t find anything that’s changed about my network settings, though, and so far my searches for help have been fruitless. All PCs are hooked into the same DSL router and they can all get online through it, so the HW shouldn’t be an issue.

Anyone else encounter this problem and know what I’m talking about and (most of all) can tell me how to fix it? Thanks!

First thing would probably be to make sure the built in firewall is disabled (presuming they’re running WinXP)

If you’ve done security updates, it’s time to open up services.msc and
see what services have been reactivated. It always activates the ones
you don’t want after an update :/

Exactly what is it you want to do but cannot?

Some clarifications I was too tired / cranky to post yesterday:

  • I can’t get any of my PCs to talk to one another now. The print server won’t talk to the file server, the file server won’t talk to the XP box, the XP box can’t access either. So no file or print sharing right now - period. Before, everything worked fine.
  • The WinXP box is using Windows Firewall; the Win2K boxes use NetDefense, which comes with SystemSuite 5. I was definitely using firewalls on all my PCs in the past when file / print sharing was working properly.
  • File / print sharing is set up on IPX only - not TCP/IP. So firewall(s) shouldn’t be an issue, since the ones I use only block TCP/IP (I think).
  • Each PC can access itself: i.e., if I browse the Network Neighborhood, the print server can see itself and the file server can see itself.

Again: I’m stumped. Since I’m using IPX, my firewalls shouldn’t be an issue…or so I thought. I’ll try disabling them tonight (after turning off my DSL) and see if I can get it working then. Other than that…well, I’m open to suggestions.

Make sure they all have the same workgroup name.

Make sure you still have IPX bound to each of the NICs. In fact, now would be a good time to double check all the networking basics on each machine.

Whenever this happeens I run the Home Network Setup Wizard on the control panel for each PC and that usually helps PCs get connected and sharing files and printers.

won’t work for IPX, but maybe it is the best way to go at this point.