Can't see all computers on XP home network

JoeH50 - Oct 15, 2008 at 04:05 AM
 Mark - Dec 12, 2014 at 09:38 PM
I have three computers running XP home on 2 and Xp Pro on the other. I also have a laptop running Vista home. All are connected to a 2wire 1000SW gateway/router through a net gear network switch. All computers are running norton protection software offered by ATT. The problem is that I can not get the file/printer sharing to work. I have all the file sharing and print sharing enabled. The 2 wire router sees all the systems. but the computers don't see each other. What do I have to enable or disable to get it to work. thank you for any help you can give

41 replies

install the Microsoft TCP/IP version 6 protocol in both computers by clicking install on your LAN properties dialogue window. mine was there in the install list, I didn't have to go searching externally for it. restart
Thanks for all your help. I'll try that after the Holidays
Thank you so much for your information.
It help me alot.


Your a genius! Thanks for your help. Worked like magic!
thank you so much! my remaining error is that acces denied :D BTW its ok...
Holly Crap another Marcelo thought for sure I was the only one!
If you are having a hard time finding any other pc's on your network on the vista pc make sure that "Password Protected Sharing" is disabled. Follow the instructions to see if it's on.

Control panel
Network and Internet (or Network and Sharing Center if you have "Classic View" enabled)
Network and Internet Sharing Center
Scroll down until you see "Password Protected Sharing" and tick it off.

Then you should see Your vista pc's on XP and XP pc's on Vista. Hope this helps got me unstuck!
I havent read all these posts in full but . . . .

1. I wouldn't use Vista ever - at work when we buy any Pcs or Laptops we insist on a roll-back disk to set up as Windows XP Pro - suggest you get a licensed copy of XP Pro - save data and over-install

2. If you put SP3 on an XP pro computer >> you can't see the other PCs on the same wirless subnet

3. Solution remove XP SP3 >>> install XP SP2 and - it works - you can see printers PCs etc
VistaUser > Kurn
Apr 20, 2009 at 03:27 AM
Wow - good suggestion, let's all use a 9 year old OS!
you are a god - thanks so much for posting this answer.
Thank you for your answer this fixed all my network problems!
Thanks to all who replied on here. You guys were all very helpful and got my network up an drunning as opposed to those nimrods at ATT or GeekSquad who wanted me to pay for something they install and could not answer about. I am really surprised Norton has not addressed this issue yet. Thank you to all.
The issue is most likey caused by the mode that Netbios is running in. There are 4 node types: peer-peer, broadcast, mixed and hybrid.

Open a command window and type ipconfig/all the hit enter.
About the third line down you will see node type and I would bet it is most like set to peer-peer.

peer-peer does not check local broadcast for resolution, it only checks the cache and then looks for a wins server.

changing it to any of the other 3 modes should fix your problem.

To change it open Regedit and find the navaget to the following:


Look at the DhcpNodeType key.
If you have a Nodetype key change it as well. (the DhcpNodeType key overrides the NodeType)

It is most likely set to 2.

1 = Broadcast (checks cache then local broadcast)
2 = Peer-Peer (checks cache then wins)
4 = Mixed (checks cache then local broadcast then wins)
8 = Hybrid (checks cache then wins then local broadcast )

Double click it and set it to 1 (home or small network no server) 8 if you are on a network with a wins server.

Reboot the machine and you should be good to go.
This is what I have been looking for for about a year.

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Jun 27, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Best answer which helped me out!! You're professional!!!!!
Mark on the Pacific
Apr 18, 2014 at 11:51 AM
Maxcat - the REGEDIT32 fix WORKS GREAT! I didn't even have to reboot my XP laptop, I put it to sleep when the battery was low and when I woke it up it knew where are the other computers were and the shared folders on them that I had connected to. Still not quite sure why it "forgot" them after a routine Windows update although I could ping them via their IP addresses, etc. but that is one of the mysteries of Windows.
There's a confusing amount of accurate and inaccurate detail in this thread so I'm relating critical steps I took this morning helping a neighbour implement printer sharing in his home network where a Canon MP160 printer is connected to a Compaq Presario desktop PC running Windows VISTA Home Premium with SP1. He wanted to be able to print wirelessly from an Acer TravelMate 4000 notebook running Windows XP with SP3 in another room. If you follow these steps everything should work first time but be patient while Windows finds the new printer share.

1. Right click My Computer and open Properties on the PC connected to the printer. Write down the Workgroup name on a piece of paper, or change it to a new name keeping this new name to something simple like DADSHOME. If you change the Workgroup name, you will need to re-boot the PC for the new Workgroup name to take effect.

2. Go to the other PC or PC's - those without the wired printer connection, and from which you want to print remotely - and change the Workgroup name to whatever the Workgroup name is in Properties for the PC with the printer connected. In the example in 1. above, you would change each PC's Workgroup name to read DADSHOME. As in 1. above too, anytime you change the Workgroup name you must re-boot that computer for the changed Workgroup name to apply. When done, all your PC's in the home network will have the same Workgroup name, and this is a basic requirement for printer sharing to work.

3. Now back to the host computer, the one to which the printer is hard-wired running VISTA, there are some more things to do on that box:

First, in your Network Connections click on Properties to bring up the adapters and protocols that Microsoft has installed. The File and Printer sharing box for Microsoft Networks must be checked. Close Properties. If you have changed anything, Windows will probably order you to re-boot your system for changes to take effect.

Second, in Control Panel look for Printers. Without recalling the exact name for the Control Panel window in VISTA (I'm Windows XP-knowledgeable, plus the neighbour's OS'es were all in Spanish) you will find an option to add a printer. Here there are three details to be sure to take care of:

(a) In the Sharing tab be sure to check the right to share printer box, and Apply the change, OK;
(b) Check that you are automatically allowing any other remote PC that you are allowing to share this printer to load the same printer driver that is used by the host PC.
Then this last one is vital - it stymies many people or they just plain forget about it or don't even know about it,
(c) Uncheck the requirement for Printer-password access in VISTA to share the printer on the network.

If it makes you feel more comfortable, reboot all PCs in the network and when you go to add a printer to each remote PC (those without the printer attached) it should just be a task taking a few moments of your time. This morning it took me about ten minutes to make the changes, do the rebooting, and print out a test page on each machine. I hope this helps although I apologize for not supplying the exact Windows dialogue boxes.

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sorry, I meant network protocol, not adaptor
im really dumb when it comes to computers but somehow I set up all 3 computers on me home network and printer sharing works fine lolol dont ask how I done it I have no idea

maybe you should stop thinking how to do it an jus do it
It's Norton. I can't tell you how I did it, but I had to go into my Norton 360 firewall and 'allow' the Vista to see the XP machine. The firewall treats it as a malicious attempt & blocks it, but doesn't tell you that's what it's doing!

The Norton 360 came on my machine. as soon as the trial expired I removed it and installed AVG.
I had this problem and I renamed my workgroup to ThePig (not really just an example) ON ALL the computers 2-XPs and 1-Windows 7.
Then the folders on windows 7 you want to share you right click on them and click (Properties - Sharing - Share) where it says (Add) you click on the (drop down arrow) and select (Everyone) click add and you should be good to go.
I have an Xp64 and couldn't see any computer on the network, even with firewall (ICS service) disabled. What I noticed was that the "TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper" service was not started. After I did this I could find all other computer.

Hope this helps. :)
THe solution for this is often simple:

Run the Network Setup Wizard on your XP Computer, make your workgroup name MSHOME

On your Vista computer, right click "Computer" and click properties. Near the bottom of the window, you should see the workgroup name which is probably "WORKGROUP" instead of "MSHOME". So naturally that is your problem. Click the "Change Settings" button and change the workgroup name to "MSHOME". Restart the vista machine and you're done.

Hope that helps!
you might want to check out these pages to fix such problems
that help

see the link .. to configure windows firewall.. so all computers show on network
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Oct 15, 2008 at 08:48 AM
have you checked that the firewall is properly configured for the printer?
yes the firewall is properly cofigured
take norton off
you need what I am looking for. a network adaptor that works in both xp and vista. network adaptors are what allows the computers to see each other. certain adaptors work with certain operating systems and I seem to be missing the one that lets xp talk to vista. if I find it I will post it here
I have also had trouble with Windows Vista pretending it is the only PC in the workgroup despite there being several others.

I got fed up with it when I bought a "storage router" that allows me to share USB drives and printers on the network without a PC hosting them. All my Ubuntu Linux 8.04 and 8.10 systems could happily see these shares, as well as a Windows XP system. But Vista could not see it thanks to Norton firewall. I had enabled file and print sharing in the firewall, but it made no difference. When I finally turned Norton Firewall off altogether, I still could not discover the other computers, but I could at least use \\<server name> ivia "Tools" in the "Network and Sharing Center" to force Vista to display their shares and allow me to map / connect to them.

Most of my systems are now Ubuntu Linux, but I have one XP system for "legacy" software (mainly PC games for the kids) and one Vista system for current compatibility (everything that's 'windows-only ' EXCEPT games). It's been very annoying that the Linux systems can see everything, on any system, but the Windows systems can't even see each other, never mind anything else.....without a lot of messing around.

Just wondering if you were able to solve the xp / vista probvlem? I can not get print share to work between the two Op sys's. Vista does not seam to see XP???
Hey, just another post to read but someone might pick up something.

I have made a home network with xp as main, vista on wireless laptop and an older machine starting out with 98 and then upgraded to xp. I was able to install the LLTD protocol that each machine needed. I can see each machine from each machine on my network page. I am trying now to network a vista and xp pro sp3 by wired router. Both can access the internet. The vista sort of sees the xp, but cannot connect to it yet even though file sharing is turned on the xp and the vista. I tried to install the LLTD to the xp sp3 machine but it said I 'did not need it'. it did not give an explanation why. The xp machine does not see any kind of network.

any thoughts?
babznme > babz
Mar 29, 2009 at 05:23 PM
Just me with an update, see my thread below for the answer. Mocirosoft is only supporting XP SP3 for a short time.
kayway > babz
Nov 3, 2009 at 11:31 AM
Thanks for posting your experience with upgrading from Win"98" I wasn't sure it could be done. Can you also tell me what size was your processor and if that matters. Thanks
Jan 20, 2009 at 04:03 AM
get this from microsoft and run it on your XP machine.
i dont see the network from vista
idont see the win vista from server 2003
babznme > adh1926
Mar 29, 2009 at 05:20 PM
What kind of environment is your network? Wired? or is it wireless? Is one a 'main' computer and the other wireless?

However it is, it should work like what happened close to me. Without going online, set up your home network and make sure they both have the same workgroup name. That is very important. Turn off the firewall on both computers while doing this, it will just make it easier in the long run.

After setting up your network, make sure you tell each computer to 'share' you want to be able to print from both so you need to at least 'share' the printer.

When you are done, then turn back on the firewalls and test out your network. Vista is not the one with the trouble really. the 2003 server is. It has a hard time recognizing a newer windows version. Turn off the firewall and it should see your network when you are all finished. You may need to also turn off your virus software on the 03 server.

Then when you are totally done and know your network is good and secure, then you can go online. That way you should be safe. Good luck!
After insane amounts of headaches installing the Microsoft TCP/IP version 6 worked like a charm!
My printer sharing problem was caused by McAfee, and I'm hoping the solution might work with Norton. I went to Reports and Logs in Mcafee Security Center. Under Recent Events, I clicked on View Log. Then I clicked Internet and Network and finally on Inbound Events. Then I was able to see when the remote PC attempted to access the main PC to which the printer is connected. I clicked on the event and at the bottom of the page added the IP address of the remote PC to the trusted list. The printer immediately showed up in the printers list on the remote PC. I hope this is helpful.

This was it. The McAfee on the Vista machine has been blocking the IP address.

Thanks a bunch.
It's nearly a year since this was posted, but this reply solved my problem!!!! Only by going into the McAfee Internet Logs and allowing my laptop's IP was I FINALLY able to see my XP desktop on my Windows 7 laptop. Permissions, LLTP, Home or Work workgroup made no difference, it was that final layer buried in McAfee that was the stumbling block to home networking. A million thanks!!!!!!!
Kelly from CA
Jan 10, 2010 at 08:58 AM

This worked like a charm! I couldn't for the life of me figure out why after setting up file sharing on both my desktop and laptop, both of which are Vista, I could only get my desktop to see my laptop but not the reverse.

Thanks a million!
Your suggestion was spot on. Thanks for helping me solve my issues.

Superdave you are indeed SUPER!! I was going crazy trying to figure out why none of the remote computers would print...I followed the steps you outlined and we're back up and running! Thanks!
Hi, after watching the forum for awhile, I deccided to see if Microsoft was supporting XP. They are supporting the sp3 version until the middle of April 09. So I got online with them and they remotely helped me for free. The thing that worked was turning off all firewalls and virus software. Then making the home network. Mine was a wired environment, but had the same problem as wireless, because one machine is XP the other is Vista. Vista had no problem, but the XP machine would not allow the network through until weshut off the firewalls on both. All is good now and I can print from both machines! Thanks for all your help too!
Go to control panel/admin tools/services/server. Make sure it isn't disabled, if it is set it on automatic and then hit "start" and then you should see that computer on the network. As soon as I did that my problem was solved. I have a boost program that turns it off, so I just start it up again and no problems.
It's all bullcrap when it comes to Mic.soft.. I have an exact oposite of the problem described here by a few people. My XP machine sees Vista, but Vista won't see the XP.
Needless to say, THIS USED TO WORK! Then one day, Windows Vista, being such a "smart" and "advanced" OS, simply refused to access the XP machine.
I'm guessing, since I'm switching LAN's quite often for my work, Win Vista got some garbage stuck in it's cache somewhere, and now it's creating problems. I've seen it cache DNS's, gateways, etc, and then using the cached information on different networks.. I mean, what the heck is that!? Who came up with that sh*t?!

One other proof of this is my work LAN, where some people can access other people's computers, but others can't, and there is no rule! XP sees Vista, Linux/UNIX see it, but some Vista machines don't see other Vistas, yet some others do!

If someone knows how to clear this cache, please post it here.. I'm sure that in most cases this is what creates network problems...

bigAl > skrki
May 7, 2009 at 01:02 AM
Hi, try clearing the sockets like this: Open a command prompt In Vista it's START/ALL PROGRAMS/ACCESSORIES and look for the command prompt icon (in Vista you have to right click the icon and select 'Run as Administrator' even if you are logged in with an Administrator account otherwise you'll end up with a message 'needs elevation'!)
At the prompt type netsh and press enter. At the netsh prompt type winsock and press enter. At the winsock prompt enter reset and press enter. This clear the ip cache etc. Restart the machine and see if its worked. It may not do the trick but it's a good place to start. Good luck
Big Chief > bigAl
Jul 24, 2009 at 07:35 AM
I have been using your method to clear the sockets on my new Vista 64 home computer every morning when I come to work so that it can communicate with one of the three computers on our office network. The vista machine stays in communication with the other two (one running XP pro SP3 & one running the final version of 2000 pro) but for whatever reason it fails to stay connected with the machine that serves our printer (also running XP pro sp3). Once I run the procedure you outline it works fine until the nest morning when I have to clear the sockets again. Any suggestions on how to run down the cause of this would be greatly appreciated.

wslazyk > bigAl
Oct 25, 2009 at 12:24 AM
Big Al - Thanks for the tip about clearing the sockets. It worked like a champ to re-establish my wife's XP desktop connected printer as an available printer to her Vista Laptop. On my other XP desktop, I installed IPV6 support and also dropped the McAfee firewall. Now her Vista laptop sees all the printers on all the desktop machines. That makes for a happy wife and a happy wife makes for a happy hubby.

Thank you all for your assistance.
I have a home network. XP pro hard-wired to a router, XP Pro wireless desktop and Vista Home Premium laptop.

The printer is on the wireless desktop. I can print from one XP to the other, but not from Vista. I am an IT Technical Support Technician and oversee the 14 printers that we have connected at work. At home, I even tried to "create a new port" when adding the printer to my Vista. This I tried several different ways and all to no avail. I am convinced that Vista does not play well with XP Pro in a workgroup setting.

Vista has a different group policy than did XP. This works in conjuntion with Server 2008. Interestingly, I now dual-boot the XP desktop with Windows 7 RC, thinking that would resolve my issue with Vista printing to that machine. No. Windows 7 has a build in "Neighborhood" feature that is some ways restricts sharing resources unless it is with a Windows 7 neighbor.

My advice is to get a print server. People have gotten a Netgear device for about $119. It will act as a Wireless Access Point (extending range from the router), replace my wireless card on the Desktop (it'll be hard-wired to the print-server) and allow all of my devices to print to the attached printer. MS didn't think this issue out well.