This isnt FIRST related but it would be really cool if someone could help me

I have an odd networking problem, hopefully someone here has seen this or something because i have never seen this like this before

Ok I have 4 computers in my home they used to all be networked with out any problem, I reformatted one to give to my little brother, when windows was finally installed I configured the computer into my work group. My main computer saw it but sharing wasn’t configured for some reason, so i configured it, just after that my computer didn’t see it anymore so i looked at it and it didn’t even see it self in the network. so i started trying to reconfigure my work group on both comps well after doing that now my computer doesn’t see anything nor itself either. but the other 2 computers saw each other when i hubed them through a 5 port hub and not my router as soon as i connected them to my router they didn’t see each other so i figured it was the router, went out and bought a new one just in case, same issue, i have tried every freaken thing that i can think of, the sad thing is networks are my specialty. here are the main specs

-Computer #1 (main)–
Windows XP Pro SP2
Win Firewall disabled
Norton Firewall enabled (have tired with it disabled)

-Computer #2
Windows XP Home SP1 upgraded to SP2
Win Firewall disabled
Norton Firewall enabled (have tired with it disabled)

-Computer #3
Windows XP Home SP1 upgraded to SP2
Win Firewall disabled
Norton Firewall disabled (will not enable theres an issue with it)

-Computer #4
Windows XP Pro SP2
Win Firewall disabled
Norton Firewall enabled (have tired with it disabled)
Saw itself on the network but only through wireless

Linksys Wireless N WRT300N

Linksys Cable

Internet works through out but not file sharing
The network is setup in a Star Topology

any possible help is very much appreciated, any info you need feel free to ask, thank you

Make Sure the IPX/SPX Protocol are installed on everybody. That protocol helps everyone see one another. Make sure all other Windows (Not Novell) Protocols are installed. Go into your Network Connections and right clip the one you are using on the Network (most likely Local Area Connection or something to that effect) and right click on it to select properties. From there you can install different protocols. Make sure all the PC’s are on the same workgroup and sharing is properly setup.

done all of that, still to no avail

Is the Windows Locator turned on in all of the computer? The problem may be the computer and not the router. Maybe you setup the card wrong?

yes it is on

Computer #4 saw itself wirelessly but no Hard Wire right? I can only think that either the NIC is shot, the Cat5 cable could be shot - highly doubt it or it’s setup wrong. I’ll have to think about this one.

not when plugged into the router but when plugged into the hub it did and also saw comp #3

this has been hassling me for 3 days I’ve devoted more time to this then i do at work

The first thing I would do would be to make sure I can PING each station.
You will need to know the IP address of each machine to ping.

I would also do a TRACERT to each station as well.
This will at least prove that they are in fact connected on the network and that network data can flow between them.

I would also make sure that your firewall/router is allowing Windows file and print sharing on the LAN side and NOT the WAN side of the connections.
TCPBUEI (Netbios over IP) is the protocol used over ports 135, 137, 138, and 139 TCP and UDP for Microsoft NetBIOS.

You certainly don’t need IPX/SPX protocol unless you are running a Novell Netware Network which you aren’t. So I highly recommend you remove those since they only slow networking down by adding an additional stack to process.

Also note that for some odd reason I have experienced in a peer to peer network that it can take several minutes to even an hour for a single machine to appear in the Network list. That’s another one of MS’s bad ideas about name broadcasting, name resolution, etc…

Make sure you have Client for MS Networks, File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks, and TCP/IP protocols bound to the NIC you are using. Also make sure the WORKGROUP name is the same for ALL machines and that each machines name is unique.

Outside of that, then it’s either bad cables, bad nics, or bad ports on the router or any combination there of.

when i ping them i get a 100% fail (times out), ive replaced cables, nics, and routers, my firewalls are set up to permit file share, the workgroup is the same on each i cant do a TRACERT if the pings arnt going through, i should also mention that every computer has a connection to the net

Okay, if you can can’t ping them, yet they all have access to the internet then it is a firewall/router issue. Whether it’s the router or some software firewall on the Windows machine I can’t tell.

I would take the machines, reconnect them to the hub, connect that hub to your firewall/router. Then see if you can ping and/or tracert the machines connected to the hub. This may eliminate or confirm the firewall/router as to where the issue lays.

If all of your stations can ping and tracert each other when connected to the hub and they have access to the internet too, then issue is within the firewall/router. If not, then it is something in the configuration of the machines that can’t communicate with each other.

Also some firewall/routers need to know the “workgroup” or “windows domain” that they participate in otherwise they won’t allow the peer to peer networking. I’m not sure if the router you have is one of those or not.