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I have many PCs & Macs in my household...all of them connected to a Windows 7 share.

All of a sudden, one of my Windows 7 PCs can't connect to the share anymore. In fact, it can't connect to any computers on the network. The network drive can't be found. Oddly enough, the server is visible in the Network sidebar from Windows Explorer. However, clicking it displays an error dialog (the specified network provider name is invalid)

What is even more odd is I can ping the server (using either the machine name or ip address) and it finds it just fine. But any attempt to reconnect to the server fails via `net use' or manually Windows Explorer.

I've flushed the DNS cache, but that didn't fix the problem.

I'm at a loss on what else I can try...can somebody offer some insight?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Any updates on that machine lately? I have seen the "advanced sharing options" get reset before. Or perhaps Windows no longer thinks it's on your home network or that it's a public network. Goto the "Network and Sharing Center" and see if the network is identified as a "home" network. Then check out the "advanced sharing options" and see if "network discovery" is turned on. Other than that, could be a firewall issue. I recommend checking out the "event log" and see if there are any network related errors.

You could also create a share on the broken machine and see if it is visible to the other computers, it might help point you in the right direction.

Hope that helps.

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ok...I read the event logs and it says that The Computer Browser service depends on LanmanServer. I tried to manually start Computer Browser in the Services but it failed. So apparently I lost LanmanServer somewhere... – Tim Reddy Apr 12 '11 at 1:15
I couldn't figure it out...considering this PC is my wife's internet PC, I just reinstalled Windows took less time to do that than figure out this problem... – Tim Reddy Apr 12 '11 at 4:34

In control panel go to Network and Sharing Center, once it opens click "Change Adapter Settings" on the left side, what do you see in there?

You network adapter that is being used to connect to the network should show in here, it will be either Wired or Wireless, let me know if you see multiple adapters for either wired or wireless before you continue below.

Go to the toolbar > Advanced > Advanced Settings, a small window will open, select your adapter currently being used to connect to the network in the top pane, then be sure your bindings for File and Printer Sharing and Client for Microsoft networks boxes are all checked, if not check them and hit OK, close the window.

If any boxes were Not checked and you checked them, reboot the PC and try to connect to the network.

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I had this same issue. Symptoms were I could see the systems inside the Network list in Explorer, but when ever I tried to connect to one I was given a "The specified network provider name is invalid" error.

My own laptop was in there and gave the same error.

Because Peer Networking Grouping service would not start, I deleted the contents of %windir%\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PeerNetworking

The error I got was The Peer Networking Grouping service depends on the Peer Name Resolution Protocol service which failed to start because of the following error: %%-2140993535

Then I started the services: Peer Name Resolution Protocol, Peer Networking Grouping, Peer Networking Identity Manager

Then I needed to uninstall Client for Microsoft Networks from my primary network adapter, reboot, and reinstall it.

Everything works as expected now.

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