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OK, I've had enough of this.

My mom's family's business is having problems with their two computers, which we'll call PC1 and PC2. Both are running Windows 7, and they used to have some shared folders. But for maybe the past couple of weeks, they're not sure how long, that hasn't been working. PC2 was able to see PC1 (it showed up under "Network"), but not access any files in there. (Folders, yes; either it could see those or it remembered them.) PC1 couldn't see PC2 at all.

After fiddling with a whole bunch of junk and rebooting PC2, I managed to make it show up on PC1. But when I click on "PC2," it says "Windows cannot access \PC2." Pinging PC2's IP address (at least the one that showed up under "IPv4 Address" when I ran ipconfig on PC2) turned up nothing -- request timed out.

The name of the network is the same in Network and Sharing Center on both computers, as are the type and the workgroup name under System (the latter being the thing I changed on PC2 before rebooting). It's a little inconsistent on whether "PC1" is capitalized as such or as "pc1." The router's a 2Wire 1701HG Gateway. Aside from that, I don't know what to look for -- if it's a firewall issue or what. LANs aren't exactly my field of expertise.

EDIT: Forgot to mention -- both computers have Internet access.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 18 '12 at 21:27

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Not a programming question, sadly. –  Eight-Bit Guru May 18 '12 at 21:23
    
The guys on SuperUser would be better able to assist you with this question. :) –  Spencer Ruport May 18 '12 at 21:23
    
Right, sorry. Not that familiar with the details of the Stack Exchange network. –  Shay Guy May 18 '12 at 21:30
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Is there a server? If so, what's it running? Or is it just the two machines and the DSL modem/router? –  goblinbox May 18 '12 at 21:32
    
No server as far as I can tell. –  Shay Guy May 18 '12 at 21:33

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

After fiddling with a whole bunch of junk

This needs to be defined. Sorry, but that's just how it is. Without knowing what you fiddled with and already tried, it's hard to know what to tell you that you may or may not have done. I mean, it could be something as simple as firewall settings. Silly, I know. But did you turn off the Windows firewalls on each computers? Does your AV suite come with it's own Firewall? Have you turned it off as well?

Both computers have internet access, which implies that the IP settings are correct for each, as well as the quality of the ethernet cables, the network adapters, and the router/modem. One computer kind of sees the other, but that's one way.

If you can't ping one computer from the other, while both are connected to the same router and getting internet access through it, then it most likely is a setting somewhere.

So, start going through connection tutorials. For example, this one at HowToGeek. Sure, it applies specifically to sharing files between a Windows 7 and Windows XP computer, but all you need to do is make sure both computers are properly set according to the Windows 7 settings explained and detailed in the article. Things like... making sure both computers are in the same workgroup... making sure network discovery is on at both machines... making sure that file and printer sharing is turned on at both computers... making sure that read/write access to the Public directories is available to both machines... try turning off password protection for both machines.... things you may or may not have done already, but the point is to double and triple check that each is done.

Try going into your router settings, and giving each computer a static internal IP address in the DHCP reservation table.

Here's another tutorial at AddictiveTips.com covering some of the same steps, and pointing out some other important details. It deals with wireless sharing, which I'm not sure, but I think partially applies here. You say that both networks have the same name... are they both considered Public Networks? You said you had to change the workgroup name and make them both the same. Did you triple check that it is spelled the same way on both machines, including capitalization?

In the end, again, you are going to have to detail what you've done here, so we can all follow along, and see if any of us can come up with something.

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I'm sorry I didn't document my work. Usually, the strategy "poke around until I find something that could've caused the problem, then fix it" works for me. Not professional, I know, but neither am I. I wasn't able to go down to the office again over the weekend, but I'll be going back shortly. Hopefully, these steps will lead to something productive. Thanks. :) –  Shay Guy May 21 '12 at 18:47
    
@ShayGuy I'm not trying to get on you regarding professionalism or anything like that. Just that the guessing game approach doesn't work so well in a Q&A format. Great for chat. Hard for query and response. Turns into... did you try this? and this? how about this? What happens when you do this? and after that, with this? ok. now try this. It said what? Ok. This then... see? –  Bon Gart May 21 '12 at 19:27
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Yeah, I gotcha. In any event, I managed to fix it; ports 137-139 weren't opened in McAfee Personal Firewall on either computer. Thanks for your help. –  Shay Guy May 21 '12 at 21:57

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