We have a network in the office that has been humming along for over a year now with this basic setup. We share files off of a Windows 7 machine. Windows 7 machines can connect to these shares just fine, and for ages now Windows XP machines could access it.

All of a sudden, today the XP machines can not connect at all to these shared folders. All of the settings on the Windows 7 PC serving the files look good (file sharing is on, discovery is on, etc.) and no settings have been changed at all.

All of the other Windows 7 clients can connect just fine to these shared folders. We have also tried the simple things (restarting machines, router, etc.)

1 Answer 1


can not connect

OK, so instead of being able to connect, what happens now when you try doing the same thing as you did yesterday? What error message, exactly, do you get? Or are the resources you were expecting to be there, simply invisible? Describe the symptoms of the failure in detail, rather than simply indirectly referring to the failure as "can not connect".

Are you the network administrator? If so, are you the only one, or does someone else have administrative access to the XP machines and/or the file server? If you're not alone, you may want to ask them:

Since I have so little information to go on right now, I can only grasp at straws to help you diagnose the problem. One potential issue is that, starting with Windows Vista, Server Message Block (SMB) protocol version 2.0 was released, and Windows XP does not support that version. It is theoretically possible to configure a Vista or Windows 7 machine to ONLY support SMB protocol version 2.0 or later, which would effectively "block out" any XP or earlier machines that attempt to access it using the ancient SMB 1.0 protocol.

More info on the SMB versions: here and here

  • Yes, the network shares that we were able to access even just earlier today are simply invisible, so there isn't even a good error message to work off of. As I stated in the question, since it was working fine I'm going to assume that the problem you describe with SMB isn't applicable in this situation since it was obviously working at some point. I don't have an admin to go to, we are a very small office and being the new web developer, everyone thinks I'm a network admin as well :) Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 17:55
  • OK, so the shared drives that were mapped on the XP boxes disappeared. What happens when you try to manually input the UNC path? For example: \\server-computer-name\share-name for the share named "share-name" on the computer "server-computer-name". You can replace the computer name with its private IP address on the LAN, too. THIS should definitely give you an error message if it's not working. Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 18:02
  • Inputting the path directly gives the "not accessible" error. Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 18:14
  • Can you ping the server from the XP boxes? Make sure that they are actually connected at the IP level and can "see" each other on the network. You said the Windows 7 boxen can still access the shared drives....? Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 18:29
  • Yes, it can ping it and also shows up doing a "net view [sharename]" as well. Yes, the Windows 7 clients in the office can access the shared drives just fine. Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 19:21

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