Cannot access shares on PC that is connected by wireless

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Martin Underwood, May 22, 2007.

  1. I've encountered a strange problem.

    A network of three PCs, all connected wirelessly, cannot access shared
    drives on one of the PCs - but only if that "sharing" PC is connected by
    wireless; if I connect it by Ethernet it works fine. All PCs get their IP
    addresses by DHCP.

    I've tested with the router in the same room as the PCs (which is not where
    it normally lives) to eliminate weak signal.

    All PCs are XP Home SP2.

    Let's call the "sharing" PC "A" and the two laptops "B" and "C".

    PC "A" has a Belkin PCI card which worked fine to an old 3 Com router; the
    problems started when I replaced that router with a Netgear DG834N because
    the 3 Com's ADSL modem had failed. "A" can access the internet fine (HTTP,
    POP3 etc).

    Although all the PCs can ping each other by IP address, "B" and "C" cannot
    ping "A" by hostname (the name resolution is failing) although "B" and "C"
    can ping each other by hostname and can also see each other's shares (if I
    create shares on them for testing purposes) using "net view \\B". Because
    the name resolution is failing, "net view \\A" and mapped drives which refer
    to "A" by name also fail when executed on "B" and "C".

    As soon as I disable A's wireless adaptor and connect it to the router by
    Ethernet, "B" and "C" can ping it and see its shares.

    I'm going to try with a Netgear adaptor (probably a WG111 USB device so I
    can position the aerial higher than on the floor at the back of the PC,
    given that signal strength is not brilliant when the router is in its normal
    position) as oposed to the Belkin card.

    Is there anything else I can try to diagnose/fix the problem?

    On other thing I noticed. I have a utility NetScan which pings all IPs in a
    subnet and then resolves names, shares and MAC addresses. Although an
    explicit ping of A's IP address (from the command prompt on B or C)
    succeeds, running NetScan doesn't list A if it is connected wirelessly
    whereas it does if A is connected by cable: it doesn't even locate the IP
    address, never mind resolve the corresponding hostname and shares.
    Martin Underwood, May 22, 2007
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  2. Martin Underwood

    Matt Guest

    <snip problem>

    Bloomin hell its normally us asking for your help.

    Well as you've been a help to me I'll have a goole around :) see if I come
    up with anything.
    Matt, May 22, 2007
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  3. Martin Underwood

    Lurch Guest

    Router blocking traffic between wireless and LAN? I used to have a
    router did this, ended up sticking a WAP on the LAN instead.
    Lurch, May 22, 2007
  4. Lurch wrote in message
    Except that two of the three PCs can communicate wirelessly with each other
    but con't communicate wirelessly with the third. If *any* two PCs can
    communicate wirelessly, that suggests that Wireless Isolation is turned off.
    And before anyone suggests it, there's no MAC filtering defined - if there
    was, that would prevent the named PCs from connecting at all.

    Unfortunately the router will be situated remotely from all the PCs, so any
    solution which involves cabling some PCs won't work. Having said that, the
    wireless reception is a bit low at the best of times, even though it's only
    about 50 metres from a first-floor room to a garden shed across a
    driveway/yard, and a large van that parked on the driveway killed the
    signal. So I'm wondering whether it's feasable to use wireless even over
    this short distance. If it turns out not to be, the router will have to go
    in the shed (and so could be cabled to the misbehaving PC) and a phone line
    will have to upgraded to a broadband and phone line, duplicating the
    broadband that's used in the house, which would increase the customer's
    running costs and meaning there wasn't seamless coverage in office (the
    shed) and house.
    Martin Underwood, May 22, 2007
  5. Martin Underwood

    Lurch Guest

    Oops, missed that bit.
    I wouldn't go to the lengths of new lines and DSL services, worst case
    (if you can't run wires, which I'd be surprised if it wasn't possible)
    is wireless access points set as repeaters\bridges and\or directional
    antennae. Cheaper than line rental and DSL for a year.
    Lurch, May 22, 2007
  6. Lurch wrote in message
    Overhead or underground wires aren't an option, the customer says. I did
    wonder about using homeplug devices, but the shed is powered from a separate
    feed from the one to the house - who knows, it may even turn out to be a
    different phase ;-)

    The wireless access points with directional aerials solution ought to work.
    Even then there may be problems if a van or 4x4 (both the people who work
    there have 4x4s) parks in the way, unless the house aerial can be mounted on
    the eaves and the shed aerial can be mounted on the roof. Talk about a
    hostile environment!
    Martin Underwood, May 22, 2007
  7. Martin Underwood

    Conor Guest

    OK..Assuming you've made sure file and print sharing is listed in the
    exceptions of the firewall you have.

    Network Connections. Right click on the wifi one and select Properties.
    Click on TCP/IP protocol and select properties. At the bottom right
    under entries for IP/DNS, click Advanced. Go to the WINS tab. Click the
    radio button marked "Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP".
    Conor, May 23, 2007
  8. Conor wrote in message
    It's Norton Internet Security 2007. I disabled the firewall as part of my
    testing, but to no avail. For some reason I found that it was not sufficient
    to trust "all computers on the network with MAC address X" [that of the
    router] but instead had to explicitly add each likely IP address
    individually. Older versions of Norton (eg 2006 and before) were so much
    easier in that they allowed you to add range of IP addresses to the Trusted
    Ah, the NB over TCP setting - forgot to check that one! Damn! I wonder...
    However I'm sure I did an "nbtstat -n" and found the entries that I'd
    expect: hostname with null and space in 16th byte; workgroup name with null,
    0x1D and 0x1E in 16th byte. That suggests that TCP NB is running. But I'll

    Strange that the same connection object (ie for the wireless card) worked
    for connection to the old router.

    I noticed something else: the router's "Attached Devices" page was either
    empty or only listed one PC (my own laptop, used for testing) when it should
    give a full DHCP client list - with computer names either shown as "Unknown"
    or else as the actual hostname. My DG834GT always lists all PCs that are
    connected. I was using the Windows Zero Config service to control the
    wireless card, as I found it to be more resilient to temporary dropouts than
    the Belkin software.

    Is it likely that a change of wireless card will help (eg to a Netgear
    WG111, same manufacturer as router) or is that a complete red herring? In
    people's experience, is the sensitivity of a USB device, positioned higher
    where it's not shielded by the PC's case, likely to be better than a PCI
    card with its own stub aerial? I believe that PCI cards are supposed to be
    better if you compare against USB *in the same location* but the USB device
    can be positioned away from the PC's shadow.

    I'd love to know what's causing such poor wireless reception. Distance is
    about 50 metres, from first-floor wooden window frame and window to ground
    floor wooden shed with (as far as I can tell) no foil lining to the inner
    skin of the walls. There is a large metal tank along the *side* of the shed,
    but not in direct line of sight for most of the shed.
    Martin Underwood, May 23, 2007
  9. Martin Underwood

    deKay Guest

    Soni tempori elseu romani yeof helsforo nisson ol sefini ill des Wed, 23 May
    2007 11:55:05 +0100, sefini jorgo geanyet des mani yeof do
    Ley lines.

    We have an area at work between two buildings. It's 10m, maximum. With a WAP
    mounted on the side of one (not even indoors), and a PDA recording the signal,
    we get about halfway to the other building and the signal strength is 75-80%.
    One single step further, and it's gone. Completely.

    You can't get a mobile phone signal in that spot either. There are no power
    lines (not even underground as far as we can tell) in that spot, nor anything
    else that we could see causing the drop-out. So we put it down to ley lines
    and ran a fibre instead.

    deKay, May 23, 2007
  10. Martin Underwood

    Mortimer Guest

    I discussed this problem with my local computer shop (where bought the
    Belkin PCI card in the offending PC) and they said that they've had a lot of
    problem with the Netgear DG834N not working properly with Wireless G devices
    (either built-into laptops or PCI/PMCIA/USB plug-in devices). This is
    despite Netgear's website saying that it is fully backward compatible with
    Wireless G. I specifically bought the N model because it is described on PC
    World's web site as having the best range, but the shop advise that an "old
    fashioned" DG834G or GT might be better.
    Mortimer, May 23, 2007
  11. Martin Underwood

    Tony Wright Guest

    In message <46541d98$0$8722$>, Martin

    [various cuts]
    You might find that just disabling the firewall in NIS2007 doesn't kill
    the firewall completely there may be other components still running --
    NAV doesn't have a firewall per-se but it does in the guise of something
    else (trojan detection or something).

    The other point is that NIS has network 'names' Home, work, etc. -- make
    certain the wifi & rj45 are both in the same zone as the rj45 which
    I'm not in love with Belkin but never had a problem with their wifi
    I'm not a lover of USB for wifi. I fit PCI cards with an antenna on a
    lead that sits on top of the PC and prefer PCMCIA cards for laptops.
    Water absorbs wifi -- had this with a machine dropping its wifi signal
    every night when the children got bathed. Is the tank full of water?
    Tony Wright, May 23, 2007
  12. Martin Underwood

    Mortimer Guest

    Ah yes, that's the best of both worlds. What makes/models of cards have
    external antennas? Or is the antenna bought separately?
    I don't know. More like to be central heating oil if there's anything in it.

    Here's a sketch (from memory): Survey.jpg

    The router can go anywhere on a desk in the first-floor bay window in the
    house, high enough to see through the window. Height of router above ground
    is probably about 15 feet. teh router can be moved anywhere along the length
    of the desk. The corridor either side of the bay window is not suitable as a
    place for the router.

    The office (shed) is a single-storey wooden building. I think it's larch-lap
    on the outside with a smooth internal wall - possibly plasterboard or
    hardboard. The thickness is probaby a couple of inches at most.

    The desks in the office are along one wall: two desktop PCs at either end,
    placed on the floor, with the deskspace in between used by two laptops. Both
    desktop PCs have their PCI cards close to the wall, therefore the aerials
    are partly in the shadow of the PCs. The further desktop PC gets very poor
    coverage (possibly because of shading from the tank) and may be moved into
    the house: it's used only for the children and au pair to browse the web.
    The nearer desktop PC is the "server" with a shared drive that the laptops
    use to access shared documents.

    What are the restrictions on connecting external aerials to PCI wireless
    Mortimer, May 23, 2007
  13. Martin Underwood

    Conor Guest


    Use the Symantec removal tool from their website to completely
    uninstall that stinking pile of shite.

    First thing I did when I got my new Compaq laptop on Friday was to
    uninstall Norton Intershite 2007.

    It's usually the root of everyones problem.

    Hell no. Been there quite a lot with a client, tried pretty much
    You can get an antenna on a cable which you can plug into the Wifi
    card. They're only a few quid and allow you to have the antenna where
    you want, with the use of extension leads, even outside.
    It should work. Had the same at a clients with the exception of the
    fact it was a bit of a longer range and the Wifi router was on the
    third floor and behind UPVC double glazing. Whilst not brilliant, it'd
    stay steady at 48Mbps and mid 70% signal strength.
    Conor, May 23, 2007
  14. Martin Underwood

    Conor Guest

    Seconded. Their routers are piles of crap but their PCI cards/USB
    dongles seem to be OK.
    Conor, May 23, 2007
  15. Martin Underwood

    Conor Guest

    Some Belkin 11b cards had an antenna on a fly lead however you're
    looking at buying an aftermarket one now.

    You can one of these bases and screw the antenna that comes with the
    card into it:

    Having tried the long antennas such as the 9dB ones on Ebay, there
    seems to be very little improvement to warrant the money.
    Non as long as it has the right connector.
    Conor, May 23, 2007
  16. Martin Underwood

    Mortimer Guest

    Oh - I thought there was a restriction on the maximum gain of the antenna.
    Mortimer, May 23, 2007
  17. Martin Underwood

    Mortimer Guest

    48 Mbps would be a luxury. On one PC with a Belkin card (which was on the
    opposite side of the room from side nearer the router) I was seeing speeds
    of 1, 2, 5 Mbps (at times the connection dropped right out) and yet at other
    times I was getting 20 or 30. That was despite the "green bars" indicator in
    Windows Zero Config indicating 1 or 2 bars out of a possible 4.

    When I switched to the Belkin software, it was reporting around -80 to -90

    NetStumbler detected no other wireless networks.
    Mortimer, May 23, 2007
  18. Martin Underwood

    Conor Guest

    Noo. Gain is good.
    Conor, May 23, 2007
  19. Martin Underwood

    Mortimer Guest

    I meant a legal restriction to prevent you interfering with other networks,
    not a technical restriction where the more signal you can pump out, the
    better - for you, if not your neighbours!
    Mortimer, May 23, 2007
  20. Martin Underwood

    Conor Guest

    THe daft part about transmission rules for most bands is that they're
    based on the transmitting power at the output of the unit, not the
    radiated signal from the antenna.
    Conor, May 23, 2007
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