Category Archives: Networking

Can’t see a Windows XP machine from a Windows 7 Machine

Filed under Networking, Troubleshooting

I ran into a strange problem today. I had brought up a new Windows XP machine, wirelessly connected to my network. It has SP3 installed, could see the internet, and could see other machines (including Windows 7 machines) on my network.

But, my Windows 7 workstation could not see the XP machine.

By “see”, I mean:

  • it didn’t show up in explorer
  • I couldn’t ping the machine by name
  • I couldn’t browse to the machine by using a unc (like \\majestic\Drivec)

However, I had another XP machine that my Win7 workstation could see!

After a few google searches, I came across a post that mentioned changing a few Win7 networking settings.

In particular:

Open up Advanced Sharing Settings


And alter a few settings:


Notice that

  1. I’ve set File Sharing Connections to the 40-56 bit encryption option
  2. I’ve set Password protected sharing to OFF
  3. I’ve set HomeGroup connections to “Use user accounts”

I then logged out and logged back in (no need to turn off).

Presto! I can see both of my XP machines!

Ok, so which settings actually did the trick?

Long story short, I ended up setting ALL these settings back to their original values, rebooting between each, and even using IPCONFIG /flushdns, but I can still see my XP machines just fine.


In the end, I’m guessing switching those settings allowed “something” about the XP machine to register itself on my Win7 machine, after which, I could switch the settings back, but everything will still be OK.

But that’s just a guess at this point.

Setting up a Cisco (Linksys) Router as a Repeater Bridge

Filed under Networking

imageSome time ago, I picked up a WRT54G2 V1 router (by LinkSys but now branded Cisco), intending to use it as a bridge to connect an old HP printer to my network remotely.

Long story short, I was able to get dd-Wrt installed (be sure to get the SP2 version, I’m using v24), but that’s about as far as I could get. I was never able to “see” the bridged router from the main network wirelessly.

Today, I decided to give it another shot, and stumbled across a video by daovertaker for configuring just this situation.

Turns out, the key point I missed was clicking on STATUS, then WIRELESS, then SITE SURVEY, and finally JOIN.

Ugh. It’s always the simple things.

At any rate, props to daovertaker for a completely thorough video on this configuration process.

I ended up doing something different for my printer, so this router will work quite nicely to connect my Tivo Premier to the rest of my network.

WindowsXP periodically disconnects from Windows7

Filed under Networking, Troubleshooting, Windows 7

Very strange, and utterly frustrating issue recently.

After I got hit by lightning, I ended up replacing an Iomega NAS storage server with a simple Win7 box running 2 raided 2TB harddrives. It was a quick build and was a little cheaper than an equivalent 4TB Iomega unit, plus it’s running real Windows, so I can do more stuff with it.

But, I’ve got several XP Virtual Machines (under VMWare Workstation), that would, very consistently, disconnect from the Win7 “server”.

I googled for days, and tried at least a dozen different suggestions but none worked.

Essentially, if I rebooted the Win7 machine, the XP machines could connect to and work with the server for a while. But eventually, the WinXP machines would loose connection to the Win7 machine and the ONLY way to get them connected again was to reboot the Win7 machine.

The main problem was that the failure was very generic: something along the lines of “The server does not have enough resources to complete the request”.

Not much to go on.

On a whim, I happened to check in the event log at one point and came across this:

Source: srv
Event ID: 2017
Level: Error
The server was unable to allocate from the system nonpaged pool because the server reached the configured limit for nonpaged pool allocations.

Googling “srv error 2017” turned up a number of new suggestions I hadn’t seen before, but one in particular on Alan LaMielle’s blog looked very promising, though he was talking about connected via SAMBA.

The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, the problem is that if you use a “normal” version of Windows more like a server (lots a machines connecting to it for files), normal Windows installs aren’t configured for that.

You need to change 2 registry entries (on the SERVER machine, in my case the Win7 machine):

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\LargeSystemCache

should be set to ‘1’, and:


should be set to ‘3’.

Then, either reboot, or use the Services control panel to restart the ‘SERVER’ service.

Since I’ve done that, I’ve connected several XP systems up, and run full backups overnight without a single hiccup.

NAS’s, The Gigabyte M68M-S2P Motherboard and gigabit Lan Ethernet speed

Filed under Hardware, Networking, Windows 7

One small element of replacing all my equipment damaged by a lightning strike was to figure out what to do about my NAS.

image I’d picked up a sweet little Iomega StorCenter 1TB NAS server about 4 years back and it had served me well (despite having Seagate drives in it, ack!). But, after the strike, it was toast. What to do?

My first inclination was to just replace it. The Iomega units tend to be a little on the pricy side and Fry’s had a sale on Western Digital NAS boxes, so what the heck. I picked up a My World Book II, 2TB (Dual 1TB drives) box and came on home.image

Brought it up, restored my backup and all was well. Till a few hours later. The NAS just dropped off the network. I could still ping it, but couldn’t browse to it, connect via mapped driver letter, or anything else.

I powered the box down, and brought it back up, and all was well, for a few more hours. Then, same problem.

After far too long on the phone with WD’s tech support, I wrapped it up and took it back. After a few more false starts, I eventually decided that, heck, for the cost of 2 2TB drives, an Antec Sonata case, some ram, a Motherboard and CPU, and an OS, I could just BUILD a NAS box for about the same money.

imageSo off I went. Settled for the Gigabyte M68M-S2P motherboard with an AMD Athlon 64 X3 tricore. Pretty smooth sailing. Got the box running, hooked it up to the network, and then started copying files over to it.


What the heck!?

Checked the network adapter and it was auto negotiating at 10mbps! This is the onboard gigabit Ethernet port on the Gigabyte board. Googling came up with a number of people having similar problems but no solutions.

I tried downloading new drivers, installing WinXP 64, and Win7 64, you name it. I could never get the drivers to negotiate at 1gbps.

Finally, I happened to be in the Device Manager, and right clicked on the NVidia nForce Ethernet controller (again, I’d done this plenty of times!)


I right clicked it, selected UPDATE DRIVER SOFTWARE, then clicked BROWSE MY COMPUTER FOR SOFTWARE.


Lo and behold, I get this:


The NVidia drivers were selected, since I’d installed them off the CD that came with the motherboard, BUT there was that “Microsoft” set of drivers. I selected it, let it install and rebooted.

Presto, the magic 1gbps connection speed!


Hunting Down a Bogus IP

Filed under Networking, Troubleshooting

I was working on a server issue this morning when I ran into something strange. I could no longer access a server that had been running for quite some time without any problems.

I tried a PING and got back an IP address for the server that made no sense at all. It wasn’t even part of my local IP range!

So I did all the normal stuff:

  1. Checked my HOSTS file

No joy. A ping was still returning the same bogus address.

So I checked my server’s DNS service. Not even an hit of that address.

Hmmm. So, where the heck was it coming from? A little googling didn’t turn up much, but eventually, I read a blog post that made an offhand mention of WINS.

Now, I don’t really know all that much about WINS. Just never had a reason to, I suppose. Mostly, I’ve always relied on and stuck with plain DNS. But, Ok, I’ll check it.

Go over to my server, and load up the WINS app (it’s under Admin tools)


The left hand window was completely blank. It took a second to realize I had to “query” to retrieve the WINS records, they aren’t automatically just shown.


And AHA! There, in the result list of “Active Registrations” was the bogus address for my server. (I’ve already removed it in the image below, but it was in the highlighted column).


Case closed. I’m still wondering what changed that suddenly, WINS was being used to resolve the server name when it must have not been before. The only thing I can think of is changing internet providers to Verizon FIOS from Time Warner Cable, and the resulting swap out of the main incoming router.

Granted, for a seasoned network guy, this is likely old hat. But for a software dev who only moonlights as a network guy, it might be some useful information!