1. StewartR

    StewartR Efrem Zimbalist Jr Advertiser

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    One of the PCs in my office glitched the other day. I thought it might be a hard disk error, but it seems not; however, to cure it I had to allow it to re-install Windows.

    But that's where the fun started. I just can't get the network back the way it was. This machine can't see the NAS. Other machines can't see this PC and - crucially - the printer attached to it. And so on. I really really hate Windows networking. There are so many things that you an adjust which don't seem to have any effect.

    Is there any relatively easy and relatively controllable way of essentially starting from scratch with the network? In other words, putting all the PCs in a state where they think they've never been part of a network, and then building it up in a controlled fashion? (Without having to reinstall Windows on every machine, natch.)
     
  2. gramps

    gramps

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    Could be just a 'firewall' issue ... are you able to switch off any firewall/Internet security to see if this enables the connections to be made?
     
  3. StewartR

    StewartR Efrem Zimbalist Jr Advertiser

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    I don't know. My problem with networking is the unknown unknowns - I don't know what I don't know.

    But anyway, the PC in question seems to be running Windows Defender and seems to think this is a "Private" network. Switching Windows Defender off doesn't seem to do anything. (Apart from pop up annoying warning messages, of course.)
     
  4. onomatopoeia

    onomatopoeia

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    My opinion / experience is that SMB / CIFS is a massive pain in the rear and the whole business of computers discovering each other on the network is in my experience fantastically inconsistent.

    You haven't stated Windows editions / versions / builds (e.g. the computer I am typing this on is Edition "Windows 10 Pro N", Version is 1709 and build is 16299.192). This is potentially important due to the fact that 1709 is where SMB v1 stopped being installed by default and the browser service that you access through "my computer" : Network depends on it, so you can no longer browse to network shares without it.

    Have a read of this one :

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb...ed-windows-10-and-windows-server-version-1709

    and this one :

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb...-disable-smbv1-smbv2-and-smbv3-in-windows-and

    The problem with enabling SMBv1 is that if there is malware / ransomware already on your network, it can use v1 as a vector to propogate to other machines. The problem with disabling it is that bits of Windows networking (the shared folders / printers part, not the underlying TCP/IP part) potentially break without it.


    Neil may have greater insight or other ideas as IT stuff is his work as I recall. I'm a programmer / software designer type, "IT" is a thing I do because it needs doing (i.e. upgrading exim on our two MX yesterday), rather than a vocation.
     
  5. onomatopoeia

    onomatopoeia

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    I realise I'm talking about SMB as if people will know what it is. It is the application layer protocol that underlies Windows networking, handles file and printer shares, mapped drives and so on. It does not affect web browsing or email.
     
  6. srichards

    srichards

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    Is the IP address and subnet of that PC the same one after the reinstall as before it?
     
  7. neil_g

    neil_g

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    Private network is fine. Alterative is public which would essentially be open for all to see.

    Connections to the PC and its printer could be on Windows firewall, network discovery being off or permissions not allowing connection. Or the IP settings aren't correct, are all devices getting IP settings from your router? Outbound to the nas is a bit more interesting, can you ping it by IP and name? Could be dns related.

    Windows networking is relatively straightforward in the grand scheme compared to the fruit based platform.

    I'm half a bottle of red in and posting from a mobile so excuse any short version answers.
     
  8. Mozthecat

    Mozthecat

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    I personally would start by checking you don’t have 2 devices on the network with the same IP address.

    (For instructions to find the IP address of a windows pc see https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=27309). The last set of digits should be different on each network device.
     
  9. Faldrax

    Faldrax

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    As already mentioned. 'Windows' covers a multitude of sins (some versions are decidedly more sinful than others).

    Assuming that all your PC's are on Windows 10, if you go to Settings, then 'Network and Internet', if you select 'Status' (it's selected by default), then on the right hand list, just under 'Network Troubleshooter',is 'View Your network properties'.
    Click this and you will get a page full of numbers!
    Find a section with Name = Local Area Connection

    The key bits of information are

    DHCP Enabled
    DHCP Servers
    IPv4 Address
    Default Gateway

    Assuming you have a simple network, the ADSL Router will typically also do 'DHCP' - which is a system for allocating IP addresses to PC's on a local network.
    I this case, DHCP Enabled will be 'Yes', and the IP address for DHCP Servers and Default Gateway will be the same - not only on an individual PC, but all PC's on the network.

    Have a look at these settings, both on a couple of PC's that are working OK, and on the one you have re-installed windows on.
     
  10. sirch

    sirch Official Forum Numpty 2015

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  11. Mr Bump

    Mr Bump

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    by the sounds of it the issue you have is you are doing the classic small business thing.
    installing networking that you are not that good at for starters when you should be getting on with your business.
    you should get a local company to come in and have a look at putting in a decent system such as a small domain.

    shared data managed centrally, user access via proper login accounts, printers again managed centrally using TCP/IP not shared on the back of machines etc.

    Al lot of small business owners see it as poor value to pay for this level of service but are happy to spend hours/days a week on it themselves and not driving their business forward.
     
  12. onomatopoeia

    onomatopoeia

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    It's been a week, did you sort this out?
     
  13. Mikesphotaes

    Mikesphotaes

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    What's probably happened is it gave itself a different network when you connected it to the internet, after the new windows.

    Check the name of the network your other machines are using, then change over the new one to it.
     
  14. StewartR

    StewartR Efrem Zimbalist Jr Advertiser

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    Thanks for the reminder.

    It was quickly apparent to me that I wasn't going to sort this out myself. I was - probably naively - hoping there would be a simple 'network reset' method. Bu when the replies started talking about SMB, subnets, DHCP, and such like, I realised that Paul / @Mr Bump was right:
    So that's what I did. I contacted a few local companies that provide IT support for small businesses, and now I hopefully never have to worry about this kind of stuff myself ever again.

    And as things turned out, the process of deciding which company to use turned out to be very easy. I wasn't sure quite what I wanted / needed by way of IT support, or what might be on offer at what price, so I had contacted several firms. My plan was to talk to one of them on Wednesday, one on Thursday, one on Friday, and then decide which would be best for me. But on Wednesday, just a couple of hours before the bloke from company #1 was due to pop in, my PC died. It was asking for a Windows reinstallation, exactly like the PC that died the previous week. And unlike that one, my one had a lot of valuable stuff on the bard disk so I didn't want to do a reinstall without ensuring that my data was safe. And unfortunately, I also discovered that my backups hadn't been running for a few weeks - it looks like a Windows update in January might have disrupted the scheduled backup tasks. So to cut a long story short, company #1 got a sort of extended audition, which they passed with flying colours.
     
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  15. Byker28i

    Byker28i

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    Sorry missed this, The private network issue is easily fixed in network settings, change connection properties.
    Glad you now have support
     
  16. StewartR

    StewartR Efrem Zimbalist Jr Advertiser

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    I think that word "easily" means something different to you than it does to me.
     
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  17. onomatopoeia

    onomatopoeia

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    The right choice.

    I see so many people trying to do their own small business IT when it is not in their skillset, or a misuse of their skills. I know a firm of quantity surveyors that have a surveyor doing it, as he's a computer enthusiast. He could make more money for the company doing surveying work than it would cost them to engage an IT company, but they won't. It's bonkers.
     
  18. afasoas

    afasoas

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    I think this sounds like a master browser issue. I suspect the machine you reinstalled Windows on was possibly the master browser (longest uptime, greatest OS version etc.) and had visibility of all the devices on the network. When you rebuilt it, another device was elected master browser, but that wasn't aware of all the devices on your network. There might be a couple of other issues too, but I suspect this is the crux of the problem.

    You need a DHCP-integrated local DNS server on your network that is pushed out to your workstations for resolving their DNS queries. That way you don't need to rely on WINS/NETBIOS which are technologies Microsoft have developed in order to make peer-to-peer networks work.
    An alternative would be to configure SAMBA on your NAS/fileserver (assuming that's always switched on) to always be elected as master browser and hack the registry on the workstations so they can never be elected as master browser. It does work (tried and tested in the past) but it's something you have to remember each and every time you rebuild a machine.

    With the regular gripes you have with your IT, Stewart, I don't think Windows is your problem. I think business needs have outgrown a peer-to-peer network.
     

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