I don't normally bash on Windows too much, but this past week has driven me to the point of insanity.
I've been helping some people set up a home network with a shared USB printer on one computer.
1) Set all the computers in the house to the same network name. Silly Windows computers won't talk to each other unless the network name is the same. By default some where on "MSHOME" while others were on "WORKGROUP". Set, reboot, good so far.
2) Some of the computers are having problems talking to each other. Have to remove Norton Internet Security from ALL of them so that their firewalls aren't severely screwed up. Set, reboot, good.
3) Only ONE computer out of the five in the house won't connect to the printer. Ran ever single diagnostic. Changed firewall settings. Nothing would work. Checked router settings. Router has a firmware update waiting. Do the update. Suddenly it kicks one of the other computers off the wireless network.
So at this point in a home network of five computers, one can't share files or print, and another can't connect wirelessly.
I'm heading back now with new drivers, a few tips from tech support groups, and hopefully will wrap up this case today (after six hours of troubleshooting).
I've never had this much problems configuring a small network.
Is this Vista or XP? XP isn't too bad but Vista is awful and I'm still fighting with a mixed PC/Vista setup at one of my wifes friends. I can ping the host XP machine but Vista still refuses to see the XP machine
I can completely relate to your pain. Not something I've delt with for a while - thankfully - but it's hard to forget the frustration. This isn't a solution I've tried yet, but maybe pulling a little help from Apple in the form of Bonjour for windows might help. Apple - Support - Downloads - Bonjour for Windows 1.0.4
My buddy Christian makes a lot of money but ages VISIBLY every time he has to set up a Windows network. He was doing something very similar to what you were trying GT, and it took him all day yesterday.
Still, if Windows users are stupid enough to pay to have this done, he'll be stupid enough to endure the frustration. I'm always happy to give it a try, but if it doesn't go well I'm outta there. Life's short and supper's ready.
PS. All you Mac users reading this who've set up a Mac network akin to what GT is talking about and had only modest or no trouble -- pat yourselves on the back AGAIN for choosing Apple.
1) The main computer with the printer attached: Since it is XP Home, and since it had Norton Antivirus previously installed on it, I had to manually change some network settings deep in the bowels of the OS, and then download some weird Windows 2003 Server tool, type in three different command lines, and finally it would accept network connections from all the computers on the network.
2) The computer with the USB Wireless Dongle: After the routers firmware update, the dongle would no longer communicate with it. Nothing I did would fix it. New drivers, complete reinstalls. Ended up having to use a different USB dongle. The basestation and original dongle were both DLink. Go figure that they couldnt' talk to each other.
that is a problem with windows, there is a lot of crappy/substandard hardware out there and almost unlimited combinations of it, so it is impossible to test to make sure it will work in every combination. With average/to slightly above average components I've never had a windows issue, as decent brand's (Dlink as a whole is not included in this group). And a general FYI, aftermarket firewalls and antivirus like Norton do a great job of buggering one's pc, casuing more problems then they solve - I strongly recommend avoiding it.
Apple in comparison has it easy, there are only so many machine configuration options and they have control over the entire process, not to mention there aren't many/any viruii in the wild that target them.