Q

One of my computers cannot communicate with the rest of the network and I can't figure out why.

I have a wired/wireless LAN with three computers on it. Two have Windows XP Pro and one has Windows 2000 Pro. I have configured the network and it works except in one case. One Windows XP wired desktop cannot communicate with the other Windows XP wireless desktop. However, that wireless desktop can communicate with the wired one. I have turned off the firewalls, but that didn't help. Do you have any suggestions?
First we have to sort out what you mean by "communicate." Any time one host contacts the other, they are both in communication, regardless of which one initiates the connection. The difference you seem to be suggesting is that one host can initiate communications, but not the other.

There are a number of reasons why this might be. The most obvious would be host resolution. Often when trying to connect from one host to another, the user specifies a hostname (either local or canonical) that is human readable (ex. "host1.mydomain.net") which is translated into an IP address at the machine level. When they communicate, they identify themselves to each other almost exclusively via IP address.

If the XP/wired host cannot resolve the XP/wireless host's IP address for some reason, then nothing would happen. Can you ping with the IP address in one or both directions?

Let's assume that you thought of this and XP/wired actually can't ping the IP address of XP/wireless (but the converse works). This would be a very odd problem that shouldn't happen unless something like a firewall is interfering.

You have said that you have turned off firewalls but that is where I would look. In particular, I would anticipate that the XP/wireless' firewall is the problem.

I have assumed a number of things that you didn't specify up to this point. Please review the steps I have laid out and get back to me with details if nothing has improved.

This was first published in November 2004

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