wireless Laptop cannot see other computers on network behind WRT54G router

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I am having a problem with my home network. I can share files and the printer with the 2 desktops (wired) and can "push" a file to the laptop from either desktop. But I cannot get the laptop (wireless) to see either desktop or share the printer. The laptop will ping both computers both by IP and name. If I hook the laptop to the network via a network cable all is OK. Any ideas? Thanks Diana

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thats strang, however try to do the following, bring up the wireless interface properties and make sure that “Client for Microsoft networks” is enables
also if you have any kind of firewall enabled on that interface, then disable it temporarly and test it again

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  • Wharfrat
    If it is Windows XP, check netowrk settings for Windows firewall enabled. This is common cause for your problem.
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  • J88tru
    This sounds like a firewall/subnet problem. Your laptop's NIC (which works fine) and the Wireless WNIC (which can't "see" computers in the wired workgroup) are totally separate interfaces, both to the OS's TCPIP stack and the laptop's firewall. Specifically, the firewall may be excluding some of the NETBios functionality through the wireless card. If you are using XP's firewall, you may need to place this subnet in the Trusted Zone, instead of the Internet Zone. You can also customize the filtering. I think Port 138 and 139 need to be open for NETBios to function over TCPIP. Opening these ports is considered a potential secutiry hole, and may be blocked by default, particularly in the Internet Zone. That is ok for your home network, but if I were you, I would make that an unusual subnet, say 192.168.30.x, and place that net in your trusted zone. Then if you roam with your wireless laptop, you don't have those ports open for hacking inbound. Naturally, those ports (and others) should remain blocked on your firewall/router that connects to the Internet. Hope that helps. Grins, and have a Merry and a Happy. JT
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  • Mpkn3rd
    I would like to know what OS you have on the computers as well as the service pack installed. One other important question is if you have any third party firewalls or Internet security suites installed on the computers as well. It almost appears that for the wireless NIC you do not have file and printer sharing enabled or it is being blocked by a firewall application.
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  • Zeahund
    Thank you all for your replies. I decided last night that I was going to solve this problem that had been frustrating me for over a month. I had already disabled all the XP firewalls on all 3 computers (after turning on the firewall for the router). Yes, MS client was enabled. What turned out to be the problem is I had installed McAfee's Firewall (got it free) I had disabled it but the problem persisted. I found on one of the boards that it could still be interfering with file and printer sharing and the reccomendation was to uninstall. I did so and WOW my network showed up! Thank you all very much! Next question is how much faith can I put in the firewall on the router (Linksys WRT54G)? Would I be better off with say Zone Alarm or would it put me back in the same position? I do roam with the laptop so I need some sort of firewall on it at least. Thanks Diana
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  • Jester42
    Hey are you using dhcp or staic ip addresses have you what your network is as in name ie:(mshome, workgroup) is your ip address and subnet mask set (192.168.0.1, 255.255.255.0) if connecting to the net the ip address of the WRT54G router is the the default gateway. on a wireless network it is the same as cable. thing that stop in are people set it up and waitting for the computer to synk signal is to low or miss config of network and firewalls to see if it is firewall turn if off and see if you get a connection if you do have a look at exclusion for the fire wall.
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  • Amigus
    If you got McAfee Firewall for free why not look into the possiblity of customizing the policy before deciding to remove it entirely. I don't have experience with the McAfee product but with Norton I was able to apply some rules which allow it to continue running and protect my computer in foreign enviornments but still allow Windows file sharing on my LAN. If it helps, for reference the ports you'll need to allow are 137/tcp, 137/udp, 138tcp, 138udp, 139/tcp and 445/tcp. Note that 445/tcp only applies to Win2K and later.
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  • EricHarris
    The firewall in the Linksys is reasonably good (I have one and have not had any problems) but it only covers inbound WAN requests. If you inadvertently download something then that won't be blocked because you requested it. Be paranoid. Have firewall software on all the computers. Have up to date, active anti-virus and anti-spyware software running on all the computers. You should also do everything you can to harden the wireless setup. Change the SSID from the default of linksys. Don't broadcast the SSID. Use WEP or, better, WPA. Set an encryption key that isn't based on easily guessable information and is as long as possible. Change the default subnet to something like 192.168.96.xxx. Make sure that all computers have all the latest security patches for the operating system you are using. Basically, make getting into your network hard enough that the wireless hackers go down the street to the next unhardened wireless network. You don't want your computers to be a part of somebody's network of zombies.
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  • Zeahund
    Thanks to all the replies. I unloaded McAfree becaause I like my programs to behave themselves, If I tell it to stop monitoring my computer I expect it to do so not to have done something to my setup that only removing it would fix. I am very peraniod, I do computer setup in peoples homes and small offices, networking is my weakest spot but I continue to learn. I keep up to date on all security updates and run anti-virus, spybot, adAware, and regularly scan all my computers on my network (4). My wireless is as secure as I know how to make it, but I have checked out all the replies and did pick up some good tips, thanks to all. Diana
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  • LinearBob
    I realize you have pretty much solved your problem already, but there was one more variable that has not been discussed here: the RF signal itself. All of the 2.4 GHz band networking gear I have seen use frequency agile radios, and in the 2.4 GHz band, there are several RF channels. Because the channels are spread-spectrum, they actually overlap each other somewhat, but not completely. If your wireless hardware pieces are not all on the same channel, you are likely to see symptoms similar to those you described: a wire network that functions, but a wireless network that does not. Another consideration is RF interference. There are lots of 2.4 GHz devices, all sharing the same band, but their RF signals look like interference to each other. I had a friend with a new 2.4 GHz cordless telephone who could not understand why, whenever he used his microwave oven, his cordless phone would die and stay dead until he finished microwaving his dinner. I suggest you put a directional antenna on your access point, and aim it where your other wireless network devices are. In addition, many wireless networking devices like access points have a transmitting power level adjustment (probably hidden behind a layer or two of menus.) You should consider turning down your transmit power to the point where your other wireless network devices start to complain, and then bring the power back up a little. The idea here is to put a physical restriction on the coverage of your network so your wireless network not be very visible to folks "war walking" near your home. Let them find, and try breaking into, someone else's wireless network because they see stronger signals from other access points than from yours.
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