Re: Unexpected Windows File Sharing disappeara
12-08-2010 10:15 PM
I believe you have resolved my problem, but before this thread is marked as solved, let me fill you in on what I did so you can tell me if I should still (preferably) use a solution other than the one I employed.
For starters I restored all settings to what they should be - re-enabled all the rules, etc.
Then I tried setting a device to full trust. This did make it visible but it was at this point that something jumped out at me. The structure of the Norton Trust Control window had had me seeing the different devices on the network but I hadn't realized that the network details had an edit button below them on the left side. There I was able to edit the Trust level to "SHARED" on both computers, and suddenly all the Restricted Devices were Shared Devices. In what I'd been hearing from you two here, I at first made the assumption that "Trust Level (Shared)" and "Trust Level (Restricted)" might be two different ways of phrasing the same setting since I only saw the "Trust Level (Restricted)" "Restricted" and "Full Trust" settings on devices previously. I had mis-understood your first post, SendofJive, as information rather than instructions - in other words, I wasn't aware I could re-characterize the network trust level, I thought Norton alone would decide that based on whether I'd told Win7 it was Home, Work, Public, etc. And I didn't know that "Shared" and "Restricted" really were two different settings as previously mentioned in this paragraph. I wasn't aware that I could re-characterize the network itself - I thought only it's own auto-detection of the network would do that. Norton's help files on the settings indicated that it would allow for file sharing IF I enabled file sharing before I ever installed NIS. Of course, it's several months too late to do something about that (at least, something non-drastic), but I was reasonably sure I had since file sharing worked in the past. It's possible that in all the futzing with settings the network got temporarily re-characterized as a restricted network due either to my settings changes or the fact that the laptop had at one time gone with me to Canada and joined the home network of the guy I was visiting there or something, who knows what.
I can verify the network is encrypted, seeing as how both of my brothers expressed frustration about my old WEP network years ago and needing to type a key in and of course one of my brothers expressed frustration again when he had to do so with his BlackBerry over Thanksgiving. However, do you all read anything into the fact that Norton re-characterized the network as encrypted... on BOTH machines? Is it possible that came from my rule settings changes? Is there possibility some vulnerability in my network that made Norton decide on restricted that I should ferret out? (This probably ties in to what SendOfJive asked in his most recent post.)
After I got the network setups right, I tried the homegroup settings. I didn't use homegroups before, and due to various things I saw when I tried it, I likely won't use homegroups in the future either, but that is nifty functionality. (Previously I didn't muck with it because I was already dealing with many unknowns in acclimating to Win7 64-bit but I at least knew how to have a home network since I'd had them in the past.) It did take a little beating on it and refreshing before the desktop saw the homegroup the laptop had created, but it did eventually. And, well, as things stand right now sharing is working fine. (In other news, I think the speed with which I can talk to my network hard drive has improved, but I have no concrete measure to provide so it's probably more of a watched teapot thing.)
Finally I had everything talking to each other and everything in "Network" refreshing to populate the same set of devices under the same categories on both screens.
So I tried to do a scan on my printer which I'd write to the desktop and the laptop... seeing as how when the desktop share had been unavailable to the printer before it had been "unavailable" even to the laptop and such. I was disappointed at first to find that I'd apparently "rewound the clock" most but not all of the way. The laptop could be written to by the printer but the desktop could not be written to by the printer.
I went back and verified that yes indeed, both shares were visible to each other on the computers. I tried setting the printer at full trust on the desktop and it still wouldn't cooperate.
I finagled with the printer settings pertaining to the printer's access to the desktop public share and... and I'll be honest here, since it makes me look like an idiot but you all have been so helpful.... I discovered that the printer was trying to log in with just "user name" instead of "computername\username". This was a definite difference from the entry for the laptop. so that I regain a little dignity here, I'm not sure where this mistake in the setting crept in since as I've said before the network access from the printer to this public share worked in the past, which means the computer name had to be there at first. It's possible I was originally having legitimate network issues and in finagling with the setting trying to get it to behave deleted or forgot to retype part of the login ID. Anyway, it's worth noting also that even after I gave it the right login ID, it still wasn't working (still on Full Trust), so I ended up creating and pointing to a different share location as where the printer would try writing to rather than the one it had used before... and it finally cooperated.
By the way, to clear up confusion, earlier when I said "Also, SendOfJive has helped me remember the setting the machines were on. On the existing Norton network map, the computers are in fact set at "Use Network Trust (Shared)" - they're not set to Restricted or Full Trust." while at work, it was while I was at work and looking up google images of the window I'd seen. Since I didn't know the window could differ, I took what I read in the google image as what it said at home.
As I said earlier in this message, it's possible my issue is solved, but before we mark the thread as such I would like to know what you all think of the fact that Norton had decided on the "restricted" trust level for the network on both machines. Is there an underlying possible oddity I should investigate, or should I leave well enough alone before I break something else? :)
If you all don't see any reasons to have any potential security concerns (please note I lost my last two computers to malware so I'm extra-sensitive about it now, even though I wasn't practicing risky behavior before), then we can mark the thread as solved. But if there is anything you would still have me do or check based on what you read here, please let me know.
I apologize for the lateness of these tests and the loopyness of my reply. After hammering on this for a few hours this morning, I went to work for 11 hours, and now I just spent another two hours hammering on it again (though in fairness a quarter of that time has been spent typing this post). Today's not what I'd call a fun day, but the two of you have been fantastic in being supportive and informative for me.