Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Can't access shared drives on Win8 Pro PC -- sometimes

  1. #1

    Can't access shared drives on Win8 Pro PC -- sometimes

    Have two Win8 machines and one has a bunch of drives connected to it, that I use informally as a file server.

    Generally, what happens is the following:
    1) Boot the Win8 "server" machine (Win8 pro, not a Server OS)
    2) Boot my Win8 Pro desktop
    3) Open file manager app, double-click the icon for the server PC -- and drive icons open

    But sometimes, when I do 3), I get an error message saying that the machine name is incorrect (which it is NOT).

    When I click Details on this to see what is wrong, it says "no issues" -- but still can't connect.

    This is generally resolved by rebooting the "server" box (and trying again), or rebooting the desktop box (and trying again), or going through repeated reboots of each -- until a connection is finally made.

    I've checked the sharing permissions on the "server" box and they are set as follows:
    1) Each partition -- read by everyone (used by the desktops to download files)
    2) Shared folder in each partition -- full control by everyone (used by the desktops to upload files)

    And ... password-protected sharing is enabled, such that when a desktop first tries to connect, you must enter valid account info. After that, the info is saved and you don't have to enter it again.

    I've gone through removing sharing and reapplying it several times, and there are no changes as a result.

    And it's always all-or-nothing, that is, it's never a situation where some of the shares can be seen/used but not others.

    Problem is, there are times when I really need access to the "server" drives from the desktop and can't reboot either because something is going on that takes a long time and I don't want to have to restart it.

    I also run XP on this box (which never gave me these problems) -- and would really like NOT to go back to using XP.

    Anything I can try to resolve this?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    I'm really not sure why you would be seeing this type of error message but have you tried setting up a Homegroup between the Windows 8 machines?

    Did you check in the Advanced Sharing settings that the settings for All Networks are enabled for sharing as well as the Private network settings?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Quote Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
    I'm really not sure why you would be seeing this type of error message but have you tried setting up a Homegroup between the Windows 8 machines?
    Don't really want to use a HomeGroup as there are other machines that need to access the "server".

    Did you check in the Advanced Sharing settings that the settings for All Networks are enabled for sharing as well as the Private network settings?
    I looked in Advanced Sharing and all I saw was an option for users, didn't see anything about Networks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    You don't see the All Network settings in the Advanced Sharing settings like what is showing in the picture?

    I'm not sure what you mean by "File Manager App".
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails All Networks settings.PNG  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    I find that after clicking on "Network" at the bottom of the page, accessing the folders from the top location seems more reliable, as compared to accessing the folders from the bottom. Give it a try if you haven't already. As long as you don't get an error, the folders usually open.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Have you tried mapping the drives, or do you always click on the "server" first then access the shared drives?

    Also, have you tried using a static ip for the "server".
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    To reply to the responses ...

    As to Advanced Sharing, I was only looking at the dialogue boxes for the partitions, not the one in Networking. So, I went to that, and for All Networks my settings are:
    - Public Folder Sharing: Off (since I'm not actually using the "Public" folders)
    - File Sharing Connections: use 128-bit ...
    - Password Protected Sharing: Off

    As to where to click, I find when it fails, it doesn't matter whether I click the PC in the Computer portion of the Network panel, or if I click the Network icon and then click the computer at the bottom of the panel. I have had situations where clicking the bottom icon failed, but clicking the icon in the Computer portion of the top did then work. But, more often than not, if one fails, they both fail.

    I don't map the drives because I only turn on the server when needed.

    As to IP address, it's currently set to use the DHCP server -- but I'll change it to a static IP and see if the problem returns.

    Thanks to all for your feedback.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    It may help to change the Workgroup name to something else then reboot and change it back.

    I've heard of this problem before and that was about the only thing that had an effect.

    The Network icon shouldn't be failing when you click on it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,884
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7

    When this happens to me, I simply unplug mu router, wait 10 seconds, then plug it back in.

    I have a crappy WRT110 router. So what I did to fix the problem was that I used the Router DHCP and I assigned each machine's MAC address a permanent Local Area Network IP address. I have three main machines that are wired in, and 2 others using WiFi. Each have their own IP address.

    Once you set up the DHCP and assign the addresses, they don't drift and each connection between machines is stable.

    Also, what the last person said: ALL computers in the LAN need to be in the same WORKGROUP. Even if it is named "poop" they ALL have to be on Poop.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Can't access shared drives on Win8 Pro PC -- sometimes

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