Joining the Wireless Way

Today I received my sub-notebook I’ve been waiting for. Thanks to my wonderful wife and extended family, I was able to purchase this fine 4lb. specimine of a computer. It’s 3x faster than my current system (which is nice), runs warmer on my lap, and connects wirelessly to my desktop and its printer and internet connection. Needless to say, I’m a happy geek.. ahem.. er guy.

Yes, I’m a little late hopping on the wireless bandwagon, but I’ve been reading enough to understand what’s going on. It did take me a while to muddle my way though getting an ad-hoc network running so I didn’t have to get an Access Point. But, after too many hours of troubleshooting, we’ve now got Ben working on one computer, and me on another… without a hub or anything. So, just for posterity’s sake, I figured I’d share my unfortunate pain with my other personality (since he’s probably the only other one who reads this blog) my solution to a Windows XP Home/Pro ad-hoc wireless network hell (a.k.a. the one-way ping problem without a firewall).

I was unable to reach either computer by pinging through the wireless network earlier today so I ended up going wired for a bit to troubleshoot since I know that arena a bit better. Wired didn’t work either (but FYI, make sure you disconnect wireless adapters if you troubleshoot this way first. It helps narrow it down). So, to troubleshoot that, I tried everything… no firewalls, static ip addresses with the typical subnets, same workgroups, different computer names with no spaces, disabling antivirus protection, etc. Still nothing came up until I found M$’s idea of a good time. I think someone decided to say “Hey, let’s really hide this one and make home networking a pain in the rear!”. As their co-workers snickered, I googled my brains out. I eventually found this M$ tidbit. It basically explains that if you can’t get into one computer from another, but can go vice-versa, the one you can’t get into probably has a local policy that needs editing. So, if you have the same problem, head to the control panel > Administrative Tools > Local Security Policy > Local Policies > Security Options > Network access: sharing and security model for local accounts. Double click on that bad boy and change it to Classic View. Then try pinging till your heart is content. If you still can’t get in, then don’t come crying to me, cause this solved my problem and that’s as far as I wanted to go.

I hope you don’t have as much trouble as I did with this crap. Peace.

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

One Comment on "Joining the Wireless Way"

  1. Mike says:

    I’ve seen similar things happen where one firewall allows access, but the other one doesn’t. Or one computer is set to a different workgroup name than the others on the network. Lotsa ways to go wrong in getting a network together. Hopefully you’re using all the security tools available (PC firewalls, router firewalls, WPA-PSK, etc.) to make sure the changes you made don’t leave you vulnerable.

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