network ghosts

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sunsnewmac, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. sunsnewmac macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #1
    I've just set up a wireless home network with MacBook and 2 PCs. Internet is seamless for all computers. File sharing and general networking is very buggy.
    PCa and PCb can always see each other fine and share files
    PCb and Mac were once communicating but PCa and Mac could not see each other on the network at all.
    After disabling a firewall I fixed the problem between PCa and Mac so they could finally see each other on the network. But literally as soon as that was fixed, PCb disappeared from the Network section on the Mac, and PCb can't see Mac either! I didn't even touch PCb in the process or touch anything related to that on the Mac.
    So it seems the Macbook doesn't want to work with more than one PC on the network.
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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    Are we there yet?
    #2
    Are these two posts related? One you describe as a wired network, the other wireless, but the computers are the same - a Mac and two PC's.
     
  3. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #3
    wow you guys are slick
    i bought a wireless router today thinking that would solve my networking pblms. it has improved things somewhat but the network is still wonky and since the pcs are never bumping each other off I imagine it's the mac that is the troublemaker here
    pls help, sorry if i'm being a troublemaker too:eek:
     
  4. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #4
    I'm not an networking expert, but I'll try to run a little triage here to that once the networking experts see the thread they can get up to speed quickly.

    First...post the stats on your MacBook. Have you run Software Update recently, i.e. is it up to date as far as the OS goes? Second...brand and model of router...and are the PCs running Vista or XP...are they up to date also?

    Also, maybe draw a little diagram as to your setup, I see you mentioned a printer in one of the threads, is it connected to a PC to the router or the mac? Also, if your PCs have multiple volumes that you want to show up on the network, that might be vital info too.

    If you haven't already, Update the OSes and check for a firmware update for the router as the N spec is evolving.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #5
    Hi
    All the system/software are up to date on the Mac and PCs.
    The ghost problem occurred with the hardwired router as well as the wireless one.
    The strange thing is that the computers DO see each other and share files--SOMETIMES. That's exactly the problem. They float in and out of the MB's "awareness," appearing and disappearing from the networking area.
    I also want to know how to make the aliases to the shared folders stay put on the Mac desktop but that's a seperate issue.

    sorry i cant' really make a good diagram and don't have screen shots. But basically the two desktop PCs running XP are connected WIRED to the router. The MacBook running latest OS X version is using AirPort. Internet works great for everyone. The printer is connected via USB to one of the PCs and is set up to share. The two PCs share files easily and regularly. The Mac sometimes sees the shared files/folders and then suddenly doesn't...
     
  6. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #6
    Alrighty...a little more triage...

    First...does the Macbook run at N speeds? If you purchased it open box, it might not have shipped with N enabled (Apple sells a firmware enabler for $2 online). I know the problem existed on the all wired network too, but just so we are all on the same page.

    Did you try dynamicv's suggestions from the other thread, if so what were the results on the packet loss?
     
  7. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #7
    Hi
    I'll look into that (N on the Mac). Although the Mac has not internet connection problems

    Results from the tests:

    0% packet loss

    And I tried both ways of connecting (connect to server/appearing in network pane). They do connect, the problem is they don't stay connected. the whole thing is rather erratic
     
  8. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #8
    Can you check the networking protocols running on the PCs. and on the Mac? Is it purely TCP/IP? If so, how are addresses allocated? Automatically from the router?

    Also do all three machines have the same default router? And if you run "nbtstat -n" on the PCs do either of them return the _MSBROWSE_ entry?

    EDIT : And one more to try. On the Mac, open the Terminal and run the findsmb command. Do the PCs show?
     
  9. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #9
    ok, I ran nbtstat on both PCs and I don' think I see an entry for _MSBROWSE_. Is that a problem?
    I ran findsmb and no, only the Mac's IP shows. I imagine that is a problem.
    I don't know if the protocols are purely TCP/IP. Pls help me find that out
    Appreciate your help!
     
  10. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #10
    The lack of _MSBROWSE_ could be the issue for the disappearances. In the absence of a server, Windows machines elect one machine to serve as the network browser, meaning it collates all the names of the computers. Any request that needs to use the PCs name is then sent to the network browser to find it's IP address rather than broadcast to all machines. Another way to check which machine is performing the role is to have a look in the Mac's Console utility, click on logs and locate the log.nmbd file under the Samba section. The log should list which machine is the browser for the local subnet. If the Mac thinks it is, but the PCs think one of them is, we could have found the problem.

    This next bit I'm doing from memory so forgive me if it's not totally correct:-

    On the PCs right click on your control panel and go to Network and Dial-up connections. Right click on your local network connection and select properties. There's a box in the window that lists the installed components, such as the Windows Networking Client or words to that effect. Post here what is installed, and remember that you may need to scroll down to get them all.
     
  11. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #11
    ah we are getting warmer!
    the Mac lists itself as being the "local master browser." So how can I tell if the PCs are conflicting and how can I resolve the issue? And why is it occurring to me and not to other ppl who have successfully set up home networks?
    Also, all the checkboxes are enabled (networking protocols). I don't have screen shots and am too lazy to list them all. Or would it help to?
    thank you so much!
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #12
    Hmmm. OK, that's the likely cause, but how do we stabliise it? Can you check the event logs on one of the PCs to see if event 8021 or 8032 is appearing? This would indicate that they are attempting a periodic browser election, which we could prevent them from doing so that they accept the Mac as the master browser.

    On the Network Settings front, here's an article from the Microsoft website that isn't quite your issue, but provides some instructions for what I'm thinking may help.
     
  13. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #13
    Hi
    do you mind telling me where to look for the event logs?
    I followed the directions on that MS page you sent.
    it's strange because sometimes when the Mac can see both PCs on the network, the PCs don't see the Mac (in "view workgroup computers"). But when I run a 3rd party app called Network Magic, that app does see the Mac.:confused:

    once or twice the Mac appeared as a workgroup computer (on the PCs) and then it would suddenly disappear. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what is happening.
     
  14. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #14
    The sporadic disappearing computers definitely sound like master browser issues. If the PCs are querying a master browser that the Mac isn't registering on, then it won't appear to them. If however you restart the Windows Sharing on the Mac, the Mac will send out a "Browser Re-election" packet, which essentially informs the PCs of the Mac's availability. However, if the election result isn't agreed upon between all the comptuers, the Mac will disappear from the PCs network neighbourhood window again after around 12 minutes. Get them all registering with the same master browser and it should stabilise the connection.

    To find the event log, right-click on the My Computer icon and select Manage. Drill down in the console to the Event Viewer. System log is the one you want. If it's quite long you can right-click on the System Log icon in the left panel and filter just for the one event number.

    If you've followed those Microsoft instructions, take another look in the Mac's nbmd.log file to see if the Master Browser has changed.
     
  15. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #15
    Hi

    I enabled NetBIOS over TCP/IP and restarted the Computer Browser service as per the instructions at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318030/en-us

    I refreshed the long.nmbd on the Mac and it still says it (the mac) is the local master browser.

    Nothing seems to have changed. Is there something else I should do?
     
  16. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #16
    A different (but related) question I would love an answer to: Is it possible to keep the shared folder aliases in place on the Mac's desktop? It seems that after a short period of inactivity (not falling asleep, just beng away from the MB) I have to reestablish the connection to the PCs and re-enable sharing. I'd rather not have to do that.
    Thanks :)
     
  17. Queso macrumors G4

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    #17
    Are the PCs now saying whether either of them has become a master browser?
     
  18. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    Jan 10, 2006
  19. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #19
    <Screeches to a halt, steps out of overclocked, refrigerated Dell>

    Perhaps it's best to start at basics.

    IP addresses.
    What is the IP address of all the machines?

    In Windows, you can type in IPCONFIG at the CMD prompt.
    (Start-Run-type in CMD+Enter)

    On the Mac, you can go to the Network Preferences and selecting Show All, then looking at the AirMac information.
     
  20. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #20
    update for dynamicv:

    8021 and 8032 are appearing in the system event log on my PC

    the other PC has an entry for _MS BROWSE_
    mine doesn't

    the Mac still sees itself as the local master browswer

    sesshi, why the IP addresses?
     
  21. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #21
    Just working up to making sure you haven't got two DHCP servers or suchlike. If you're sure about that, we can go on to the next step. I doubt the problem is as complex as it's seeming to appear at this time.
     
  22. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #22
    Only one machine should ever be the Master Browser, so this proves that the PCs are functioning correctly. If you restart the Windows sharing on the Mac and run the findsmb command again, does it show anything different?.

    If that doesn't work I'm going to sit on the sidelines for a bit here now and see what ideas Sesshi has. Best that we don't talk over each other. :)
     
  23. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #23
    The DHCP servers are the same on all computers on the network. Anything else suspicious I should look for?

    I stopped and restarted Windows sharing and checked findsmb and still looks the same (only the Mac shows up)
     
  24. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #24
    Once again, could you list out the IP addresses of each machine?

    The other thing you could try and isolate is if the problem is OSX-borne or Windows-borne. Try downloading DAVE and see if that works.
     
  25. sunsnewmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    sunsnewmac

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #25
    Why do you need the IP addresses? Is there something in particular you are looking for?

    For the past few days it seems that the problem may have shifted from being Mac-related to being PC-related, as the shared files on the PC have been showing up regularly in the Mac networking pane. However, the PCs still don't recognize the Mac. My 3rd party networking software can see the Mac but not as a Workstation, and in XP--View Workgroups, the Mac doesn't show up at all. So I can't browse any files on the Mac from the PC even though I've enabled windows file sharing.
     

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