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Devices on wireless network cannot access workgroup server

I have a Compaq desktop PC connected to a wireless access point, which is connected to a broadband modem. I've recently acquired a Toshiba Qosmio G20 laptop, but haven't been able to add it to my Network Places. I also have a 1.5GHz iQon laptop on the wireless network. It has no problem recognizing the Compaq, but the Qosmio G20 says I don't have permission to access the server my workgroup is on. I've tried Remote Desktop on all of them, and the same thing happens. The Compaq can see and interact with the iQon and vice versa, but the Qosmio says it can't access the server.

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The first thing I'd do is see whether or not the G20 is getting assigned a network address by the router. Run IPCONFIG from the command line and see what sort of address you're getting. If it's the autoconfigured address (i.e., 169.254.x.x), then you're not getting assigned an address to that machine in the first place.

Most wireless access points have a security measure where you need to manually add the MAC address of a given device to the router's configuration in order to let that machine access the network. If you haven't done this already, make sure the G20 is set up properly in this respect. Also make sure you're not experiencing problems with the wireless network requiring devices with a certain minimum level of wireless security – the G20 might not be able to support it.

Another possibility is that the network stack on the G20 is damaged. (There's a chance of that if machine had Windows pre-loaded when you got it.) In that case, I'd reset the network stack. Run NETSH INT IP RESET c:reset.txt to do this. Reboot, and then run the Network Configuration Wizard to try and get back on the network. The vast majority of the time this helps clear out any lingering network issues.

This was first published in January 2006

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