Why does Vista keep saying unidentified network?

  livingdeadgirl 20:34 18 Jan 08
Locked

After a monumental battle to get my laptop which has Vista Home Premium to connect to my boyfriend's desktop which has XP Pro, my Dad and brother have got the computers to see each other and you can access files. However, my laptop refers to the connection as unidentified network even though it shows MSHOME in the network settings. It won't let you change the name even though you can get the flashing cursor next to it and there's no obvious way to correct it.

My boyfriend's computer is acting as the network host using a Netgear ethernet hub and cables not wi-fi as my laptop is wi-fi enabled but he has a built in network card on the motherboard. His computer has the internet connection on it which works ok but the laptop won't connect over the network.

Vista only seems to have wi-fi options not wired, but if I connect my laptop using an ethernet cable at my parents house I can get internet access and access the network. Their network is set up through IPCop using a router.

Would it be easier just to get a router or is there a way to get the current set up working?

I'm reaching the conclusion networks and Vista are a scream inducing combination!

  User-1231635 20:36 19 Jan 08

Me personaly wouldn't use Vista. Not yet anyway. Till they sort ot their problems.

  livingdeadgirl 10:20 20 Jan 08

That's all well and good but my laptop came with it installed so I don't have any choice. I was hoping for a suggestion as to how to cure the problem rather than being told not to use Vista.

I know it's a pain as an operating system but as I can get it to access my parents network with no problem I was hoping there might be a suggestion as to how to get it to work with this computer.

It's partly working as I can file share, I just need it to see the internet connection.

  brundle 11:34 20 Jan 08

MSHOME is the workgroup, not the network name - if you change that you won't be able to access the other computers. Not entirely sure how you are connecting - you have the laptop connected to the same hub as a desktop, your machine can see the other machines on the network, but can't get an internet connection? What is used for the internet - cable modem, adsl modem, router?

  livingdeadgirl 11:52 20 Jan 08

We're using the Virgin Media ADSL broadband modem to connect to the internet on a BT line as cable isn't available here but my boyfriend works for Virgin Media so gets a discount!

To connect the network we're using ethernet cables plugged into a Netgear 4 port ethernet hub model EN104 TP. This computer is acting as the host and has the internet connection and the motherboard has a built in network card with the ethernet port on it. My laptop has wireless networking on it but I'm using the ethernet port on the side.

I know MSHOME is the workgroup and now when you click to show the workgroups both computers show on the network, but I can only access the hard drives and not the internet. I'm only getting the network icon with the 2 monitors on my taskbar on the laptop but it says unidentified network whereas on this one I have the 2, one for the internet and one for the LAN.

As it works using the router at my parents house I may end up having to go and buy one but using the ethernet hub should be enough to hook the two computers together as I don't need a large network set up. The difference at my parents house is there are 3 desktop computers to connect and one laptop so it's better to use a router as we had endless problems using the hub with the network dropping all the time.

It doesn't help that I am clueless with networks but it's got my Dad stumped and he's an expert so he said ask on here as it usually gets the solution when he needs it!

  brundle 12:31 20 Jan 08

OK,thanks for the detailed explanation, just one more thing - you don't make any mention of Internet Connection Sharing - has that been set up on the host machine? Can you ping the laptop from the host? What do you see under the IP4/Ethernet connection heading when you type

ipconfig /all

at the command prompt on the laptop?

  livingdeadgirl 16:46 20 Jan 08

I pinged the laptop and it worked so that is correct. My brother thinks the DHCP should be on as it's showing as not enabled on my laptop. The rest of the settings seem to be ok.

There's no reason for it not to work but as is always the way it's refusing to do so!

  brundle 18:29 20 Jan 08

If DHCP is enabled it will configure the IP address and the gateway, which will need to be correct for internet access. The gateway address will most likely be the IP address of the desktop PC. You can still get a working IP address with DHCP off, but in a private address range not usable on the internet. If your laptop's IP address starts 169. you need to go into the TCP/IP properties for that connection and adjust the settings.

  brundle 18:29 20 Jan 08

If DHCP is enabled it will configure the IP address and the gateway, which will need to be correct for internet access. The gateway address will most likely be the IP address of the desktop PC. You can still get a working IP address with DHCP off, but in a private address range not usable on the internet. If your laptop's IP address starts 169. you need to go into the TCP/IP properties for that connection and adjust the settings.

  livingdeadgirl 13:31 21 Jan 08

Well I'm a bit closer as Vista is seeing the network and it was my boyfriend's Windows log in password preventing access, but still no internet sharing.

I even briefly got it to name the LAN instead of being unidentified but now it's thrown an error diagnosis which has knocked it out again!

If at first we don't succeed etc!!!

  livingdeadgirl 21:54 21 Jan 08

I admitted defeat and went to PC World and bought a Netgear Wireless-G Network starter kit which after a bit of a wrestling match is all working and I'm typing this from my laptop which is connected wirelessly (is that even a word?!) over the network - hurrah!

Thanks for your help though but it seems routers are more reliable than hubs :)

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