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    In the United States, it’s that time of the year we call tax time. When you have to find those receipts and documents if you fill out a tax return. (A
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    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2535649

      “Bottom line, I think home network should be easier. It’s still way too complicated. What do you think?”

      I totally agree. On my home network, for instance, every PC can see some of the other computers on the LAN but not others, and the list of visible vs. invisible computers varies from one computer to the next. Having or not having shared folders on the computers in question seems to make no difference to whether they show up under Network.

      On the other hand, I recently learned that if you go into File Explorer and type in the invisible PC’s network location (e.g., \\PC-NAME), then you can see it no problem and access any shared folders. As to why File Explorer can’t do this on its own without specific intervention on the user’s part, I have no idea. It doesn’t sound like a permissions issue: if it were, typing in the invisible PC’s name wouldn’t help me to access it.

      Would that Microsoft spent some time fixing this maddening issue instead of (for example) fiddling with the Start menu’s location and contents.


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      • #2535653

        I had a similar issue, but it only happened with my freshly installed Windows 7 machines. The computers that I upgraded from Vista to Windows 7 could be found, the ones with a fresh installation not. After a long search I found the solution in Windows’ helptext, of all places.

        I found that it is crucial to have the Function Discovery Resource Publication service running. After setting that service on automatic my fresh Win7 installs could be found.

        The helptext also mentions that DNS-clientservice, SSDP Discovery service and UPnP Device Host service need to be running. Usually the first two are already running and the UPnP Device Host service not. The latter is not really a problem for being able to see the computer in a network.

        ASRock Beebox J3160 - Win7 Ultimate x64
        Asus VivoPC VC62B - Win7 Ultimate x64
        Dell Latitude E6430 - Win7 Ultimate x64, Win10 Pro 22H2 x64 (multiboot)
        Dell Latitude XT3 - Win7 Ultimate x86
        Asus H170 Pro Gaming - Win10 Pro 22H2 x64

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      • #2535754

        I have the exact same issues as you do, Cybertooth. Back in the good old days of 20-ish years ago, life was good. Every computer could see the others, access shared printers and network printers, etc. Then came Win 7, and things started to go downhill. I mostly got things working again, then more loss of function as machines were retired or upgraded to Win 10. I should add that nearly everything is connected to a wired network. I’ve been in this house long enough that I had the place wired with Cat 5e because wireless (802.11a/b only then) was expensive slow and sometimes buggy.


        I find it obscene that two decades after this all seemed to be sorted, MS has let simple in-home networking fall into such a state that even putting in the time to search for answers and do everything the knowledge base says to do can leave advanced hobbyist level users frustrated enough after hours of work to resort back to using portable hard drives/thumb drives to move data around. Sneakernet is so 80’s 🙄

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    • #2535656

      I, too, wish it were simpler.

      It seems that we gave up a lot to get “Wireless Everything”, i.e. Bluetooth, WiFi connected devices inside the firewall, etc. making the whole arena more frustrating  than it was when everything was hard-wired. The 5 Ghz band has helped, but it’s a bit squirrely-harder to handle-at that frequency and higher.

      The problem is that the technology is not mature. (I can hear the Marketeers screaming now.) Give it some time, and it’ll get easier. The industry’s motto has always been, “Ready, Fire, Aim!” Get it out there fast and ahead of everyone else, and shoot the engineers. This is called “The Marketing-Based Sales Model.”

      For now, I use cable USB for my scanner, cable USB for my printer, and use Bluetooth sparingly. Sheldon’s (TV’s Big Bang) blurt of, “Everything’s better with Bluetooth,” is just plain wrong.

      Folks, in the end wireless is all RF (Radio Frequency waves); throw in security protocols, a 2.4 Ghz band that shares all kinds of weird unregulated devices,  and multi-function modes, and you potentially have a real can of worms. “Why won’t my printer work when the microwave is going?” RFI…Radio Frequency interference…the Microwave is around the same frequency, and if it’s not well shielded and grounded… (Don’t get me started on when the FCC dropped the ball on this…)

      So, wait. It’s got to get better. (Doesn’t it?)  In the meantime, we great places like this to help one another!

      Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_Frequency_Allocations_Chart_2016_-_The_Radio_Spectrum.pdf

      (Just looking at this may cause a seizure. It makes MY head hurt, and I was in the industry for many decades.)

      Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", 12GB RAM, Group "0Patch", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations. Linux Mint Greenhorn
      "...all the people, all the time..."Peter Ustinov ad-lib in "Logan's Run"

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    • #2535669

      I gave up on this many years ago and have been simply using a two gigabyte USB stick to share and transfer files between my home devices, making sure that my three desktop computers and two laptops all have the same application software installed on them. Windows 7 Home Premium is running on two of them and Windows 7 Pro on another and Windows 10 Home on the newer laptop and Windows 11 Pro 22H2 on the new desktop computer (which works great now that I have uninstalled every bit of the manufacturer’s software or bloatware). If I need to print anything, I simply use the PC that has a USB printer attached. The one benefit of this is that each computer has the identical user files and folders as all the others and acts as a backup. I never could get them all to see each other on a home network while using different versions of Windows.


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      • #2535741

        to share and transfer files between my home devices, making sure that my three desktop computers and two laptops all have the same application software installed on them

        I do that, too, but the key is remembering to share and transfer the files and remembering to have the same applications on each! That can be a job in itself. Sometimes the synchronization gets out of whack because I have used one machine more than the others.

        • #2535750

          That’s very true, but I never use one machine more than any other one. I use them on a schedule: one PC on Mondays and Thursdays, one on Tuesdays and Fridays, and one PC on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the laptop on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and on Sundays (the other laptop is 12 years old and only gets used once a month for backups). I only turn on and boot up each computer when I’m going to use it and do a normal full Windows shut down when I’m done with it that day, no sleeping, hibernation or rapid boot. So each machine (except the monthly one) gets an average of 12-to-16 hours of use each week. I have found over the years that the computers last a great deal longer when I use them each only twice a week or so, instead of using one or two of them every day all the time until they wear out before buying another one. My 4th generation Dell XPS 8700 with an Intel Core i7 4770 processor is now nearly ten years old, but it is as good as new and runs the same as when it was brand new; and the HP Envy with an Intel Core i5 4440 cpu is almost as old and also runs as good as new. It only gave me problems when I tried to upgrade it to Windows 10 Pro, but was back as good as new when I fresh-installed Windows 7 Pro x64 sp1, again. It took several years, but this five year old HP Omen laptop that I’m typing on has finally settled down and runs great with Windows 10 Home 22H2. They keep me alert and busy in my old age.


      • #2535783

        Check your router, it might have a USB port for setting up a NAS device for sharing files on the network.  You can probably dedicate a portable HD of a few gigs to that purpose, if all you’re doing is sneaker-netting files between systems.


      • #2535867

        The motto for the Networking Forums is:

        “No, I can’t get it to work all the time either.”

        Satis Dictum! 🙂

        Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", 12GB RAM, Group "0Patch", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations. Linux Mint Greenhorn
        "...all the people, all the time..."Peter Ustinov ad-lib in "Logan's Run"

    • #2535675

      I have a home network of three Windows 10 Home (22H2) and two Windows 7 PCs connected with one all-in-one printer and scanner available to all the PCs. I have it setup so from my main PC I can access every single file on all the other PCs (C:\ drive included) and the other PCs can access only data in my shared folder of my main PC. All PCs have access to the printer and scanner. I have had this setup for many years.

      I agree that setting up a home network should be easier, but in my experience it isn’t the setup of the home network that causes most problems. The biggest problem preventing a home network from functioning after it is set up is unseen or unknown security settings preventing the home network from working. Since my original setup I have lost connections from one or more of the PCs on numerous occasions and the cause and fix has been changing or circumventing a security “enhancement” following a update or install of new security software. Since these security “enhancements” can come from different sources (Windows or 3 party security software), it makes finding the “enhancement” that prevents the network from working difficult.

      I offer a couple of tips I have found:

      When the PC you are trying to connect to yields a cannot find that PC on the network error it is most often the security setting on the PC you are trying to connect to (operating in stealth mode of not responding to external connection requests). Such settings are kept in the firewall (Windows or 3rd party) settings.

      Once you have established a connection to another PC on your network, right click the network PC and select Pin to Quick Access.  Quick Access in File Explorer will be at the top of the left pane (navigation pane).  Clicking the network PC in the Quick Access often connects to the PC when the PC is not currently listed under Network.

      HTH, Dana:))

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    • #2535738

      I share my HP printer and Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse combo via a pair of Sabrent USB switches. Inexpensive, simple and have worked well.

    • #2535770

      What I really want is one of those scanners that does both sides, works really fast. I’ve seen them in doctor’s offices and pharmacies, where they scan my info. I’ve wanted one for years, so I could digitize all my records, but the only ones I’ve found are way too expensive. $800+ is out of my range. If I could find one in the $250 range I’d probably go for it. Any recommendations?

    • #2535782

      Yes this Epson unit does both sides at the same time.

      Amazon.com: Epson WorkForce ES-200 Color Portable Document Scanner with ADF for PC and Mac, Sheet-fed and Duplex Scanning : Office Products

      Under $200


      Awesome!  I especially love the fact that it’s portable, so I can use it when we’re out with the RV to scan receipts and such.  I do keep a very basic HP printer in the trailer for writing letters (yes, some of us still do that!) and such, but I like the fact that this is much smaller (or so it appears) so I don’t need to get the printer out just to use the scanner.

      Thanks for the info!


    • #2536974

      Home networking is as simple or as complicated as you (or your preferred vendor) make it.

      Anyone who has ever set up a Hyper-V server at home knows what i’m talking about, the changes you need to make to admin a remote (but on your own network) Hyper-V server from your laptop are only a few lines of powershell each side – but are arguably insecure and absolutely beyond most home users understanding.

      Granted my job is systems administration, for file scanning most home users primarily just need a laptop, a docking port for it and a USB Printer/Scanner.

      Next level after that is a wireless capable printer if your network is suitably set up and secured. However wireless printers have generally been more problems than they are worth imo – and i’m trying to get away from paper – not add more options to print more.

      So lets say you scanned a document, where you choose to store these is the next part, local machine, NAS, server, cloud etc.

      How then are you backing this data up – do you care about backups – will you miss that data? If you are storing data how do you keep it all up to date and secure over time? Does this work with your lifestyle and habits?

      Do you have your own hosted doc management system then, are you backing that up?

      Can you do everything you need from one platform, one device, one mobile device even? What if you lose that device, how do you access the data?

      Each problem asks more questions all the time.

      I’m mainly a Windows and BSD user, but recently i’ve been testing a Docker-Hosted solution called paperless-ngx for scanning docs. I don’t like how it stores or categorises things, but I could get used to that once I get used to the options, interface and how to use the product best for me.

      Like everything it provided a solution but left me asking more questions.

      How do I back this up, How do I set it up right for me and my workflow (i hate that terminology but i think its correct here), How can I restore this if it goes wrong, is the setup better optimised being on Linux rather than Windows (answer is yes).

      The self-hosting @ home crowd has been moving in the direction of solutions where you back up the database and the configuration files somewhere, but you can spin up containers (such as Docker) very quickly from just a simple config file and restore all your old settings so provided the backup is in place for the config and anything important you are basically good to go. This way you dont both to fix the fact the software has gone wrong or is behaving badly or needs updating. You destroy the old one and simply spin up the latest one and restore the configuration.

      It does have a learning curve though.

      Like many people – I wish companies (MS/Apple/Google etc) provided an end to end solution (for an affordable price) but they don’t even if they provide one at all.

      I know times were simpler before and things just seemed to work, but I also think we know better now and can put better practices in place in terms of data protection, data availability and backups . Still…sometimes the old way (sneaker net) really does get the job done faster and in some cases arguably more securely. We sometimes forget in this day and age as a home user that not all computers need to be networked or even connected to the internet.

      That little scanner looks like a very useful item in my attempts at cutting down paper.

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