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Author Topic: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue  (Read 1645 times)

tiffy

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Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« on: February 20, 2018, 12:04:43 PM »

Just upgraded my desktop PC (Packard Bell intel i5) with a Samsung 500 Gb. SSD retaining the native Win 8.1 operating system, successful migration of the operating system from original 1 Tb. HD using Macrium Reflect software, did initially try the Samsung supplied migration software but although this worked, missed out some of the original HD partitions.
Have retained the original 1 Tb. HD (re-formatted) for additional storage.

Very happy with the results, start up, shut down and program opening very much faster as would be expected, a much quieter experience, only the CPU cooling fan now audible except for the occasional, old HD access.

However, I do have an issue which I have spent hours trying to resolve and trawled dozens of web sites & forums looking for a solution, so far without success:

Windows explorer won't display local network connected devices such as WD My Cloud NAS, Win 10, i5 laptop, satellite/free-view boxes etc., they are all connected and can be accessed by their respective IP address'es, just won't show up on Win explorer.
This is particulary annoying with the WD NAS as it is the normal way to access the file area, the NAS can still be accessed perfectly by the Humax free view box/attached TV and web interface.

On the old set up (pre HDD migration) to be honest, the WD NAS did periodically disappear from Win explorer for some reason but always re-appeared again, apparently an issue known to WD and well documented on their site & forums.
My i5, Win 10 laptop (ethernet connected to LAN) still periodically fails to display the WD NAS/desktop PC on explorer but always re-appear again.

If I thought the long term solution was to migrate the desktop PC to Windows 10 I would contemplate this, however, as described, Win 10 although better does not seem to be completely free of this issue also.

I doubt that there are few solutions I have not tried over the last few days, so just in the hope that some of the forum members might have further suggestions......

Edit:
To clarify, I refer to LAN devices non appearance in the "Network" display tree in Windows explorer, NAS and laptop PC do appear on Win explorer tree giving access to designated shared areas only, same applies to "Homegroup".
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 12:21:44 PM by tiffy »
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andyfitter

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 12:25:28 PM »

Network browsing stops working if SMB V1 has somehow been disabled. Worth checking out.
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tiffy

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 01:23:10 PM »

Network browsing stops working if SMB V1 has somehow been disabled. Worth checking out.

Thanks for your interest & suggestion.

Yes, been there I'am afraid, one of the early things I checked.
Strangely enough, from Win 8 onwards SMB V3 is used, there is a command line check for this and I have checked.
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parkdale

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 02:50:50 PM »

I would say this is as you have found out, a WD firmware issue :-\ rather than a Windows one.
What Modem/router do you use? and does it also have on/off issues with the WD drive?
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tiffy

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2018, 05:17:18 PM »

I would say this is as you have found out, a WD firmware issue :-\ rather than a Windows one.
What Modem/router do you use? and does it also have on/off issues with the WD drive?

ZyXEL 1312-B10A, as listed on my profile, WD NAS directly connected to a LAN port, never have any "LAN visibility" issues on the router, always appears on the ZyXEL GUI.

Yes, there are Windows explorer, network visibility issues documented by Western Digital and indeed reported issues with the AV/Firewall software I use, Bitdefender, however, I have worked through the listed fixes for all these and even run with firewall disabled, no joy.

I actually managed to get the NAS visable for the first time on my desktop PC's Win explorer network this afternoon by deleting the "Credential Manager" Windows listing for the NAS, I had never created this in the first place, appeared to re-create itself and the NAS appeared ?
However NAS & laptop have now disappeared from explorer, network tree again !

Still believe that it's a Windows/configuration issue on both 8.1 and 10 as my Win 10 laptop will randomly display/or not the NAS and/or my desktop PC on explorer/network, ie., not just the NAS visibility being the issue, very, very frustrating.
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tiffy

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2018, 02:44:19 PM »

Update, or more accurately an admission of defeat, on my reported issue.

The monitoring of LAN devices with respect to Windows explorer network visibility and display is apparently controlled by Windows "Computer Browser Service", used in Win 8.1 and still in service in Win 10, there is a quite detailed explanation of it's workings here:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc737661(WS.10).aspx
Very informative but heavy going and certainly well above my head.

I did find that the service was stopped on my Win 8.1 desktop PC, re-started but not really a solution even accepting that LAN device recognition (with respect to explorer network display) can take up to 1 hr according to the narrative !

Still believe this is a Windows issue as my Win 10 laptop visibility from desktop PC exibits the same characteristics as the WD NAS, the same applies to the network device visibility from my Win 10 laptop in explorer.

Current status:
On both PC's, the WD NAS and other PC mostly not visable in Win explorer, network, ocassionaly, all network devices appear on one or both and are fully accessable before just as randomly disappearing at next or subsequent explorer opening !

Having spent a rediculous amount of time on this issue I have accepted that there is no easy fix and made other arrangements.
Have moved all my backups from the NAS to the desktop PC internal 1Tb HD (now free after fitting SSD), not much use in having backups situated where reliable access is not guaranteed.
As the WD NAS is still fully accessable from all other LAN devices, videos, photos, music etc. can remain there.
There is still a method to access the WD NAS to file level with one of the supplied WD utilities so can still move things around as required, just not as handy as using Windows explorer.
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andyfitter

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2018, 03:59:54 PM »

Can you not just mount a share from NAS as a network drive that automatically reconnects, so you donít need to manually browse for it?
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tiffy

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2018, 04:52:12 PM »

Can you not just mount a share from NAS as a network drive that automatically reconnects, so you donít need to manually browse for it?

Tried that with the NAS very early days, when it's not showing up on Win explorer, network can't map network drive, doesn't exist for mapping !
Never actually caught it while visable to map, if I did, would imagine when it disappears again that would give an error associated with the mapped drive, if the NAS appears long enough to map will give it a try.
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tiffy

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2018, 08:27:45 PM »

Strangely enough and for no reason that I can see, the WD NAS appeared again this afternoon on Win explorer, network listing, I took the opportunity to "Add a Network Location" for two of the NAS folders as an experiment, could have chosen the "Map Network Drive" option, again have to chose a folder, can't map the full drive but thought the "Network Location" option was more suited to my requirements.

As per current expectation, the WD NAS disappeared again, was expecting the new "Network Location" shortcuts to stop functioning as network addressed, however, they still work !
Certainly another viable "work around" solution for the issue.

Definately can't set up any more "Network Locations" or Network Drive Maps while NAS is not visable in explorer, I even tried entering the network\folder path manually but it is not recognised, will have to await until the next explorer, network appearance to "shortcut" the other NAS folders.

The Win 10 laptop seems to have completely given up the ghost on explorer, network device listing even though the laptop itself is solidly visable on my router GUI at all times !

Perhaps there's a lot to be said for Mac or Linux operating systems ?
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parkdale

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tiffy

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2018, 09:06:19 PM »

@parkdale

Many thanks for the link, had not seen seen this before, certainly looks very relevant to my issue as you have said.
Will give this a serious review tomorrow when I get more time.

After another temporary appearance of the NAS today on the explorer, network tree have managed to make network links to all of the NAS folders, these still work when the NAS disappears again from explorer, network as it always does.
A reasonable work around in the shorter term.
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tiffy

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Re: Win 8.1 Network Display Issue
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 04:36:09 PM »

@parkdale

Again, many thanks for the very informative link you supplied.
Having had more time to follow up and experiment over the week end, I would totally agree that the content of this thread is indeed very closely related to my current issues regarding local network devices unpredictable appearances / disappearances on either Win 8.1 or Win 10 based operating systems.

Having worked through all the registry "fixes" listed, I can now at least determine and have a means of identifying which device becomes and remains the "Master Browser" on the LAN, in my case I have designated the Win 8.1 desktop PC as master, it's in service most of the time, however, this is by no means a fix, the WD NAS and other PC still randomly appear and disappear from Win explorer / network tree's on both PC's for no logical reason that I can establish !
Would appear from the thread narrative that MS have more or less given up on the "Computer Browser Service" in this context and are dropping from future Windows builds.

I now have explorer network tree shortcuts to all of my NAS folders on both PC's which surprisingly enough (I thought) still work when the NAS is not visible on explorer / network tree, that's the best compromise I can come up with at present.

Have more or less given up on the Win 8.1 desktop to Win 10 laptop "cross LAN" communication, appearance on either PC explorer / network is as unpredictable as the WD NAS appearance.
Funny enough, when the Win 10 laptop is visable on the Win 8.1 desktop, full access is available, all drives on both PC's are designated as fully shared, however, when the Win 8.1 desktop is visable on the Win 10 laptop, folder/file access is "not authorised" ?

Strange that the trigger for this complete issue appeared to be the upgrade of the Desktop Win 8.1 PC from HD to SSD with the migration of the existing operating system, although, a number of Windows updates took place just after the migration which could possibly be relevant.
The desktop PC did exibit occasional disappearance on the network of the NAS and laptop PC prior to the SSD upgrade but nothing like the current situation. 
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