Can't Get Windows 10 File Sharing To Work Reliably


  1. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Pro 1809
       #1

    Can't Get Windows 10 File Sharing To Work Reliably


    I am seriously at my wits end with Windows File Share with regards to how difficult it is to simply set two computers to see each other and share files. I'm turning here to get some help because none of the suggestions I've found so far are a true fix for the issue.

    Here's the thing: It does work, sometimes. I can see and share files over the network.

    Other times, it doesn't. Computers, even themselves, won't show in Network folder. Sometimes, other computers in my house will show up, even when those computers don't have any shared files on them. I'll walk away for an hour and then come back to find all the computer will show in network folder but can't connect between them. (Route error. My assumption was the local IP had changed; this was before I set static IPs) Sometimes, I'll double click to open the network of another computer to have it hang trying to load. No error but it never opens the the folder. Everything seems so completely random.

    Computers will still ping each other when the network folder is empty.

    The key thing here is how it sometimes can't find itself. How is that even possible? It's it own computer; how can it not find it's own shares. It doesn't have to look at the network for that.

    I restart both computer 6 times, turn off and on sharing, restart the router, reset the network cards on both computers, and all other manner of common troubleshooting steps and BOOM, it'll start working, seeing and sharing files with each other. Nothing new is really done or changed, it just seems to want to start working at that time. A day or two later, back to not working. Here we go again with another 45 minutes of guessing what's wrong when nothing has changed.

    Scenario:
    • Router: ASUS RT-N66U, running the latest firmware.
    • Router: Factory defaults loaded and re-setup.
    • Router: Computer 1 & 2 have static IP, no DHCP.
    • Computer 1 is connected to router by wired connection.
    • Computer 2 is connected to router by wireless connection, 5ghz. (Signal is near max, one room away)
    • Both Networks are set to Private.
    • Computer 1 has Windows 10 Pro Version 1809, fully updated.
    • Computer 2 has Windows 10 Home Version 1809, fully updated.
    • Both have local user accounts.
    • Both are running Windows10FirewallControl, third party firewall software.

    -------------------------------------------------
    Settings for share:
    Private:
    • Network Discovery: On
    • Turn on auto setup of network connected devices: On
    • File and printer sharing: On

    Guest or Public:
    • All Off.

    All Networks:
    • 128-bit Encryption: On
    • Password Protected Sharing: Off

    -------------------------------------------------
    Other Info:
    • Windows10FirewallControl isn't the problem. I've opened the firewall completely and also uninstalled the firewall program. Behavior is the same.
    • Was using DHCP before and now am using static ip address. Behavior is the same (arguably worse now).
    • Sometimes one computer can see and share and then the other can't. Don't understand why.
    • Function Discovery Provider Host & Function Discovery Resource Publication service set to Automatic. Behavior is the same.
    • Router has been updated and factory defaults loaded and re-setup. Behavior is the same.
    • Power cycle computers and router many times. Behavior is the same.
    • Windows 10 network reset completed on both computers. Behavior is the same.
    • Both computer were on Windows 10 1803. Updated both to 1809. Behavior is the same.
    • Computer 2 cannot be connected by wire. I understand this "might" fix the issue but that's not feasible with the locations of the computers and router. On principle, wireless should just work. Wireless networks have been around for decades. Switching to wire isn't a "fix" for the issue. It's a workaround. I shouldn't have to inconvenience myself because of Windows's broken file sharing.
    • I have zero security concerns on my local network. Only my devices are ever connected to it. Only security concern is if the internet can view my files, which I don't want to happen.

    I'm so sick of this crap with something so simple: just share the damn files. The time I've wasted troubleshooting and never really fixing the issue could have been saved by just using a external hard drive and copying the files that way. That's a hassle I shouldn't have to do. This should work without so much headache.

    What am I missing here? Any new suggestions on what I can do to fix this once and for all? Better yet, any recommendations for third party LOCAL file sharing (no internet, LAN only) that doesn't hook into built-in windows services that, apparently, are still broken?
      My Computer

  2. Samuria's Avatar
    Posts : 6,037
    windows 10
       #2

    Welcome to the forum. The problem is Windows doesn't look for PC's on the network it asks the master. Browser that is one of that's in charge of you turn that off another has to take over an it goes and finds PC's which can take 20 mins this is why it doesn't work then later it does. Windows is designed for work were PC's are on all the time so you don't have this problem. If you work out the master browser and leave that on and boot other PC's after its up it generally works ok
      My Computer


  3. kah
    Posts : 29
    Win10Pro
       #3

    Atolic said:
    [..]
    What am I missing here? Any new suggestions on what I can do to fix this once and for all? Better yet, any recommendations for third party LOCAL file sharing (no internet, LAN only) that doesn't hook into built-in windows services that, apparently, are still broken?
    I went through this almost exactly as you have described and I've posted this in other threads here as the only solution that worked for me after endless troubleshooting.

    You should not have to do this but can easily undo once MS figures out how to fix this as it is not an uncommon problem to have on Win10 network.

    Edit the the host file at C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc.

    Here is an example I posted in other thread. Accessing other pc's on home network. - Page 2 - Windows 10 Forums.

    After you edit that on all pc's your troubles should be over and you can move on to other things.

    Again, you should not have to do this but if like me you are just tired of messing with this then give it a try.
      My Computer

  4. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 8,350
    Mac OS Catalina
       #4

    This is due to the "Master Browser" for SMB gets screwed up. See this about troubleshooting this. How to Determine the Master Browser in a Windows Workgroup | Scotties Tech.Info See this about how to disable "Master Browser". Disable the Master Browser https://support.microsoft.com/en-nz/...ult-in-windows See the last post at Master Browser Service broken after Creator update
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Pro 1809
    Thread Starter
       #5

    First off, I would like to thank everyone for the knowledge and advice. This is one of the better communities I've dealt with as far as being actually helpful.

    I do vaguely remember going over the Computer Browser and the election process in my Cisco courses but I wasn't aware that Windows used the same thing.

    Doing some additional research I learned that Windows 10 is doing away with SMB and Computer Browser along with it due to security issues.
    https://betanews.com/2017/06/19/micr...isables-smbv1/
    https://github.com/docksal/docksal/issues/382

    I'm a little unclear as to what is going to replace it but I believe that the Network folder won't populate without SMB installed. Computer 2 didn't even have it installed after updating to 1809.

    In the end, I've implemented kah advice and just modified the hosts files on both computer and ensured that SMB is installed. In my limited testing in the past few hours, it "seems" to fix the issue. I just hope it continues to work in the future.

    Again, thanks to everyone.
      My Computer

  6. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 8,350
    Mac OS Catalina
       #6

    Microsoft is not doing away with SaMBa. It is only SMBv1 that is being depreciated, since its days have gone now that XP has been discontinued. Windows 7 and onwards and all other OS's use SMBv2/3. SaMBa is the standard for file sharing.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Pro 1809
    Thread Starter
       #7

    I stand corrected. Thank you.
      My Computer

  8. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,474
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #8

    Hi there
    The trouble with Hosts file is that it will assume that your computers have a fixed IP address which isn't always the case if you use DHCP. Note also some ISP's also will not keep a static IP address indefinitely for computers you keep on all the time.

    Another problem are things like phones, tablets, smart TV's, NAS boxes, media players etc which also attach to your network and can hose up the windows IP addressing so the windows network browsing just doesn't see the whole network.

    Every so often just re-set the router is usually the best way to clear / flush the system. You normally shouldn't have to re-boot any of the computers.

    Ms has had problems with Networking ever since the original Windows 3.0/3.11 days (Windows for Workgroups) -- sometimes it just works, sometimes whatever you do there appears to be at least 1 rogue machine on a network. I found though XP usually OK and W7 99% of the time OK --- seems after W7 networking has just gone downhill as to it's reliability.

    Funny on my Linux / NAS boxes networking has always worked perfectly straight out of the box for more years than I care to remember

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer

  9. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 8,350
    Mac OS Catalina
       #9

    We have yet to know what the nexgen network filesharing will be. Only time will tell when someone comes up with a better way of handling larger file sizes, since networks are getting faster and media is becoming the norm for sharing.
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Pro 1809
    Thread Starter
       #10

    jimbo45 said:
    Hi there
    The trouble with Hosts file is that it will assume that your computers have a fixed IP address which isn't always the case if you use DHCP. Note also some ISP's also will not keep a static IP address indefinitely for computers you keep on all the time.
    My ISP doesn't handle local IP addressing. My router does. DHCP is enabled but it allows me to reserve static IP address for specific devices.

    Can't Get Windows 10 File Sharing To Work Reliably-manual_ip.png
      My Computer


 

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