Can't view networked devices in File Explorer?

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  1. Posts : 50
    Windows 10 Pro, v20H2, 64bit dual boot with Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS
       #1

    Can't view networked devices in File Explorer?


    Would be grateful for any assistance...

    Following the successful clean install of a dual boot desktop PC (W10 Pro V20H2 on one HDD, Ubuntu on the the second), I can no longer view any (of five) networked devices in W10 Pro File Explorer. I'm particularly interested in my NAS as it contains backups of personal user folders & files that I wish to re-install on the W10 Pro HDD.

    How can I use File Explorer to view networked devices? At present, the 'network' option is shown but it's empty. I'm pretty new to all this so simple explanations would be appreciated. Thanks for your understanding.

    PS no changes have been made to hardware connections or physical layout of PC or devices.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 12,414
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro
       #2

    Doing a clean install/reinstall changes things that have to be worked with. It usually helps to change some settings, this is from my Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center, Advanced sharing settings:
    Can't view networked devices in File Explorer?-image.png
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 34,882
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #3

    Hi, as it's a clean install your first job is to work through the relevant tutorial.

    The Tutorials section is a great place to find practical guides.

    Here's the one I found for you.
    Share Files and Folders Over a Network in Windows 10

    Option 1- you presumably have set up sharing previously, so hopefully this will not be unfamiliar.

    Unfortunately there's no easy way to do this in Win 10 (Why not, MS?).

    Further, a number of people who hae upgraded to 20H2- including me - have found they can't now see other PC's on the network.

    You should only need to enable SMB1 if other PCs run older editions of Windows, or for some NAS devices. SMB1 is a security risk.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 50
    Windows 10 Pro, v20H2, 64bit dual boot with Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Thanks for your replies.

    I checked out the Network and Sharing Centre settings and they were same as yours, Berton.

    I initially searched for a tutorial but must have used inappropriate search terms as I didn't find anything relevant. Thanks for the link, dalchina, I'll read through the tutorial tomorrow.

    EDIT: Just read tutorial. Bit confused - does the tutorial really address my issue? Surely this tutorial is about file sharing, which may or may not be a future issue for me, whereas the problem I currently have is the W10 PC File Explorer doesn't even acknowledge the existence of a connected NAS (and other devices but they can wait).
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 26,956
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #5

    Maybe your NAS requires SMB1.. is it an older device?


    But try this first: check if your network is set as "Private"

    second: check if these servces are running: (set them as auto)

    Function Discovery Provider Host
    Function Discovery Resource Publication.

    if this doesn't work, you have to install SMBV1, but it is a security risk, or browse to your NAS via IP address
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 494
    Win 10 Pro x64 versions
       #6

    Network View


    Windows 10 deprecation of SMB1 has impacted users ability to view/access networked devices/shares as has already been noted here. Nevertheless, it is still possible to view/access these devices in Windows Explorer. The difference is that procedures for doing so are now different than in the past and this has caused many frustrations for users. This has resulted in various recommendations, hacks, etc. including the re-enabling of SMB1 which does solve the issue but leaves a security hole in your network.

    Below are simple procedures that will enable a user to view/access a device/share in Windows 10 using Explorer without the hacks, etc.


    Explorer default view when opened shows an overall view of locations and attached devices as seen in the screenshot below:
    Can't view networked devices in File Explorer?-network.png


    Explorer view when opened with This PC selected view of the PC and connected devices as seen in the screenshot below:
    Can't view networked devices in File Explorer?-explorer-pc.png
    Note that I have defined a number of networked devices in this example that can be viewed and accessed in the This PC view of Explorer.

    If you wish to add networked devices to the Explorer This PC view then you first need to understand the path statement necessary to define the location in the Add a network location wizard in Explorer. In the above screenshot locate the notation for Address bar. Using this space you can begin to enter a path statement that once verified works can be used to define the desired device path and add that device to the Explorer window.

    It is important to understand the path statement syntax to accomplish a successfully verified path statement that will verify when executed. The use of the keyboard backslash character - \ is necessary to have success. In addition, you must provide either the IP Address of the device or location or the network name of the device and/or share. Example: \\192.168.2.100 typed into the Address bar followed by pressing the Enter key when Network is selected will gain access to a device as shown in the example screenshot below:
    Can't view networked devices in File Explorer?-ip-address.png
    Note: The network shares shown in the above screenshot are all password protected so even though I can now see/view those shares to gain access I must provide the appropriate credentials to access them. All shares have the same owner. If my desire is to only add one of the shares here, for example the Backup share, I would need to refine the path statement to that share as follows - \\192.168.2.100\Backup. If I had done this then only the Backup share would be visible here instead of all the shares on the device.

    A network name may be used to define a network location instead of using the IP Address of the location to verify the location path. This is not always possible as some devices will refuse to be identified by name. In the screenshot below I have now added a second network location which in this example is a FreeNAS server device by using the device location name in the path like this - \\FreeNAS.
    Can't view networked devices in File Explorer?-servername.png
    As you go about verifying network device\location paths make sure you write them down so that once you have them defined and verified working, you can use the Add a network location wizard to add them to Explorer. Once you have them added, your network locations will only be a few clicks away.

    Enjoy!
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 1,152
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit v21H2
       #7

    Normally Windows Explorer > Network works. Just in case it doesn't I use my backup method.
    I created a folder on my desktop called "My Network"
    In this folder I created shortcuts to the network locations
    For example, for the computer called DarkMatter see below.
    Alternately, these shortcuts can be to IP addresses.

    Can't view networked devices in File Explorer?-2021_04_19_01_12_351.jpg
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 34,882
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #8

    dogfonos said:
    Thanks for your replies.
    EDIT: Just read tutorial. Bit confused - does the tutorial really address my issue? Surely this tutorial is about file sharing, which may or may not be a future issue for me, whereas the problem I currently have is the W10 PC File Explorer doesn't even acknowledge the existence of a connected NAS (and other devices but they can wait).
    These settings are to set up Networking. These are changes that must be made to make networking happen. If they are not correct- no networking. I hope that's clear.

    You want to network devices, I believe.

    I probably said somewhere that some NAS devices require SMB1. It's preferable not to use that for fundamental security reasons.

    A number of people -now including me- have difficulty getting networking working after upgrading to 20H2.

    More tutorials - as ever- are linked after the main text:
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
       #9

    I'm on Insider Dev Build 21359.1 and this Master Browser situation is driving me completely insane. Compounding it is the fact that I cannot map any network drives from my brand new W10 PC build. I'm entering my Microsoft Account credentials and they are being refused.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 50
    Windows 10 Pro, v20H2, 64bit dual boot with Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Thanks for all your replies. Your help is much appreciated.

    My initial response is...WTF! For my limited level of knowledge, this is getting far too complicated. I thought I got off lightly when I successfully clean installed W10 Pro 64bit at the first time of asking but obviously Microsoft had other ideas. I just didn't expect this trap to lay just around the corner. Ye gods!

    I'm currently running Ubuntu and it found the NAS immediately, without me doing anything. I need to reconsider my approach/options here. The main reason I wanted to use Windows File Explorer to access files/folders on my NAS was, ironically, because I had previously found it easier than using the (to me) confusing QNAP NAS operating system/user interface. Guess I'm just not cut out to be a computer user.

    Time out whilst I reconsider my options - and stock up on tranquillizers.
      My Computer


 

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