“The network path was not found" error on Win XP sp3”

The problem
You are unable to connect to any network resource (network shares, printer, etc) on a Windows XP machine, from a Win XP client.
A solution (there could be several causes)

  • On the target machine (the one you're trying to connect to) open up Services, under Administrative Tools in the Start Menu.
  • Scroll down to the Computer Browser service.
  • If it is Disabled or set to Manual, set it to Automatic.
  • Then start it. It may stop immediately again, but this is OK.
  • At this point try to connect to the target machine.
If it still doesn't work, you can try the following:
  • open up Network Connections, under Control Panel.
  • Right click on your network adapter and click on Properties.
  • Click on Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click on Properties.
  • Click on Advanced, and click on the WINS tab.
  • Even if it is set to Default, set the radio button to Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP.
  • Press OK on each screen until everything's closed.
  • Go back to the client machine and try again.
  • You should be able to connect!
If it still doesn't work:
  • Go back to the Services window and find the service named Routing and Remote Access.
  • Double-click on it, set it to Manual, and stop it.
  • Close Services and try to connect from your client machine again.


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