Troubleshoot PCs and Printers Missing from Your Network
Perhaps the biggest problem with a peer-to-peer network is finding that a computer or printer has suddenly gone missing. Here are some things to check for finding wayward network PCs and printers.
Check to ensure that the PC is turned on. A computer that’s turned off cannot be accessed — don’t let that surprise you!
Computers that are hibernating, in Stand By mode or Sleep mode, cannot be accessed on the network.
Likewise, a shared printer connected to a snoozing PC cannot be used.
Conversely, you can use a computer that is on but no one is logged in to.
You can, however, access a computer where only the monitor is sleeping.
Check the firewall on your PC to ensure that local network traffic is allowed.
Check the workgroup name. The computer may not show up in the workgroup window, specifically on Windows XP, when it’s using a different workgroup name.
Confirm that the computer’s user hasn’t discontinued sharing that folder.
Check the other computer to ensure that it doesn’t have an IP conflict.
Check a Windows 7 or Vista PC to ensure that all sharing options are properly set.
If all these solutions fail, consider restarting your PC. And if that fails, restart the network.