Error message: The network path can not be found

    General discussion


    I recently set up a windows vista workgroup for two computers running vista business & one computer running windows xp.  DHCP is coming from a Belkin wireless router, all three computers have a network connection.  I have network sharing & discovery enabled as well as file sharing enabled on both computers, also from the network map I can see that both vista PC's are present, from the XP machine it can see both vista computers.  My problem lies with the one vista computer I can access a wireless printer as well as the internet, but a can not ping the computer's address.  If I try to access the public folder from the other vista PC, a message comes back "the network path could not be found".  The computers are running on a  full AVG antivirus & firewall program, (the vista firewall is disabled) with full access enabled to the vista PC's.  The vista PC that is accessable through the workgroup configuration is able to have it's public folder browsed by the windows XP computer. 


    I would appreciate any assistance you can offer. 


    Thank you.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007 3:10 AM

All replies

  • Hi Thomas,


    Thank you for your post.


    Before we move on, I would like to confirm the following information with you:


    1.    Are all the computers located in the same IP subnet?

    2.    I understand that the public folder shared on the Windows Vista machine can be accessed from the Windows XP machine but cannot be accessed from another Windows Vista machine. Is there any difference between these two connections?


    The error message “the network path was not found” indicates that it should be a network connectivity issue. I suspect that the network connection is blocked by the firewall or the antivirus program. Thus, please temporarily uninstall the full AVG antivirus & firewall program to narrow down the issue. And then, please make sure that Network discovery and File sharing are turning on. After that, please try to access this Windows Vista machine from the other Windows Vista machine.


    If the issue persists, please collect some additional information for further research using the following steps:


    1.    Ping this Windows Vista machine from the other Windows Vista machine.

    2.    On “the other” Windows Vista machine, run the command: net view (IP address of “this” Windows Vista machine) in the Command Prompt.

    3.    Please copy and paste the above output message to the current thread.


    Thanks. I look forward for your reply.



    Joson Zhou

    Microsoft Online Community Support


    Thursday, December 06, 2007 10:35 AM

    Hello Joson,


    Thank you for your response.


    To answer your questions: All the computers are on the same 192.168.x.x network.  Only the one vista computers' public folder can be accessed from the windows xp machine, both vista computers can be seen in the browse list.  Both vista machines show up in network discovery and file sharing.  The one difference with the vista computer accessible by the XP computer is a series of dashes extending out from the computer in network discovery windows, the other vista computer doesn't have the dashes extending out from the computer.  My question is if the firewall is blocking the network connection why is it not blocking both vista computers, it doesn't really make any sense.  Let me know what you think about the additional info.








    Friday, December 07, 2007 2:14 AM
  • Hello Thomas,


    If I understand you correctly, you said that you are running AVG Antivirus and Firewall. I haven't used AVG but the program might be blocking ICMP packets or ping. Check to see if there is an option in the program to enable this. Also, please try going through and configuring the firewall here:



    If the problem persists, then uninstall AVG or your firewall program to further diagnose the issue.


    Eric Cross

    Microsoft MVP (Windows Networking)


    Friday, December 07, 2007 2:43 PM
  • Hi Thomas,


    Thank you for your prompt response.


    please understand that temporarily uninstalling the AVG program can help us identify the culprits more efficiently.


    In addition, I would like to further confirm the issue you encountered is that a Windows Vista machine (we call it A) cannot be accessed from another Windows Vista machine (we call it B). The error message is "the network path could not be found".  However, A can be accessed from a Windows XP machine.


    If you prefer not to remove the full AVG antivirus & firewall program, please capture network packets for further research by using the following steps:


    1. Please download NetMon3.1 from the following website, and install it on all the three machines:

    2. Capture network packets in the following two scenarios:



    Scenario 1: Capture the network packets between the two Windows Vista machines:



    1. Log on to the Windows Vista with the local Administrator account.
    2. Right-click the Netmon icon and select Run as Administrator.
    3. In the Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1 window, click Create a new capture tab….
    4. In the new tab, select all the Network Adapters in the Select Networks window.
    5. After that, press F10 to start NetMon

      Note: Please perform the above steps (a.–e.) on both Windows Vista machines.
    6. On B, please access the public folders on A to reproduce the issue.
    7. Once the error "the network path could not be found" occurs, back to the Netmon window and press F11 to stop the Netmon on both Windows Vista machines.
    8. Press Ctrl+S to save the netmon files, we name them Vista to Vista (computername).


    Scenario 2: Capture the network packets between A and the Windows XP machine:


    1. Please install and run Netmon on both two machines.
    2. On the Windows XP machine, please access the public folders on A.
    3. After it successes, please stop the Netmon on both machines, save the netmon files, XP to Vista (computername)


    3. After that, please upload the above four files to the following space:

    Password: 4yH!Y95oZm-[M


    4. Please let me know the IP address of the three machines and the user name of the account you used on the tests.


    Thank. I look forward to your reply.



    Joson Zhou

    Microsoft Online Community Support


    Monday, December 10, 2007 5:29 AM
  • Hi Thomas,


    As this thread has been quiet for a while we will be changing the issue type to ‘Comment’.


    If you wish to return to this question you can go ahead and change the type back to ‘Question’. Then you can edit your initial post and change the radio button at the top of the post editor window.


    If the issue has been resolved, we’d love to hear your solution. By sharing your experience you can help other community members facing similar problems.





    Joson Zhou

    Microsoft Online Community Support


    Monday, December 31, 2007 9:29 AM
  • I am seeing basically the identical symptoms. The pair is Vista 32bit  (mV) and Windows 2000 Pro (mP)


    I cannot ping mP or mV from the other. I cannot ping whether I use the host name or the ip address.

    I expect that I should be able to ping "hostName" on the Local Network. That is to say, the wireless router, handing out DHCP addresses, should resolve the hostName. Correct me if I'm wrong.


    I had the firewalls all disabled. If I click "View Computers and Devices" then sometimes the mP shows on Vista Network computers and sometimes not. Also mV shows on "myName" Lan and , when it appears, mP shows on "unspecified" LAN. I don't understand that either.


    From wP I can browse shared folders, but this only became possible once I tried entering the raw IP address for mV into the Map Network Drive.  It is interesting  that a drive is now mapped on mP from mV, even though ping fails both ways.


    I did all the registry tweaks suggested in other threads but I don't think any of that has anything to to with this issue. There must be some simple aspect here that everybody is missing. What is it ?? Some network expert out there please enlighten us.



    Wednesday, January 02, 2008 4:04 PM
  • I am experiencing the same issue today. In my case I was suddenly disconnected from the server I was connected to over the network.
    I can ping it but cannot map the drive.  so I collected an ip trace and I can see that the shared server is closing my connection.
    If this happens on the home computers then probably one computer does not like the request sent by another compuiter and is denying it.
    So if this happens to anyoen else its helpful to take an ip trace and see whats going on.
    Tuesday, February 09, 2010 4:06 PM