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My workstation is almost working

After fighting with trying to clone my old 60 GB hard drive to my new 500 GB hard drive, I finally gave in and started from scratch. Since I was installing from Windows XP sp1 I was limited to 137 GB partition. Once Windows XP installed successfully I upgrade to sp 2 then sp 3 and installed all security patches and updates. Then I began reinstalling software beginning with Avast antivirus first quickly followed by iTunes.

Everything seemed to be going very well until I decided to actually switch back to working on the machine. I tried to remap my development servers but cannot browse my network. I get the error message:

WORKGROUP is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions.

This list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available

Guess I’m network troubleshooting this weekend.

Update: I made an important discovery today. None of the computers in the house see each other anymore. I used to be able to open Windows explorer and browse to My Network Places then to Entire Network then to Microsoft Windows Network then to MSHome (the workgroup) then to a specific machine that was visible on the network. However at the workgroup level the error message above occurs. I thought it was specific to this Windows XP machine but I reproduced it on another Windows XP machine. Then I tried browsing the network with Windows Vista and also could not see any of the LAN. So on my newly installed Windows XP machine, I tested pinging various machines on the network with success. So in Windows Explorer I typed a machine name and a known shared directory "\\mickey\www" and successfully browsed the remote directory. I then successfully mapped the drive. On my Ubuntu Linux 8.04 workstation, I clicked Places then Network Servers then Windows Network and get the message "Unable to mount location – failed to retrieve share list from server" which in the past would have simply listed all the devices on the local area network.

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Consultants – Warranties

Every now and then you get a phone call that goes something like this "That code you wrote for us a year (or more) ago doesn’t work anymore. We were thinking of doing more work with you but if we can’t get this fixed we may have to go with someone else." The proper answer is "No problem. That will be $x per hour to troubleshoot since we do not currently have a contract." The real answer is usually "ok. I’ll look into that real quick." because a) you know darn well the real answer will send them packing b) you are a nice guy and like them and c) you haven’t yet reached a level of financial stability to be blowing off customers (note: you’ll fix c if you use the real answer more often).

When your code doesn’t change and after a length of time it suddenly doesn’t work, the problem is almost always with the web host or the client. Sometimes they have discovered a very well hidden bug but rarely. In my case, the permissions on the directory which the application used to upload files had changed to not allow for uploading. How do permissions magically change? They don’t.