Ever had a case where one Windows machine couldn’t access a network file share, but everyone else could? And to add insult to injury, that machine could ping the share, but not navigate to it via Windows Explorer?

Of course, the first thing to check is always share permissions and file permissions. But what if those are correct? Is it the network? Is it an OS corruption? What now???

Windows cannot access file share error

In my case, everything was correct. The permissions on the file share were correct, I could ping the device (which in our case happened to be the NAS we use for backups) from the server, all the other servers could access it, and the problem server could access the network and internet fine.

That ruled out network issues, and issues with the NAS itself. So, I had to dig into the server configuration itself. The first place I started was the Network Configuration – in particular, the NIC. And here’s where I found something interesting….

Client for Microsoft Networks

See that item I have highlighted, above? “Client for Microsoft Networks”? And the Description of the protocol: “Allows your computer to access resources on a Microsoft network.”

….Isn’t that exactly what’s happening when you access a remote file share? The computer is accessing a resource on the network?

If you’ll notice in the screenshot above, for some reason that protocol had gotten unchecked. So although Windows could still see the NAS (thus why I could ping it), it couldn’t actually access it because this protocol was effectively disabled by being unchecked.

Once I checked that box and clicked OK to save, I had no issues navigating to the network share.

Happy computing!

 

 

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