Windows Networking is a very complicated subject, and there are many possible problems. A lot of problems are represented by one of two basic messages. The Error 5 ("access denied") and Error 53 ("name not found") errors are very common, and unfortunately, can each have numerous possibile causes.
That being the case, whenever we see one of the above errors, we may instinctively proceed into basic network problem solving.
This is not always the necessary problem diagnosis procedure. There are several known, very specific, problems, which can be instantly diagnosed by mysterious and specific phrasings in various error messages. First look for these messages, as their causes are known, and can lead to much faster problem resolution.
- An operation was attempted on something that is not a socket.
- Browsing is NOT active on domain.
- Limited or no connectivity.
- Logon failure: the user has net been granted the requested logon type at this computer.
- Not enough server storage is available to process this command.
- No more connections can be made to this remote computer at this time because there are already as many connections as the computer can accept.
- The account is not authorized to log in from this station.
- The handle is invalid.
- The semaphore timeout period has expired.
Also, numbered errors are quite easy to decypher. The "net" command has a subcommand "helpmsg". When we see an "error = 5", for instance,
C:\>net helpmsg 5
Access is denied.
When you have a problem with Windows Networking, either in a Network Neighborhood display or share access, look at the exact error presented. If you see either of the above phrases, decypher the number using "net helpmsg". You'll be in luck - the causes are well known, and may involve reasonably simple fixes.
You may also refer to the Microsoft reference article System Error Codes, which lists every error code that you might encounter.
You may also benefit from knowing that it is possible to diagnose, if ever so slightly, a Blue (Black) Screen Of Death, aka BSOD, aka STOP Error.