General discussion

XP Home: The specified network name is no longer available

Apr 14, 2004 12:30AM PDT

Hi all

I have a home network of two PCs joined by direct ethernet cable. This works fine 99% of the time, but some files won't copy from one to a shared drive on the other. The copy will start, with network utilisation at 2-3% for a few seconds. Then packets stop flowing, and after between 30 and 120 seconds I get an error, either "The specified network name is no longer available" or "Semaphore timeout period expired". During that time I can ping in either direction, so the network is working, it's just that the file has stopped going anywhere. However Windows Explorer (if I initiated the copy from Explorer) locks up until I dismiss the error dialog. It's not an Explorer problem though; the same thing happens in a batch copy.

There's a definite set of files affected e.g. one is an Excel spreadsheet of about 1.5 Meg. But other much larger files copy fine. And there's no pattern e.g. other spreadsheets are OK, it's not all the files in one folder etc.

I'm running Windows XP Home Service Pack 1 on both PCs, and they're both up to date with Windows Updates. I'm using manual IP addresses at both ends. I have ZoneAlarm (a freeware firewall program), and it's configured to let all traffic through to the IP addresses. I've even changed the drive mappings to use IP addresses instead of share names, in case it was a DNS problem, but that didn't help either. I've set both network adapters to use 100 MBits Full Duplex. The adapters are "SiS 900-Based PCI Fast Ethernet" and "Macronix MX98715-Based Ethernet".

So I'm at a bit of a loss, and wondering if anyone can shed any light. Thanks in advance.

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Re:XP Home: The specified network name is no longer available
Apr 16, 2004 8:46AM PDT

I might try another NIC in each of the computers. Replace one at a time and retest. And check that crossover cable, another component which can be swapped.

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Good advice. Suffered from the same problem...
May 3, 2005 4:00PM PDT

for over a year.. The problem was bad certified xp drivers. Affected NIC was a
Linksys NIC

Either do not use this nic or find someway
to use better drivers..
Client for microsoft networks, does not get bound properly...After zero ability for file sharing, and checking every setting, registry included in detail,
a swapped nic works like buttah.
Symtoms: not even a direct network map, view or browse
would work.
All other network connectivity was ok.

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Re: XP Home: The specified network name is no longer availab
Nov 16, 2004 5:45AM PST


Did you ever resolve this? I'm running into the exact same issue and no one seems to have any ideas on the various Microsoft forums I've tried.

John Q.

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Re: XP Home: The specified network name is no longer availab
Nov 17, 2004 12:02AM PST

I got the same thing going on - tried many things - no luck

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yup, been there, done that...
Nov 17, 2004 2:56AM PST

I had similar problem. Everything networked fine. Then began having trouble when trying to transfer either a large file or a large number of small files in a single transfer from one machine to another. The transfer would begin, run fine for several minutes, and then stall. After a while, the "not available" error message would pop up. Upon examination, all network access was gone, but local drives in that machine were still accessible; had to reboot. Smaller transfers did not cause the problem.

The system at issue was an older one, running Win98. I tried reloading the NIC drivers. I tried swapping in a new (and different brand) of NIC, even in a different slot. Went to the registry and deleted all network devices and reinstalled. No go. Finally got out the big hammer - completely repartitioned and reformatted the drive, and reinstalled the O/S. Brought up-to-date all patches, etc. but installed absolutely no other software yet, so the system was as pure as the new-driven snow... Then tried another monster file transfer. Crapped out just as before.

Concluded it must be a hardware/BIOS/motherboard failure somewhere deep inside that wasn't enough to bring the whole system down but still enough that it couldn't maintain the external connection for a long hard pull. Finally solved it with a new motherboard, etc. (and upgraded to XP too).

your mileage may vary,

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Re: yup, been there, done that...
Nov 19, 2004 1:16AM PST


Well, if I can't get a solution then feeling like I'm one of the gang will have to do Happy

Both machines are brand new installations of XP with SP2. Both are brand new machines... a new laptop from Dell and a new Abit mobo with all new hardware.

This is certainly a puzzler... and frustrating, too.

John Q.

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The specified network name is no longer available Fix
Nov 20, 2004 1:26PM PST

Hi I was getting the same error. Here is how I fixed it.
I looked at my Event Viewer log and found there was a DHCP error every 6 minutes or so.
I checked my router and for whatever reason the DHCP lease time was set to 6 minutes. I bumped up the lease time to 2 hours and I retryed my 3.3 gig copy again and it worked flawlessly.


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Re: The specified network name is no longer available Fix
Nov 24, 2004 2:14AM PST

Hi Walter,

That's a good idea, I'll check that... I had a direct firewire connection on one of the tests... but my ethernet cable was still connected to the router... so I'm wondering if that would have made Windows pause to consider even if it shouldn't have effected the firewire connection. I'll check my logs... I should have done that to begin with... I'll post something again if that ends up being the problem.

John Q.

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The specified network name is no longer available solution
Nov 27, 2004 9:20AM PST

Hello everyone,
Check the contents of Obviously this link isn't the only cause for the problem (anytime a network adapter loses its IP address this could happen too, as was mentioned before), but it is one possibility. It seems to be the problem in my case: I was using an inferior (coiled, like a telephone handset cord) 8-conductor wire for my network connection when I had this error. When attempting to connect at gigabit speeds, the system would repeatedly light the link light and then immediately (~1/2 sec.) drop the link. One network adapter refused to negotiate a link at all using this wire (that NIC was a Xircom 16-bit PC Card (formerly PCMCIA) (Model REM56G-100).
Hope this helps,

Isaac Koch

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Re: The specified network name is no longer available soluti
Nov 27, 2004 9:24AM PST

I would also get the error message "Could not copy %s: The path is too deep." when attempting to copy files, as well as "Could not copy %s: The specified network name is no longer available." The latter error was observed whether the file was copied from computer 1 to comp2 or comp3 by comp1, or whether it was copied from comp1 to comp2 by comp2. The systems were connected with a Linksys BEFRW-S100 (not sure if that's the exact model #) switch.

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Re: The specified network name is no longer available soluti
Dec 4, 2004 5:00AM PST

Well, I think the problem set is starting to narrow... I'll definitely be conducting the ping test and I'll try to isolate my machines entirely from ethernet when I'm doing my firewire test and see if the IP address stays the same, etc. etc. Usually, I'm the one with the problem that's never been heard of... so I'm glad (in a sympathetic way Happy that I'm not alone here and that some people have found a way out.

John Q.

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Re: The specified network name is no longer available Fix
Dec 12, 2004 3:10AM PST


The original problem describes a direct connection between two computers by a UTP (cross)cable.

What I did to fix the problem is the following:
- disable the ntpclient in date and time;
- give both network interfaces a primairy static IP adress f.i. and with as subnet masks.

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Different fix for me -- see inside
Dec 28, 2004 10:20AM PST

For me the problem was that I had two IP's running in one of my machines. From a dos prompt (, I used IPCONFIG and saw that not only did I have an IP for my router/interent, but also there was an IP for my VPN connection to my secure office. After disabling the VPN connection, everything was fine -- transferred no problem. Also explains why the problem was sporatic -- I only connect to my VPN now and then. Hope this helps.

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Problem arose after Windows update
Apr 15, 2005 11:09AM PDT

Hi there:

New to networking and to this forum, so I may re-post this if it doesn't show up in the right place.

I could transfer large files (and was doing so) after installing a D-Link DI-704UP router hooking up two Windows XP Home machines. These files were over half a gig each. DHCP is assigning IPs, but these do not change.

Now I cannot?after about eight or nine hours of using it successfully. Even the tiniest files result in everything from 'The specified network name cannot be found' to something to do with semaphores. Sometimes, a 20 kbyte file might get through?but even then Windows takes an awfully long time (probably one minute).

Windows updated itself yesterday, as many of you know, with security patches. I think it may be to blame. I have turned the firewalls on both machines off (relying on the D-Link for my protection now), and disabled TCP/IP filtering. Being a neophyte I have not attempted too much more. Can anyone help?



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No joy so far
Apr 15, 2005 9:11PM PDT

I've tried others' suggestions above where applicable, and still no joy. I've rolled back the update and can't get the two machines to talk to one another. All three errors are present: the network name one, the path too deep one, and the semaphore one.

The wires are all direct, not cross-overs; not sure if I can tell you much more about the set-up. Pings work.

I'd welcome any clues.



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Works with Remote Desktop (?)
Nov 6, 2007 12:13AM PST

I have a wifi connection from a laptop to a router, which goes to a switch, which then goes to a desktop HTPC. Recently, I began to see the same message everyone else is getting when I try to transfer large files.

The weird thing is, if I first establish a remote desktop connection from the laptop to the desktop, then the file transfers seem to work somewhat better. I am sometimes able to transfer the file using this approach.

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the specified?
Nov 18, 2007 10:04AM PST

ok, as with all the other sites and forums and this loss of the specified network, my wireless system was losing connection. The fact that i had fast drives on one faster machine uploading to slower machine and drive that was primary, also a slower drive, was why all that was happening. The drive in question is jumpered as slave but i have it booting primary. I returned back up os/drive to the primary boot in bios, that corrected everything. The task before me now is to pull both drives from machine and set Jumpers for the master and slave, and boot them accordingly. Not visa versa

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Solved it unconventionally
Nov 29, 2008 11:04AM PST

Teramedia, I only saw your post today after I had the same error recur. Did you manage to fix your problem? I posted my fix soon after (back in 2005) and was able to use the same solution this time around.

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Fixed, after two days!
Apr 16, 2005 7:36PM PDT

Hi guys:

D-Link tech support was great but their solution was to exchange the unit. I eventually plugged in my laptop and it worked, so I concluded it had to be a set-up thing between Desktop Computer A and Desktop Computer B, both running XP Home.

I began investigating all the settings again, and strangely, the laptop and computer A (which could talk to one another) had different things installed under 'This connection uses the following items'?contrary to the advice I had read. So I knew that the differences would not be a major problem.

Anyway, I went to Configure the network card on B and a message came up saying that if I went in, some of my new settings would disappear. This didn't happen with either A or the laptop, so I knew something was up.

The laptop and the B have the same family of network card, yet under the 'Advanced' tab, the laptop had 'Link Speed/Duplex Mode' on 'Automatic' (which is what B was set to).

However, after I set B to '10 Full Mode' ('10 Half Mode' also worked), I could do everything!

Just for clarity, A has a different type of network card and only has 'Line Speed' as the sole property under 'Advanced'. It's set on 'TP Half Duplex'.

So there you have it: I went _against_ all the rules, have totally different settings between the machines, and it all works!



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Thank goodness for CNet
Nov 29, 2008 11:02AM PST

I came across the same error message today after a formatting and reinstallation last week?thank goodness CNet has kept these pages online. Saved a lot of time. If anyone from CNet is reading this, thank you.

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The specified network name is no longer available/IIS
Sep 25, 2006 7:05AM PDT

I'm getting the same error from IIS 5.0 (On Win2K Pro Box) when users try to download large files. I havn't yet found the root of the problem, but I'd like to point out that this box has the exact same NIC (SiS 900 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter). It's using the SiS Driver, V This problem has just began occuring recently...

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I had the same problem and resolved it
Mar 17, 2010 2:01AM PDT

I needed to read a file from a remote shared folder across a network. I kept getting the error "The specified network name is no longer available.". The cause in my case:
the share login information to the remote folder was cached because
I had the setting "Restore previous folder windows at logon" on in tools -> folder options in windows explorer and one instance of Explorer was pointing to the same shared folder. Even I close the explorer instance that uses the share, the login info it uses to log in remotely is cached. Trying to map a drive to that shared folder fails, so does direct access to the shared drive.
Solution in my case: remove the "Restore previous folder windows at logon" setting, and reboot.

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disable or uninstall antivirus
Apr 22, 2011 10:22PM PDT

hi, if you have any anti virus,first uninstall it,reboot and check again the problem .

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