Custer's Last Stand sm
Custer's Last Stand by William Reusswig
Windows Network Discovery is your computer’s tool for identifying your network devices and their attached resources. It also discovers the current state of your network environment. It provides essential knowledge, without which you are fighting a losing battle.
On June 25, 1876, General George Custer rode into the Little Bighorn in an effort to subdue the Lakota and Cheyenne tribes and force them onto reservations. In the preceding days Custer had made a series of poor command decisions based upon insufficient or ignored information.
Prior to arrival at the Little Bighorn, Custer divided his force of 625 men into three contingents of approximate equal size. When his scouts tried to dissuade Custer from attacking the tribal encampment, the General simply ignored them and insisted on attacking with his own contingent, prior to the arrival of the other two contingents.
After Custer and his men began their attack, he discovered the folly of his mistake. Instead of one hundred and fifty braves as he had anticipated, Custer’s men were met by more than 2,000 warriors. The result, neither Custer nor any of his 210 men survived. Despite Custer’s many prior military accomplishments, he is remembered solely for his Last Stand at the Little Bighorn.
While historians continue to debate which of Custer’s errors led to the massacre, the reality is that it was Custer’s lack of knowledge that did him in.
What’s on Your Network?
Windows Network Discovery finds all the resources on your network and provides detailed physical connectivity, device type and asset/inventory and configuration information. Network Discovery also is the network setting that affects whether your computer can see (find) other computers and devices on the network and whether other computers on the network can see your computer.
There are three Windows Network Discovery configurations:
- On - This configuration allows your computer to see other network computers and devices and allows people on other network computers to see your computer. This makes it easier to share files and printers.
- Off - This configuration prevents your computer from seeing other network computers and devices and prevents people on other network computers from seeing your computer.
- Custom – This configuration allows for mixed settings related to Network Discovery in which some settings are enabled, and other settings are disabled. For example, Network Discovery could be turned on, but firewall exceptions might be disabled. [Note: Network Discovery requires certain Windows ‘services’ to be started and that the Windows Firewall exception for Network Discovery be enabled. Other installed firewalls may interfere with Network Discovery, and in such cases appropriate exceptions must be defined.]
Resolving Undiscovered Assets on Your IT Network
- If you cannot see any computers or devices on your network chances are you have either lost your network connection or Network Discovery is blocking you from seeing other computers and devices. If the Network Discovery setting on your computer is set to Off, you won't see other computers and devices on the network. To change your Network Discovery setting, follow these steps:
- Open Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, and then clicking Network and Sharing Center.
- If Network Discovery is off, click the arrow button to expand the section, click Turn on Network Discovery, and then click Apply. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
- If you cannot see a specific computer or device that you would expect to see on your network chances are the other computer or device has lost its’ network connection, or Network Discovery on that computer is turned off (or is otherwise blocking discovery), thus preventing you from seeing it. To change the Network Discovery setting on the other computer, you must log on to the other computer, and then follow these steps:
- Click the Start button, then click Control Panel, and then click Network and Sharing Center.
- Click the arrow button to expand the Network Discovery section, click Turn on Network Discovery, and then click Apply. If you don't own or have access to the computer, ask the person who owns it to change the Network Discovery setting to On so you can see the computer in the Network folder. [Note: Even with Network Discovery turned on you may not be able to see the computer’s entire resources, sharing (for files and devices) and user permissions govern access to each computer’s resources.]
Once you understand, and properly configure Windows Network Discovery, you will soon find that you not only have access to needed network assets, but you can plan and configure those resources to overcome the greatest of odds against you. After all, knowing is half the battle.
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