How to fix ‘Windows cannot access computer’ error code 0x80004005
Windows is positioned as an enterprise-friendly operating system, with lots of features to support workgroups and sharing of files and physical resources. Despite this focus, however, Redmond’s flagship operating system seems to go out of its way to generate cryptic and user-hostile error messages for common problems. These error messages always make solving issues more difficult than it needs to be, while adding a layer of confusion and frustration for intelligent but not computer-immersed users, people who could probably fix a problem if they knew something about its cause.
One of the more egregious offenders is Windows error code 0x80004005. This error generally pops up during as failed attempt to use a shared resource over the network such as a shared network hard drive. The usual syntax for this error is generally something along the lines of “Windows cannot access \\Computer1, Check the spelling… Error code 0x80004005 Unspecified error.” This super-helpful message popping up on someone’s screen tells them basically nothing,
In this article, I will explain how to diagnose and troubleshoot the underlying problems that it might represent.
Fix the Windows cannot access computer error
There are several “quick fixes” that are worth trying to resolve this error.
Quick Fix 1: Disable IPv6
One fix is to disable your computer’s IPv6 protocol. You don’t need IPv6 right now anyway unless you’re running an IPv6 network.
- Right click the Windows Start button and select Network Connections.
- Click “Change adapter options”.
- Right click your network adapter and select Properties.
- Find Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) in the center pane and uncheck the box.
Most network configurations still use IPv4 and will for the foreseeable future so you won’t need IPv6 for a while unless you’re in an enterprise network that is already utilizing IPv6. (In which case, this quick fix won’t work for you.)
Hit “OK” and restart your computer. If this doesn’t resolve the error, then move on to the next suggested fixes.
Quick Fix 2: Check NetBIOS
The next step is to make sure that the NetBIOS service is working. NetBIOS allows networked computers to share resources. If this isn’t working or isn’t enabled, it could be causing the error.
- In the same window as above, highlight IPv4 and click the Properties button underneath.
- Click Advanced and then select the WINS tab.
- Ensure the NetBIOS setting is at Default.
Quick Fix 3: Check the Sharing Settings
If the NetBIOS settings weren’t the problem, let us look at the advanced sharing settings.
- Navigate to Control Panel, Network and Internet, Network and Sharing Center and Advanced sharing settings.
- Click the Private network and make sure network discovery is turned on and that the automatic setup check box is enabled. Make sure Turn on file and printer sharing is also enabled.
- Click All Networks and make sure the Turn off password-protected network sharing is enabled.
If you made changes to any of these settings, retest your share to see if it fixed the error.
Quick Fix 4: Check Permissions
If that didn’t fix it, we should next check permissions.
- Right click on the folder or drive you want to share.
- Select Share with and then Advanced sharing.
- Select the Share tab and then Advanced sharing.
- The box next to Share this folder should be checked. Check it if it isn’t. Then click Permissions.
- Highlight the Everyone group which should be in the top pane and allow Full Control. If there isn’t an Everyone group, click Add and type ‘Everyone’ in the bottom pane and then select it.
Quick Fix 5: Re-download Windows 10 Update
If you receive this error message while attempting to update Windows 10, the problem could be caused by a corrupt installation file. Try re-downloading the Windows 10 installer and starting over. Frustrating, but worth a shot if this is the source of the problem.
Quick Fix 6: Enable SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support
Suggested by TechJunkie reader TFI, several users have reported that this does the trick.
- In the search box, type “control panel” then select “Programs and Features”.
- In the left-hand task pane, click on “Turn Windows features on or off”.
- In the dialog that comes up, scroll down and find “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support”.
- Make sure that the checkbox next to this option is checked.
- Click “OK”.
Hopefully, one of these options will help you get your Windows 10 machine working properly again. Have any other suggestions on dealing with this issue? Share them with us in the comment section below!
This isn’t the only opaque Windows error message, and TechJunkie has lots of tutorial articles on fixing some of the other ones that pop up. Here’s our article on fixing the 0x80042405 error. Here are our fixes for the 0x80044004 error. Here we show you how to deal with 0xc000007b errors. And here’s our take on error 0x80240034.