How to fix ‘Windows cannot access computer’ error code 0x80004005

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For a supposedly enterprise friendly operating system, accessing shared folders or network locations in Windows is never easy. Whether you’re at home or at work, sharing resources is always more complicated than it should be. As classic error is the ‘Windows cannot access computer 0x80004005’ error. That is what we are going to tackle today.

As usual, Windows is no help when it comes to identifying the cause of the error. The usual syntax is something like ‘Windows cannot access \\Computer1, Check the spelling… Error code 0x80004005 Unspecified error’. Helpful right?

Fortunately, there are a few simple changes that can get things working.

Fix the Windows cannot access computer error

There are a couple of configuration changes that will usually solve the error. First, disabling IPv6 often fixes shared access. Second, checking NetBIOS and some Windows services will usually do the trick if IPv6 doesn’t work.

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First’ let’s disable IPv6. You don’t need it yet anyway unless you’re running an IPv6 network.

  1. Right click the Windows Start button and select Network Connections.
  2. Right click your network adapter and select Properties.
  3. 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. That is unless you’re in an enterprise network that is already utilizing IPv6.

While you’re in Ethernet Properties, let’s check NetBIOS is working.

  1. In the same window as above, highlight IPv4 and click the Properties button underneath.
  2. Click Advanced and then select the WINS tab.
  3. Ensure the NetBIOS setting is at Default.

NetBIOS allows networked computers to share resources. If this isn’t working or isn’t enabled, it could be causing the error. If that didn’t stop the error, let us look at the advanced sharing settings.

  1. Navigate to Control Panel, Network and Internet, Network and Sharing Center and Advanced sharing settings.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 ‘Windows cannot access computer 0x80004005’ error. If that didn’t fix it, we should next check permissions.

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  1. Right click on the folder or drive you want to share.
  2. Select Share with and then Advanced sharing.
  3. Select the Share tab and then Advanced sharing.
  4. The box next to Share this folder should be checked. Check it if it isn’t. Then click Permissions.
  5. 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.

In just about every case of the ‘Windows cannot access computer 0x80004005’ error I have come across, one of these steps has fixed it. If you have any other tips for overcoming the error, let us know below!

Posted by Jamie on October 25, 2016

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