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

Posted by Robert Hayes on March 26, 2019

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.

  1. Right click the Windows Start button and select Network Connections.
  2. Click “Change adapter options”.
  3. Right click your network adapter and select Properties.
  4. 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.

  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.

Quick Fix 3: Check the Sharing Settings

If the NetBIOS settings weren’t the problem, 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 error.

Quick Fix 4: Check Permissions

If that didn’t fix it, we should next check permissions.

  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.

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.

  1. In the search box, type “control panel” then select “Programs and Features”.
  2. In the left-hand task pane, click on “Turn Windows features on or off”.
  3. In the dialog that comes up, scroll down and find “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support”.
  4. Make sure that the checkbox next to this option is checked.
  5. Click “OK”.

Thanks, TFI!

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.

12 thoughts on “How to fix ‘Windows cannot access computer’ error code 0x80004005”

Nikos says:
The only thing worked for me was to delete the following registry key:
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\LmCompatibilityLevel
Reply
Data Magician says:
Got it working with The “QUICK FIX 6: ENABLE SMB 1.0/CIFS FILE SHARING SUPPORT” solved my problem, that my computer could not connect to server.
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David says:
Thank you very much for your help!
The “QUICK FIX 6: ENABLE SMB 1.0/CIFS FILE SHARING SUPPORT” solved my problem, that my computer could not connect to server.
Reply
Helgi says:
Installed all the components for SMB 1.0 and that fixed it. Was using Windows 10 Home. The other quick fixes did not fully solve the problem.
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Martin says:
The Registry Entry has just solved my problem
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Steve says:
I tried all of the above and nothing worked. On another thread I found this:

On thE wINDOWS 10 MACHINE Set the following registry value to 1

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameters\AllowInsecureGuestAuth

If its not there create the value as a DWORD

As soon as I did this it started working.

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RWP says:
In my case (after no success with a lot of “try-this-try-that” posts) the problem turned out to be a Windows update that had broken the network file sharing connection. A Microsoft KB was issued later to fix the problem, but was not publicized to Windows users. I found out about it on an obscure geek website and got the KB myself. That fixed the problem.
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cz says:
it is work for me – thanks
DesertSweeper says:
There is a much better way – wipe windows 10 and install windows 7
Reply
RWP says:
No such thing as “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support” in my Windows features, and disabling IPv6 didn’t help either.
Reply
DonQuijote says:
Thank you man! You saved my day!
After I disabled the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6), I can access to my folders 🙂
Reply
Top Fuel Racer says:
Thank you TFI….3 hours of troubleshooting this issue.
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TFI says:
I had to re-enable Samba v1 on Windows to solve this problem. Simply go to control panel, “Programs and features”, click on the left on “Turn Windows features on or off”, then enable “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support”
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Mike says:
THANK YOU. THANK YOU THANK YOU. I had been fighting this for hours and the enabling smb1 did the trick.
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Oli says:
Wow thank you so much, enabling SMB1 also fix my problem !!
A.S. says:
Thanks. Very straight forward and helpful. Might want to update the very beginning to add how to get to network connections with Win8 and Win10. But once you get there, very nice.
Reply
john says:
Thanks for the smbv 1 reference. That worked a peach
Reply

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