I am on a network and never had a problem with printing to various printers that are on the network. All of sudden, I cannot print to any printer and there is no recognition on my computer of the network (or any printers for that matter). I have a wireless laptop and was using it at a college over the weekend but it ran fine. When I came back to work it would not recognise the network. -- Sarah Sundstrom.

It shouldn't be too hard to get you back to where you were. The first thing I would suggest is to temporarily disable either the Windows firewall or whatever third-party firewall that is installed on your machine. While this shouldn't be the cause of the problem, it might mask the real problem and interfere with some of the troubleshooting that I am going to suggest.

Next, verify that you have a valid IP address for the network that your laptop is connected to. I would first suggest using the regular wired network connection and then trying the wireless connection. It is possible that the problem you are experiencing might be unique to the wireless connection and the wired connection could be OK.

Using the ipconfig /all command, try pinging the default gateway on your network. If you get a response here, this indicates that you are connected to the network and that TCP/IP is correctly configured on your computer. Verify the address information that is on your machine to make sure that it matches the IP addresses that are being used on your network. It is possible that your laptop might have been configured with a static IP address when you were on the college network.

The next step is to get the IP addresses of one or more network printers on your network and try pinging those. If this works, it indicates that you can reach other devices on the network and that basic communications are working. We needed to try these preliminary steps so that when you try the following steps, you are assured that you have the basics of network communications working. Check the network configuration on your machine and look at the network information.

Make sure the network that the name is shown for is either the workgroup or domain matches that is being used on your network. Based on what you describe, this is where I think your problem is, since you can't "see" anything on the network and the network doesn't see your workstations.

If the domain/workgroup name doesn't match, you will need to rejoin the domain/workgroup. Be careful with this next step: If the existing computer account hasn't been deleted, you can run into problems rejoining the domain. Since the SID will probably be changed in rejoining the network, your desktop and related applications may not appear where you expect them to be. This may require your network admin or someone really experienced in how desktops/laptops work on the network as they may need to move some things around in the Documents and Settings folder so that your desktop and related files are where you expect them to be.

There may be some other things that may need to be tweaked but I think you have the general idea. At some point during the steps I have walked you through, you should be able to find the problem and put the steps in place to get you back to where you were.