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I have a very small network at my workplace (just 2 computers!). Network is using a BT Business Router.

I have an old Windows XP desktop (named PRRENT) which is wired directly to the router. It is configured to obtain an IP address automatically.

I have a newish Windows 7 desktop (named PRRENT2) in another office which connects wirelessly to the router. It is configured with a static IP address of (the router range starts at, I double checked).

Both computers belong to the same workgroup.

I need to access some data on the Windows 7 machine (PRRENT2) from the Windows XP machine (PRRENT). Hence the static IP address, I didn't want to lose connectivity if it got assigned a different IP address.

File and printer sharing is enabled on both machines.

Windows Firewall is OFF.

McAfee Firewall which is installed is OFF.

The windows XP machine was referencing the Windows 7 machine directly by IP address in order to get to some SQLServer data. Now, this was all working fine for MONTHS, without a hitch.

All of a sudden, for apparently no reason, my Windows 7 machine is "disappearing". When I say disappearing, the Windows XP machine can no longer ping it by IP address.

If I reboot the Windows 7 machine, it will come back up, and most of the time I will be able to ping it from the Windows XP machine. HOWEVER after a few minutes the ping stops working and I can no longer see the machine.

Any ideas how I can troubleshoot this? I've spent hours on google trying various things but am no further along....

Many thanks,

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