This was going to be a question 10 minutes ago, but now i post this for general information and to stop others suffering unneccessary grief.
I've four pcs (3x win98 1x win2k) sharing an internet connection, using windows ICS and a cable modem.
The host pc recently had a major crash out of the blue, everything went off, i now suspect a power spike or something - but that is not (at least not yet) the problem. This crash shot quite a few system files which were restored using the "file check" utility.
The host would (after some tinkering)connect to the internet, but try as i might the rest of the home network would not speak to the host or vice versa.
I thought the network card had blown and caused the crash so (hang the expense!) dashed out, spent my beer money and bought a new one, which was promptly installed, reconfigured and ICS reset up.
Guess what - no change. Could get previously mapped drives to read via win explorer, could see host in network neighbour hood on the clients, but nothing else - could not even ping host from any client or vice versa.
During all of this ZoneAlarm Pro (paid for by the way) was turned off but still installed on the host. Uninstalled it and ..... instant success.
I'm delighted the problems solved but very annoyed that I wasted so much time (and a little money), plus very angry kids with only access to one dial up account between three!!!, for three days (suspect it'll be a good excuse for late homework for a while).
ZAP should have a large warning on it about this.
Anyone know if Norton's firewall is any friendlier, cos i'm thinking of shelling out for that instead?!