As far as your networking issues try this link
You'll wan't to read it all, but in particular take note under the Windows 7 and Windows Vista part, about half way down. Section 3. Look for where its explaining "LAN Manager Authentication Level" Here's another
to check out.
There's a lot in this link
If you can't figure it out from the stuff above stop back. We'll try a bigger hammer.
Where can I ask dumb questions?
Anywhere but the "Site Feedback & Issues" forum you put this in.
The owner gets an email notice everytime a post is made there. I moved this to Networking, since it's about networking.