On the Vista machine (the one with all the issues), all options in Sharing can be turned on now(I have password protected sharing off), except Network Discovery. Seems part of the issue - from what i read a little last night - was that network discovery does not get set to ON...it will only get set to CUSTOM...
AVAST and SuperAntiSpyware are turned off
Windows Firewall and Defender are off
TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
Function Discovery Resource Publication are all automatic and started
uPnP was off - now on - and was able to get Network Discovery to turn on....
Both machines see each other in the "View Full Map"...the vista machine can ping the laptop(Windows 7), but the laptop can't ping the vista machine