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Windows 7: Laptop Can't Connect to HomeGroup? WorkGroup?

13 Dec 2014   #21

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chamlin View Post
Really important to me is that we do NOT have to enter usernames or passwords on a daily basis.
You won't have to, at least not for the networking objectives we're discussing here which is to provide complete access to either machine's partitions from either machine.

Once you connect to the other machine for the very first time and enter the requested username and password (same as if you'd booted that other machine and were entering username and password at the Windows Welcome screen to log into Windows) and check the "remember my credentials", you'll never have to do it ever again.

I know that originally there were usernames/passwords entered and it worked fine. When the 2nd guy fixed the network, he first said we'd have to use the usernames/passwords daily, but after much begging and uncontrollable , he relented and found a way to make it work. Don't know how...and I'm a bit concerned that I am not certain that what I have written down for passwords are the passwords.
You certainly must know the passwords for both SHANTI and BODHI, which show up in your screenshots as password-protected administrator users on the two machines. So obviously you're currently entering those two passwords on each machine whenever you boot them. That's all you need to know.

These are the only usernames and passwords you need to know. And you'll only need to enter them exactly once and never again to get past the first-time credentials login request.

Yes, the major issue is laptop (Shanti) connectivity to the network. The desktop (Bodhi), with it's internal drives (C:, E:, F:, S:) and external drives (I:, T:) and networked printer (HP) are all functioning properly. Images below.

The laptop (Shanti) cannot connect with any of the above drives or printer. The desktop (Bodhi), cannot access the laptop, (mapped on the desktop as drive Z:).
I think everything I see on both machines from the set of screenshots you've provided looks good. Each machine is set up to allow full access from the other.

I think it's just a corrupted credentials problem , and I think if we delete them and try re-connecting from each machine to the other, that you will once again be prompted for that first-time username and password (i.e. what you use on that target machine at the Windows Welcome screen). And that should be the end of it (fingers crossed!).

Is there a functional difference? Or just languaging?
Apparently there must be some difference, else MS wouldn't have invented two separate types of network. But honestly I don't know precisely what the difference is.

However I do want to change your networks to HOME.

Yes, I thought the original network was set up as a WORKGROUP, but in early October, the 2nd networking guy said he thought it should be a HOMEGROUP and made changes. I thought there was supposed to be a lot more flexibility with the WORKGROUP. How can you tell which it is???
You're getting confused because WORKGROUP happens to be the name of your "workgroup", because that's the default workgroup name provided by Microsoft when you install Windows. I can't blame people for being puzzled.

If you look at my screenshot, you'll see that my "workgroup" is named MDRLAN... specifically because I wanted something meaningful that was not ambiguosly both the NAME of my "workgroup" network as well as the WORKGROUP TYPE, i.e. "workgroup" as opposed to another type of network called a "homegroup". You can see how the choice of similar but slightly different words can itself cause confusion.

Anyway, although it makes no functional difference to have your "workgroup" named anything you want, it definitely is less confusing to have the NAME of your "workgroup" not be also WORKGROUP, but perhaps something like DallasLAN or something other than WORKGROUP but perhaps semi-informative. But honestly, as long as both machines specify the SAME NAME for their "workgroup" in that value, that's really all that matters... even if both specify WORKGROUP (which is what they currently do).

That's why I said it was "fine". Ambiguous and a bit confusing if you already are puzzled about "workgroup" vs. "homegroup", but "fine" nevertheless since both machines specify the same value of WORKGROUP.

So, here's what I'd like you to do.

(1) On the Network and Sharing Center where for both machines you show "Network 2" and under it you show that "work network" link, click on the blue "work network" link.

This should produce the "Set network location" dialog window, giving you a choice to specify HOME, WORK, or PUBLIC. Select HOME.

You may need to reboot each machine. But before you do, think about whether you'd like to change that WORKGROUP name for your "workgroup" network type, and call it something less confusing and more easily seen to be a NAME of your home LAN network. If you do change this on both machines you'll for sure need to reboot both machines to stabilize things.

(2) Go into Explorer on each machine, one at a time. For each currently shown "mapped network drive" (even if it has a red X), right-click and select "disconnect". When you're done you should only have your own "local" partitions and drive letters on that machine. The previously mapped network drives are all gone now.

(3) On the Control Panel -> User Account Windows Credentials dialog, underneath the other computer name there's another blue link titled "remove from vault". OK the confirmation that yes, you do want to delete these credentials.

Do this on the desktop for the laptop credentials, and do this on the laptop for the desktop credentials.

(4) Go into Explorer on each machine again, again one at a time. Expand the Network item, and you should see BOTH machines.

Now select the other machine, and you'll get a popup dialog in which you must enter the Windows username and password for that target machine. Check the "save my credentials" box.

When you push OK, all of the shared partitions of that target machine should now appear. It is crucial that this occur, and if it does you're now finally home free. Things are now working perfectly and the rest is easy.

(5) For each partition/drive on the target machine that you want to map to a network drive letter on the current machine, right-click on that drive letter in Explorer and select "map network drive".

Then select the drive letter on the current machine that you'd like the network drive (from the target machine) to be mapped to.

Then push the FINISH button, and a new Explorer window of that target network drive should appear. You can close it.

Rinse and repeat for every other target drive on the target machine that you want to map to a network drive letter on the current machine. I have my own scheme for assigning network drive letters, with them all starting from P (for C on the target machine), Q (for D on the target machine), etc. So no matter what machine I sit down at, P is always C on the other machine, Q is always D on the other machine, etc. Keeps it easier for my brain to handle.

Let me know if this whole approach works, or if you have a problem somewhere that didn't occur on my own machine while I was running through this same recipe to be sure it would work as I describe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2014   #22

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

How to Disable HomeGroup in Windows 7 and 8

stay with work group all machines have same workgroup name and all set to automatic ip setting

check your share drive etc., check permissions also
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2014   #23

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Anything? You must be busy.

I'm very confident that if you perform that crucial "remove from vault" (i.e. DELETE) the login credentials for the other machine from the User Account dialog on each machine, and also DISCONNECT all of the current "map network drive" connections you currently have on each machine, that then the very next time you try to connect again to the other machine you'll once again be prompted to enter the username and password credentials for the other machine. These are the very values used at the Windows Welcome screen to boot that machine. And check the "remember my credentials" box on that dialog.

Once you get each machine successfully connected with that first login, you'll never again be prompted for a username and password credentials entry when you continue with your "map network drive" process, to map the drives of the remote machine as drive letters on the local machine.

Please let us know if you've had success getting this resolved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Dec 2014   #24

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Thanks for the follow up. Had to be away but will be back to this Tuesday afternoon, Pacific Time. Thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2014   #25

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

1. What's going on here appears to be underneath credentials, mapping, etc.
2. Both the pc and laptop show up in the router, as does the printer, all connected via ethernet directly to the router.
3. Both computers can print to the printer.
4. From a DOS prompt, each computer can ping itself, but neither can ping the other. This is why I've been told that the issue is happening below mapping, credentials, etc.
5. No change with AV/Firewall off on both.

What the heck does one look at in this kind of situation???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2014   #26

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

The last suggestion was for you to:

(1) DISCONNECT all mapped network drives from both machines. Explorer on each should now show just the local partition drive letter(s).

(2) Go to Control Panel -> User Account, Credentials Manager on each machine, and REMOVE FROM VAULT the entry for the other machine. This is guaranteed to reinitiate that first-time connection dialog when you next try to get to the other machine using Explorer (through NETWORK), in order to see the partition drive letters on the other machine and once again MAP NETWORK DRIVE to the local machine. The connection dialog will ask you for username and password to connect to the remote machine, i.e. asking for the actual Windows Logon username and password you would normally enter at the Windows Welcome screen when you boot the machine.

So, did you do the above? What does Credentials Manager on each machine now show?

What does NETWORK (i.e. Explorer, showing NETWORK at the bottom) look like on each machine? Do you see the other machine and printer? When you click on that other machine, don't you get the logon dialog?

If so, did you in fact get the connection credentials logon dialog when you clicked on the other machine in NETWORK, asking for username and password? And did you enter it?

And then what happened? Did the Explorer view of the partition drive letter(s) on the remote machine now appear, so that you could then right-click on each one to go through the MAP NETWORK DRIVE dialog?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2014   #27

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

dsperber, thank you for your essential and helpful input. Has really supported me.

Knowing that the computers couldn't even ping each other, before dealing with credentials/vault, etc., I had to look for something deeper. After scouring the web for ping issues I landed at Emsisoft, my firewall software and discovered a bug.

The network problem didn't change when I turn off Emsisoft Internet Security on both computers by clicking "shut down protection", the typical way of turning off the program. But on a lark, I onlydeactivated the firewall module on each. It allowed pinging, and thus, the network to function. And it continued working even after reactivating the firewall. However, once rebooted, the bug reasserted itself.

I've contacted Emsisoft, submitted a debug log, and will have to patiently await Emsisoft's fix. In the meantime, once booted up, I'll deactivate and reactivate the firewalls and have functionality.

All that said, your instructions have taught me a great deal about setting up a network and this is a very valuable tutorial for me.

With gratitude,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2014   #28

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chamlin View Post
I've contacted Emsisoft, submitted a debug log, and will have to patiently await Emsisoft's fix. In the meantime, once booted up, I'll deactivate and reactivate the firewalls and have functionality.

You have emerged victorious (or at least found a perfectly acceptable workaround to a problem with a solution beyond your control... i.e. a bug in Emisoft, which presumably will eventually be fixed), and that's what really counts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2015   #29

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Emsisoft released the fix today. All functionality to the network has returned to normal. Happy New Year!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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