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Windows 7: Homegroup Setup Unreliable

26 Oct 2017   #1
meridius21

Windows 7 HP & Pro 64 bit
 
 
Homegroup Setup Unreliable

A few days ago I started my first attempt at networking. I bought a crossover ethernet cable and tried out Homegroup between two W7s (1 Ultimate / 1 Professional). A few days later this has been a very frustrating experience (see first screenshot).

I can get the network connections but Homegroup has failed. I looked on this webpage and found that other users were having problems: https://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-7/w...-to-homegroup/

No matter what I try I seem to get back to square one. Recurring problems include:

- Trying to set the network to 'Home' and keeping it there
- Having to set up the whole process again when clean booting
- Going through the troubleshooter hoping that a wizard will magic wand this problem

This really isn't user friendly. Is there any way this can be set up properly?!

Also... Do I need Homegroup and if I can't set it up properly can you advise an alternative or better setup? As mentioned I am able to share files and folders so have gone some step of the way.




Attached Thumbnails
Homegroup Setup Unreliable-homegroup1.png   Homegroup Setup Unreliable-homegroup2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Oct 2017   #2
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

I would start by getting rid of the crossover cable. If you have a router, you can use it to network your computers, simply by connecting each computer to the router with a regular (non-crossover) Ethernet cable. (Any cable which is CAT 5 or CAT5e will do, and it will be cheaper than CAT6.) If you don't have a router, you can use a basic switch. Here's one available on Amazon for $16.99:

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-5-Por...thernet+switch

Once you have done the above, now you can set up file sharing. (I assume that the only thing you want to share between the computers is the files residing on those computers.)

First, tell each computer to share its files with the other computers
Go to each PC, and open up File Manager. Right click on the drive or folder that you want to share with the other computers, and tell it to share that drive or folder (i.e. to make it available). It will now be available to the other computers. But we haven't actually accessed it from any other computers. That will be in the next step.

Second, access the things you shared from the other computers
Go to each PC, and open up File Manager.
Now try to open up something on another computer. For example, if you are on "PC", try to open up something on "PC1". (All of this will be found in the "Network" section, in the left pane of File Manager.) It should ask you for the username and password. There may be an option to remember the username and password, which means that you will be able to simply double click on it in the future.

Once you have successfully opened another computers drive or folder, you can map a drive to that drive or folder, to make it easier to access in the future. At the top of the File Explorer window should be an option to "Map a Drive" (in other words, to give it a drive letter -- x:, y:, q:, etc.).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2017   #3
meridius21

Windows 7 HP & Pro 64 bit
 
 

OK thanks a lot. I will get out and buy these items. For this particular test I guess I will just need the switch as mentioned and two regular ethernet cables. I will then run the test again using your instructions.

I was looking into Credential Manager to save user names and passwords (if that's what it's for) but I wasn't sure how to exactly use it as CCleaner sometimes removes these saved details.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Oct 2017   #4
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

If you want to set up user accounts on your computers, you can use Credential Manager. But that's not necessary for doing simple file sharing among the computers. But I'm sure it would be useful to do that if you want to learn about setting up user accounts.

CCleaner shouldn't be removing any of the Credential Manager information. If it is, then something is not right - perhaps you inadvertently told it to do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2017   #5
meridius21

Windows 7 HP & Pro 64 bit
 
 

Sorry I didn't make it clear. I set CCleaner to remove 'Network Passwords' so I think it removed the ones to log into the respective drives and not Credential Manager.

I will try to find a good and clear link for using Credential Manager unless you can recommend one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2017   #6
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Just to be clear on what I posted earlier: you already have at least one user account on each of your PCs, so it is not necessary to use Credential Manager for the file sharing, unless you want to.

Click the Start button, then Run, then type in Credential Manager and hit Enter. You should find a link to it that way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2017   #7
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

You don't need home group just use work group home group needs ipv6. It makes life simpler if you have same username and password on both PC's as it's passed by default
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2017   #8
meridius21

Windows 7 HP & Pro 64 bit
 
 

I went back to your first recommendation and mapped network drives on both computers. I kept the drive letters the same on each computer (in other words I did exactly the same thing twice on each computer) so I now have:

Users (\\PC) (Z)
Users (\\PC-2) (Y)

on each computer with full access. I don't know if this is exactly the correct procedure.

In each computer Credential Manager automatically filled in the credentials of the other computer. I am guessing that this particular set up is ok.

I also followed the instructions here: Unidentified Networks - Set as Private or Public (Option One no's 2-4) and changed both network types to 'Private'. This now shows up as 'Unidentified network/Work network' in both computers in the Network and Sharing Center.

I am still able to share/edit files and folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2017   #9
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Ok; so you mapped the "Users" folder on each PC. That's fine, if that's the folder you wanted to map.

You might also consider the following mappings (you pick the letters):

X:=\\PC\Users\John\Documents
W:=\\PC-2\Users\Jane\Documents

In this way, you are right at the documents folder, so you won't have to wade through a few folders to get there.

But what you did is fine, if that's what you wanted to map.

Glad to hear that you can share and edit your files and folders. Sounds like this was a success for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2017   #10
meridius21

Windows 7 HP & Pro 64 bit
 
 

I tried a different setup, showing on both computers, but I don't know what is conventional or correct:

First Computer (PC)

X:=\\PC\Users\FirstComputerName (then you can access all personal folders of your own or within the other computer)
Y:=\\PC\Users\Public (then you can share documents outside of your own personal folders if you wish to do this instead)

Second Computer (PC-2)

W:=\\PC-2\Users\SecondComputerName (then you can access all personal folders of your own or within the other computer)
Z:=\\PC-2\Users\Public (then you can share documents outside of your own personal folders if you wish to do this instead)

Does this make sense?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Homegroup Setup Unreliable




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