Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Laptop can't find desktop computer -- Both Windows 7

22 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7
Laptop can't find desktop computer -- Both Windows 7

I have a home network set up on my desktop running Windows 7. Homegroup is NOT activated. My laptop has INTERNET access from the wireless card to the router attached to the desktop, but I can't get the laptop to "recognize" the desktop computer. When I type in \\computer name, it tells me that it can't locate that computer. So I can't print from my laptop, because the printer is attached to the desktop. I've tried everything I can think of -- renaming networks, etc. -- nothing has worked. The weird thing is that the laptop could find the printer last week, and I don't remember changing anything. Advice???

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,

First check these settings on both machines. Make sure they both look like this. Make sure that both machines are using the same workgroup name. Both machines need to use a different machine name or they won't show up. I'm not sure if you are using workgroup or public file sharing so I showed both windows.

Attached Thumbnails
Laptop can't find desktop computer -- Both Windows 7-home-work-homegroup-enable.png   Laptop can't find desktop computer -- Both Windows 7-public-sharing-enabled-all-found.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7

Thanks for the advice. Tried it, didn't work. Here are some of the messages I get:

When I go to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Network and Sharing Center, and click on the "Network" icon in between my laptop icon and the internet icon, I get a popup which shows both the laptop icon with the right name, and the desktop icon with the right name. When I double-click on the desktop computer icon, I get the message "Windows cannot access \\COMPUTERNAME" The error code says "The network path was not found."

Another thing I've tried is right-clicking on the desktop computer icon and trying to Connect with Remote Desktop Connection. When I do this, it searches for a few seconds to find the connection and then I get the message "Remote Desktop cannot find the computer \\COMPUTERNAME. This might mean that \\COMPUTERNAME does not belong to the specified network. Verify the computer name and domain that you are trying to connect to."

Is it possible that I have two different networks operating here? That was always really easy to see when in Vista or XP, but not in 7. How would I find out?

Thanks for advice!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Dec 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,

You might be using workgroup on one and public file sharing on another. Make sure you are using one or the other on both machines. This could also be a wireless networking problem. Sometimes just rebooting or refreshing will make the other machine appear.

Can the wireless machine see the other if it's plugged in with an eithernet cable?

Since you are running two Windows 7 machines you can also try using the Homegroup network which works pretty well for me. Homegroup - Add Computer or Join

To change sharing settings in Homegroup. Homegroup - Change File and Folder Sharing Settings
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional Plus 64-bit
Found a fix for me

I dont know if anyone will have the same problem in the future. I've had this same problem for the last 10 straight and couldnt fix it. I already have two laptops connected and working perfectly fine on the network.

Right after i found this thread i turned wireless isolation on my router off and everything appeared on my network for my new laptop and can now do everything i could do on my other two.

i dont know if this is relavent bc my fix was with my router and not windows but who knows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

Can the laptop ping the desktop and have you tried connecting via ip address?

Can you do ipconfig for both laptop and desktop and show us?

Search for tutorial on how to connect from one machine to another.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

You may find this Microsoft article useful: How to set up a wireless network (WLAN) in your home

This article discusses setting up a homegroup from start to finish:
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Laptop can't find desktop computer -- Both Windows 7

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Desktop cant find drivers but laptop can.
Trying to install LOGITECH mini BT receiver for MX 5000 keyboard but Windows 7 cannot find drivers. I spent all day yesterday installing & uninstalling different versions of setpoint, installing/uninstalling drivers. THe only way I can get it to leave "other devices" in device manager is to...
New desktop computer build - Windows can't find the hardrive
Hi: New desktop computer build: Gigabyte 970A-DS3P AM3+ DDR3 WD 1TB SATA lll Desktop Hardrive Seagate Barracuda 250GB SATA ll Desktop Hardrive AMD FX 4300 PILEDRIVER 3.8GHZ QUAD CORE SOCKET AM3+ CPU Gigabyte GV-N210SL-1GB GeForce 210 Graphics Card Crucial CT51264BA160BJ 4GB DDR3 SDRAM...
Installation & Setup
Desktop computer disappearing and reappearing on network (from Laptop)
Hello, I have trawled the forums and have googled and can't seem to find anything that seems to be able to resolve the situtation. I have a windows7 home laptop and a Windows XP desktop. There are connected through a wireless modem. For ages the laptop could find the desktop no worries,...
Network & Sharing
cxonnect new laptop to desktop computer?
hi, need to connect my new HP laptop to my desktop to transfer things. My usb cords have a flat end and a square end but the laptop has no square end to hook into only flat slots. It may be usb 3. Needs a different type of cable? what ype? Msongs
Network & Sharing
Find a Laptop with Windows Laptop Scout + Special Holiday Offers

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 14:58.
Twitter Facebook