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Windows 7: homegroup problems...

16 Jun 2010   #41
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

sure no problem. Here is severedsolo's one stop shop to configuring a two router setup

(VERY IMPORTANT) Configure everything I am telling you to do here via Ethernet NOT wireless, the last thing we want is for your wireless to drop at the wrong moment and screw the settings over

(VERY IMPORTANT 2)! Keep both routers disconnected from each other until I tell you to connect them! Otherwise they screw each other over and give you no network access. Also don't connect other machines except the one your configuring the router with. The reason for this is we are messing with settings, so any rules which apply now won't apply once you have done it. Hence no network access.

(VERY IMPORTANT 3) BACKUP YOUR ROUTER SETTINGS If you follow this guide then I see no reason why it shouldn't work. I have done this on several routers now. However! there is always that one time it doesn't work. Therefore either, write down the settings before you start fiddling, for both routers. or if your routers have the option, back them up (My router has this option under the "Maintenance" section)


1)decide which router is the gateway, I chose it to be the one connected to the Internet, I would recommend you do the same.
2) Login to your new gateway and give it an IP address of 192.168.1.1 and set the subnet 255.255.255.0
3) Enable DCHP and the NAT firewall and change the DCHP pool to assign addresses from 192.168.1.2 through to 192.168.1.252 (there is a very good reason why we don't use all the addresses as you will see in a minute)
4) logout of the router and disconnect. Then reconnect and check everything is working (IE you can get on the internet etc.) then disconnect again.
5) Connect to the 2nd router (from this point on I will call it "the switch" as that is really what it is now, we don't want it to act like a router any more)
6) Log in to the switch, give it an IP address of 192.168.1.253 and a subnet of 255.255.255.0 (see why we didn't use all the addresses now?) It is very important that you give it a IP address which is OUTSIDE the DCHP pool of the gateway.
7) Disable the NAT firewall, you don't need it, thats what the gateway is for. and it will cause you problems down the line.
8) Turn off DCHP in the switch. Now it is entirely possible at this point that you will lose connection to the switch. Don't worry, that is normal. hence why I told you to set everything up before hand. The reason is that the switch is no longer handing out IP addresses, this will all be handled by the gateway in our final setup. If you want to test that it is working then give yourself a static IP address: PortForward.com - Free Help Setting up Your Router or Firewall and reconnect. (Incidentally, that is also a guide on how to change the default gateway )
9. Disconnect from the switch (Pull the cable)
10. REMOVE your static IP address if you used one in the last step. (change it back to "Auto")
11. Connect the Gateway to the Switch via Ethernet. Depending on the router's you may have to use Crossover Cable for this. In my experience though, most modern routers come with what is known as "Auto Uplink Sensing" which means it will not need Crossover Cable. Otherwise you will I'm afraid. You can test whether you need Crossover Cable in the next step.
12. Connect via Ethernet to the Switch. Now with a little bit of luck, everything should work and the Gateway will report itself to Windows and assign you an IP address. If it doesn't then one of two things have gone wrong:
a) The Gateway isn't reporting itself properly, in which case you need to change the Default Gateway (thats in the Static IP address guide above) If this is the case, then you will need to reconnect to the Gateway directly and change the DCHP pool so that you have a Static IP which is outside the Pool.
b) You need Crossover Cable (as detailed above)

I think thats everything... I will put screenshots of my setup on a bit later if that will help?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jun 2010   #42
fragment137

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Thank you, this is a very interesting idea and I would love to try it!

Unfortunately there are a lot of machines in this house... hence the need for two routers. The first router (Gateway) has 4 ports, 1 of which hooks a wireless router into the system, and the other three leading to bedrooms and the living room. The wireless router is for all the laptops in the house as well as for another few bedrooms. (Holy crap... right?)

Is this setup ANY easier with the wireless router being the gateway? The only reason I ask is because it is un-desirable to change the setup around THAT much, as the Gateway router is handling the internet connection very nicely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #43
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Sorry i'm not quite sure what your asking.... It seems from your previous post's that the Wired router is the Gateway (as it is the one connected to the internet) so nothing would have to change on that front....

In terms of easyness (is that even a word? lol) It really shouldn't matter which one you decide to make the gateway, what is important is that only ONE router is set up as the gateway, and that router is connected directly to the internet. (I suspect that if the gateway (192.168.1.1) was not connected to the internet, the gateway would (correctly) redirect requests to 192.168.1.253 (the switch) which would then not know what to do with them, and redirect it (incorrectly) back to 192.168.1.1, which would then redirect it to 192.168.1.253 etc.) Everything is handled by the gateway, the switch defers each and every request to the gateway which then decides what to do with it. (Even if the target is connected to the switch, in which case the gateway includes instructions for the switch to send it to the right machine)

Basically, if both routers are configured like the gateway then it messes with the network, because the switch is only reporting it's IP address to the gateway, not all the machine's behind the switch.

If that isn't what you meant, then please clarify

and I know what you mean about needing this setup I live in a very old house with thick walls, Wireless reception is terrible, and the girlfriend has a laptop which she want's to use anywhere. so now both routers are transmitting on the same wireless network, and whichever one she patches into is linked to my machine and the internet.

honestly, the amount of wireless power being transmitted (I'm thinking of adding a THIRD router to this setup) you can probably pick up my network from 5 miles away
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jun 2010   #44
fragment137

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Lol! That DOES sound like a pretty crazy setup!

What you described answers my question, thank you

And I feel a little silly... my long-term goal is to get this household set up as a super-efficient crazy network in which all machines can be accessed by one another. My immediate goal however, is to have my laptop and my desktop in a Homegroup in order to easily transfer media from one to the other.

Basically what i've done is swapped one wire for another, and now my laptop and desktop are on the same router. lol.... I've saved your tutorial in a file though, because I'll be using it when I have a little more time to fiddle with the network (I.E. when nobody is home and therefore can't complain to me!)

I'm having another interesting problem now though... I had homegroup set up on my Desktop while it was plugged into the wired router and didn't leave it before swapping wires... Now that I'm on the different router, I tried leaving the homegroup the desktop had made, and when I did that, it said there was a homegroup on the computer "fragment-PC" (my desktop) and wants to join it!

My computer is seeing a homegroup that doesn't exist! BAH!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #45
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Very interesting.... Personally I wouldn't worry too much about that though, Just create a new homegroup and whack the passwords into both machines. The "ghost" homegroup will probably just go away next time you do a Cleanup

and by the way the tutorial I gave you will do exactly what you want in terms of all machines seeing each other. As i said, the Gateway is what will bind it all together, any other switches added to the network will be "invisible" in terms of networking as long as it is set up the way I have described.

If you do it right, (IE make any wireless networks broadcast the same SSID) then you can even make it so that your computers won't be able to tell the difference between what router they are connected to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #46
fragment137

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

How do I create a new homegroup when it seems that one exists? neither machine gives me an option to create one. I assume this is because they both think one already exists?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #47
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

silly question perhaps... but what happens if you try and join this ghost homegroup?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #48
fragment137

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

It doesn't allow it. I expect that the password is what I left it as, and neither computer can connect to the ghost homegroup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #49
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Honestly I can say I have never seen this. Have you tried moving both machines over to Workgroups, rebooting then switching it back?

Also are you absolutely sure that there isn't a machine on the router with a Homegroup configured?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2010   #50
fragment137

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

My two machines are the only two machines with Windows 7 and Homegroup. I will try your workgroup suggestion and get back to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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