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Connect to a Different Workgroup

Posted on 2010-01-07
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
This was easy in Windows previously but I cannot seem to find how to connect to a different workgroup from a Windows 7 Pro computer. For example - most systems are all on Workgroup1 and everything works fine. One, however, is Workgroup2 and I cannot figure out how to access it (without changing the workgroup). This was easy in WinXP - you could just navigate from the Entire Network level. In this case the computer with the "Workgroup2" setting is also running WindowsXP not Win7.

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Question by:DanielT
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senad earned 700 total points
ID: 26207201
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by:DanielT
ID: 26210919
Thanks. Good information.

Was not sure that it directly applied since I do not see the computer listed as a networked computer but I checked and made a slight policy change anyway - as per attached (from 1st to 2nd option).

Additional Notes...
Before
- I cannot see this machine listed in Networked computers
- I CAN ping it successfully
- I cannot connect via UNC method
After
- I still cannot see this machine listed in Networked computers
- I CAN still ping it successfully
- I CAN connect via UNC method (**)

QUESTION
How do you navigate to a different workgroup in Windows 7 (without using a UNC path)?
In Windows XP this was done by browsing entire network.

** this may be due to both systems being restarted, although I was fairly sure that had already been done. There have been other issues with XP losing network connectivity after making a successful connection so I will leave this setting and see if it helps with both issues.
LANmanagerSettings.png
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Expert Comment

by:senad
ID: 26211677
In Windows XP this was done by browsing entire network - same on w7 ...
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by:DanielT
ID: 26212212
I can find no "Browse entire Network" option - which is why I asked.
Sorry - but Where is it?
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 26278449
Being in different workgroups does not stop explorer from displaying xp right in the section "network". It might take a while to see it, that's normal.
You might want to enable netbios over tcp/ip on your computers (both win7 and xp), it's on the tab "wins" if you call the properties of your network adapter.
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by:senad
ID: 26279856
NAT tables usually do not refresh very fast so a little patience.
Browsing different network is just like you did it in XP...
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by:DanielT
ID: 26300218
Well - have checked the NETBIOS settings without any trouble. Setting is enabled on both systems. Still have some further checks to do but just wanted to update. Wait time is not a factor - meaning that you could wait days <grin> and not see the system. So far - only difference is different workgroup name. Will probably change it to match next and look for result.
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by:DanielT
ID: 26300532
Alright - another update.
May be a Win7 bug.

System not listed in Win7 Networked computers was pingable as above (by system name or IP).
XP system could also connect to Win7 shares OK (as above too - but not mentioned).

So...
I changed workgroup on XP system to match Win7 computer and did the required reboot of the XP System. No problems! WinXP system now showed up in the Win7 Network list.

Fine. So I changed the XP system back to the original workgroup and rebooted expecting it to disappear again. Win7 still listed the system! Rebooted Win7 to see if it retained listing and it did but there is a catch... Despite the XP system being changed back to its original (different) workgroup name, Win7 was still showing it as being in the same workgroup as the Win7 system after a reboot of the Win7 PC. Navigating to the XP system from the Win7 system from the Network list entry was also succesful.

Just have not tried one more reboot of XP computer but - right now all systems are in the Network list on the Win7 system showing that they are on the same workgroup (even though they are not) despite reboot of the Win7 system.

What's even more interesting is that the XP system now shows up in the network list on two different Win7 systems when neither showed it before.

How's that?
Comments?


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by:senad
ID: 26300577
Reminded me of the ol' saying 'Confucius gets you confused' .... :)
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by:DanielT
ID: 26300605
Me again. Probably last post unless there is additional info added by someone else.

A reboot of the XP system did not change anything.
In fact, during the time the system was not available, the Win7 systems still showed it as being in the Network list although it was inaccessible. Once the XP system had rebooted it was accessible again from within the network list but still showed the Win7 workgroup, not the actual WinXP workgroup.

Resolution/Summary
If you have trouble connecting to another PC from a Win7 system when ALL OTHER SETTINGS are correct - but that system is on another workgroup - change that target system to the same workgroup as the Win7 PC, reboot,  check the Win7 Network list entries - then change the target system back to its original workgroup name. If your experience is the same as me you will now be able to browse to the system from the Network listing of the Win7 system(s).

This would need further clarification - of course - but it may help someone!

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by:DanielT
ID: 26300616
senad
No kidding! It's much easier to explain in a conversation!!!
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by:DanielT
ID: 26345781
Might as well post this for the good of anyone looking later...

Above seemed to work but not 100% - This was not apparent right away.

The only difference from the earlier posting of...
- I still cannot see this machine listed in Networked computers
- I CAN still ping it successfully
- I CAN connect via UNC method
... is that after the UNC path is used to connect once - the system will then show in the Network on the Win7 systems (but it shows with an inaccurate Workgroup name). This was not happening before but seems to be consistent now.

Still will not help locate shares on alternate workgroups unless some of the UNC path is known though.
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Author Comment

by:DanielT
ID: 26587710
Still no change to the status of this in terms of being able to browse to another workgroup in Windows 7 (unless UNC path is known). I am going to request that the question be closed. Thanks for advice given...
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Author Closing Comment

by:DanielT
ID: 31674335
The suggestion seems to have helped although the issue still largely remains. Suspect it will need to wait for a Win7 patch and not advice from someone's experience at this point...
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