Workgroup PC Not Visible

Peter044
Peter044 used Ask the Experts™
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Hello,

I have a home network with a laptop and a desktop.  I've set them up to use the same user name and have all drives, etc. shareable with full privs for everyone authorized.  For some reason, only the laptop is visible on the network.  Both the laptop and the desktop see the laptop under the network tab in explorer, but neither can see the desktop.  Does anyone have any idea what's wrong?

Thanks,

Peter
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To get some answers you would need to provide us with some info ..
like OS version :)
I'm going to presume Windows 7 from the topic list, but it would be helpful to have a clear indication of what versions on each computer.

First, make sure that the computer is reachable by pinging the desktop IP address from the laptop and confirming that you get replies.

Then check (on the desktop) Network Discovery in Network and Sharing Center, Advanced sharing settings and make sure it is on.
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
While I am a huge fan of Windows 7 as a whole, on my own home network I am rather old-fashioned and I simply used the traditional workgroup configuration.  It just requires a handful of key steps:

- Ensuring that each machine uses the same workgroup name

- Setting all of the machines to use the Home network location

- Creating an identical set of userid/password account combinations on each of the workgroup machines so that authentication would occur smoothly (i.e., without any password queries)

- Sharing out the central printer

- Turning on Public folder sharing so that each user could easily drag/drop folders across the network (Turn Public Folder Sharing On or Off in Windows 7)

Author

Commented:
Desktop is running Windows 7 Professional
Laptop is running Windows 7 Home Premium

Both machines can ping each other
Network discovery is on.

For background information, at some point both machines were visible.  I'm not sure at what point the desktop disappeared of why, but I have had utilities running on both machines at night that back up certain files to each other and these utilities continue to successfully execute on a daily basis,

Peter

Author

Commented:
Run5k, the setup I have is pretty much just what you describe,

Peter
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
If you don't mind me asking, how much is "pretty much?"

Author

Commented:
I don't share a printer.
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Understood.  Now, when you say that it's not "visible on the network," where have you looked?

- Within the network map in the Network and Sharing Center?

- Within the expandable network hierarchy in Windows Explorer?

- Navigating through a UNC command within the "Run" window?

That being said, do both of those computers have the same security software, or is it different on the desktop?

Author

Commented:
I was only using Windows Explorer.  When I try to get the map, I get "Windows cannot create the network map because the network's location type is Public.  In order to view the network map, you must set the network's location type to Home or Work in Network and Sharing Center."

I don't know how to use a UNC command.

Peter
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
Forgive me for backtracking a bit, but your last post now reflects back upon my first one.  You said that you have "pretty much" what I recommended, but if your network is set to Public rather than Home that's not really the case.

Try switching both of the computers to use the Home network location, reboot the machines and check the results.

Author

Commented:
I've changed both to Home (laptop was home and desktop was public), but I don't think I understand the difference.  I can't reboot for a bit, as both machines are performing some background stuff, but will as soon as possible.  Why would this make a difference?

Peter
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
It makes a big difference.  Basically, the Public network setting is designed for exactly that type of scenario:  utilizing a laptop at a public WiFi hotspot at a coffee shop, as an example.  You definitely don't want other people seeing or attempting to navigate to your personal computer in a public place.

Here is a short article from Microsoft that helps explain the differences:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Choosing-a-network-location

Author

Commented:
Thanks.  Sorry about missing that detail.  I'm sure this will fix the problem, but have to wait for the reboot.  Would you expect both machines to see each other immediately?
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Yes, as long as they are both set to the same workgroup name.

Author

Commented:
It worked perfectly. Thanks for your help and patience.

Peter
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Not at all... glad to help.

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