Need help networking 2 Windows 7 machines

Posted on 2014-04-25
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have 2 Windows 7 pc's I want to network (peer to peer, no domain)
One is Dell and the other is HP.

I already have information on both.  I thought about creating a Home network but no one can tell me if this will create new profiles.  I want to avoid creating new profiles.

My router has dhcp so it assigns ip addresses.

What I have done so far:
- changed the computer name of the Dell to Pc1
- changed the computer name of the HP to Pc2
- Both pc's belong to the Workgroup group (there is no domain)
- Set both pc's to Work network.
- Made sure network discovery is on.
- Both pc's have a user account called Shared.  The same password is assigned for Shared user on both pc's.

Pc1 ip address is and pc2 is
I assumed after the above tasks were completed I could enter “ping pc1” from pc2 and get a response.  Ping tells me it does not recognize anything called pc1.

I tried "ping" from the pc whose IP address is and ping tells me it cannot find

Q1) What steps would you take to determine these 2 pc's are really networked?

Q2.)  I assume I need a host file on each pc.  What commands would you put into the host files?

Q3.) How would I determine if the Windows firewall is blocking the ping command?
Question by:donpick
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40024012
First, pinging by name may not work in a workgroup (DNS issues) but pinging by IP address certainly should work.

So if you are siting at with a command prompt open and ping fails (no results) then you are not connected. If you cannot ping, then file sharing will not work.

Check to see if firewalls are preventing pings by not allowing the other address or the address range. That is the usual thing that prevents pinging.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40024013
Q3.) How would I determine if the Windows firewall is blocking the ping command?

You can temporarily disable Windows firewall to test if it is blocking. If so, re-enable and set an exception for the IP address range.

Also, if you have a complete anti virus application, it may have its own firewall and disable Windows firewall. Symantec does this and other suites do as well.

Expert Comment

ID: 40024020
As long as your computers are on the same subnet (in this case 192.168.1.x) and belong to the same Workgroup, they're "networked".  Ping may or may not work by default - but definitely -should- work with the firewalls turned off.

If you want to do file sharing between the two systems, you can either setup password protected file sharing (the Windows 7 default), or you can turn off password protected sharing on both private and public folders.

For easy access to folders on the other machine, you can "Map" these folders and set them to reconnect on startup.  I usually put a shortcut to these mapped folders on my Desktop.

In your case, the user "Shared" can be used for file sharing between the 2 systems.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40024023
Why don't you setup a homegroup, no new user profiles

Assisted Solution

Delete earned 150 total points
ID: 40024059
As John Hurst stated you cannot ping using the computer name if you don't have either DNS, WINS, or your Hosts file configured to resolve the name to the proper IP address.  

I assume both of your computers are plugged into your router and your router IP address is correct?  

From a command prompt can you type the following commands and post the results from both computers?

From PC1:

From PC2:

Also if you haven't already, you may want to make sure IPv6 isn't "enabled".  Use this link to disable IPv6:

Author Comment

ID: 40024734
Thank you for your answers.  I will visit this client in a week.   I will assign points at that time. Thank you for your patience.
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

Darr247 earned 200 total points
ID: 40025771
I agree with the suggestion in http:#a40024023 to use Win7's built-in Homegroup setup.
Open Network and Sharing Center on both machines and on one click Choose homegroup and sharing options.Network and Sharing Center - Homegroup (click for larger)Then in the next dialog click the Create a homegroup button.Homegroup - Create a homegroup (click for larger) On the other one, when you click Choose homegroup and sharing options. it should detect the existing Homegroup and prompt you for the password from the other one.

If it fails to join the homegroup, the most-common cause of that failure is the machines' date+time settings are too far out of sync. To fix that, click the Date/Time in the lower-right corner of the screen on both machines, then click Change date and time settings...Sync Time - Step 1In the next dialog choose the Internet Time tab and click Change settings...Sync Time - Step 2Choose the same time server on both machines (the default works fine, usually), then click the Update now button a couple times on both machines.Sync Time - Step 3For some reason, the first click on that button doesn't always sync the clock exactly (usually gets it within a couple seconds), but the next click does correct it. Not sure if that's due to network latency to the time server or what. But Microsoft's default is to update the time only once per week, and most computers can drift a couple seconds off per day, and that can prevent them from successfully joining the Homegroup.

Also, you never mentioned actually creating any Shares on either machine.
i.e. in Windows Explorer, right-click a folder and choose Properties (I *never* use Share with...; I think it's a waste of space in the context menu), and on the Sharing tab if it doesn't say the folder is already shared, click the Advanced Sharing... button. You can also share the entire drive, but sharing only specific folders is more secure. I usually buy the Pro or Ultimate versions, so I don't recall if Win7 Home Premium has the Security tab... if the Security tab is present, you must assign proper permissions to the share[s] there, also... though not having proper permissions on the Security tab won't make the share[s] invisible to other machines in the Homegroup or Workgroup... they just won't be able to access the share[s] properly.
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Author Comment

ID: 40028621
My schedule changed.
Thank you, Darr247, for a very informative post.  Since I PAY for this site, I need informative posts like yours.  

Question:  If I create a homegroup, what changes will happen to the existing profiles on pc1 and pc2?

Thank you , Justin F , for explaining how to use Tracert . This kind of information is so very useful yet I rarely get it in answers to my questions.

John Hurst posted:  "If so, re-enable and set an exception for the IP address range."  
  How do I do this???
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40028627
Go to the Firewall settings and to the exception settings and allow the IP address range of your network. You can also just add the specific IP addresses of your computers, but since the network is internal, I just add the range to my network exceptions.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40028642
By the way, you need to be able to ping before working on sharing. Once you can ping, I am sure we can figure out sharing. I share my Windows 7 / Windows 8 machines and Windows 7 / Windows 7 before that. No big issue to share machines, but you need to be able to ping first.

Author Comment

ID: 40035406
Hello John Hurst:
I am not a network expert.
Please tell me if these are the correct actions to add an ip address exception:
  Control panel > Windows Firewall > Advanced settings
Q1.) Then do I click on Inbound or Outbound rules?

Then I assume I click on New rule.  Then click on custom.  Then click on Scope.

Q2.) In the scope dialog, to which box do I enter the ip exception? To REMOTE or to LOCAL?

Q3.)  What action must I perform to ipv6?
LVL 92

Accepted Solution

John Hurst earned 150 total points
ID: 40035426
I think for traffic coming in, you would set an Inbound rule. You may have to set an Inbound on both machines. SEP is bidirectional but I think Inbound will work.

Then the Exception is To Local (inbound to local).

I have IPv6 Enabled and never had to disable it. IPv6 can be disabled (uncheck) in TCP properties of the network connection.
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

Darr247 earned 200 total points
ID: 40036257
> Question:  If I create a homegroup, what changes will
happen to the existing profiles on pc1 and pc2?
I'm not aware of any changes caused to any user profile[s] just because a computer is joined to a homegroup.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40038684
Success!  Thank you, everyone, for all your help.  The pc's are now networked.  I pay for this site so I really appreciate detailed answers.

The key thing was to enter the ip addresses into the firewall.  Never done that before.  I wanted to keep the “work” network because the client may purchase a Mac and might want it to be included into the network. I was not sure a homegroup would allow a Mac to participate.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40038688
@donpick - You are most welcome and I was pleased to help. This is a very good site.

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