I have been working on this for a week, read dozens of Google hits, searched Experts Exchange still can't find a fix ...
The general question is: I just added a new Win7 Pro laptop to my existing network (Home Network, WORKGROUP) and can't stop the "Windows Security" "Enter Network Password" dialog from popping up whenever attempting to access shares on the other network computers.
Every computer on the network (2 Vistas, 2 Win7 Ultimates, 1 Win8 Pro, and the new Win7 Pro) has the same usename and password, which I thought was the magic key to make authentication automatic. The 2 Win7 Ultimate hard drives were both newly rebuilt in the last month, and neither one had any hiccups joining the network. More generally, I have not had any Windows networking authentication problems or issues for many years (back in the 1990s I never dreamed I would ever be able to say that!)
The new Win7 Pro laptop (Dell Precision M6500) is almost exactly identical to one of the Win7 Ultimate laptops, basically the only differences are a very slightly different processor and the Win7 version ... so I've been comparing all the network and security settings between these two and haven't found any differences at all. Under these circumstances I really don't want to change any of the settings on the misbehaving machine unless there is a definite reason (most "fixes" to this issue involve weakening security, why should I have to do that when I have an identical laptop working great?)
The only thing that made sense to me to try was switching to a new (fake) workgroup, rebooting and changing back to WORKGROUP ... this didn't change anything.
There is no HomeGroup.
I am just about ready to try saving credentials, but apparently this doesn't always work as a fix (not persistent) and why the heck should I have to anyway?