Windows 7 .....After all this, i still dont have a breakthrough!!!


Ok, originally i was trying to network two Windows 7 machines, a desktop and laptop. Now i've had total success with previous versions of Windows. Now after configuring the details of both machines like the Workgroup name and Ip addresses and etc. I had no luck. So to not be undone by this i resorted to try networking my Windows 7 desktop with a Windows 7 VM (Virtual machine). Now i've setup everything and from my desktop, i can ping and see the VM share and even create and add files to it folder. However, from the VM i cant access my desktop machine. It keeps saying the Network username and password are in correct. Even though I KNOW THEIR RIGHT! So whats going wrong? Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
Usually you would have to set up a Home Group as Josephur suggests; Windows7 requires that, even if one of your other computers was an older Windows such as XP or Vista.

If you're lucky enough to have Windows7 Professional on either one or both of your pc's, you can use Microsoft's built-in REMOTE DESKTOP feature. Takes a little more networking skill than Home Group, but works nicely. It is essentially Microsoft's free version of VMware; but it's hard-coded to work in MS networks. It uses "b-node token" type technology.

I've played around with it a little, and it's not as spiffy as a VPN tunnel, but if you are just communicating between 2 computers in the same household, it will do the trick for you. :fdance:

FYI I do not think you can use homegroup unless all PCs are WIN7 or above.

Just so you know that it is possible I have a WIN7DT, VistaDT, and 2 XPLT all networked using workgroup.
No, you can use both XP and Vista machines in a Win7 Home Group. I've done it before; in several locations include my home setup. However, it's very tricky if you have an existing Workgoup setup. You have to "undo" all the Workgroup settings in each and every computer including any Win7 PCs that were in the original Workgroup. You also have to un-name all Workgroups and set them back to default Workgroup names that came with each computer's windows *such as "MSHOME"*. You then have to go around and physically join each non-Win7 computer to the newly created HOME GROUP and verify that folder/printer sharing are working properly, and you even have to enter the Home Group code in some of the older XP and Vista computers. This is a pain, and it helps if you copy the Home Group network stuff to a USB drive and plug the USB drive into each computer. Unfortunately, it is not "Plug-and-Play", and not for the timid or weak of heart. Home Group is not the easy solution that Microsoft claims it is (what else is new?), but it does have advantages over using the old Workgoup setup. Of course in a Business environment this is all academic as you should be using a network domain server to do multi-user networking correctly. :peace:

This is incorrect. Windows XP and Windows Vista have limited support for homegroups and the preferred method should be shared folders and workgroups. It is a feature that did not exist in versions earlier than Windows 7 and setting it up is a major pain in the butt. It can be done and here's how, if you want to read this boring whitepaper.

You need to make sure everyone is on the same workgroup, with the same workgroup settings, and enable file and printer sharing on all of the systems.

A network domain server for multi-user networking is not what appears to be desired here, only file access. A file server has no direct relation to a domain controller set up, and is generally only needed when the number of workgroups is exceeded. You can workgroup up to 10-12 machines optimally with the professional versions of Windows. You would only want a domain controller to setup AD and group policy. For one person? I don't think so.

If you have administrator access to the Windows Vista system, you can actually go to

Start -> Run ->

This is a hidden share that is enabled on every Windows system by default. You can now access every file on the workstation.

Enter the username and password of the administrator account on the REMOTE system you are accessing.

The username/password prompt you're getting? Make sure you put \\remote_computer_name\Username as the login for the username. So say the computer I'm logging into is named HAL. My username is mike

I get the request to enter a username and password. For username I enter:


And then I just enter the password.

Just enable file and print sharing on with every system, all workgroups are identical, and you can create public shares on your network. Disable homegroups in Windows 7. If one is created or hosted, remove it.

For more information on just getting shares to work between Windows versions, it is quite simple, and does not have to involve homegroups at all:

It is pretty much accurate for Windows 7 as well, but if more info is required:
@ Mike--is that your position or the Official Microsoft position on Home Group networking?

I'll agree with you that's the RECOMMENDED position that Win7 requires all Win7 or newer PCs to work correctly. However, Home Group networking has got many bugs of it's own at the hundreds of inquiries on how to get it working correctly abound on the Internet and many other Tech Forums. And there are Microsoft white papers that I've read that address how Home Group can accommodate earlier Windows computers. We could argue the semantics all day, but I've been doing networking since 1980, and I think I have a pretty good idea that it WILL work; however, it is not optimal as you say.

On my Domain networking comment, I stated that " Of course in a Business environment this is all academic as you should be using a network domain server to do multi-user networking correctly." I certainly didn't intent for this person to implement that sort of a network in his home. That's good that you are clarifying that, so he didn't misunderstand that I was telling him to implement that sort of network for a home 2-user network.

BTW, I've administered several small networks with 12 or fewer computers all running Windows Professional various versions, and they were frought with problems until I convinced the powers to be at each client site that they needed a Domain controller to manage that number of users with multiple printers, shares, and network printers involved. The low-level networking in those environments is very borderline, and requires full-time support to keep it running. Some clients took my advice, and others who didn't eventually went out of business. Don't know if the networking problems caused that or not, but it certainly didn't help.

IMO, the Microsoft Home Group has is advantages and it's difficulties in both home and business environments.

I'll also agree that Home Group networking is probably the way to go for the 2-user home network. Hopefully, this user will follow your directions and can get things going. :)

Hello, it seems I misread your message in this regard. Please do not misconstrue my intent. It is only to get to the bottom of the OP's problem. Ultimately, I think it would be easier for him, using multiple platforms, just to get workgroups working. As far as the domain controller issue, I understand. I have dealt with this similar problem. Why can't I login? Why isn't this on the share? Etc. etc. Yes, this has usually been resolved with Windows SBS with AD, GP, and file serving enabled. Hopefully, though, the user is simply in a home environment trying to get a share up and running. Then, if lucky, and there is a response, we can show him how to do a mapped drive. But like you say, with the workgroup, he'd still have to login once it timed out.
What Mike says about HomeGroups does appear to be the official Microsoft position, check the quote and link. But just in case there is a misunderstanding, a HomeGroup is a specific type of network and requires IPv6 to work, not just a group of networked computers. I personally do not use Homegroups. But this, of course, is not the real question being discussed.

PCs must be running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows RT to participate in a homegroup. HomeGroup is available in all editions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.

In your situation, I would suggest you look at the Advanced Sharing Settings and make sure you have Network Discovery and Printer and File Sharing turned on for Private Networks.

If you would us to check your IP addresses, attach the output of an IPconfig /all command.
I should have mentioned, the troubleshooters in Windows 7 are more useful that earlier versions.