Networking 3 Windows 7 computers together....

I am not sure if this has been answered elsewhere... I am only finding information about networking windows xp / vista / etc to 7 computers. I have 2 desktops and one laptop running 7. The desktops are running 7 Pro and the laptop is running 7 Home Premium. Originally I had a printer hooked to one of the desktops and the laptop was able to see and share it. I then added a second desktop. I was on a hidden SSID so home group / work group would not work. I changed the network to broadcast SSID and the two desktops were able to see each other and share the printer but the laptop still has not been able to pick up the desktops nor vice versa. Now, for some reason, none of the computers are visible to each other. I have the work group name the same on all computers, they are all hooked up to the same router / wireless network. The user names and passwords are all the same on all three computers. They are all on a "home" network in the wireless settings. Network discovery is on on all three as is file and printer sharing and all the other network sharing options look right. It is as if they are all on different networks and I am not sure how to force them to come together on the same one. Even though by all accounts they are all on the same right now. I could care less about home grouping them together. I just want to work group them together to share the printer.

Thanks so much for your suggestions, time, and help.

Last edited:


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Make sure that the DNS and default gateway are the same as your router. This is a necessity for the home LAN. i.e. or These options are set under Start -> Search -> "View Network Connections" for your devices. Open a command prompt (as administrator)

ipconfig /all

Check these machines and make sure they all have the same subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS settings. Remember, the DNS should be pointing towards the router.

Under the command prompt, type:

net view

From one or all of the computers. You should see the other systems.

You can try to access one of the systems using \\computer_name in explorer, over the network.

Try turning off simple file sharing on the XP systems especially, but also on the Windows 7 systems. This is accomplished by opening Explorer, hitting the Alt tab, going to Tools -> Folder Options -> View -> Advanced Settings

Make sure network discovery is on for all systems, including the XP systems.
Try disabling the software firewalls on the systems temporarily.
Try disabling the hardware firewall temporarily.

Please let me know if any of these solutions work and report back. Also see:

Windows 7 Can't see workgroup PCs

Well I followed your instructions and everything looked like it should work as you said. Nothing changed and I restarted the router and all computers multiple times this morning. No changes. This afternoon I had to restart the router due to the wii having issues connecting and after the restart my computers all see each other now. I am not sure of the change but as long as it works I am happy. Thanks for your time and effort making this work. =)

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.