Unidentified Network - Static IP LAN - Homegroup

Greetings everybody!

This post shall be about the strange new networking policies introduced in Windows 7, expecially concerning the Network Location Awareness Service, which, at the moment, tries to make my life a fair bit more difficult than it needed to be.

Let me introduce you to a situation fairly common here in my country:

We gather together for a LAN party at a friends' house, who does not (necessarily) have an internet connection.
We set up a LAN with STATIC IPs (single subnet - -
No default gateway or DNS are specified on any of the machines since none are present (or necessary) without internet access. This setup has worked perfectly before under WinXP, Win2k, Win98 etc.

Now, let's assume we all have Windows 7 machines in the network and are somehow strangely motivated to test out microsoft's new homegroup feature.

This will be impossible as to what I have determined so far due to the following reasons:

1. Homegroups are only to be established if the "network location" of the wired network adapter is set to "Home Network"
-> OK, i can live with that - seems logical.

2. The wired network ist recognized as "Unidentified Network" and the network location is thus set to "Public Network" because there is no default gateway present (why should there be, with static IPs and without internet access)
-> I can understand this also, because a certain amount of caution has to be applied regarding unknown networks.

3. Windows 7 makes it all but impossible to change the "unidentified network" location from "public" to "home".
-> This I have a serious problem with. New networks which cannot be identified correctly should be set to the "public" profile, but PLEASE let the user change this setting PERSISTENTLY.

What I have tried so far:

1. Use selpoc.msc to set the parameters for unidentified networks to "private".
-> This setting is persistent, but only gives me a "Work Network". A "Home Network" setting is impossible, even if I allow the network location to be changed via Group Policy - apparently this is disregarded.

2. The latest drivers for my network card are installed and about one month old. Check.

3. I tried setting my own adapter IP address as both default gateway and DNS server.
-> This kind-of worked as it created an additional "Network" where I was able to change the location to "Home Network", but the setting was not persistent following a reboot. Also, this is not good practice and can lead to problems.

4. Change the location of the "unidentified network" to "home network" through the Homegroup control panel applet.
-> Works, but not persistently across reboots.

So my question to you would be if there is any utility or patch in existence that I could apply to enable the network location to be changed freely and persistently, via the network and sharing center in Windows 7.
I also think it is a little bit illogical from Microsoft to assume that a network with obviously no outside internet connectivity is to be regarded "public" and the user is being prevented from making any changes for "security reasons".
Please give me back control over my machine, microsoft! Windows 7 was supposed to make things better...

Best regards


PS: No, I do not have "Bonjour" installed on my system. :)


Senior Member
I just spent an entire day figuring this issue out. Nothing solved it for me. I have a dual LAN on my computer and two computers with Win7. One Lan card is for internet and the other is for connecting via ethernet cable with the remote computer. I can share internet and files with the two but I can't make the remote computer to join the Home group since it is connected to the unidentified network LAN card on my host computer.

I guess I will bump this topic to see if anyone can help.

My problem is exactly the same (few month after original post), so this issue is still not solved.

Best Regards to The Community ; )

Jan... let me take this right to the quick for you...

Win7 "Home Network" and "Homegroup" are a flaming disaster. They only work with other Win7 machines and are often very flakey even when they do work. Many routers puke on the ipv6 it insists on using and if there is even one Non-Win7 machine on your network, it's going to fail.

Set up for "Work Network" and sharing by "Username and Password" ... just like on XP and you'll do fine.

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