can't see multiple workgroups in win7

Toshiba Satellite l650-st3nx1
October 24, 2011 at 07:33:08
Specs: Windows 7x64 Home Premium, AMD / 2Gig
As we all know, MS has changed the default workgroup names in different versions of windows. Additionally, you can rename your workgroup anything you like. I have XP, Vista, and Win7 computers, a television, BluRay player, a Wii, two printers, and a NAS with two USB drives attached. All of these -except the Win7- are wired to one of two switches. I have wireless: iPad, the Win7 notebook, Nintendo DSs. I have friend, and non-friend machines (computers, tablets, and phones) that come and go that are wired or wireless. The 3 windows computers all have the same workgroup name. All of my other units do not use workgroup names. I have a router, and two unmanaged switches, and have, on occasion, a second router. The main router, which has wired, and dual band wireless (each with two named wireless networks) nets, sees everything, by name and/or MAC address.

Win7 is blind, deaf, and dumb.: it shows its own workgroup name, but no other workgroup name(s) , and, consequently, no unit on these other workgroups. It will show some wired units not in a workgroups - the television, and the printers (not the Wii or NAS). It will not show the wired XP computer! No wireless units either in workgroups or not in workgroups appear. Additionally, Win7 only shows units on its wireless network, not on the other three. The wired units it does show are not on any of the wireless networks, though it lists them on its wireless network.

I have left the Homegroup, and terminated the Homegroup services. I have allowed discovery, and unlimited sharing of everything on every computer on the router, and yet the Win7 unit does not share or see well at all.


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October 24, 2011 at 09:13:45
As far as I know Win 7 Home Premium allows just to connect to ONE workgroup, i.e. the one you set, since it doesn't support full networking. The same is for XP Home and Vista Home Premium that allow for simplified networking, no matter what is shared. To get full networking capabilities the Business or Ultimate editions are needed.

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October 24, 2011 at 10:44:47
Win7 is blind, deaf, and dumb.: it shows its own workgroup name, but no other workgroup name(s) , and, consequently, no unit on these other workgroups.

Granted I haven't done much with Windows 7 as of yet but as far as I know MS hasn't changed the fact that their operating systems can only be a member of one workgroup at a time.

The simple solution is to give everything the same workgroup name and then Win7 should see the other devices.

As for devices in your network that can't be given a workgroup name, it's not really necessary. As long as they have a hostname and your windows devices all have NetBIOS enabled, it should see them by their appropriate name. The way to check is by opening a command prompt and then try pinging the device by name. Just keep in mind, if you open your (for example) My Network Places in Windows XP, you still won't see those devices that can't be made part of a Windows workgroup (ie: NAS)

Mind you, I don't bother with the hostnames either myself. I just use IP addresses. That's a lot more likely to work than a hostname when I want to connect to a resource.

FWIW, the windows browser doesn't work properly half the time and when it's not working properly, that too will prevent you from seeing workgroup members.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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