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Keep reading if you want to configure a stubborn Windows 7 Homegroup!
Before doing anything else, I went to each of the machines and reconfigured the services on the PCs relevant to workgroups, setting them to “automatic start” to ensure they’d be running again even if they stopped and started any that weren’t already running
With upnp being listed within those service, I decided to re-enable upnp in the router, and to verify I hadn’t accidentally setup some VLANs (which I hadn’t), so I then proceeded to the RSTP section.
The group changes I made to the RSTP settings are as follows:
Hello Time: 1
Max Age: 6
Forward Delay: 4
Force version: Compatibility
And then I enabled the protocol on each of the ports and rebooted the router and machines to see if it fixed the problem so that all systems could see all systems in the network list without manually typing UNC paths.
It fixed the long standing problem of devices randomly disappearing from the network list and even UNC paths temporarily becoming unavailable, so it might be worth trying these options on your setup and even on the netgear you mentioned to see if it is the same problem for you.
You can share the printer because that relies on ordingary network sharing using IPv4. HomeGroup requires IPv6, and as I’ve found some wireless routers do handle IPv6 well.
For example, I have a NetGear WNR2000 which allows IPv6 from wireless to ethernet, but not the other way around.
To test for this issue, on the wirelessly connected PC (A), ping the PC (B) you want to homegroup with. If you get an IPv6 address back, all is well in that direction.
Now from B ping A – you may find that you get an IPv4 address, in which case B will not see the homegroup!
BTW – To force an IPv6 ping: >ping -6 <computername>
[Where <computername> is your PC’s name as under My Computer | Properties | Co
I have configured my computers using your advice. Especially the list of services proved to be very useful. Furthermore, I turned on the password protected sharing in the Advanced Sharing Settings of The Network and Sharing Center.
However, I found out that my router does not support ipv6. I have solved this problem by giving each windows 7 computer a fixed IPv6 address (Network/Network and Sharing Center/Local Area Connection/Properties/Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)). To determine the right ipv6 address I have used the IPv4/6 address conversion at http://ip-lookup.net/tools.php.
From the generated ip addresses you have to choose the so-called IPv4-mapped address, this is an address starting with ::FFFF: , generally ::FFFF:C0A8: when you use home network IP4v adresses like 192.168.xxx.xxx. For subnet prefix length I used 48, for default gateway and preferred dns server I used the IPv6 versions of my router address.
I also edited the firewall settings of the AVG firewall. First I added the home network twice (once for the IPv4 address range and once for the IPv6 address range) as safe networks to the defined networks under (AVG/Tools/Firewall Settings/Profiles/Small Home or Office Network/Defined Networks). Then I added four rules to open up the ports described in http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee6171….
This can be done under (AVG/Tools/Firewall Settings/Profiles/Small Home or Office Network/System Services/Manage User System Rules). Restricted the access to the computer by the opened ports in each rule to the safe home networks I had defined before.
After all this, my Homegroup worked!