Windows 7 HomeGroup not working? Try these quick fixes

4th Dec 2010 | 12:00

Windows 7 HomeGroup not working? Try these quick fixes

How to troubleshoot HomeGroup

In theory, HomeGroups are supposed to simplify the process of sharing key folders and printers on your network. Sadly, they can be more trouble than they're worth – try these troubleshooting tips.

1. Windows 7 only

Remember, HomeGroups only work on PCs running Windows 7 – if your network includes computers running earlier versions of Windows, Linux or Mac OS, use the standard filesharing options instead.

2. Visit Action Center

Click the flag icon in the Notification area of the Taskbar and click Open Action Center. Select Troubleshooting > Network and Internet, and click HomeGroup to launch a troubleshooter.

3. Check your network type

HomeGroups will only work on networks designated as Home not Public or Work. Verify this on each PC by opening the Network and Sharing Center – if necessary, click the link under the network name and select Home.

4. Workgroup settings

It shouldn't matter, but verify that each PC is on the same workgroup – view and change your workgroup by right-clicking Computer and selecting Properties, then click "Change settings" if necessary.

5. Public Folder sharing options

Click "Change advanced sharing settings" in the Network and Sharing Center – expand "Home or Work", scroll down and verify that both Network Discovery and "Public Folder sharing" are On.

6. Check the Firewall

Networking problems can often be traced to your firewall. If you can connect with the firewall switched off, you'll need to tweak its settings so it doesn't block network traffic – visit the firewall vendor's website for more help and advice if necessary.

7. Fix error 0x80632094

Your PCs need to support IPv6 and have it enabled in order to connect to a HomeGroup: from the Network and Sharing Center click "Change Adapter Settings", right-click your network adapter and choose Properties, then verify the TCP/IPv6 entry is ticked.

8. Check services

Press [Windows] + [R], type "services.msc" and press [Enter]. Check the following services are running:

HomeGroup Listener, HomeGroup Provider, Peer Name Resolution Protocol, Peer Networking Grouping and Peer Networking Identity Manager.

9. Fix error 0x80630801

Leave the HomeGroup, then delete the contents of the c:\ Windows\ServiceProfiles\ LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PeerNetworking folder – you'll need to click "Continue to" when prompted to access the LocalService folder, and AppData is a hidden folder.

10. Forget HomeGroups

Remove the HomeGroup from your main computer, then click "Change advanced sharing settings" and configure your network manually. Once this is done, you can then share any individual folder by right-clicking it and choosing Share with > Specific people.

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First published in PC Answers Issue 216

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