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Windows

Windows 7 : Manage Your Network - Working with a Homegroup

11/15/2010 2:21:32 PM
A homegroup doesn't have a management interface or require an administrator; it's simply an entity that exists on your network as long as it has at least one member. If all the computers leave the homegroup, it ceases to exist with no negative side eff ects. Any computer user can join the computer to a homegroup by using the homegroup password. On a multiple-user computer, the homegroup sharing settings of each user account are separate, so that if one user joins the computer to a homegroup and shares her Documents library, for example, other users' documents are still kept private.

1. Joining an Existing Homegroup

After a homegroup is created on a home network, when you connect your computer to the network with a Home Network connection, the Join A Homegroup wizard off ers you the option of joining the homegroup. If your computer already has a Home Network connection to the network but is not a member of the existing homegroup, you can start the wizard manually. The only information you need to join the homegroup is the homegroup password. The person who created the homegroup or a person who has since retrieved the password might have printed out and kept the password page, but if not, it's quite simple to locate.

To locate the password for an existing homegroup:

  1. Log on to any computer that is joined to the homegroup.


    Tip:

    You might have to ask another person to log on to his or her computer and retrieve the password for you.


  2. In the HomeGroup window of Control Panel, click View Or Print The Homegroup Password.

2. Homegroup Settings for Shared Computers

When any user of a computer that has multiple user accounts joins the computer to a homegroup, the computer is joined to the homegroup on behalf of all its users. However, each user has control over the resources that he or she shares with other homegroup members.

Windows 7 does not actively notify you that another user has joined your computer to a homegroup, but if you display the HomeGroup window of Control Panel, Windows 7 alerts you to this fact and prompts you to specify your homegroup resource sharing settings.



Each user controls his or her own homegroup sharing settings.

The only resource sharing setting that is common to all user accounts of a homegroup member computer is the Printers setting. When any user shares or excludes printers from the shared homegroup resources, the printers are shared or excluded on behalf of the computer rather than the user.

3. Leaving a Homegroup

If at any time you decide that you no longer want to share resources with other homegroup members, you can remove your computer from the homegroup with no adverse effects. It is not necessary to disconnect from the network.

To remove your computer from a homegroup:

  1. In the Network And Sharing Center, click Choose Homegroup And Sharing Options.

  2. In the HomeGroup window of Control Panel, click Leave The Homegroup.

  3. In the Leave The Homegroup wizard, click Leave The Homegroup. Then, when the wizard confirms that you have successfully left the homegroup, click Finish.


Tip:

Changing the network connection type from Home Network to Work Network or Public Network also removes a computer from a homegroup. If you use this method and then later change the connection type back to Home Network, your computer will automatically rejoin the homegroup.


Tip:

You can complete this exercise only if you have multiple computers connected to a Home Network connection and a homegroup has been created from another Windows 7 computer on your network.


 SET UP You don't need any practice files to complete this exercise. Before beginning this exercise, ensure that your computer is not connected to a homegroup. Obtain the homegroup password from the computer that created the homegroup, and then follow the steps.

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel.

  2. In Control Panel, click the Network and Internet category, and then click Network and Sharing Center. (If Control Panel is in Icons view, simply click Network and Sharing Center.)

    The Network And Sharing Center opens. Your network connection is shown in the basic network map and in the View Your Active Networks area.



    The offi ce building icon indicates a Work Network connection, and the house icon indicates a Home Network connection.

  3. If Home network is shown next to the current network connection in the View your active networks area, do the following:

    1. In the View your active networks area, to the right of HomeGroup, click Available to join.

    2. When the HomeGroup window opens, click Join now.

    3. Skip to step 6.

  4. If Work network is shown next to the current network connection in the View your active networks area, click Work network.

    The Set Network Location dialog box opens.



    You can join a homegroup only if your connection type is Home Network.

  5. In the Set Network Location dialog box, click Home network to apply the Home Network settings to your connection.

    The Join A Homegroup wizard starts.



    Windows 7 automatically detects an existing homegroup and gives you the option of joining it.


    Tip:

    If you do not want to join the homegroup, you can click Cancel in the Join A Homegroup wizard. Your network connection type will still be Home Network; you simply won't be participating in the homegroup.


  6. On the Share with other home computers running Windows 7 page of the Join a Homegroup wizard, select or clear the check boxes to indicate the resources you want to share with other homegroup members. Then click Next.

    The Type The Homegroup Password page opens.



    The information on this page includes the name of the user who originally created the homegroup and the computer the homegroup was created from.

  7. In the Type the password box, enter the homegroup password you obtained for this exercise. Then click Next.

    The wizard authenticates the homegroup password and joins your computer to the homegroup.



    After joining a homegroup, you can access files and printers shared by other homegroup members.

    Troubleshooting If the wizard can't connect the computer to the homegroup, the message "HomeGroup encountered an error" appears below the password box, with a link to the HomeGroup troubleshooter.

  8. On the final page of the Join a Homegroup wizard, click Finish.

CLEAN UP Close the HomeGroup window of Control Panel.

Other -----------------
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