Windows 7 includes many advancements to networking that simplify communication, access to information and resources whether in the home or workplace. Of course, networking can become a complex and daunting task depending how you approach it. Even the most simple projects can develop into frustrations. The Windows Team realized this and focused on incorporating tools that focused on making it easy to setup a home network. HomeGroup, an exclusive feature to Windows 7 is one of the many new networking capabilities that makes it easy to network and share documents, pictures, videos and resources such as a Printer with other Windows 7 PC’s with only a password. In this article, we take a look at some of the ways we can fix common issues associated with networking, whether its connecting two computers or connecting to the Internet.
Tip 1: Fixing Common networking connectivity issue:
This article references Windows Vista but also applies to Windows 7 also. To reset the TCP/IP stack go to this article and either click on "Fix it for me" or follow the instructions to fix it yourself: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299357
Disable the IP Helper service
1. Hold the Windows key and type R, enter "services.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter
2. Scroll down to the IP Helper service, right click on it and select Properties
3. In the drop down box that says "Automatic" or "Manual", set it to Disabled and then click on "Apply"
4. Then click on "Stop" to stop the service from running in the current session
5. Click OK to exit the dialog
Try uninstalling IPv6 on all interfaces, removing any IPv6 virtual adapters, and resetting the TCP/IP stack. To remove IPv6, go into the properties for each network adapter and either uncheck the box next to the protocol "Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6), that will disable it, or select it and click uninstall, which will remove it off the computer. Then go into device manager and remove any 4to6 adapters, WUN miniport adapters, or tunnel adapters.
NOTE: You should do this for each network connection.
Disable the DHCP Broadcast Flag
Important: This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756 (How to back up and restore the registry in Windows)
Windows cannot obtain an IP address from certain routers or from certain non-Microsoft DHCP servers.
To resolve this issue, disable the DHCP BROADCAST flag. To do this, follow these steps:
- Click Start, type “regedit” in the Start Search box and then click “regedit” in the Programs list.
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.
- Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
- In this registry path, click the (GUID) subkey that corresponds to the network adapter that is connected to the network.
- 4. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- In the New Value #1 box, type “DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle” and then press ENTER.
- Right-click “DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle” and then click Modify.
- In the Value data box, type 1 and then click OK.
- Close Registry Editor.
By setting this registry key to 1, Windows will first try to obtain an IP address by using the BROADCAST flag in DHCP Discover packets. If that fails, it will try to obtain an IP address without using the BROADCAST flag in DHCP Discover packets.
Follow the steps mentioned below to check if your computer has a wireless network adapter.
- Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Security and then, under System, clicking Device Manager.
If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
- Double-click Network adapters.
- Look for a network adapter that includes "wireless" in the name.
If it is not set then follow the article mentioned below to set the Wireless network connection.
Setting up a wireless network
You could also try ipconfig/release and renew command from the command prompt.
Follow the steps mentioned below.
- Click on start button.
- Type cmd in the start search box and press enter.
- Right click on the “cmd” and run as administrator.
- Type the commands “ipconfig /release” and “ipconfig /renew” without the quotes.
If you are unable to access a HomeGroup, try the following:
- Check your Windows Firewall to make sure that HomeGroup and Network discovery are not blocked.
- Make sure you enter the case sensitive password correctly.
- Are both PC’s properly networked? Ethernet cable connected properly, are you connected to your wireless access point? You can check by clicking the Network icon in the Notification Area.
- Ensure that your Network Location is set to ‘Home Network’. In Network and Sharing Center, under View your active Networks > click the link to your Network type (usually defaulted to as unidentified). When the ‘Set Network Location’ window appears, select ‘Home Network’ from the available options. After selecting this option, the Homegroup wizard should appear prompting you to join an available HomeGroup and requesting the type of information and resources you will be able to share and access.
- If you encounter a problem with your HomeGroup Password, try changing it on the computer you setup HomeGroup on and try joining again.
- If none of the above works, try running the HomeGroup Troubleshooter, In Network and Sharing Center under ‘Change your network settings’, click ‘Fix a network problem’ under ‘Network’, click HomeGroup troubleshooter and follow the wizard that appears. To learn more about Troubleshooters, click here
Resolving networking issues with previous versions of Windows
Some persons have reported of issues connecting other versions of Windows from Windows 7 and vice versa. Please note that exclusive features such as HomeGroup is not available to Windows Vista and XP, so you will have to use the standard Network Explorer to share and access resources. The first tasks you can try to resolve networking issues in this regard is to ensure the basics are in place:
- Make sure both computers are within the same WORKGROUP (for Windows XP, click HERE for Windows 7/Vista, click HERE), additional resources HERE
- For Windows Vista in Network and Sharing Center, ensure that you have your network configured as Private and that the Sharing and Discovery Settings are set to ON except for Password Protected Sharing.
- For computers running Windows XP to appear on the Network Map diagram, you must download and install the LLTD Responder component. With the LLTD Responder, a computer running Windows XP can respond to other Windows Vista computers on the network that are attempting to create a network map.
To install the LLTD Responder to a computer running Windows XP
- Download the update for Windows XP from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=70582
- Run the update on the computer running Windows XP that you want to appear on the Network Map.
- On the Software Update Installation Wizard, click Next.
- On the License Agreement page, read the license agreement, and if you agree to the terms, click I Agree, and then click Next.
- On the final page of the wizard, click Finish.
- If you are prompted to do so, restart your computer.
- After your computer running Windows XP restarts, generate a new Network Map with the computer running Windows XP included.
- Check the registry on the Windows XP machine for the error message when you try to access a Windows XP-based network computer: "You might not have permission to use this network resource". See the article at: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/913628. This finally did the trick for my network.
Additional task that you can do when attempting to troubleshooting, try disabling all Firewall software (including the Windows Firewall temporarily).
Zone Alarm – Ensure that all machines on the network were in the trusted zone. Go to the Zone tab of Firewall settings in ZoneAlarm free version. Ensure all of your machines’ IP addresses are listed, as well as that of your router or wireless access point.
Norton Internet Security – Go to Norton Internet Security tab, open settings, scroll to bottom, open internet security and firewall options, open advanced settings, open configure, change default inbound NetBIOS, inbound NetBIOS name, and Block Windows File Sharing to ALLOW. Configuring this beast of an app required a lot of trial, error and googling the Symantec site and others.
Windows Firewall – Turn Windows Firewall on or off
Check with the developers documentation if you are using another brand.
If you have any comments or additional tips that you have discovered, please feel free to share them.