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 Post subject: Can I just delete the workgroup I created?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:11 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Ohio
Hi Scott,

I had a basic wireless home network set up at our house. There was no workgroup set up, we weren't sharing folders or printers or anything like that. My desktop computer connected through a wired connection to the wireless router (which is connected to the cable modem). Our two laptops were setup to connect automatically to the wireless router even though it isn't broadcasting (using WPA2 and a 63-digit key).
The other day I thought I would try to allow my laptop to share the printer with my desktop. I used the Network Setup Wizard in WinXP. I gave the workgroup the same name I had previously given the wireless network. I got my XP desktop and Vista laptop set up just fine so that the laptop could share the printer and each computer could see files in the shared documents folder.
My wife tried to connect to the wireless network with her laptop tonight and she can't access it--I'm assuming because her computer isn't set up as part of the workgroup. Rather than set her computer up on the workgroup, I would like to just delete the whole workgroup (since it really isn't benefitting me all that much) and go back to the way I had things (where any computer with the network key could connect to the wireless network--without being a part of the workgroup).
If I just delete the workgroup, will things go back to the way they were or is it more complicated than that?
I appreciate any help.
Thanks... -Brad


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 Post subject: Re: Can I just delete the workgroup I created?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
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Quote:
There was no workgroup set up, we weren't sharing folders or printers or anything like that.

You didn't say what OS (or service pack level) you are running, but if it is Windows XP Pro, then you can be a member of either a workgroup or a domain, and if you are on Windows XP Home you can only be a member of a workgroup. The default workgroup name in XP Pro is WORKGROUP, while the default workgroup name in XP Home is MSHOME. In otherwords, if you are not a member of a domain, you must be a member of a workgroup, and it must have a name.

Since computers can more easily see shared resources on other computers in the same workgroup, I recommend setting all of the systems on the network to the same workgroup name. While I recommend using the default name WORKGROUP, if you want to use a different name, just make sure it is 15 characters or less (all caps recommended), is not the same as the name of any other computers on the network, and does not contain spaces or any of the following characters: / \ * , . " @

While it is easier to see shared resources if all of your systems are in the same workgroup, technically systems in any workgroup can access systems in any other workgroup. Workgroups don't provide security or have anything to do with accessing a wireless network or your internet connection.

Bottom line: Your problem sounds like a wireless network configuration issue. The first thing to try in that case is to reset any of the network hardware such as modems, routers, access points, switches, etc., as well as restart the system. If that doesn't help, then make sure all of the settings are correct. Microsoft has tips on wireless network connection troubleshooting here.

Quote:
Our two laptops were setup to connect automatically to the wireless router even though it isn't broadcasting (using WPA2 and a 63-digit key).

If you don't have XP Service Pack 3 installed (you should), then I recommend you either install the following update or turn on SSID broadcasting in your access point:


With that update installed (it is included in SP3), you can specify a wireless network as non-broadcast by clicking on the Association tab in the properties dialog box of the wireless network, and then selecting Connect even if the network is not broadcasting under Network Name (SSID).

Let me know how the story ends... Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I just delete the workgroup I created?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:11 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Ohio
Quote:
Workgroups don't provide security or have anything to do with accessing a wireless network or your internet connection.

Thank you for clarifying that for me. It gives me some needed insight as I learn about networking.

After some more investigation I found that the wireless switch on her laptop was in the "off" position. :shock: (I noticed that the "WiFi indicator light" wasn't on and that the laptop wasn't picking up ANY of the networks in our neighborhood and that gave me the clue...)

As I said before,
Quote:
Always look for the simplest solutions first!
(http://www.forum.scottmueller.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1277)

Thanks, Scott.
Happy Thanksgiving!


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