Domestic Dispute between Win10 & WHS 2011 re Homegroup :(

  1. Posts : 94
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Ver 1809 OS Build 17763.55
       01 Apr 2016 #1

    Domestic Dispute between Win10 & WHS 2011 re Homegroup :(

    HI Guys

    Been trying for over a week to get my Homegroup (HG) to talk but they are having none of it. Whichever side i setup they see one another but will not join up.
    I have gone to each machine and removed the .sst files from C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PeerNetworking

    Tried a virgin HG setup but nothing works i have checked my peer services and they seem to be fine on both machines.

    So I am stuck a little and need a guiding hand through the quagmire of Networking.
    I am able to RDP into my WHS2011 easily and can see the shared folders via IE on my Win 10 machine.

    Or is it the fact Win 10 and WHS 2011 will not work with HG together ??

    Please help and logs or files or screenshots just ask

      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 10
    Win 10 Pro N x64
       02 Apr 2016 #2

    Hi Thor, welcome aboard!
    Homegroup can be a bear. What message is homegroup giving you on each machine? In file explorer, when you click on the homegroup folder, what screen shows on each machine?
    There are only a few homegroup screens:
    Join - Invites you to join an existing homegroup.
    Create - Invites you to create a homegroup.
    Error - This computer can't join a homegroup, or Homegroup is unavailable on this computer.
    You've obviously already done some homework in that you went to the directory tree under user>appdata>roaming to find the "secret" files, but let's make sure we have the basics in play first.

    1) Make sure all machines are in the same workgroup and have distinct computer names.
    This is done under control panel>system>advanced settings>computer name. Make sure each machine has a unique name. The default workgroup is "workgroup". You might want to try a different name, choose something you like... "ThorrGroup" sounds good! If you change either the computer name or the workgroup, you will have to do a re-boot for it to take affect. All machines need to have unique names, but be on the exact same workgroup.

    2) Check the homegroup services. Open services (you can do that multiple ways, one way is to bring up task manager, go to the services tab, highlight any service listed and right click on it, in the resulting context menu "open services" should be one of the options. You can use a run command. I have a shortcut for services on my start screen.)
    Homegroup requires two services to be running: "HomeGroup Provider" and "HomeGroup Listener". Find them, make sure they are running. You can stop and restart them if you like as a trouble shooting measure, this may be most effective if you made a change to a computer name or workgroup.

    3) Providing everybody is on the same workgroup, and everybody has both homegroup services running, ideally each machine will have the "Invitation to create a homegroup" screen showing. If anybody is showing the join an existing group, or an error screen, then we start getting messy.

    Probably the most common problem I've seen is that a homegroup once existed. Windows never forgets this. If you once had a homegroup, the ONLY way to remove it is to uncouple or remove each machine that was on that old homegroup. This becomes impossible if one of the machines no longer exists... Say an old laptop that hit the dumpster two years ago. All the other machines that were on that homegroup with that long gone laptop will ALWAYS be looking for that laptop and the homegroup will never be able to go away until that laptop shows up and removes itself.

    Same thing can happen if you change a computer's name before removing it from an old homegroup. Windows will forever look for the lost child, whose name you've gone and changed. Ha!

    I say never, but of course there is a workaround. It can be hairy, and this is where homegroup can really be a bear, and why I never use it personally! Essentially, you have a few choices. Backing everything up, on all machines, and doing clean installs, of course, solves all problems. Sometimes this is not possible. All times this is a MAJOR undertaking. In my house this would mean an entire weekend, several pots of coffee, and more than one pizza delivery!
    The other avenue is to try and recreate the old workgroup/homegroup. Any computer names that were changed, need to be changed back. Ditto for workgroup name. If one of the machines is in the local landfill, use another giving it the same name as the missing machine. If you are lucky, you can get to a point where homegroup will welcome back it's long lost cousin and you can then go to Control panel>homegroup and select "remove from homegroup". The most savy guys over at Microsoft will tell you the ONLY way to get rid of a homegroup is to sucessfully "remove" each member. Once the last member is removed, the homegroup ceases to exist. A new homegroup can then (and ONLY then) be created. I can remember hours of google time spent trying to find a solution to "Delete a Homegroup". You can't. The only way is "remove" each machine, then it disappears. Microsoft really needs to emphasize that you need to go to control panel>homegroup and select "remove from homegroup"... This should be told to everyone that sets up a homegroup when they set it up...

    "CAUTION: You are about to create a homegroup. Please remember to "remove" any machine that joins the homegroup before that machine is sold, thrown away, given away, retired, disassembled or has it's name changed!!!" Otherwise, you will never be able to get rid of the homegroup, and never be able to create a new one!

    In the part of the world where I live, people like to say "where are you at?" Except we pronounce it "Where y'at". In fact, they call old farts like me "yats".

    So Thorr, "Where y'at?"
    From the heart of the Bayou,
    Mr. Joey
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    02 Apr 2016 #3

    Great post, Mr. Joey, but I recently discovered a way to deal with this issue that you may be interested to learn about. I had all the problems you describe in your narrative -- especially long-orphaned PCs, lots of them (20+) -- and wanted to create a new homegroup to flush out all the old, obsolete items. Here's how I managed to do that:
    1. Had all extant PCs exit the Homegroup
    2. Deleted all the files in C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PeerNetworking on each PC
    3. Disconnected all PCs from the network
    4. Reconnected one of my laptops directly to the Arris box (boundary device)
    5. Upon entering the Homegroup windows, got the "No homegroups available, want to create one?" screen
    6. Created new homegroup, grabbed password
    7. Reconnected all other machines to the network, and used new password to join them to the new homegroup
    Problem solved! The fix was easy and took less than half an hour, but figuring out what to do took me the better part of the day.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 10
    Win 10 Pro N x64
       02 Apr 2016 #4

    Hi ya Ed!
    This, my friend, is why you earn the big bucks and I love you for it!
    I am copy/pasting your post, saving for future reference... I know I'll need it again!
    Well done.
    Alligator gumbo for you, my own recipe, on the house!
    Mr. J.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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