Note: HomeGroup is a very open sharing environment. Please be sure your home network is very secure before setting up your HomeGroup.

homegroupFor the most part I have had good luck with HomeGroup in Windows 7 and Windows 8. It is an easy way to share content and devices between computers in your home. Once your network is fully functional and all of your computers are properly deployed, that is the best time to make a HomeGroup. The wizards in Windows make it very easy. You start your HomeGroup on one PC, then print out the HomeGroup password and use it with your other PC’s to join the HomeGroup.

Starting a HomeGroup:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/homegroup-help#homegroup-start-to-finish=windows-7&v1h=win8tab1&v2h=win7tab1

One issue I have run into with HomeGroups is all of your computers need to show a Home or Private network location to join the HomeGroup.

In Windows 7:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Choosing-a-network-location

In Windows 8:

http://www.online-tech-tips.com/windows-8/change-from-public-to-private-network-in-windows-8/

As you make changes in your network, new access point or router, this may appear as a new network to Windows. After making changes in your network make sure all of your computers are still showing Home or Private network.

If you are permanently removing a computer from your environment, be sure to make it leave the HomeGroup before physically removing it;

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/leave-a-homegroup

Weird issue, I could not get a computer to join the HomeGroup, it kept telling my password was incorrect. After a good deal of web search I found that the time needs to be the same on all systems. I went back to the offending computer and sure enough the time was months off.

Here is a great set of resources;

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-ecoms/homegroup-issues/916f13fe-a686-417d-b46f-53ecf8597a32

Additionally, the HomeGroup troubleshooter in Windows is a very good tool.

If you have questions about setting up a HomeGroup, post them at http://www.facebook.com/groups/theaverageguy/

@schoondoggy1979