Create a LAN with just PCs and a wired network switch as follows:
To disable IPv6 and subsequently Homegroup:
Go to Control Panel ---> Network and Sharing Center ---> Change adapter settings ---> Right click the Local Area Connection (LAC) used for the connection, and select Properties.
In the LAC Properties window, untick Internet Protocol Version 6, and click OK at the bottom of the window...
To disable Homegroup for sure:
Press the Windows and R key together to open the run window and type in "services.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter. The Services window will open. Go to the HomeGroup Listener Service and the Homegroup Provider Service and stop and disable them both.
To set manual IPv4 settings:
In the LAC window that we used to untick IPv6, select the Internet Protocol Version 4 option and click on Properties. Click on the "Use the following IP address" and type in whatever IP you wish to use, and for the Subnet mask type in 255.255.255.0. The catch here is that the default gateway's IP has to correspond to the IP address used. For example, if the IP is 192.168.1.1 the gateway's IP is best set to 192.168.1.1.
And just to be safe, type in the same IP address used for the gateway IP into the Preferred DNS server address.
Repeat the process for each PC to be networked on the switch, using a different manual IP for each machine in the network. eg 192.168.1.2 for the 1st PC and 192.168.1.3 for the next one.
- This is if you're on a blind switch or hub with no DHCP abilities.
- Make sure all your PCs are in the same Workgroup by going to Control Panel ---> System ---> And checking the Workgroup name from that screen. If not change the Workgroup name for the PCs involved. The default workgroup name for Windows 7 should be WORKGROUP.
- If the PCs can't still see each other make sure Network discovery is on by going to Control Panel --> Network and Sharing Center --> Advanced Sharing settings --> and Turn on network discovery.
Tom Polanski, Senior Software Engineer