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Networking Home Group laptop to desktop

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I recently had to restore my laptop back to factory settings. Prior to this I was able to connect to my desktop computer via the network. Now I am unable to reconnect them. I have tried everything under the sun. Any help would be appreciated. Here is what is happening.

The options to join a domain are grayed out on both computers. It says "You cannot join a computer running Windows 7 Home Premium to a domain." Both computers are members of "WORKGROUP"

I created a new Homegroup from the laptop and was able to join it by password from the desktop. However, on both computers it still says there is no one else in the group. I can see laptop from the desktop and vice versa through the regular network, however I can only access files on the laptop from the desktop and not the other way around. When I try to create a new Homegroup from the desktop, the laptop cannot even see it to join.

When I try to access files on the desktop from the laptop, I get the following message: "Windows cannot access //HPDESKTOP. Check the spelling of the name. Otherwise, there might be a problem with your network. To try and identify and resolve network problems, click Diagnose." We have run all of the Windows diagnostics and "Fix Its", which have done nothing.

Both of these machines were previously connected through Homegroup with no problem until we had to do a factory restore of the laptop.
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You can share your files and printers without a Homegroup. These steps can preclude re-trying to re-establish the Homegroup connection again but alone they will provide sharing capabilities without the need for a home group.
On both computers go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Credential Manager and remove lingering credentials for the other computer.
Remove both computers out of the homegroup
Change the network location of both computers to "work " network, not home.

Since no active directory domain is present, I suggest having the same user accounts on both systems with the same passwords.
At this point you will be able to share files and printers between the computers.
Share your printers, share your files. I suggest using advanced sharing but it is not necessary (I just do it out of many years of habit and works for me)

If you prefer, at this point you can try re-establishing the homegroup network. Switch both comptuers to home network location and go through the procedure for connecting both computers to the same home network as I am sure you have tried numerous times already so you are familiar with the steps.
You can try to re-establish the homegroup network again if you like. ** Make sure the Homegroup listener and the Homegroup provider services are running on both computers.
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