I am in the process of creating a small test lab cluster, and having been here before, do not want to have to seek certification just get through the default ruleset of the Windows AD.

I would like instead to create a simple HomeGroup, something that will allow PC discovery, responsive navigation to shares etc. All the users (2 accounts) exist on all the servers and PCs and share the same password...

So I dont want AD, but for some reason, nothing works smoothly between the Windows 10 machines and the 2016 servers.

  1. Is a homegroup possible
  2. Will a homegroup help
  3. Are there any other alternatives?
  4. Do I really, need to do AD?

1 Answer 1


Windows Server is supported to be configured in Workgroup, without Active Directory installed/configured. Network Discovery and folder sharing are same as Windows Client OS.

For network discovery on server, please reference “You cannot turn on Network Discovery in Network and Sharing Center in Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012” and check for necessary requirements: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2722035/you-cannot-turn-on-network-discovery-in-network-and-sharing-center-in

>All the users (2 accounts) exist on all the servers and PCs and share the same password... If OS is configured in Workgroup, then, only local user account/password can be added to the system. That means, each system should add its own local user account(password). You can create same user account name(password) on each OS, however, these accounts are different as they are locally and have their own user profiles.

From my point of view, if you configure Active Directory and use AD user accounts, it may meet the requirements you had mentioned for account and password.

  • Thank you. I had an install AD on one of the servers that I tried to uninstall (difficult to do it seems). Instead of running the lab in Workgroup mode I bit the bullet and proceeded with a full AD implementation. Thanks again. Nov 15, 2017 at 18:04
  • It's my pleasure~
    – eve wang
    Nov 16, 2017 at 8:18

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