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  • Enable or Disable Network Topology Mapping in Windows 7

    A viewer of my Windows 7 courses recently asked:

    “When I choose a public network profile I can’t view a full map to secure me from exposing (sic) to hacking, but when I change to private I see all other computers. What if one of the other computer is in public profile, will I still be able to find it or Will I find only the computers connected to my office for ex. and also private profile only?”

    For instructor-led Windows training, see our class schedule.

    The ability to create a computer ‘map’ using Windows 7 is based on the Link-layer Topology Discovery as configured in your Network Interface Card configuration.


    Microsoft configures default behaviors for Link-Layer topology such that neither Domain nor Public networks allow the mapping to occur by default.  Individual users with administrative rights may also disable the ability to map their computers, regardless of Network profile, by merely disabling the Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder.

    You may change the default behavior through local (as well as site, domain, or OU based Group Policy).

    1. At a command prompt, type gpedit.msc to open the Local Group Policy Editor.(The Local Group Policy Editor is available on computers running the Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate edition of Windows 7. These are also the only editions that can join a domain.)
    2. Navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Link-Layer Topology Discovery.
    3. Double-click the Turn On Mapper I/O (LLTDIO) Driver policy.
    4. Select Enabled, and then select Allow Operation While In Domain.
    5. Click Next Setting.
    6. Repeat the selections for the Turn On Responder (RSPNDR) Driver policy setting, and then click OK.
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    For more details and references start with the full Microsoft Technet Article: Use Network Mapping on Domains and Public Networks.

    Remember that centralized site, domain, and OU policies will override any localized manual or local group policy settings that you make.

    I look forward to seeing you in the classroom, or online!

    Steven Fullmer
    Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

    Steve teaches PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.


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