In the Forums...
Posted: November 27, 1999
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy
Software Installation and Setup
The first step to configuring your network is installing your network cards for each machine. After you have made all the connections mentioned, power on your computer and verify that Windows boots up properly. You should be prompted because new hardware is found. Insert the driver disk included with your network cards if necessary. After this process is completed, reboot your PC. If your card is not detected correctly or it refuses to install, try disabling Plug and Play in your BIOS setup. When I first installed the Linksys Fast Ethernet Starter Kit I was required (on my old P2 266 system) to disable plug and play and have Windows redetect most of my hardware. It was a hassle, but it works now. Consult your motherboard manual for further information.
Once you're sure that your network cards are installed correctly and Windows is functioning properly, go into the Control Panel (Start, Settings, Control Panel) and choose Network. You will see a list of the installed protocols. Look for IPX, TCP/IP, Client for Microsoft Networks, and File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks. If these are not present, you will need to install them.
To add IPX or TCP/IP, click the "Add" button. Choose Protocol, then Microsoft. You will see the options for IPX and TCP/IP.
To install Client for Microsoft Networks, choose Add, then Client, then Microsoft, then choose Client for Microsoft Networks.
To add File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks, choose Add, then Service and you will see it.
Installing any of these will most likely prompt you to insert your Windows CD, then reboot your computer. They should bind to your network card automatically. Click the File and Print Sharing button below the listed protocols. If you wish to use your printer with both machines and share files back and forth, check both of these boxes. You may also need to give each computer a unique name so that you can tell them apart. It doesn't matter what you call them, just make them different.
Head back into the Network Control Panel. Double click the "TCP/IP -> [insert NIC card name here]" protocol. Go into the TCP/IP tab for your network card, and under the IP Address tab, click "Specify an IP Address". Each computer will need its own IP, but make sure to only change the last number, otherwise they'll end up on different subnets which could complicate things. A good range to use is 192.168.0.xxx (1, 2, etc). Don't just throw something in there, because it needs to be in a range that won't interfere with the rest of the Internet (since the 'net uses IPs too). The 192.168 range is set aside for private networks. If you experience other problems, try setting the Subnet Mask to 255.255.255.0.
Reboot, cross your fingers, and once they all come up, double-click Network Neighborhood on one of the desktops, and you should see the computers on your network. If nothing comes up, wait about 10 seconds and hit F5 to refresh. If this doesn't work, you can manually add users to your list by typing \\[Username] at the top next to address. E.g. you could type \\tweak3d if your login name was tweak3d. If nothing still happens, and you're sure the network cards are working, remove what you added and try again. You may have to repeat all the steps mentioned above. Don't give up hope: it'll work eventually.
Once you can see the other PCs over Network Neighborhood, test TCP/IP by going to a DOS prompt (Start, Run, command [then hit enter]), and type "ping
If you get replies, good job. If you don't, but you can see the computer in Windows, make sure TCP/IP is bound to your network card in the Network Control Panel applet by checking the properties of the TCP/IP tab.