View Full Version : FAQ 42: How do I network my PC?

Craig Bellhouse
29-06-2002, 11:40 PM
FAQ 42: How Do I Network My PC’s?
Windows 95/98/ME Version.

Written and Compiled by: Craig Bellhouse

Please read this entire document before you begin, as it will make more sense, and you will have a better idea what to look for and expect when doing each step.

This FAQ is directed primarily at Windows 95/98/ME users, with some familiarity with installing hardware and software, as this process requires getting the cover of your PC’s and working around inside.

Individual problems or queries can best be resolved with a direct question to the forum.

To save space in this document, and make it easier to read, instructions on how to access the individual windows components can be found at the bottom of the document. These items will be in italics in the text.

I recommend you have a printed copy of this to refer to at any time during the process.

A version of this FAQ with screen shots and graphics of the steps is available in html format from http://scone.virtualave.net/FAQ/

Equipment Needed:
-Anti-Static strap

For 2 computers:
- 2 x 10/100 Ethernet Network Cards
- 1 x cross-over cable (long enough to connect to each PC with a
bit of slack, as this cable is not that flexible)

For more than 2 computers:
- 1 x 10/100 Ethernet Network Card for each PC to be connected
- 1 x 100Mbps Ethernet Switch (2-5 PC’s = a 5 port Switch, 6-10 PC’s = a 10 port Switch etc)
- Sufficient straight-through cable to link each PC to the switch, with a bit of slack

(Further explanations of this hardware can be found in the relevant sections of this FAQ)

Purchasing The Hardware:
The best advice here is to shop around, as often kits can be found that include the majority of the equipment you need in a bundle for less cost than the individual components. These will have names like Home Network Kit etc.

I have mentioned above in the required hardware to purchase 10/100Mbps ethernet cards, and a 100Mbps Switch. While these may be slightly more expensive that 10Mbps cards and a Hub, they give far better value for money, and are not likely to need upgrading should your use of the network increase.
A 5 port 100Mbps Switch will give good performance for all 5 connected computers for just about any amount of usage, from light internet use, to high speed network games.

Installing The Hardware:
If you do not wish to void any warranties on your computers it is recommended to get the shop where you purchased your computer to do this step.

Depending on the exact equipment purchased, the steps involved will differ, but the best method is to install all the hardware in one step, and then fix up the software and drivers later. (it is also easier to have the PC’s in the same room until everything is set up and tested, to save a LOT of running backwards and forwards).

Before any work on the internals of any computer, it should be fully powered off, but left plugged into the wall for earthing. Shut down the computers and turn off the wall switches, but leave the power cable connected. Disconnect all the other cables from the rear of the PC. An anti-static strap should also be worn to prevent damage to the internals of the computer, this should be connected to a piece of bare metal on the PC’s case, ie a fan grill.

Remove the cover from the computer, and open the boxes of equipment. Locate a spare PCI slot on the motherboard, and remove the metal cover on the rear of the case next to your chosen slot (these may be need to be unscrewed or twisted off). Slot the network card into the socket and gently but firmly press down on the card until it is fully seated, you will be able to tell it is in properly when the metal panel of the card sits flush with the PC case. Screw the card into place. Repeat this process for each computer.

Once all the hardware is installed, close up the case, and reconnect the cables to the PC.
(make sure you unclip the static strap from the case).

Connecting the Cables
If you only have two computers to be connected, then the process is quite simple, plug one end of the Cross-Over Cable into the back of each computer and you are done. When you turn on both computers, a light should come on on the rear of both network cards.

If you have more than two computers, plug a length of Straight-Through cable into each computer and into any socket on the switch, taking care not to use the uplink port, if one is available. See the manual that came with the switch for more details on this. Plug the switch into the wall and power it up. When you turn the computers on, a bundle of lights should light up on the front panel of the switch and also on the backs of the network cards in the PC’s.

These lights are called Link Lights, which tell you that a link has been detected.

Installing the Drivers and Software
When you start the computers up, Windows should display a message saying that new hardware has been detected and will begin to install a driver for it. Depending on the hardware you purchased, a number of different things may need to be done here. The best bet is to read the documentation that came with your network cards and follow the steps included for installation.

Once the hardware is installed, and if necessary, the computer restarted, check in the Device Manager to make sure there are no problems or conflicts. When you have opened the Device Manager, you should see a category called Network Adapters, click the plus sign next to it, and check for your new network card. The name should be similar to that on the packaging. Double-click the name of the network card and a properties window should appear. Check under a heading called device status and it should say something to the effect of “This device is working correctly.” If not check the booklet that came with the card for solutions, or post a question on PressF1.

If everything is OK up to this point, close all the open windows and programs. Next open the Network Control Panel. This will tell you what protocols and network hardware is installed in the computer. At the very least you should see your new network card. There may also be a collection of Clients and protocols, and a box below this list should say “Primary Network Logon: Client for Microsoft Networks”, if it says Windows Family Logon, or something else, then change it.

The next step is to set up the protocols you need for your network.

The best bet is TCP/IP as this allows sharing of internet connections and the like. If you want to play older network games then you may also need IPX/SPX. These may be already installed, and this will be displayed in the Network Control Panel. If so, you should see TCP/IP -> “the name of your network card” and IPX/SPX -> “the name of your network card”. These settings will need to be changed however, and added if not already there.

To Add A Protocol
Click the button that says Add, or Install, then select protocol, and select Microsoft. On the right side panel, a list of available protocols should display. Scroll down and then double click TCP/IP. The Network Control Panel will now reappear, and TCP/IP should be displayed in the list next to each of your devices. Repeat the procedure if you need to have IPX/SPX available. It is also found in the protocols/Microsoft list.

Set Up The Protocols So They Will Work
Here is where you need to work out some addresses for your computers. Using Windows 95/98/ME, the best scheme is to assign each computer an address that never changes. These are called Static IP Addresses. If one of your computers has an internet connection, then this should be the server, and it’s IP address should be
The rest of your computers can then have any address starting with 192.168.0.
This addressing scheme will give you enough space for up to 254 computers on your LAN

Here is a table showing a sample network:

Computer Name.........Resources.....................IP Address
Dads-Computer.........Internet Connection......
Office-Computer.........Printer.......................... .
Kitchen-Computer......Some Documents..........
Games-Computer.......................................... ...

(NB. The dots are there to preserve the table layout, as tabs and spaces didn't work, you can ignore them.)

It is recommended that you draw up a table of your own network, so that you can visualize what you have to set up, and can tick it off when done. The Computer Name column shows the unique name to be assigned to each pc, this name must be one word, and may only use letters and numbers. The resources column shows any things that the computer has that other computers might want to make use of, ie an internet connection, and a printer are some examples. Other things might be specific files, but I’ll get into them later.

From the Network Control Panel, double click on the TCP/IP -> “the name of your network card” and a window will appear that says IP Address, and will have some settings available. Here is where you will use the addresses you prepared as in the table above.

Click the circle that says “Specify an IP Address” and in the box below this that says “IP Address:” type 192.168.0.xxx and in the box below that which says “Subnet Mask:” type (This subnet mask MUST be the same for all your computers).

At the top of this window, you will see a series of six other tabs that say: “WINS Configuration”, “Gateway”, “DNS Configuration”, “Bindings”, “Advanced”, and “NetBIOS”.

Click WINS Configuration, and make sure “Disable WINS Resolution” is selected.

Click Gateway, and in the “New Gateway:” box, type the address of the computer with the internet connection, which should be, and click “add”.

Now click the DNS Configuration Tab, and click “Enable DNS”, in the “Host” box, type the name of the computer you are on, and in the “DNS Server Search Order” box, type the address of the computer with the internet connection, as above, and click “add”.

In the Bindings Tab, make certain that both “Client for Microsoft Networks” and “File and Printer Sharing” are ticked.

Don’t change any of the settings in the other two tabs, as the defaults are the best settings.

Click OK at the bottom of the window to return to the Network Control Panel.

At the top of this window, you will see another tab that says “Identification”, click this, and in the “Computer Name” box, type the same name as in the table above. In the box labeled “Workgroup” type a name that describes the location of the PC’s, like HOME or OFFICE. This Workgroup name MUST be the same for all connected PC’s.

A computer description box is also available, but if you used a descriptive enough name (which is the best way), a description is an optional extra.

Back at the top of the screen there is another tab that says “Access Control”, click this and then select “Share Level Access Control”.

Return now to the Configuration Tab, and click “File and Print Sharing”, and in the window that appears, choose what resources of each computer you want to have available to others on the network. For instance, if you have some documents you want available to other computers, tick “I want to give others access to my files”, and if you have a printer connected to this computer, tick “I want to allow others to print to my printer(s)”

Click OK, and then OK again. You will most likely be prompted to insert your Windows CD, and install various components. You will then be asked to restart.

Repeat this process for each computer to be connected, and when they have all been restarted, you can begin some basic testing to ensure that all the links are operational, and you have a fully functioning LAN.

If you have installed the IPX/SPX, the default settings of this will work fine, and need no adjustment.

Basic Testing
Once all the setup is complete for all computers, and they have all been restarted, leave them turned on for about ten minutes. This will give them time to detect each other and see what resources are available for sharing via the network.

Next, open the command prompt and type “ping” followed by any one of the IP addresses from your list, and press enter (Don’t type the quote marks). For instance, from the example table, if I wanted to ping the office computer I would type “ping” and press enter.

This should give a list of statistics about the link, and it should look like this:

Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

This tells you that your link is active. Repeat this step on each of your computers, with all of the addresses on your list. If you get any links that say:

Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

This means the link is inactive, and you need to check that all the settings are set up correctly as documented above. If you get any other error messages, or you have checked and all of the settings are correct, try “ping”

This is a diagnostic check to ensure the TCP/IP protocol is installed correctly, and a valid network device is present. If the result for this is successful, then there could be a faulty link. Check all the cables are connected, and at each end of the cables, a light (most likely green) is showing on the connected device. If not, then you may have to post a specific question to the PressF1 site.

If the diagnostic is NOT successful, then try going back into the Network Control Panel, and selecting the TCP/IP -> “Your Network Card” and clicking “Remove”.
Click OK, and restart. Then reinstall the TCP/IP protocol, following the same steps as the first time, and it may be successful. If not, then post a specific question to PressF1, as I cannot hope to cover every problem in this FAQ.

Once the testing is complete, and all links are working, go into the Network Neighbourhood by double clicking the icon on your desktop. Check that there is an icon and name for each of the computers on your network. If there is some missing, check that the “Identification” tab in the “Network Control Panel” is set up properly on the missing computer. If you get a “Cannot browse the network” error message, try leaving the computer for a few minutes and test a different one while you wait.
Close Network Neighbourhood.

The next step is to share the resources you had listed in your table as in the above example.

Sharing Resources
In this FAQ, I am only going to cover sharing of files and printers. Someone else may like to contribute here for sharing of Internet Connections with Windows 95/98/ME as this topic is almost long enough for a FAQ of it’s own.

Sharing a Printer
Go to the computer that has the printer installed, and make sure the printer is connected, and powered up. Go into the Printers Control Panel and right-click on the name of the printer you want to give others access to, and click properties.

At the top of the properties window, click the tab that says “Sharing”, and select “Shared As”. In the “Name” box, type a descriptive name for the printer, and a “Description” and “Password” if you want them.

Click OK, and close all the windows you opened during this step. You may be asked to insert some disks, or restart. If the printer is the only resource you want to share on this computer, then you may restart, but if you want to share some files, then don’t restart yet.

Go to a computer that you want to use this shared printer on, and go into the “Printers Control Panel”. Double click “Add Printer” and click Next, on the window that appears.

Select “Network Printer” and click Next.

Click Browse, and click the + sign next to the computer with the printer attached. You should now see an icon of the printer, with its name next to it. Click this, and then OK.

Choose whether or not you need to print from MS-DOS programs, and click Next.

If given the option, choose to keep existing driver, and click Next.

Give the printer a name that you will use to identify it on this computer, and choose if you want it to be the default printer for this computer, and click Next.

Choose to print a test page, and click Finish.

If the printer was successfully installed, and is powered up, a test page should print. If it comes out garbled, go back to the Printers Control Panel on the computer that it printed from, delete the printer, and recreate it, but this time choose “Replace existing driver”, if given the choice, and it may work.

Sharing Files
When sharing files, the best method is to put the files you want to be shared into a separate folder on your computers drive. Do NOT share the Windows\ folder or the root folder of any drive, ie c:\, except cd-rom drives, if you want to share them.

Run Windows Explorer and browse to the folder you want to share. Right-click the folder name and click “Sharing…” or something similar.

Select “Share this folder” and give the folder a descriptive name. This name is what you will see on the remote computers when using the folder. A comment or description is again optional, as most of the time you won’t see it.

On the remote computers, go into windows explorer and at the base of the tree on the left hand side, you should see an entry that says “Network Neighbourhood”. Click the plus sign next to this. You should now see the names of all the computers on your network. Select the name of the PC with the files you just shared.

In the right panel, you should now see the name of the folder you just created. Double click this, and you will have access to the files, whenever the other computer is turned on.

If you intend to use these files a lot, or want to have faster access to them, you can do what is called Map A Network Drive.

Map A Network Drive
To complete this, you must have already completed the previous step, “Sharing Files”
On the remote computer, the one you want to have access to the shared files on, run “Windows Explorer”, and find the shared folder, in the same manner as described above under “Sharing Files”.

Right-click on the folder name, and select “Map Network Drive…”

Select a drive letter, and tick “Reconnect at logon”, and click OK. When choosing a drive letter, it is best to start at the end of the alphabet, ie your first shared folder should be Z: and so on. This will avoid conflicts with later added hardware or drive changes etc.

In Windows Explorer, click the + next to My Computer, you should now see a new drive icon, with the name of the shared folder. You can select this folder now in any application in the same manner as you would change to a floppy disc drive. just select the Z:\ instead of the A:\ or C:\.

You can have as many shared resources as you like, but you are limited to 26 drives on any one PC, and the physical ones are included in this list, so if you have 2 CD players, a floppy disc drive and 2 hard drives, you can only map 20 Network Folders. (You cannot use A: B: or C: )

The End

I hope this FAQ has been of some assistance in setting up your network. If you need any further assistance, post a message on PressF1 and make a reference to where you got up to in this FAQ and what your problem/symptoms are. If you get lost, try looking at the graphical version of this FAQ, which can be found at http://scone.virtualave.net/FAQ

If you feel you have something to add to this FAQ, please feel free to do so. Here are some things that I feel could be added, or done as separate FAQ's:

--Windows 2000 & XP guides,
--Information on how to share an internet connection between various versions of Windows.

Please feel free to distribute this FAQ. However, I would appreciate it if it was kept in it's entirity, and aknowledged as my work. Please don't try to claim it as your own. Anyone who makes additions to it may choose if they want to be acknowledged themselves, or whatever.

Here is a list of terms used and areas of windows accessed in this document and how to get access to them. It is listed in the order it was used in the document for ease of use.

PCI slot:
This is a white socket on the motherboard of a computer. There will be several of these in a row, and will be about 10cm long.

Cross-Over Cable:
This is a cable used ONLY to connect two computers together, without an intermediate device. If you have a hub or switch, don’t use one of these cables.

Straight-Through Cable:
This is a cable used to connect a PC or other network device to a central hub or switch. Not to be used to connect a PC to a PC.

Link Lights:
These are lights that indicate an active link when both pieces of equipment at either end of the cable have detected that there is a cable connecting them. This is the first line of trouble-shooting. If there are no link lights lit, something is disconnected.

A Driver, or Device Driver, is a piece of software that tells Windows what the hardware is and how to work it.

Device Manager:
The device manager is a Windows component that has information on all the installed hardware inside the computer. It also shows common problems like conflicts, where two devices have the same address. To access this, right-click on the My Computer icon on the desktop, and select properties. Click the Device Manager tab at the top of the new window.

Network Control Panel:
This is a component of Windows that allows set up of networking hardware and software. It also allows you to set up the identification of the machine. To access it, right-click on the Network Neighbourhood icon on the desktop, and select properties.

A Protocol is like a human language, it allows the computers using it to communicate with each other. All computers on your network must use the same protocol, or it would be like a group of people trying to talk to each other in a bundle of different languages. ie, it wouldn’t work. TCP/IP and IPX/SPX are protocols.

A client is a piece of software that allows you to access resources on other computers. The best example of a client is a web-browser. A web-browser accesses web pages on other computers.

IP Addresses:
An IP Address is a unique address that a computer will use to send data to another computer, in much the same way as you send a letter to someone else using a postal address or an email address. An IP Address will look like or four sets of numbers between 1 and 254 with a period between each set of numbers. The IP Addresses of your computers will all start with 192.168.0.xxx , where xxx is the number assigned to the individual computer.

A server is a computer that gives access to (or serves) resources that it has to other computers. This is a very loose definition, but it will do. In this case the server gives access to its internet connection.

A LAN is a Local Area Network, or a small network spread over a small area, like a house or office.

Command Prompt:
This is a component of windows that gives you access to a DOS prompt. It allows access to diagnostic commands and programs used in the text. To get access to it, go into the Start Menu and click Run, and type ‘command’ and press enter. If this doesn’t work, type ‘cmd’ instead of ‘command’. Don’t type the quotes.

Ping is a diagnostic program used to test the state of network links. When one computer “pings” another computer, a response is sent that acknowledges the receipt of a “ping”
This is much the same as a person saying “hello” to someone they know as a similar response is given in return.

Printers Control Panel:
This is a component of Windows that allows access to printer settings. To access it, go to the Start Menu, into Settings, and then click Printers.

Windows Explorer:
This is a windows component that gives access to all the files and folders on a computer, as well as any shared network resources. To open it, go to the Start Menu, the click Run, and type ‘explorer’ without the quotes, and press enter.

Map A Network Drive:
This is a process that gives quicker and easier access to shared network resources. Instead of accessing a folder with a name like ‘//Office_PC/documents/work_files/’, you can tie a link between this folder and a drive on the remote computer, so you get a name like ‘Z:\’ instead. It also allows older programs that have no built in network capability to access network resources in the same manner.

__________________________________________________ _______

Susan B
30-06-2002, 11:49 AM
Craig, I've had a quick scan and this looks excellent, well done. :-)

One thing I think is missing and may not be appropriate anyway, is advice regarding hooking old machines up to newer ones.

For instance I've got an old 486 that I was thinking of networking with my current Pent II 266 in order to get the old one on the internet for the kids to be online together.

OK, when you've stopped laughing, the friendly guy at DSE told me that I couldn't use the usual 10/100 card but had to have a slower one for the old PC. He also said it just wasn't worth doing for the internet but if it was just for file/printer sharing it would do although be quite slow. I didn't ask if it would be slower than the parallel cable I sometimes use.

Anyway, I accepted that and gave up on the idea. I thought it might have been feasible because some other people here have networks with a range of old to new PCs all hooked up.

Like I say, it may not be appropriate because not many people would be wanting to hook up old machines, but I would have liked to see some information in your FAQ regarding this. I might still do it if others report that their networks with old PCs run fine.

Any comments?

30-06-2002, 12:05 PM
>OK, when you've stopped laughing, the friendly guy at DSE told me that >I couldn't use the usual 10/100 card but had to have a slower one for >the old PC. He also said it just wasn't worth doing for the internet but if >it was just for file/printer sharing it would do although be quite slow

DSE is full of it. an old 10mbs isa card is fine for internet connection sharing. small file sharing and print shareing is also ok.

one small tip with setting up networks(win9x/ME) is to unplug lan cable when setting up the network. for some werid reason the networking can go AWOL if you set it up with it connected to the other pc(thats running).

Chris Wilson
30-06-2002, 01:29 PM
I must read this later when i have the time to read it properly.

And if you feel like doing one for W2K machines (who i truly hate now) I would love to see it, particularly if you can give advice as to why the entire network would permanently snob a machine 3 hours after it is rebuilt!

Craig Bellhouse
30-06-2002, 04:26 PM
Hey susan, hooking up your old machine to a new one should be no worries at all, if you can find an old ISA card and a matching one for your newer computer.

I had an old 486 running linux that worked fine on my network, it had an ISA 10mbps card and i just plugged it in with all the rest. I was able to share the net with it through a proxy server in a winXP box.

Have fun with it aye,

Susan B
30-06-2002, 05:14 PM
> Hey susan, hooking up your old machine to a new one
> should be no worries at all, if you can find an old
> ISA card and a matching one for your newer computer.

That sounds good. :-)

> I had an old 486 running linux that worked fine on my
> network, it had an ISA 10mbps card and i just plugged
> it in with all the rest. I was able to share the net

Was it significantly slower than on the faster machine? The kids won't want to wait ten times as long for the web pages to open like the guy at DSE implied that it would take.

> with it through a proxy server in a winXP box.

um, er, well..... I had better read your instructions again to see if there are instructions for that...

Thanks Craig!

Chris Wilson
30-06-2002, 06:15 PM

I had a small network here 2 or 3 years back, 2 '98 machines 166 & 450 P1's, the 450 conncted to the internet via an ihug dial up connection on a really shirty phone line, and the other connected to the first via 10meg networkcards in each machine.
It worked a treat.
The bottle neck was the 48k connection speed to the rest of the planet, not the 10meg connection between machines!

I see DSE sales people have been known to exagerate to the point of untruth in towns other than CHCH as well.

Susan B
30-06-2002, 09:46 PM
Thanks for that Chris.

The reason I was inclined to believe the DSE guy was because he lost a sale by telling me that! Normally it's the other way around isn't it? :D

Craig Bellhouse
01-07-2002, 04:11 PM
Hey Susan, don't worry about the speed, I have full 100Mbps connections to all the computers currently on my network, and I cannot seem to get anything to use the links to more than about 8% of the maximum. This would thus be 8Mbps, so I could, in theory, use 10Mbps cards.

Also, you won't find anything in my FAQ about sharing internet connections as I decided not to go there, it is a topic on its own, with many different combo's available.

Given enough interest, I may write one, i'll have to see (given that it took me several days to get this one up), but i can give you some hints. What OS's are the computers running, and what hardware have you already got for networking??


Big John
04-07-2002, 01:37 PM
One thing also is that if you cant ping the other machine it may mean you have Firewall software working. With the firewall you may need to grant access to the PC you are pinging from. Symantec Internet Security is a good example. It will just appear as though the machine does not exist on the network at all.

04-07-2002, 02:32 PM
hi susan.

a 10mbs card basicly runs at 550KB/s. you would have to have one very fast (read exspensive) internet connection for it to be a bottle neck. in comparision a modem is only around 5KB/s.

10-07-2002, 01:10 PM
Yeah, Hey, I had EXACTLY the same thing, cyrix 233 or 266, can't remember coz I just got it upgraded about 1 month ago, networked with a 486DX 50Mhz and It worked sweet as. The cyrix was running 98SE and the 486 was running 95B with USB Support, IE 5 was fine for ICS, and although MSN Messenger 4.5 was slow, that was coz it's meant for a faster PC, so MSN 3.6 (www.rescueman.cjb.net if you want it) worked a treat though. Also, I was even able to stream mp3's to my 486, It's sys settings had been tweaked TONS to get it to play mp3's (Not using WinAmp mind You!!!) but it did! Also, It'll transfer much faster than a parallel or serial cable, I've tried that myself and it's pretty slack, I averaged @ 19kbps on my f2f 9pin cable. Everything was setup fine, just what it seemed to max out at?!?!
Don't let them (DSE) off, Go ahead, and watch your kids enjoy using the net on their PC, while you can use it at the same time.
BTW, People say that in thoery, because you have 2 PC's using the line (Say 56K) then it's cut down to 28K per PC, not SO! I both PC's aren't always using full bandwidth @ all times, so usually they both get it @ 56K
Hope that's made your day

Susan B
10-07-2002, 04:24 PM
> Hope that's made your day

Sure has! Thanks for that info.

Did you just buy el cheapo network cards for the PCs or did you get a brand name network kit or something? A lot of people here say that the DS network cards are fine.

Chris Wilson
10-07-2002, 05:09 PM
i think the problem with DSE cards is that the people who sell them have no idea what problems they could have, let alone what problems or features any particular product actually has, unless it's written on the box.
I would recommend the d-link cards. Telstra gave me one, so it must be cheap, it works well, and the best thing is that like all the hardware i keep, it is instantly recognized by windows. It never ceases to amaze me when plug and play actually works.

I don't think it matters what DSE say about their products. They often don't know what they are. I am about to get a wee job reformatting a PC because the damage done by installing a webcam has left little other choice. DSE said that this super cheap usb webcam was one of the simplest installs possible, "just plug it in, and if it doesn't work, run this CD"

Susan B
10-07-2002, 05:15 PM
Thanks Chris. Are those D-Link cards in Computer City (or is it Big Byte now) and places like that? I think I saw some in Harvey Normans last week though.

I wonder if the kids want a trip into town this week? :D

Chris Wilson
10-07-2002, 05:25 PM
While your in town, the case i told you about is in computerfuture again, but they tell me it isn't for sale :-(

Craig Bellhouse
10-07-2002, 05:27 PM
Hey Susan, just a quick recommendation... If you are unsure what to purchase, or want some valid recommendations from store people try going to a computer store (ie a place that services computers, not a retail store, like DSE/Harvey Norman etc...) and ask to speak to one of their service technicians as they will be able to answer pretty much any question you have about installing and connecting network cards. Also if you do get any trouble, you are more likely to get sound advice from them for fixing it.

The trouble with retail stores is that the store people are NOT trained in computers, merely sales. They can probably sell lots of stuff really well, but need to have no idea how stuff actually works, or the trouble you may get installing the stuff.

[PS If it is not possible to go to a computer store, look for the geekiest looking younger person you can find on the staff at a retail store, and ask them, as they may be able to help...]


Susan B
10-07-2002, 05:33 PM
Thanks Chris and Craig. Don't know why I didn't think of it before, but I've got a list of online PC "shops" where I can get these things. Duh!

Will keep in mind the tip regarding asking the service technicians though.

And I must go and see that cool PC sometime too.... ;-)

Craig Bellhouse
10-07-2002, 05:41 PM
Hey susan, could you send me your list of online stores, as I like to see what all the options are when it comes to purchasing on-line. I already have 5 or so that I check regularly, but the more the merrier...

Cheers, Craig.

Susan B
10-07-2002, 06:11 PM
My list is from John Calvert's hardware list hosted on Heather's website here (http://www.details.co.nz/suppliers/). It's an Excel spreadsheet that you download.

Graham L
10-07-2002, 06:16 PM
I don't want to be seeming to oppose "off subject" postings, but ... B-)

This thread is an FAQ. Shouldn't we for simplicity, make a new thread when we aren't actually adding relevant content to the FAQ?

I've got my tin underpants on]:) , and yes, I've still got my sense of the ridiculous. :D

Chris Wilson
10-07-2002, 06:25 PM
o dear says me who is a guilty as the rest

... perhaps if it stays an FAQ it will have to have the silly bits edited out! Can that be done?

Craig Bellhouse
10-07-2002, 07:38 PM
Sorry Chris, no can do. I have absolutely no idea how to set up a network in Win2k as my only experience with this OS is as a restricted user with no admin rights whatsoever. I can do an XP one if there is any interest, but so far there has been none...


Susan B
10-07-2002, 08:33 PM
> I don't want to be seeming to oppose "off subject"
> postings, but ... B-)
> This thread is an FAQ. Shouldn't we for simplicity,
> make a new thread when we aren't actually
> adding relevant content to the FAQ?

Yes, you are dead right Graham. I suggested to Robo a couple of weeks ago that all the FAQs that had suggestions added to the original thread be re-written by the original poster incorporating any relevant extra info and be reposted.

That new post would then be grabbed by Bruce or Robo and locked so that no new posts could be added, unless someone requests further relevant information be added, which could be done by a moderator.

So really, whether Craig is happy with his post or whether he wants to do a fresh networking FAQ he should copy and paste it to a new thread and request Bruce to lock it immediately.

Then he just needs to sit back and watch all the extra suggestions roll in immediately after his post has been locked. :D

Craig Bellhouse
10-07-2002, 09:48 PM
The way I see it, I am happy with it the way it is, as there have been no changes suggested. If all these so called extraneous posts were removed, I would have no problem...


Chris Wilson
10-07-2002, 09:58 PM
Most of what i wrote including this, some of what susans posted, grahams post about irrelevant posts, even craigs last post...
Its all got to go. Either that or this thread must be saved as "FAQ 42: How do I network my PC & the debate about irrelevant posting!!!!"

Guilty as charged, i babbled, which i think is a definate no-no on a FAQ

13-09-2002, 02:23 PM
> a 10mbs card basicly runs at 550KB/s. you would have
> to have one very fast (read exspensive) internet
> connection for it to be a bottle neck. in comparision
> a modem is only around 5KB/s.

Not necessarily. 10Mbit/s equals a theoretical maximum throughput of 1.25MByte/s.

550KBps = 4.4Mbps, means either a very slow PC, poor NIC, or a congested link with bags of collisions. Allowing for protocol overheads, you should be able to saturate the 10Mbps link to 90-95% of the theoretical max, provided it's on switched LAN segment.

Also, with hardware data compression enabled, a modem that CONNECTs at 50-52Kbps can easily shift binary files at 7KBps, and text files at 12-14KBps (the latter compress better).


06-01-2003, 01:41 AM
Be sure to disable any firewalls, even if you think you have allowed access to your networked PC's. You can reconfigure the firewalls AFTER the network is up and running.
If you are haveing problems try setting restore points as you make progess, so that you can come back to a good starting point. After deleting Dial Up Adapter, my winsock became corrupted, which resulted in explorer becoming unstable. This meant having to run system restore, which meant I was loosing any progress I had made.
My Dial Up Adapter was not where it was expected in Network Settings to reinstall. The only way it was reinstalled was to make up a bogus New Dial Up Connection in Control Panel/Dial up Networking/Make a New Conection. Once this had been installed, progress became alot easier.
For networking only two computers, DNS do's not need to be enabled. Mine are disabled.

Murray P
17-02-2003, 09:46 PM
Hi Craig and all

Just setting up my first (!) network, with shared dsl access. I headed for your FAQ (of course) to get some tips and have found it very informative. I also did a search of F1 and found this link posted by Merlin Dec 8, 2002 11:57 AM which I think will contribute to the FAQ. The link points to TCP/IP, hit "Home" to see the full list of subjects and OS's discussed.


Murray P

Susan B
07-08-2003, 03:23 PM
Babe Ruth kindly provided a link to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article How to Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=813936>) which may be of some help to people using Win XP (Home).

19-07-2004, 09:50 PM
DSE Told me that there was no way I could put a 10/100 Mbps NIC in any machine below 98. The next week I had 4 machines working perfectly, with Windows 95 - all 100 Mbps.

19-07-2004, 10:05 PM
Not everything DSE sayshould be taken at face value.

You can get both 10/100 ISA & PCI cards, RJ45 and Coax cards for Win95 :-)

19-07-2004, 10:09 PM
I pity the fool who goes looking for advice at DSE.

19-07-2004, 10:53 PM

19-07-2004, 10:54 PM
Why not seek advice from where you can get it?

Advice here on PressF1 is freely given but none of us have to take the advice you or others including me give.

Are you saying that ALL people at DSE know nothing?

If I listen rather than talk I learn more! That's just me though.

19-07-2004, 11:12 PM
>are you saying that ALL people at DSE know nothing?

Not at all, I said I pity the fool who goes there looking for advice, due to the fact they are primarily salesmen then its only potluck that you will get any advice that is not utter rubbish.

My local store has a couple of good knowledgeable people working there, and an entire brigade of idiots...hence it’s a poor choice when looking for advice.

To many times I’ve been called out to "set-up" gear purchased from DSE only to tell the customer to take all the junk back as it’s far from being the right gear.

19-07-2004, 11:16 PM
*Pulls up a chair to watch the fireworks.*

20-07-2004, 12:03 AM
&gt; &gt;are you saying that ALL people at DSE know nothing?
&gt; Not at all, I said I pity the fool who goes there
&gt; looking for advice, due to the fact they are
&gt; primarily salesmen then its only potluck that you
&gt; will get any advice that is not utter rubbish.
I can understand that. In your opinion anyone who goes to a DSE is a "FOOL"

&gt; My local store has a couple of good knowledgeable
&gt; people working there, and an entire brigade of
&gt; idiots...hence it’s a poor choice when looking for
&gt; advice.
So when I walk into a DSE store in Hamilton for example how do I sort the people who know as opposed to "the brigade of idiots"?

In among the brigade of idiots in any store there will be people who know.
&gt; To many times I’ve been called out to "set-up" gear
&gt; purchased from DSE only to tell the customer to take
&gt; all the junk back as it’s far from being the right
&gt; gear.

But!!! The person who wanders into DSE in Wanganui has a choice do they not? Living in Tokoroa as I do then I have the choice to shop elsewhere as I do from time to time. I bought a TV card from DSE in Hamilton recently. It works for me. I spent most of last night watching the British Open Golf on this card and went to bed around 3:00 a.m. I recorded the rest on to my hard drive and saw the rest before the news came on.

Are you not a salesperson?

Does this make you a fool?

People whom may be looking for a full system or a pci card or RAM or whatever are called Customers.

Customers have money hopefully. If people have money then they can buy what they want from where they want I would hope.

One day you may learn this.


20-07-2004, 12:11 AM
> *Pulls up a chair to watch the fireworks.*

Well we will see.

Stay up if you want to.

Not what is planned by me. I'm off to the sack.


20-07-2004, 12:16 AM
1."pity the fool" is a MR T quote from the 80's show The A Team,its meant to be over the top.
2.Im not a salesman,i own a Repair center that carries retail items.

You can no more get sound computer advice from DSE then you can get sound car mechanical advice from a car salesman,they are 2 seperate breeds of fools

20-07-2004, 12:21 AM
Sorry Susan_B.

Just hijacked your thread which was not my intetion. Only just re-read everything.

Now you are sorted?

20-07-2004, 12:34 AM
and one more point,I said i pity the fool who seeks advice at a DSE store,not i pity the customer.....If in a hurry and DSE have what i want i'll call in and grab some items,no way in hell i would ask the sales clerk any questions while i was doing so though.

Actually i tell a lie,After being cornered while picking out some cables i asked what video cards they could supply in the 400 to 500 dollar range,and out of those cards which was better and why?

The answer?

Xbox,Knarly graphics that blow away a pc.

I would laugh,but its not funny,Simply bad advice.

20-07-2004, 01:10 AM
> 1."pity the fool" is a MR T quote from the 80's show
> The A Team,its meant to be over the top.
Well I liked that show. So if you want to be Mr T feel free. Heaps of muscle but not a lot of brain. For me I would prefer to be George Peppard who actually had a brain. He was in charge as I remember it?

Over the top of what may I ask?

> 2.Im not a salesman,i own a Repair center that
> carries retail items.
OK. So if I walk into a certain computer shop that you own you will not talk to me assuming I want to replace RAM or a card in a ex PC Company, PC General type computer or system box.
You only repair. You would then be called a technician would you not?

> You can no more get sound computer advice from DSE
> then you can get sound car mechanical advice from a
> car salesman,they are 2 seperate breeds of fools
For you there are separate breeds then. That interests me just a little.
How many separate breeds are there?

How many fools post on PressF1 in YOUR opinion?

I still go back to the original point for me.

The person with the money can go buy what they want from where they want. The fact that they want a car whatever brand, make model, engine size, gearing, 4WD, etc......

That is over to them is it not?

You have already said earlier that DSE in Wanganui has two people who possibly seem to know about computers. They, hopefully will not try to sell you a Mini or BMW when you walked in to get a computer.

Jen C
20-07-2004, 06:22 AM
Hey Guys!

This thread is a FAQ on "How do I networking my PC". Do you think it is fair people looking at a FAQ need to read all your Off Topic comments now? FAQ's are not meant for posting your problems in.

Perhaps it is time this FAQ was updated with the addtional relevant information since added, reposted and then locked down? Is Craig Bellhouse the original author still around and willing to do this?

20-07-2004, 09:08 AM
Craig, congrats on a great set of instructions and background info.

One thing: Have you mentioned NetBEUI ?

I am currently trying to network two WinXP PC's and have noted that NetBEUI is not needed although some people claim the opposite. Not sure about non-WinXP networking so maybe NetBEUI is automatically included during the OS installation.

Cheers - Steve

20-07-2004, 09:31 AM
with XP netbeui isn't loaded by default but is still on the disk if required.

it is a very easy protocol to setup which is the only reason it gets recommended (theres no settings!). ipx/spx is a little harder to setup (still easier than tcp/ip) but i find it runs faster and it finds network shares a lot quicker. unfortunatly craig made a small error, there are a few ipx/spx settings that are required to set before it will work (eg frame type).

one of the main reasons for useing netbeui or ipx/spx is so that windows file shareing is run over a different protocol than tcp/ip. this is done to help prevent windows fileshareing being accessed from the internet. win9x/me by default shares windows networking over the net which is not good but typical for MS :(

20-07-2004, 09:46 AM
faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar out, Never would have thought anybody could be so anal over a "pity the fool" comment.

20-07-2004, 02:02 PM
Elephant works at DSE? ;)