Network Querry???

  Madpad_001 10:19 22 Feb 2004

Hello to all,
Firstly I am a complete novice to this so any and all help will be brill.
I am trying to network myhome pc and laptop together, they both have network cards (win XP says they are working fine) and both have win XP home installed on them. Can i buy a network cable and just connect both PC's together or do i need some extra hardware? I only want to use a cable network at the moment but will try wifi later on.
once again any help on this will put a big smileon my face.

  Taran 10:28 22 Feb 2004

You need a crossover cable, sometimes called a cross-patch cable. They cost a few pounds from most PC outlets and you literally plug one end into each computer.

You need to set at least one folder on each machine for sharing. To do this you right click on the folder, click on Sharing and Security, then follow the prompts to enable file sharing.

It can also help to assign static IP addresses to both machines so that as soon as they are plugged into the "network" which, in this case, will be nothing more than the machines detecting a "live" feed from the cable, each machine will know where the other is due to assigning a constant address.

If this is all a bit confusing - most people find that it is when they first start out - you can just use the network connection wizard in your Control Panel which normally gets people up and running quite well.

There's a pretty good article on the Microsoft site on how to go about simple networking using the wizard: click here

If you come unstuck, post again and one of us will walk you through the whole process of assigning static IP addresses.

  Madpad_001 10:59 22 Feb 2004

Hello again,
Thanks for the above. I have run the network wizard on both machinces and connected a network cable between each but I am haveing no joy. I only have a little icon down the bottom right of my sceen saying local area conection cable is unplugged????
am I still doing some thing wrong!!!!!

  slimbo51 11:03 22 Feb 2004

I use a network program called ANALOGX. Its a free download of the net and comes with full instructions.

I find this a lot simpler to use than M/Soft own.

Just make sure u follow the instructions to the letter.

Once the H/Ware is installed (which you already have) it takes me about 5min to get linked up.

Good Luck.

  Taran 11:34 22 Feb 2004

I see no reason to use third party software to do something you can do yourself.

Make sure you have at least one shared folder on each PC.

Disable any software firewalls temporarily - you may have to add your network to the firewall as a trusted source or things will be stopped dead in their tracks.

To assign static IP addresses to each machine, so this:

Open up your Control Panel

Double click on Network Connections

Right click on the entry in there for your LAN device and select 'Properties'.

Double click on 'Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)' and click the 'Properties' button.

Select the radio button where it says 'Use the following IP address'.

In the 'IP Address' box, type this on one machine:

Your second computer gets this address:

which is one digit higher than the first. Imagine that this is a numbered equivalent of a house address on a street. One PC can find the other since one is number 1 on a "street" called 192.168.10 while the other is number 2 on the same "street".

Windows XP normmaly assigns the correct Subnet mask to this IP address, which should be

If the 'Subnet Mask' box does not fill itself with these numbers, type them in yourself. Both computers should have the same Subnet Mask settings.

Click the 'OK' button then click the OK button again. You don't need to restart your PC but it can sometimes help to do so.

Finally, open your Control Panel and double click on the System icon. Click on the tab called 'Computer Name'. Make sure your computers are both in the same workgroup but that they both have a different name. The workgroup must be identical - I set my WORKGROUP as WORKGROUP but some people use the default WORKGROUP of MSHOME. So the workgroup for both machines has to be the same, but each machine must have a unique name, just as they should have a different IP address.

Call them anything you like.

As long as you have disabled firewalls, given the machines a unique name and IP address and made sure they both share the same workgroup and subnet mask you should be up and running. The only other essential is to share at least one folder on each machine. If you don't share a folder then the machines may be able to see one another but they won't display anything in your network because they cannot see a shared folder to show you.

Some people share their entire hard drive [right click on the C: drive in My Computer and enable sharing on it] while others use a single shared folder.

If you can get this working you can tackle your fireall next to allow network traffic through...

  Ivor_Monkey 12:18 22 Feb 2004

It is worth emphaising something Taran said in passing: don;t forget to disable the firewalls, including XP's internal one (ICF).

A router will give you indpeendent access to the internet, but you need straight cables for that (or funnny adapters at the ends).

  Madpad_001 17:14 22 Feb 2004

Thanks for the above will try it now and get buck to you.

  Madpad_001 20:21 23 Feb 2004

The reason I ask this is i have bought two cables & both do not seam to work. every time i plug them in I get nothing, My two little tv screens (for want of a better discription)just say no network cable plugged in. So this make me think the cables are at fault. If this is the problem can you reconmened which cable to buy & where from???
Once again many thanks.One very confused man.

  Taran 21:36 23 Feb 2004

You are sure that both machines have a network card ?

I only ask because some laptop manufacturers fit a LAN port to some machines with no LAN adapter. Often a blank will be fitted but some manufacturers leave the port open despite the fact that there is no device to connect to behind it.

Try running a ping loopback command like this:

Start, Run, type cmd and click OK to open up a Command Prompt.

Type this in the command prompt window:


press your Enter key.

Report back here with the results - the easiest way of doing that is to click the little icon on the top left corner of the Command Prompt window, click on Mark from the drop down menu, click where you want to copy from in the window and hold your left mouse button down and drag it to highlight all the text. Press Enter to copy to the clipboard then paste the results in here.

ping checks to see if TCP/IP initialises properly on the machine. Some people would have you believe that is also checks the network card and verifies that it works, but it doesn't do this at all. It only verifies that TCP/IP is correctly initialising.

You could also try typing this into a command prompt:


Copy and paste the results of that into here as well. Do the command on both computers and post the results for both in here.

Finally, assuming you are on the machine that you gave the address to, type this into your command prompt:


See if you get dropped packets or if you get replies.

You can try a similar command from the other machine, back to the first machines address.

To clarify that point, whichever PC you gave to should use the "ping" command to send out to the other machine. You should use "ping" from the machine you gave to.

This sends test data packets from one address to another and verifies whether you are getting data packets successfully returned, or not as the case may be.

The results of your pings and your ipconfig/all commands should help to point one of us in the right direction to fix things for you.

But yes, it is possible to buy a dead cable. Even worse, if you bought a straight through patch cable and not a cross-patch or crossover cable you don't stand a cat in hells chance. A normal patch cable is used for connecting computers to a network hub or router which controls the data flow and through which you share your resources. A crossover cable allows two machines to connect direct to one another without requiring a router or hub.

Get back with the results of the above commands and we'll see what can be done.

  Madpad_001 07:45 24 Feb 2004

Tahnks for that will do it tonight and report back.

  Madpad_001 20:41 24 Feb 2004

Hello again,
My results for the ping 127.0.01 test read as follows:
For my Desktop
Pinging with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
from my laptop it says:
Pinging with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

tryed to tpye in ipconfig/all but the window open & closes in less then 2 sec so i am unable to read or copy any thing off the screen. (this is on both machines) then tryed the ping 192.168. etc going from desktop to laptop. The command field came up but it said the following message: ping with 32 bytes of data, then it said request timmed out. It also said the same from laptop to desktop(I did change the .2 to .1). So does this mean I have no network card? or is it just the wrong type of cable?
Once mre thanks for your help.

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