Networking 98/XP

  spices 00:23 20 Feb 2003

Just having networked two computers with a crossover J45 and belkin cards. The idea was that both machines could share the same internet dial up. Everything is fine except that the 'host' machine which is running XP just keeps on dialing up on its own. I'd be grateful for any helpful ideas!

  fishmad pete 10:49 20 Feb 2003

When you say it keeps dialing up, do you mean that it tries to connect when you are not present at your machine. It could be that the windows 98 machine is trying to gain access. On the XP machine right click on your dial up connection and select properties. Select advance and ensure that you have not got the box checked next to "Establish a dial up connection whenever a computer on my network attempts to gain access to the internet". This will stop the 98 machine from dialing out.

  jazzypop 11:39 20 Feb 2003

If a PC (networked or not) is trying to connect to the Internet, it must be because the user, or a program, has asked it to.

As it is plainly not you, it must be a program. There are many reasons why this might be.

Valid reasons include email programs that are set to check for email every 'x' minutes, programs that are trying to download / resume an interrupted download of a program update, checking whether new updates are available (especially anti-virus programs), etc, etc, etc.

A firewall should alert you to the fact that 'program xyz is trying to access the Internet - do you want to allow this?', at which point you could allow or deny it access.

Lees valid reasons (in my book) are viruses trying to replicate themselves by sending infected emails to others in your address books, trojans trying to open a line of communication with a remote site, and so-called 'spyware' trying to report your browsing habits to a central database.

That's the problem, now for the solutions...

1. Install a good quality firewall. This should at least require you to grant permission to the program or process that is trying to initiate the dial-up. My preference is for Sygate

2. Install a good-quality Anti-Virus program, and keep it updated. My choice is Norton.

3. Run a variety of programs that will check for spyware, trojans etc. My preference is for AdAware and Spywareblaster.

4. Go to Start > Run, type 'msconfig' (without quotes) and click on Startup. Untick any programs that do not belong in the Startup section - you can always re-tick them later. click here for further info.

5. Let it dial out and see where it goes / what happens. This will at least give you a starting point to investigate further.

Note that none of the above points are specific to a networked setup. If you have checked all of the above, and are confident that they do not apply, please post back. There are a few obscure situations where this can be triggered by the network itself, but it is very unlikely.

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