Networking Windows

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Every version of Windows treats networking differently. We're on hand to get all your PCs talking together

Whether it’s sharing your Net connection or just your printer, there are many reasons for connecting your PCs together. You just need to know how to do it, and the extra work you need to do to get a secure network with older versions of Windows.

With Plug and Play in any version of Windows from 98 onwards, when you turn on the PC after installing the network card, the Add New Hardware Wizard will detect the card, ask for the drivers and the Windows set-up CD, and install the basic network components. You’ll need to give the PC a name, fill in the workgroup name and turn on File and Print Sharing.

Right-click your network connection in the Network control panel and choose Properties, Configuration, File and Print Sharing button, and make sure both checkboxes are ticked. Now you can share a folder or printer on each PC. You’ll have to restart each PC after you set up the network.

Internet Connection Sharing


After sharing a printer, the main reason for networking your PCs is to gain Internet access on every machine without needing separate modems and phone lines. This is ideal if you’ve got broadband, but still worth doing with a 56k modem connection.

All the versions of Windows have slightly different ways to set things up on the host and the clients. The first version of Windows 98 can’t be a host for ICS. However, it can receive a connection from an ICS host: you need Windows 98 Second Edition or higher as the host. Before you install ICS, you need to fit your network cards and get them working, then set up a working Internet connection on the host.

For Windows 98 SE, start by opening the Network control panel and make sure you see everything listed here: Client for Microsoft Networks, File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks, TCP/IP (bound to your network card) and TCP/IP (bound to your dial-up connection or your broadband connection).

If you’re using NetBEUI, you’ll need that bound to your Dial-Up Adapter and network card too. If they’re not all there, click Add and install them. TCP/IP and NetBEUI are under Client, File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks is under Service and the Microsoft networks client is under Client: pick Microsoft as the Manufacturer each time. If they’re not ‘bound’ to the right connection, right-click the protocol and choose Properties, Bindings.

Now use the Windows Setup tab on the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel to install ICS. Choose the Internet Tools option without changing the check box next to it and click Details, then tick Internet Connection Sharing and choose OK. If ICS is already ticked it’s best to clear it, click OK and reboot your PC.

Windows will ask for the set-up CD and then the Internet Sharing Setup Wizard will walk you through creating the connection. Don’t cancel or restart until you’re finished or you’ll have to remove and reinstall ICS. If the Internet Connection Wizard pops up it’s safe to cancel that (choose Advanced Settings if it informs you that the wizard cannot detect the network).

You should see a screen that enables you to pick Dial-up connection or High-speed connection. If you’re using broadband the next screen shows you all the network adapters on your PC and you’ll have to pick the right one for your Internet connection and then the right one for your network.

You don’t need to create an Internet Connection Sharing Client Disk: that just copies ICSCLSET. EXE, the Browser Configuration Setup Wizard, and ICSRM.TXT, a Readme file on to a floppy disk. If you do need those later they’re in Windows, System on the host PC.

Client configuration

On the Networks control panel make sure you have Client for Microsoft Networks, File and printer sharing for Microsoft Networks and TCP/IP, but that NetBEUI isn’t in the list. Highlight the TCP/IP entry and click Properties, IP Address and choose Obtain an IP address automatically. On the WINS Configuration tab, choose Use DHCP for WINS Resolution. On the Gateway tab, remove any items in the Installed gateways list. On the DNS Configuration tab, choose Disable DNS and then click OK.

Make sure there aren’t any copies of Internet Explorer open then right-click the IE icon and choose Properties. On the Connections tab, select Never dial a connection. Then choose LAN Settings and clear all the check boxes.

Feel secure

The single biggest security hole in most Windows PCs connected to the Internet is a basic network setting – File and Print Sharing. Other PCs on your network need to be able to connect to the files on each machine and to use the same printer. However, you don’t want someone else on the Internet to be able to access them. The File and Print Sharing service is ‘bound’ to TCP/IP, not just to NetBEUI, so it is available through your Internet connection as well as on your network. Turn that off: select your dial-up connection, choose Properties, Configuration, TCP/IP, Properties, Bindings and clear File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks. Now only PCs on your network can access your files.

Pick a protocol

NetBEUI is Microsoft’s own network protocol, but TCP/IP works better for your network as well as the Internet



If you’re connecting older versions of Windows to one running Windows XP, you can still choose between a TCP/IP network and the old NetBEUI protocol, but TCP/IP is preferable and you’ll have to install NetBEUI yourself if you really want it. To install NetBEUI in XP, browse to the Valueadd\MSFT\Net\NetBEUI folder on your Windows XP CD, copy NBF.Sys to the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers directory and copy NETNBF.Inf to the Windows\Inf directory.

You don’t need NetBEUI for file and printer sharing. You can do it using NetBIOS over TCP/IP and frankly, we’d go for TCP/IP even if you don’t have XP. For one thing, NetBEUI can’t cope with a cable modem or DSL connection and it won’t work over FireWire. For another it hogs a certain amount of bandwidth, sending information about each PC on the network at periodic intervals.

If you want to use the Internet you have to have TCP/IP installed anyway, and it’s simpler and more secure to have only one protocol on your network. You can bind TCP/IP to your network card instead of NetBEUI, as well as binding it to your dial-up connection. Just make sure you only turn on File and Printer Sharing for the network connection, whichever protocol you use.

Internet sharing in Windows 98 SE

Windows 98 SE has the most basic Internet Connection Sharing settings, but you can still share the connection with other PCs.


Get your network working before you start to set up ICS. Install the network card and the Add New Hardware Wizard will load the drivers. You’ll need the Windows 98 SE setup CD to load the networking components from.

Go into the Network Control Panel and on the Identification tab give each PC a name so you know which machine is which. Pick a name for the Workgroup and make sure it’s the same on each PC.

Check the Configuration tab: you want TCP/IP bound to your dial-up connection and your network card, and you need the Client for Microsoft Networks. However, you don’t need to run NetBEUI as well.

Use the Windows Setup tab in Add or Remove Programs to install ICS from the Windows 98 SE setup CD. Don’t clear or select the checkbox for Internet Tools or you’ll add or remove other components.

Follow the ICS Wizard. If you see an error saying the wizard can’t locate your network and you know your Internet connection is working, click Advanced Settings and pick the two connections on this dialog.


Set all the TCP/IP properties to Automatic on the guest machine and you’ll see Web pages as well as the other PCs on the network.
This material is the copyright material of or licensed to Future Publishing Limited, a Future Network plc group company, UK 2004. All rights reserved.
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Artikel-id: 835626 – senaste granskning 8 juli 2008 – revision: 1

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