You just installed a NIC, (Network Interface Card), into two
computers, plugged them into each other with a cable...
but, you cannot make the network function.
Frustrating? YOU BET!!!
So, let me walk you through the basic things to check, there
are only five you need to be concerned with to make a simple
- Network Card Driver
- File and Print Sharing
- Drive Sharing
Network Card Driver:
The NICs must be installed in Windows with the proper
driver. Just because Windows loaded a driver from it's
data base does not mean it is right. Always use the driver
provided by the manufacturer.
The NICS usually will not work if Windows has assigned an IRQ
other than 10 or 11. This is not a hard and fast rule,
many newer cards will allow Windows to assign just any old IRQ,
but if your network does not work, this can be the problem.
Both PCs must have the same WORK GROUP. This is
the designation for your Network and they must match
Now, in this case it is "ONE." Each PC on
your network must have the same listing for Workgroup.
Goto the "Network Neighborhood" icon on your desktop
and right click your mouse. Then click on
"properties." This will give you the above
window. Just click on the "Identification" tab
at the top to check the settings. The computer name and
description must be different for each PC and it does not matter
what you call them.
Drivers required for a Network:
This may be the most confusing issue for most people
new to networking and even a great many people who have been
using a network now. You only need two drivers for a
basic network installed on each PC:
- Network card driver
- Microsoft NETBEUI driver
In this example, you see the drivers by clicking on the
"Configuration" tab in the same Window discussed
above. You see a NIC driver for the system's 3Com NIC and
you see a MS NETBEUI driver. The third driver, client for
Microsoft Networks is not necessary although many people leave
it in or install it. If you need to add drivers, just click on
the "ADD" button and follow the steps. The
"Netbeui" driver is a PROTOCOL driver, listed under
Microsoft. You do not need to change any settings inside
of these drivers, as they will work fine "as-is."
File and Print Sharing:
In this area, you must have the "File
Sharing" box checked on at least one PC, the PC from which
you wish to read and write data to the hard drive.
Typically, on a home network you will just check this box on
both PCs, so both can read the hard drive on the other.
This is an often forgotten issue. You MUST set
at least one hard drive on the PC you wish to access to be
"Shared." Even with all the other settings
above, if there is nothing shared on the system you are
attempting to access across your network, it will not see the
Double Click on your "My Computer" icon on the
desktop. Then, right click your mouse on the "C"
drive, clicking on the 'Sharing' option. You will then see
Note two things here: The drive has "Shared As"
checked with a Share Name for the "C" drive, in this
case: C and the "Access Type" has
been set to FULL. Typically, for a first time Network just
use these settings. Setting passwords and other special
items will come when your understanding grows.
Now, if you have all of the above set properly and your
network does not allow you to read the hard drive of another PC
across your network, you should be safe in considering you have
a hardware issue.