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Creating a Wired Home Peer-to-Peer Network and Sharing Files (Windows XP, ME, or 98)

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This document pertains to two or more PCs with the same version of Windows 98, Me, or XP installed.
NOTE: Firewall software can interfere in setting up a Windows network. Before using the steps in this document, either disable any firewall software that you are using (best if you do not have an Internet connection), or make an exception for File and Printer Sharing in the firewall software (best if you use an Internet connection). If you have Windows XP SP2, you can access the firewall software, either Windows XP firewall, Norton Person Firewall, or others, by clicking the security Center icon in the system tray.

Connecting the hardware and cables

When setting up your network hardware and cables, keep the following in mind:
  • All PCs must have networking hardware already installed. Examine the back of the PC for an RJ45 port (it looks like a port for a typical phone but is wider with eight contacts).
  • If you have more than two PCs, you will need at least one multi-port sharing device like a hub, switch, or router with enough ports to support all your PCs.
  • If you are only networking two PCs, all you need is one crossover cable. You do not need a hub, switch, or router.
  • Multi-port sharing devices that work for creating small networks:
    • Hubs are usually the least expensive of the devices. Hubs simply repeat the data flow out to the other lines. These work good in small networks.
    • Switches are like hubs but filter IP addresses to increase data flow in larger networks.
    • Routers become necessary when networking over 254 computers. A router can also be used to share one IP address with several other PCs (not discussed in this document).
  • The network link between PCs can only be as fast as the slowest device in the link. Try to use all networking devices with the same speed rating for optimal performance (this include cables).
  • Try to keep hubs, switches, and routers accessible.
  • Some hubs, switches, and routers, require the last port be used only when the cascade port is not already in use. Do not connect a network cable for a PC into the cascade port unless you are "cascading" to another device.

Setting up a Peer-to-Peer network in Windows XP

The steps described below are provided as a general guide that will work for most home networking situations. However, it may not work for all scenarios. Use the following steps to help you set up your own inclusive home network:
  1. Make sure both systems have Network Interface Cards (NICs) installed and are using the proper cables.
    NOTE: For a direct network cable connection between two PCs (not with a hub, switch or router), you need to have a crossover cable.
  2. For PCs with Windows XP, the home networking wizard can be used to set up Windows for your network.
    1. Click Start , and then Control Panel .
    2. Select Network and internet connection s.
    3. Double-click Network setup wizard and follow the on-screen instructions.
      If the Network setup wizard is unsuccessful, continue with the steps below.
  3. Click Start , Control Panel , Network and Internet Connections , and then Network Connections . Right-click the connection icon and select Properties .
  4. Click on the General tab.
  5. A device name should appear under "connect using." If not, there is a hardware issue and Windows is not recognizing the network hardware. This issue must be fixed before continuing.
  6. Make sure the following are installed:
    Client for Microsoft Networks
    Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
    QoS Packet Scheduler
    File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
    If any of the above components are not installed, install them by selecting Add or Install , and then selecting the missing component, and clicking Add .
  7. Click TCP/IP (Your Ethernet Adapter name) and select Properties .
    1. At the IP Address tab, select Specify IP Address .
    2. Enter 192.168.0.1 as the unique IP Address for the first machine. For each other PC add one to the last number in the IP address. For example,
      • KIDSPC1 = 192.168.0.1 ,
      • MOMSPC2 = 192.168.0.2 ,
      • and WORKPC3 = 192.168.0.3 .
      NOTE: 192.168.0.x is an IP Address reserved for private networks and is not routable to the Internet.
  8. In the Subnet mask field enter: 255.255.255.0
    All PCs on the same network use the same Subnet mask.
  9. Click OK .
  10. Click Start , right-click My Computer , and then select Properties .
  11. Click the Computer Name tab and click the Change button.
  12. Enter a name that describes the PC in the Computer Description field. For Example, KIDSPC1 , MOMSPC2 , or WORKPC3 .
  13. Enter the workgroup name name for your network. Use the same workgroup name for all PCs on the network. Spelling is important in this step.
  14. Repeat these steps for each PC on the network.
  15. Wait two minutes after Windows opens on all PCs, and then double-click the Network Neighborhood icon on the desktop. If all went well, you should see all the PC names on the network when files and folders are being shared. If you do not see them, press F5 to refresh the screen.
  16. If, after refreshing the network window, the other PCs still do not appear, check the firewall settings that may be interfering with the communication. For more information, refer to the HP support document Using the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) in Windows XP . For other firewall software products, please refer the help system for that product.

Setting up a Peer-to-Peer network in Windows 98 and ME

The steps described below are provided as a general guide that will work for most home networking situations. However, it may not work for some networking situations. Use the following steps to help you set up your own home network:
  1. Make sure both systems have Network Interface Cards (NICs) installed and are using the proper cables.
    NOTE: For a direct network cable connection between two PCs (not with a hub, switch or router), you need to have a crossover cable.
  2. Click Start , then Settings , then Control Panel and then double-click the Network icon.
  3. Click the Configuration tab.
  4. Make sure the following are installed:
    Client for Microsoft Networks
    NetBeui (the adapter name (for Windows 98 and ME PCs))
    NWLink IPX/SPX NetBIOS Compatible Transport (for Windows XP PCs)
    Your Ethernet Adapter (EN-1207D in many HP Pavilion systems)
    TCP/IP (ethernet adapter name)
    File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
    If any of the above components are not installed, install them by selecting Add or Install , and then selecting the missing component, and clicking Add .
    NOTE: In order for most "proxy servers" and "network messaging" software to function, TCP/IP needs to be installed and configured as the network protocol. However, if you are planning on playing games across a LAN you may also need IPX/SPX/NetBIOS installed.
  5. In Windows 98 and ME, In the Primary Login field, select Client for Microsoft Networks .
  6. On the Identification screen type the name of your workgroup in the Workgroup field.
    Use the same workgroup name for all PCs on the network. Spelling is important in this step.
  7. Enter a name that describes the PC in the Computer Description field. For Example, KIDSPC1 , MOMSPC2 , or WORKPC3 .
  8. Click the Access tab and make sure Shared Level Access is selected.
  9. Click TCP/IP (Your Ethernet Adapter name) and select Properties .
    1. At the IP Address tab, select Specify IP Address .
    2. Enter 192.168.0.1 as the unique IP Address for the first machine. For each other PC add one to the last number in the IP address. For example, KIDSPC1 = 192.168.0.1 , MOMSPC2 = 192.168.0.2 , and WORKPC3 = 192.168.0.3 .
      NOTE: 192.168.0.x is an IP Address reserved for private networks and is not routable to the Internet.
  10. In the Subnet mask field enter: 255.255.255.0
    All PCs on the same network must use the same Subnet mask.
  11. Click OK .
    Windows installs the necessary software automatically. If a message appears stating that Windows was unable to locate a file, use your Windows installation CD or browse to C:\Windows\Options\Cabs.
  12. For each machine, type a username and password after Windows restarts. The username and password can be the same for each machine or they can be different. Your names and passwords depend on how you want to use your network.
  13. Wait two minutes after Windows opens on all PCs, and then double-click the Network Neighborhood icon on the desktop. If all went well, you should see all the computer names on the network when files and folders are being shared. If you do not see them, press F5 to refresh the screen.

Sharing drives, folders, and files

One of the main advantages of having a network is that data can be shared quickly and easily between computers. In Windows networking, this is accomplished by opening a window that represents the other computer and dragging files into and out of that window. To use Windows file sharing, use the following steps:
Set up the host PC (a PC that will have shared folders):
  1. Double-click, My Computer and browse to a folder you want to share.
  2. Right-click the drives or folders you wish to share and select Properties .
  3. In Windows XP, click the sharing tab, select Share this Folder , and enter a share name that briefly describes the folders contents.
    In Windows 98 and Me, , click Sharing , and then click Share As . You can use the default name or type your own. This needs to be done for each computer on the network.
  4. Click OK and restart the PC when done.
Set up client PCs (PCs that will access the folder)
  1. In Windows XP, on a PC that will access the files, click Start , My Computer , Tools , and select Map Network Drive .
    In Windows 98 and ME, on a PC that will access the files, right-click Network Neighborhood , left-click Map Network Drive .
  2. Select a drive letter that is not being used. Its best to use letters after "I".
  3. Enter two backslash (\ ) characters, the PC name that has the shared drive or folder, another backslash (\ ), and then the shared drive or folder name. For example, \\KIDSPC2\zephyr .
  4. Place a check mark in reconnect at logon (this keeps all PCs visible on the network after restarting).
  5. Click OK and restart all PCs.
  6. Wait about five minutes after Windows opens on all PCs, and then open My Computer, the mapped drive should appear in the Window. If all went well, you should see the drives and folders inside the PCs. If you do not see them, press F5 to refresh the screen.

Commonly used network protocols

  • TCP/IP : The protocol of the Internet, and available on a wide variety of networks. TCP/IP is a routable network protocol, and is becoming the protocol of home LANs. It requires a routable, assigned IP address and submask to operate. Most proxy servers, messaging software and many games require that TCP/IP is installed for networked gaming.
  • IPX/SPX : The native protocol of NetWare (called NWLink in Windows NT). IPX requires little or no client configuration and gets its node ID from the MAC address of the network card. IPX is generally the fastest of the three common protocols, and is used for some networkable games.
  • NetBEUI : An IBM protocol (called NBF in Windows NT). NetBEUI requires no client configuration and is easy to setup. It is a non-routable protocol and is suitable for small LANs only. It is a very fast protocol when used on small LANs. NetBEUI has low performance on WANs.

Related Support

NOTE:For more information about home networking with Microsoft Windows XP, refer to the Microsoft Get Started with Home Networking Web site (in English).
NOTE:One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside the HP Web site.

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