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Cheap Networking with Crossover

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Yes, this is my second post for the day, but I thought I needed to get this published because I know some people just can’t find the proper instructions on how to set up a small computer network with a crossover cable on the internet. When I tried searching Google I couldn’t find a decent guide myself.

Know this: Use a crossover network cable only if you have about 2 computers close to one another and you are on a tight budget. It is recommended that you use a router for networking, but if you just want to be able to do simple file transfers and internet connection sharing then this guide will help you to set up a crossover network in Windows XP.

  1. Get your equipment. If you are networking 2 computer ensure that you have:
    1. A crossover cable – looks like regular CAT5 ethernet cable but labelled as “crossover”. Can be found at your local BestBuy or CompUSA.
    2. Ethernet network adapters (NICs) on each PC – the “master PC” should have at least 2 LAN connections (especially one for ethernet) and the “client PC” should have a LAN connection also (must be ethernet).
  2. Configure each PC.
    1. Ensure that the TCP/IP protocol is installed on each network adapter (should be by default). Having multiple protocols installed can slow down network performance.
    2. On the “master PC” you will connect your internet connection network cable to one network adapter and on the other you will use the crossover cable. Do not make any changes to the adapter that is being used for your internet. Open the Network Connections, right-click on the adapter that you will use for crossover and click on Properties. Go to General > TCP/IP Protocol > Properties.
    3. Click on the radio button for “Use the following IP address” and enter the following numbers into the regions and leave the others blank:
      • IP Address:
      • Subnet Mask:
    4. Click OK and exit.
    5. Now go over to the “client PC” and find the adapter that you will be using for crossover and navigate to the same window for editing TCP/IP settings as in the previous step. Enter the following numbers into the regions and leave the others blank:
      • IP Address:
      • Subnet Mask:
      • Default Gateway:
      • Preferred DNS:
    6. Click OK and exit.
    7. On the “client PC” only, go to Run and type services.msc to edit service processes. Find the service called “Computer Browser” and disable it. This should speed up the network when you get it working.
    8. Now, on both the “master PC” and the “client PC” right-click on My Computer and navigate to Properties > Computer Name and click the button to change the Workgroup name to ‘MSHOME’ (without quotes) or any other name, as long as it is the identical name used on each PC. You may also want to give a network ID to each PC at this time.
    9. You will be prompted to reboot your computer for changes to take effect. Cancel this and just shut down your computer.
  3. Connect the crossover network cable linking both PCs. [You can see why the PCs need to be so close to one another.]
  4. Power on the “master PC” and let it boot fully, then power on the “client PC”.
  5. On the “master PC” start the Network Setup Wizard (Network Connections > Setup Home or Small Office Network).
  6. When you come to the “Connection Method” select the first option (“This computer connects…other computers…connect to the Internet through this computer.”) and continue throught the wizard.
  7. At the end you will be prompted to run the wizard on the other computer. Let the wizard create a network setup floppy disk and run the application on the “client PC” from the floppy. When you are finished the wizard your network is ready to use.
  8. In order to share files you will have to activate shares on folders/drives. Just right-click on the folder/drive, go to Sharing & Security and select the option to activate sharing. You can access all shares through My Network Places. The same goes for printers.

If you don’t see any shares in My Network Places then click on the option on the task pane called “View Workgroup Computers” and you should see the computers on the network. Navigate through them as you would in Windows Explorer. If this does not work then you probably did something wrong and you should review this guide.

All comments are appreciated for this guide. If you have any problems feel free to ask a question.



Written by falcon1986

2 March, 2005 at 9:30 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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