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Docking Problems

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have two identical laptops and two different docks.  I am having the same problem with both laptops.  Both docks have the same ethernet card.  This is the problem.  Starting from scratch I plug in one laptop into  dock1.  The laptop recognizes the ethernet card and allows me to set it up (Ip address etc.) This all works fine.  Then I put this same computer into dock2 and the laptop now tries to install another copy of the same ethernet card.  It only has one  card in the device manager, but puts two in the network control panel.  When I go to setup the ip address for this dock there is only one card in the tcip section.  If I go to the bindings for the cards the first card I set up has all the bindings present and checked.  The new card only has one binding, and it is not tcip?  So how do I get the laptop to work in these two different docks with the same ethernet card.  
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First of all the computers recognize the Cards as being different cards because they have different MAC addresses.  Every Ethernet card has a differend MAC address, it's how you tell 2 pc's apart on a network (you may already know this).  All you need to do is:

Go into Network Properties and select the card you want to configure.  Then add the protocols you need.  

When you boot up in a specific docking station the PC recognizes that is in a different one because of the Eternet Card address


Sounds Great, now if it was only that easy.  

I have two ethernet adapters, but only one of them has tcip installed.  I can try and add tcip, and nothing happens.  I can even completly remove tcip and re-add it, and I still only get one ethernet card in the tcip setting area.  I have even uninstalled networking all together and the same result.  I only have one network adapter that I can set the ip address for.  And if you are curious the one setting that I can set does not work for both docks.  It will only work in one dock, the one I initially set up first.  

Tom H,

The best solution for your problem would be to get a PC Card (PCMCIA) network card which would eliminate the need for two seperate NICs and constant profile switching. However, I don't know the specifics of your network to know if your situation requires you to have two seperate NICs. More info?

If you absolutely MUST stick with the hardware you've got, I would suggest using the "Hardware Profiles" capability of Windows 95 (Right click My Computer -> System Properties -> Hardware Profiles). When you get the ethernet working in the first unit, name the hardware profile "Dock 1" or something similar.  When you go to the second dock, let it add the new adapter there as well and for the original adapter choose "disable in this profile" and then add a second hardware profile called "Dock 2".  You will then need to change hardware profiles according to the dock you are using. Once set up, your protocols should stay stuck to the NIC active in the current profile. This may not be suitable for non-technical users who may use that equipment, hence my original suggestion for a single PC card solution.

Hope that helps.



First off, I already have a pcmcia adapter and wish to use the docks as they are intended.  

Secondly, I would love to disable the ethernet card from dock one while in dock 2, but only one adapter shows up in the device manager.  It is only in the network configuration screen where I have two ethernet adapters.


Tom H,

You say you "already have a pcmcia adapter".  Is that installed as well?  So if I understand correctly, you have 1 NIC in the notebook and 1 in each dock?
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I believe I had previously said to set up seperate hardware profiles...


I do already have the pcmcia installed.  But in the dock we have is disabled.

  I will try your idea
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