Trying to network 2 computers & cable modem-win98

Posted on 2001-01-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I have studied several questions posed by people having problems similar to mine, and have tried several suggestions already, to no avail. Here is a brief summary of the mess I'm in:

The goal was to network my two pcs (a celeron 400mhz upstairs and a pentium 166 downstairs) together and share the net connection from the cable modem. Here's what I have done so far-

-I installed a netgear EN104, a simple 4 port ethernet hub. I placed it by the upstairs pc and hooked both machines and the cable modem to it via cat5 cable. All the lights on the hub light up when the machines are on, indicating that everything is communicating with the hub

-I next went to the network stack and added netbeui on the downstairs pc, and was asked to install the win98 cd. I did and that went ok. I then added netbeui upstairs, and installed the same win 98 cd there. I got an error message stating that a certain file, called PROTMAN.DOS, could not be found on the cd. This is the win 98 cd that came with the upstairs machine (and was also used to install win  98 downstairs) This file is on my  hard drive, but not on the cd.

-Next I named the machines (upstairs and Downstairs) and gave them both the exact same workgroup name; and designated files to share.

-I went back to the network stack and gave the upstairs machine an ip address of, and the downstairs machine Both were assigned a subnet mask of

The machines do not recognize each other. The upstairs machine can ping the downstairs machine, BUT the downstairs machine can't ping the upstairs machine. Also,  when I set the two ip addresses I lost my internet connection. When I return to the "obtain an ip address automatically" option the internet returns.

One other thing, the nic on the older machine downstairs is built into the motherboard. Perhaps it is no good? (how can I test?)

Any help from anyone would be deeply appreciated!
Question by:jerry7841
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 93480
when you set the ip addresses manually could they ping?'
when setting addresses manually, you must enable dns and add the dns server provided by your isp.This info is prvided when using auto ip (dhcp) If you can surf witht he downstairs machine thru the nic then It is working
I suggest instead of the netgear EN104 get a linksys router and hook the cable modem to the wan port and the computers to the lan ports
protman.dos is in the Net8.cab File, extract it using sfc and put it in c:\windows
Hope this helps some

Expert Comment

ID: 93512
You are on the right track. You need to install netbui on both machines, as you did. The one that had errors probably is not working correctly. You should remove netbui, reboot, and reinstall it.

Then go into the bindings for TCP/IP and uncheck file and printer sharing.

So what you are doing is doing all your internet traffic with TCP/IP, and all internal traffic with netbui.

LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 93788
This file is from the NIC driver disk and is specific to each NIC. I think you need to re-install the NIC drivers, then re-install netbeui. Make sure the two computers can see each other in network neighborhood.
Once you can verify connectivity, then enable TCP/IP. However, you will not get an Internet IP address from the cable company unless you 1)register both MAC addresses and pay for 2 IP addresses and 2) set both computers to "obtain IP address automatically".
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 93857
lrmoore Just an FYI, protman.dos is included on the w98 cd
in the net8.cab. It is the protocal manager

Author Comment

ID: 94519
stevenlewis-The upstairs machine coud ping the downstairs, but not vice versa. At your suggestion I enabled dns and added the server for my ISP.I also  found the protman.dos file and put it in the windows folder. Nothing changed, neither pc recognizes the other, but I can still ping the downstairs machine from upstairs.

jjeff1- I tried your advice too, and reinstalled netbeui. Same problem, can't find protman.dos.

Also, I lost internet connection again and it returned only after resetting the settings to "automatically obtain ip addresses"
LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 94659
first double check and make absolutely sure they are on the same subnet make sure the mask is next on the both machine pings (this is the local loop back address, should get a response on both machines)

Author Comment

ID: 94829
Yes, I got a response on both machines. What does that mean? Also, they are both on  mask
LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 95030
It means that they can ping themselves, now the next step is to ping their own ip address
on the machine with ip
and do the same on
we are trying to isolate the problem
It may be a NIC or cable
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 95227
> Also, I lost Internet connection again and it returned
> only after resetting the settings to "automatically
> obtain ip addresses"

Yes.  Since you only have a "hub", not a "router",
you can either use '192.168.xx.yy', so that the PCs
can communicate, via TCP/IP each other,
or, you need two IP-addresses (definitely not
'192.168.xx.yy') to be supplied by your cable-modem ISP.

However, if you switch to a Netgear Cable/DSL router:


then each of the 4 (or less) PCs can be configured to
"obtain an address automatically", and should be connected
to this router, and this router is connected to the cable-modem, and you will only need _ONE_ IP-address
from your ISP.

There are other Cable/DSL routers on the market:
- Linksys BEFSR41 (4 PC ports, plus cable-modem port)
- Linksys BEFSR81 (8 PC ports, plus cable-modem port)
- DLink DI-704 (4 PC ports, plus cable-modem port)
- SMC Barricade (4 PC ports, plus cable-modem port)
- GVC (4 PC ports, plus cable-modem port)

The SMC is about $100 US, via http://WWW.US.BUY.COM

For more details, see: http://WWW.PracticallyNetworked.com


Author Comment

ID: 95825
stevenlewis-yes, both machines were able to ping their own ip address. Afterwards, I switched back to "automatically obtain ip address" in order to get back online. Could the problem be my win98cd? Everytime I adjust the settings before "pinging" I am asked to insert that cd, and everytime it says  it is missing the protman.dos file. Coincidentally, I had the same problem yesterday when I attempted to install webtv for windows (I got an ati tv card for xmas). Two files could not be located off that cd. That seems like quite a coincidence to me, but what are the chances something could be wrong with this cd? Is there any other way to install netbeui without the cd?

otta-Just yesterday I authorized my ISP to add an ip address at a cost of an extra seven bucks a month. If I ever get my network up and running I may then consider a router, although at $150-$200 it would take a while for it to pay for itself.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 96435
> what are the chances something could be wrong with this cd?

Zero.  Do you get a window with "details" or "ignore" or "browse" buttons?  If so, then "browse" to the location on your hard-drive where that file exists.

> Is there any other way to install netbeui without the cd?

Only if you copy some 'CAB' files from the CD onto your hard-drive, and "browse" to their location when installing this component of Windows.
> it would take a while for it to pay for itself.

These Cable/DSL routers also act as a "firewall" and a "hub".  So, it's good value for the money.


Accepted Solution

kim4815 earned 320 total points
ID: 106194
Did you get it up and running? If not you might try reinstalling your OS.  You may have some bug and/or corrupted files on your hard drive since you keep getting that message even though you  installed netbeui already.
Probably a longshot, but I would certainly give it a try. Otherwise the nic on the older pc could be bad. If you replace this, be sure to go into setup and adjust settings to  "turn off" the on board nic.

Author Comment

ID: 189027
Sorry kim4815, I accepted your answer two weeks ago  but apparently it didn't go thru. Anyway, after I reinstalled the OS on the upstairs machine both machines could then see each other. I have no idea how this could have worked, but I'm just glad it did. Thanks again. Thanks also to steven lewis, I learned alot about networking while trying to get mine working!

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