Problems setting up simple home network

Posted on 2003-11-16
Last Modified: 2010-03-19
I am having trouble setting up a simple 2-computer home network and need some advice. I know absolutely nothing about networks so hopefully I have provided enough information to help.

  Computer 1:  Pentium 4, 1.5Ghz and 256MB ram. Running Windows 2003 Server Enterprize Edition
  Computer 2:  Pentium 3, 800Mhz (I think) and 196MB ram. Running Windows 2000 Server SP4

What I need to do is a simple home network so computers can access each other, but do not need to share programs or the internet connection as they both run independently.  Both computers are on a hub to access the internet. They each have their own ip address as this (actually 3 ips) are included with my ISP.  I'm looking for the easiest way to have a private network for these two computers so the 'internet' cannot access any shares that may be needed.  Advice from a friend was to remove the DHCP and change the ips of the computers, however, they cannot access the internet if I do that.  My ISP has informed me that I must use DHCP in order to connect to the internet.  I'm trying to keep as simple as possible and therefore using a workgroup.  Both computers are pointing to the same workgroup name and using tcp/ip.  When I go under the network places, after a long wait (almost 1-2 minutes) I cannot see either computer and get errors that tell me the workgroup is not accessible and "The list of servers for this workgroups is not currently available".  I appreciate any help that I can get.

Question by:mlcrosby
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 9760184
The issue is with them each getting a public IP address from the ISP.
The best solution is to put in a router in between you and the ISP and only need one IP address then. Now you can have permanent - although private - ip addresses on your side of the router and then you can see each other.
The next best solution - free and easy - is to enable netbeui on both systems.
Alternatively, enable NWLINK/IPX/SPX
I'm not sure that server 2003 supports Netbeui. Everything I can find points to the same instructions as XP, but there simply is no /net/netbeui directory on  my CD...


Author Comment

ID: 9767254
I have looked all over my win2k3 disk and found nothing about the netbeui.  I can install the NWLink/IPX/SPX protocol, however that didn't do much either and I still cannot even see my own computer on the network.  As for a router, I do not have the money to spend at this time.  I was advised that the hub would do the same thing by the store that sold it to me, but I guess this is not the case and I was duped into buying it...perhaps that is what I get for not doing some research before trying to set this up.  However, I do have another network adapter if that will help setting one to the internet and one to the network, but I don't see how (or if) that will help the second computer at all.  Another friend recently suggested to just copy my LAN connection properties in the network connections and name & configure them differently, but that doesn't sound like it would be very effective.  Any other suggestions for the equipment that I have?

Author Comment

ID: 9803838
OK, let me re-work my question here a bit and add some points.  If I were to install a second network card to my Win2k3 Server and have one card directly to the cable modem and the other configured for the network, would this make things a little easier in setting this up?  Since I'm given 3 ip addresses, is there a way to use one for the card connected to the modem and use the other 2 for the computers so they keep getting an ip addy automatically from my ISP?  And as for the workgroup:  since neither computer can see itself or the other in the network, should I concider using a domain instead of a workgroup?
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 9803951
I have confirmed that Win2k3 does not support NetBeui at all..
I don't see a value to adding a 2nd NIC to the server..
Here's what I would do (and have exact setup with no problems)
Get a router. Attach modem to WAN port of router
Router gets ip address from ISP
Attach inside LAN port of router to your hub
Stop paying extra for public IP addresses
let the router be the DHCP server for all your LAN systems and everyone gets a private IP address
Now they are on the same broadcast network.
A domain will give you added security, but is not necessary.

$50 for a router will more than pay for itself in not having to pay for extra IP addresses, give you added protection/security for all systems, and make your life much easier...

Author Comment

ID: 9805028
Well on my last post I mentioned more points and it seems it didn't take so hopefully it will this time.  Basically I have found that my problem with not being able to see my own computer is with the firewall that came with Win2k3.  I have been told to disable it for the network to work but that I cannot do as I will be all open on the internet so I found a site that pointed to this and explained how to open the ports needed for a network to run (ports 135-139 was what it said to open up UDP & TCP).  So following these instructions I managed to get it up & running but now I have another question.  To be secure I want to only let the other computer access this network and I've been told to add a user that matches the that just adding a user to windows with the same logon name & password?

BTW, thank you for your advice and be assured I do NOT pay extra for extra ip addy's, they are all included in my low monthy cost through our cable ISP =)
LVL 79

Accepted Solution

lrmoore earned 150 total points
ID: 9805096
Good work!
Yes, you can simply create identical user accounts on both systems (with same password, too) and you solve the user access issues.

Author Comment

ID: 9805532
Well it's almost working, seems it wants to timeout or disconnect every few minutes but that is another question for another time LOL

Thanks for your help!

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