Home network Windows 98 to XP

I will soon be getting an XP computer. However I have 5 gigs of stuff on the old 98 computer that I want casual future access to. I've never made a home network before. What do I need to know?

98: Needs Ethernet card. Can I steal one from an old comptuer?
XP: No monitor. Will be taking old 98's monitor.

The possibility exists I'll be getting high-speed, so the question arises what is the difference between a router, switch and hub?

Just in case:
98: (http://www.compaq.ca/English/home/classics/desktops/PDFfiles/QS7479.pdf)
XP: (www.radioshack.ca/estore/Product.aspx?language=en-CA&product=2511606&category=CPUs&catalog=RadioShack)
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qwaleteeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Boot order should not matter.  File transfer... use Explorer, browse to Network Neighborhood (on 98) or My Network Places (on XP).  Choose ENTIRE NETWORK.  you shoudl be able to drill down to the other computer and its shared folders.

(One hitch: both computers must be in the same "workgroup" for you to be able to easily find them in ENTORE NETWORK.  An alternative is to use \\other-ip-address, e.g., in a browser window on 98, type \\ if that is the XP computer's IP address.)
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
You can steal one from an old computer, but an inexpensive NIC is only $10 or so, so why bother?

If you are getting high-speed internet, I'd get a router.

A Hub and a switch do basically the same thing, allowing you to network your systems, but switches have better management and  faster overall speed.

today's routers usually include several ports in them, so they tend to combine both a switch and router.   They also do DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) meaning they can assign IP addresses to your computers.

Once the network cards are in the PC's, you run cable from them to the router.  Then run the necessary cable from the router to the high-speed modem.  The modem has it's own IP address and the router provides IP addresses to the computers.  Set both computers networking configuration to be on the same workgroup, and to use DHCP and they should generally work without too many problems.
For difference between router , switch and hub check this


if you have further questions , do ask

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A hub is just a device that allows all those cables to be treated as if they were a single wire connecting all computers.  A switch is similar, except that it is "smarter," and dynamically connects each pair of wires as needed instead of linking all wires at once.  That will probably never matter on a two-computer network.

A router is a device that connects two networks.  Your home network is one network.  Your broadband provider would be a second network.  So you need a router between them.  There is a common class of cheap routers known as "SOHO gateways", "home Internet gateways," "SOHO routers," or similar designations.  They generally combine the following:

A router

Facilities on the router to make it act as a firewall, helping proect your homenetwork from malicious internet traffic

An "NAT" facility for the router that allows you to share your single broadband address across your entire home network (see below)

A facility to automatically assign network addressses inside your home network

More on NAT:
Your broadband provider will probably give you only a single internet address.  If you wanted two computers on teh internet, they woudl each need their own address.  Network Address Translation, or NAT, is a facility that "translates" multiple private addresses within your network, to a single address on the outside.  So the "only one address limitation" goes away for the most part.

You can get away without it in your setup, since technically the old PC does not need internet access.  But it is probably easier to set this whole thing up using NAT anyway.
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
Also, to share files/printers etc. you need to install file&print sharing (part of the network components) on the win98 box and share whatever you feel necessary.  You'll also have to share files/printers on the XP machine.
postitlordAuthor Commented:
(a) Great clarification on routers, switches & hubs. So you can't use a switch or hub to connect to the internet, just a router?

(b) Now let's focus on a direct connection, as a router is only a remote possibility. I will need a crossover cable, yes? And such a cable would only work for computer-to-computer connections?

(c) What kind of settings would have to change where in which computers? Certainly this cannot be as simple as plug it in, and each other's drives appear within each respective My Computer?

(d) Do Ethernet cards need drivers installation too? If yes, stealing old Ethernet card from a 95 computer seems out of the question.

P.S. ten dollars = two lunches  :)
b) Yes, most Ethernet cards will allow direct connection to another PC via a crossover cable.  Let me explain crossover cables.  Each Ethernet cable has two pairs of active wires: a "send loop" and a "receive loop."  The two ends of the patch cable are normally designed to be identical, so that plugging a regyular patch between two computers would NOT work... my send woudl connect to your send, and my receive woudl connect to your recieve.  it would be as if we were talking ona telephone, and one of us had the handset upside down.  Hubs, b their nature, fix this problem.  Without a hub, you need to "cross over" the wires so that send on one end connects to receive on the other.  By the way, this also allows you to connect two hubs together.  If you ever see an uplink port, it is a regular "extra port" on a hub or switch that has hub-send where hub-receive wuld normally be, and vice versa, allowing you to use a regular patch cable to connect it to a regular port on another hub/switch.  (Do not connect to uplink ports together... unless you use a crossover there as well.  Think about it.)

d) You need to install the hardware drivers for each card, yes. XP will probably alrady have a driver, but the manufacturer should nclude a CD anyway.  You also need TCP/IP drivers installed.  XP has this automatically.  98 may not.

c) You have to anable file/print sharing on 98, make sure that 98 has TCP/IP installed, and you have to share the root of each drive.  You must protect the share in such a way that XP will present the right "credentials."  Usually, the easiest way to do that is to make it a direct password-proected share, with the same password as you use to log in to XP.
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
Yes, you can install via xover cable a peer-to-peer network with the two computers.  But then you'd need ANOTHER network card in order to connect to the internet with one of the machines.  So now you need three nics.  Then if you want to connect both pc's to the 'net, you need to use an internet sharing software system, which isn't easy to setup for most users and has proven to be problematic for many users.

You'd do better investing in a cheap-a** router/gateway.  You can get the netgear or dlink for $30 and less from www.pricewatch.com including shipping, in u.s. dollars.  Makes sense to me considering the price.
postitlordAuthor Commented:
(e) gateway?
(there goes my plan of focusing..)
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
generally, small office /home office routers for internet, are often called broadband routers, or internet gateways.  They're all talking about the same thing though.

DLink, Netgear, Linksys are all manufacturers of these routers/internet gateways.  or whatever you'd like to call them ;-)
> (e) gateway?

As I said...
"SOHO gateways", "home Internet gateways," "SOHO routers,"

SOHO is Small Office / Home Office
Gateway = "a secure door between," in this case, the internet and your SOHO network.  Which is what a firewall-router is!
postitlordAuthor Commented:
Step one: buy and install network card and drivers.
Step two: buy and plug-in crossover cable.

Step three: On XP I do what ____ ?
[3.a] Install TCP/IP if needed. Hopefully already hidden in a .CAB file on the harddrive, 'cause the Compaq Install CD will make it a pain in the ass to find.
[3.b] Share? How do I share on 98/XP?

Step four: On 98SE I do what ____ ?

Step five?  Does it matter which computer boots first?
Step six: Transfer files. [Magically.]
(Step 6.5: Refund cross-over cable ;)
Step seven: Close topic and award points.
postitlordAuthor Commented:
er 98 in three and XP in four... swap them
Glen A.Connect With a Mentor IT Project ManagerCommented:
First, when you install the network card and drivers you'll be installing the TCP/IP protocol at that time.
XP:  Right click on any folders on your hard drive you want to share, and share them... (click 'sharing and security')
98, in your network properties box install 'File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Windows' and check the "I want to give others access to my files" (or whatever it says)

On the XP box you'll probably want to give everyone full control, or you'll have trouble with the Win98 client authenticating to it.
98: Yes, TCP/IP is on one of those gazillion files in the CABS or OPTIONS\INSTALL directory.  FIle and print sharing options are in Network properties, on the last tab,  You will want to enable default login=microsoft network (on network properties, first tab)

XP has got to have TCP/IP installed (it is really tough to remove TCP/IP from XP!).  Sharing is always avaialble, but you have to turn it on for a particular folder.  Warning: when using teh "simple sharing," when you enable a folder for sharing, it hits all subfolders and makrs them for sharing as well.  If you share oot, that can take a while.
postitlordAuthor Commented:
Well I've gotten my hands on a seemingly functional PCI network card, but I haven't a clue which built in Windows 98 driver to install.  The only legible English on the card itself is SOHOWARE, but the web site www.sohoware.com yields nothing in terms of downloadable drivers.  Windows 98 did recognize the card upon booting, but telling it to search C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS\ found nothing.

If someone just hands you a card without any documentation, how do you figure out what drivers to download and install?
Stick it in teh XP machine, see what driver it loads.  That should give yo some idea.

or, buy a new NIC.  You can get an old 3com card for less than $20.
postitlordAuthor Commented:
A friend looked at the numbers directly on the wafer and then sent me some drivers that seem to be 95% compatible.  I will buy a crossover cable and see what happens.
Smart friend!
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