What network settings must be changed to make one computer exactly like another?

Posted on 2004-04-03
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
   I have two computers, a laptop and a dektop, both running XP Pro. The laptop is connected to a LAN. File sharing and internet work perfectly. The desktop can do neither. Both are plugged into the same hub. The desktop can view (sometimes) other computers on the network, but can not connect to them. [Computer is not path was not found]. It used to be able to connect to the laptop, but this connection is also failing now. I have spent many hours troubleshooting this. What I'd like to attempt to do is make the network settings on the desktop match those on the laptop. Is this even a feasible idea? (The laptop is old and very slow). I have manually changed the MAC address in the BIOS, and the ipconfig printout is exactly the same. I have edited the route print, and they match exactly, except that the NIC on the desktop is marked 0x3.
This is the printout for the laptop:
Interface List
0x1 ........................... MS TCP Loopback interface
0x2 ...00 50 f2 75 09 04 ...... Microsoft(R) Notebook Adapter MN-120 - Packet Sc
heduler Miniport
Active Routes:
Network Destination        Netmask          Gateway       Interface  Metric
          30           1       30       30       30           30       1
Default Gateway:
Persistent Routes:

Windows IP Configuration
        Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : chris1
        Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
        Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
        IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
        WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
       Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
        Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Microsoft(R) Notebook Adapter MN-120

        Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-50-F2-75-09-04
        Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
        DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
What should I do??
Question by:cyoulden
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • +1

Expert Comment

ID: 10749931
what is connecting you to the internet?
cable modem?

- on your desktop under TCP/IP settings check box for obtaining IP automatically
- turn both computers off
- unplug the power to your modem
- wait about 1 min
- plug the power back into modem and startup only the desktop

if you now have internet then it is your modem, this is a common problem.
you need a DHCP router between your modem and hub.

why, some cable modem providers can update there firmware without you knowing.
and create conflicts, this will bypass your modem and you it only for the basics, the internet.

LVL 11

Accepted Solution

YohanShminge earned 63 total points
ID: 10750273
First of all, let me emphasize that you DONT want the IP and MAC addresses to be identical.  This will further complicate things.  Does your desktop access the internet?  As for file sharing, is it part of the same workgroup as the laptop?  Are you logged on as Administrator on both computers?
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 10756498
From your IP addresses, I hope this is your work network - those are public IP addresses and you should't use them if you're at home.

As Yohan said, you DON'T want the MAC and IP to be the same - this would be duplicate addresses and wouldn't work.

If you can ping one machine to the other, and vice versa, it's more likely a permissions issue in the OS despite what M$'s cryptic error message says.  Usually, for both machines being XP, if you have the SAME user account on both boxes and the SAME password, and they're in the SAME domain/workgroup then they should work for file sharing.

Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.


Author Comment

ID: 10761486
I am connected a T3 on my college's network. They require our MAC addresses in order to gain access. They supply an IP if detecting automatically doesn't work. My MAC and IP addresses are different. As a clarification, I no longer want to use the laptop at all, I just want Internet and file sharing (for the other 100  computers on the network) for the desktop. I can not ping between the two machines, but this is most likely because of an IP conflict. To be sure that I can access the network, I want to use the same IP on the desktop.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 10761567
OK, so what exactly do you need help with?

Author Comment

ID: 10762801
I am trying to copy network settings, exactly, from the laptop to the desktop in order to get Internet and file sharing on the desktop. That's all.
LVL 27

Assisted Solution

pseudocyber earned 62 total points
ID: 10764594
Think of it like this - two houses are right next door to each other.  They're on the same street.  If they had the exact same address, both with John Doe living at them, this would make things very, very confusing for the poor mail carrier.

So, they need a DIFFERENT phsycial address - so one house will be 1234 and one house will be 1236.  Now, things are cool again because they have different physical addresses and visitors and letter carriers can tell the two apart only looking at the address on a piece of mail.


Oh no, there's two John Does and the letter carrier is out sick!  Norm, the normal mail carrier knows that one John Doe is 20 and just moved in and likes to party all the time.  His neighbor, the other John Doe is an ex Marine and is about 70 with a cat.  Marine John Doe stays pretty mad at party John Doe because party guy well, parties, all the time and keeps him up.  If party John Doe's mail gets accidentally delivered to Marine John Doe by mistake - because they have the same logical name - Marine John Doe will throw it away, or just plain ignore it.  So, one day, party John Doe gets wise and changes lets all the people who send him mail know he's going to go by his middle name Smithers - he uses J. Smithers Doe.

Now there's two people with different names - and different physical addresses living on the same street and there's no confusion at all and everyone gets their mail and lives happily ever after - except for the music from Smithers late at night ...

So, down in layer 2 land - where Ethernet lives - there absolutely must be different hardware addresses.  The first portion happens to identify the manufacturer of the NIC - but this doesn't matter at all.  What matters most is they're unique - on the WHOLE segment.

Up a little in layer 3 land - where IP lives - everh host (server, printer, pc, etc) must have a unique number as well.   However it's a little different - the network portion (identified by the mask must be the SAME for every device - if it's not the same, this puts the device on a different network.

So, for instance:

The is the network portion.  I filled in all the zeros to line it up properly.  The 255's underneath are actually 8 one's in a secret mysterious language called binary 11111111.  There's some binary math involved figuring out what portion is network - but if it's a 255 under the decimal number you know it's network.

If it's all zeros - or a zero - you know it's the host portion.  The host portion has to be unique.  If it's not, there will be a "duplicate IP address" on the network and depending on implementations of tcp/ip - one of them will probably puke and die.

Soooo - to get your desktop to work - you don't have to worry about the MAC address at all.  For the IP address, if it's set up to receive an address dynamically then you're golden - copy that.  However, if it's a static address - just pick a different host portion number.  If the laptop is .1 then pick .2 or .10 or .50. or .100 or .200 ..... up to .254.  Make the subnet mask, default gateway, DNS server, WINS, and anything else the same.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 10777448
If their network allows access via IP address, make sure you give them your MAC address and they can add it to their allowed list, rather than you changing to match their records.

Featured Post

What is SQL Server and how does it work?

The purpose of this paper is to provide you background on SQL Server. It’s your self-study guide for learning fundamentals. It includes both the history of SQL and its technical basics. Concepts and definitions will form the solid foundation of your future DBA expertise.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Unifi AP 4 73
Is it possible to host a website on a windows vps 4 55
Questions about DHCP migration 5 55
Point to point connection slow in one direction only 15 44
PRTG Network Monitor lets you monitor your bandwidth usage, so you know who is using up your bandwidth, and what they're using it for.
When it comes to security, there are always trade-offs between security and convenience/ease of administration. This article examines some of the main pros and cons of using key authentication vs password authentication for hosting an SFTP server.
Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.
In this tutorial you'll learn about bandwidth monitoring with flows and packet sniffing with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're interested in additional methods for monitoring bandwidt…

806 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question