Connect XP home to Domain based network

I have a Sony GRT916V running XP home SP1. It has built in Wireless, 1394 Net, and SiS 900-based PCI fast Ethernet. I have had it running on a network last week, but now due to a change of job I am trying to set it up on a new network. I am using X-Setup pro 6.6 auto login to access the network. It was all working fine, letting me access the network, print sharing internet access (via proxy) and all exchange server features, but then I decided it was time to have a clean up and did a system restore. Now I can't seem to re-connect. Problems as follows.

(I'm fairly new to networking - self taught so you may need to go easy with me at first)

Domain I wish to connect to: gardnerarts
Full domain name:
**Ipconfig /all read out as follows**
Win IP
Host name: THCLAPTOP
Primary DNS suffix:
Node type:unknown
IP routing:no

Connection DNS suffix:(blank)
Desc:SiS 900-Based PCI fast Ethernet adapter
Physical address:08-00-46-D2-FA-ED
Dhcp enabled:yes
Auto config enabled:yes
Auto adress:

If I try and renew after a few minutes, I get the following message: "An error occured while renewing interface Local Area Connection : unable to contact you DCHP server. Request tmied out"

And I don't seem to be able to ping anything that I know exist on the network - reply: "destination host unreachable"

On the windows (XP home) end, I have set the workgroup to GARDNERARTS, but cannot see and of the workgroup computers.

I have tested the cable with anothe machin and it works fine.

I linked my laptop with another last night with a crossover cable and that all works fine, so I assume my ethernet port is okay.

I'm a little stuck, and frustrated that I had it working on a few days ago. Since the system restors I have been able to map one of the netword drives, but now I cannot even do that.

Having read some of the other forums, I thing it could be a NIC problem. But don't know what a NIC is! Can't find any setting to change my network card speed.

So I'm stuck, thankyou in advance for any help!

If you need more info, just ask. I have limited access to the server, but the server administrator seem to know less than me so if I need to check things at that end I can access!
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D4n_Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I can see from your TCP/IP config that you have been assigned an Auto-Config address in the 169.254 range. These are assigned when no DHCP server is available or cannot be contacted

Why did you do a System Restore? Have you tried restoring the laptop to the state it was in before you did the restore? (If you see what I mean)
If you do this and it works then you can rule out a hardware problem.

Alternatively try assigning the laptop a static IP address in the range that is being assigned by DHCP. You can check this by running IPCONFIG from another PC that is working and has network connectivity. You will need to assign it an IP address that is not in use or you will get an IP conflict.
NIC is your network card.

First of all disable Microfoft Firewall on your XP home machine.  then check your TCP/IP settings and set it up to use DHCP if you have one in your network, if not ask your administrator to give you one free IP adress.
you have to be carefull to use same subnet as all other computers in your network.
After all that you should be able to ping other computers in your network.
then add your computer to the domain and that's it.
I wouldnt recommend you disable the firewall on your laptop. This will not prevent you from receiving an IP address via DHCP. Also you wont be able to join the domain, Windows XP Home does not support this.
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with my expirience firewall was the biggest problem when connecting computer to network. Even though DHCP assigned IP correctly firewall blocked all trafic so I could not see any other computer in the network.
Following is a link to notes I use to connect newly acquired XP Home Laptops to a domain. If may work for you too. (I know it says XP-Pro, but it worked on XP-Home for me and my clients.)
thcousinsAuthor Commented:
Okay, so having found a static IP, all is working well. One thing I don't understand is why the DCHP cannot assign an IP address automatically.

And what does joining the domain get me. Everyone keeps telling me I can't do this with XP Home, but what does it let me do that I can't do already?
I'm not sure why you weren't getting an IP address from DHCP. It might be worth checking that the DHCP server is still running, the service may have stopped.

I think we were all getting a bit confused earlier. In my eyes there is a major difference in joining a domain and connecting to one.

Joining a computer to a domain creates a computer account Active Directory where it can be managed centrally from the server. It also means that any user on that domain can log on to the computer and use it to and gain access to the network and local machine.

Connecting to the domain or network as I would prefer to say is merely accessing resources on the network such as shared folders, printers. You do not need "join" the domain to be able to do this (although you may be asked to supply a set of credentials i.e Username/Password). You just need to configure TCP/IP correctly, although this is usually done by DHCP.
Try re-installing the NIC card drivers. Because i had this similar kind of issue in my network where my compaq laptop refreshes its ip address every 10 sec. I nailed down this problem -> its SBC DSL software corrupting the NIC drivers. So had to open a ticket with SBC.

let us know, if re-installing the NIC driver fixed the issue?

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