Networking 2 XP boxes to enable ICS - should be simple right ?


I'll go through the (somewhat lengthy) history of this problem, to avoid the scenario where too many further suggestions / requests are needed.

I have ...

2 XP boxes,
tried SP1 and SP2 on both at the same time and different times,
done full reinstalls of the OS's,
tried the maf'rs drivers as well as MS's,
Swapped out each NIC (which I've tested indepenantly),
Swapped out the x-over cable as well a tested what was used,
Run the winsock fix for XP,
Allowed XP to assign IP's,
Assigned static IP's,
Reduced the network speed down to its slowest level as well as full auto,
Pinged until I couldn't ping no more and renewed and released for England.

The problem is that I cannot get the 2 boxes to talk, or rather I can have a one-way ping where box 1 sees box 2 but not vice versa. If I allow them to assign their own IP's I get the self assigned 169.x.x.x. If I assign them manually ( for example), then we still don't have any joy.

DHCP is enabled and neither machine is firewalled.

Of further interest may be .....

1. Box 1 didn't always autodect the NICs I was using. PCI slot didn't seem to matter, but sometimes it detected and others it didn't (and it wasn't going to be forced with detect HW wiz).
2. When I ran SP2 on box 2 I got the yellow ! with the low / no connectivity warning.

The plan was to set ICS on Box 1 and share the cable (non ADSL) connx to enable box 2 to access the internet. As you are now aware this was scuppered before it got off the ground as I can't get these 2 boxes to have a conversation for love nor money.

Any help greatly appreciated, otherwise they're both going to the bottom of a lake with a millstone around them.

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>>Oh - and box 1 can always ping box 2, but box 2 always times out on box 1. This would mean it can see it but gets no response? So more likely to be a firewall ?

This doesnt necessarly means it see's it, but it's almost deffinatly associated with your firewall.  Pings are part of the ICMP group, which traverses over TCP port 445, make sure port 445 is opened up and then try your ping again.  It should work.

Try disabling your firewall and then test internet connectability, and lan connectability between both machines.  Then close everything down and lock it up tight, and open up services 1 by 1 till everything works the way you need it too.

Since your connecting to your cable / dsl modem via a USB cable, I wouldnt recomend going to a router solution at this point, unless your cable modem or dsl modem DOES have a cat 5 connection on it.

If you need help on what services or ports to open up, just post again here, almost anyone who has done professional networking can answer, I'll try to keep an eye on this thread myself. :)
Assuming you have no router....

Is your ISP using DHCP do give you an IP or do they give you a card with all the info on it?
Cable? DSL? Sat? Dialup (hope not)?

If your ISP is using DHCP, just buy a cheap Hub (not a router) and connect the PCs that way.  They will both pick a IP up from the DHCP server from your ISP.

After you set Box 1 up for ICS, it can still get online right?
At this point, it Can or Cant ping box 2?

just trying to get soem more info..

So Box 1 has two network cards, box 1 has a network card connected via crossover cable to the 1st pc?

The problme I am sure lies in the way the first pc is considering it's gateway once it gets an ip address from the internet company.  When you try to ping the second machine, it's looking for it on the internet, instead of on the lan.  I've seen this many many times.  As suggested above, get a cheap switch or hub.  (less than 20 bucks).  And plug the internet cat5 directly into it, and then plug each PC into it,  reboot both machines and use the internet at will.

Problems involved with this will be, you no longer have a lan, because both machines will have an external ip address that is internet visible.  You will no longer be able to share printers, files, or play games directly between the two pc's.

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I would pick up a router that can act as a hub as well (for convienience and protection). Use the "Setup a small home or office network wizard" Start-->Control Panel-->Network Connections-->Setup a small home or office network

If you already have two NICs installed on one pc then just run the wizard.

Microsoft website help:

Good Luck :)
krakersAuthor Commented:
Thanks for everyones comments.

Box 1 has a USB Cable connx, and my (clients) ISP does use DHCP to assign an IP.

Box 1 can always get online.

Box 1 and 2 each have a NIC and are connected via a x-over cable.

I think the hub / router is the next option, but theres something I've overlooked (and forgot to mention) that came to me over a pint last night. I forgot to say that because of absence of drivers etc for box 1 I've been using a ghosted factory image to reinstall. Now this includes PC-cillin 2002, which I thought was just a virus checker but now believe comes with a firewall too.

Now I did disable this on box 1, but when I realised it was also a firewall, I also remembered from way back that once a port is shut, removing / disabling the app might not neccessarily reopen the port(s). Does this sound right ?

So what I plan to do before installing a hub / router is what I should of done in the first place. Recompile the drivers from box 1, burn them to disc, and reinstall XP properly (minus PC-cillin).

I can't get back to this client until Wednesday, but I'll take a hub along too. I'll give everyone an update then.

Cheers ....... Krakers.
krakersAuthor Commented:
Oh - and box 1 can always ping box 2, but box 2 always times out on box 1. This would mean it can see it but gets no response? So more likely to be a firewall ?

And if its possible its a gateway problem instead, what would be the correct gateway configuration for both if I manually assigned ?

Apologies for the split message, but sometimes ideas just pop into my head.

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