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Win ME / XP network setup problems

I am trying to set up a home network on a winME desktop with an ADSL connection and a winXP laptop.

All the hardware is installed and working, but the network doesn't function and the machines can't see each other.

On the XP machine
This is new machine running SP2.  I have installed the hardware and set up the network via the setup wizard, which I then used to run the setup on the other machine.  For simplicity (at least for setup) I used the default workgroup of MSHOME.  DHCP is enabled and I set the machine initially to request its IP from the network, although the network connection seemed to establish, it reported "little or no connectivity".  I then set up the IP manually as with the subnet (as suggested by MS).  This established a better connection (reported 100Mb) but the machine couldn't see the ME machine, even after restarting both machines.

I have tried rebuilding the TCP/IP stack as this appears to have solved the issue for others, but it didn't help

On the ME machine
I have set the main purpose of the machine to be "network server" (previously "home PC") and installed NetBEUI as per the MS instructions and run the netsetup utility from the XP machine.  No network icon appears in the taskbar, although the XP machine reports being connected.  When I click on "my network places", nothing happens (no hang, the machine just doesn't do anything!)

I have tried setting the tcp/ip > network card settings to "obtain IP address automatically", but this doesn't work.  Set them manually to with subnet and no change, but IE can't then find DNS servers.  I had to change this back as others need to use the machine.

I have tried everything I can think of, but just can't get this to work - the network cards seem to be fine and the cable is brand new and reports being connected, so I don't think there's a hardware issue.

Please help - I have 500 points available from another unanswered question, which I will be happy to add to the tally below!

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1 Solution
Hi K1lted,

You can try doing this:

1. Set the TCP/IP setting of your ME machine to and subnet to
2. Set the TCP/IP setting of your laptop to and subnet to
3. Make sure that the domain name/work group of both the machines is same.
4. Once through, then ping machines to and fro to check the connectivity. It can be done from Start Menu->Run and typing the command "ping -t" from machine and vice versa.

Make sure if your doing peer to peer connection of machines you should be using cross-paired LAN Wire.
In the case of a network or hub/switch being used, take a straight paired LAN Wire.


You may want to temporarly disable the XP firewall for testing due to it will not respond to ping unless some settings are changed.

Also you can download a great stand-alone ftp server, GuildFTPd to try to connect from one pc to another using ftp.  Otherwise you can connect between the two PCs using SMB however you must verify that any personal firewall is configured to allow SMB traffic.  
Are you trying to share an internet connection or just a folder on one pc that you want to be able to access from another?

if you are just trying to share a folder from one PC to the other..... its pretty simple...

Change any settings that you have back to their defaults (obtain ip automatically etc)

They are already both on the same workgroup.

Share the folder on desired PC.

Hook the crossover cable from network computer A to network computer B

search the win Me computer for *.pwl and delete them all.


if on the Me system it asks for a username, use the same username/pass combo that you use on the laptop.

good luck,,

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K1ltedAuthor Commented:
Many thanks for the replies.  I am not in the location to try the resolutions at present but will try them when I get back.

Apurvkansal, I have done everything you suggested already.  When I pinged the machines, all data was lost, no packets received! (although the XP machine reported the connection good)

Trobertson, also a good idea - I have disabled the firewalls on both machines and no improvement.  I did (once) get a prompt from zonealarm pro on the XP machine and configured the network, but got no further (no such prompt from the ME machine)

FatherErvin, I will try what you suggest.

I am needing to fileshare (have set up the shares already, just can't access them) and to share the internet connection (which I eventually want to do wirelessly, once my router arrives)

Any other ideas most welcome, thanks for those so far
If you are going to be sharing the internet connection... Why don't you use ICS... for now...
Since you have Me and  XP systems it is very easy..
Put 2 network cards in the desktop.
Run the ICS wizard
and your done!

K1ltedAuthor Commented:
That is exactly what I want to do, but the machine's can't see each other!

Have run the wizard and still no luck.  Uninstalled and then reinstalled ICS, but it can't work without the XP machine seeing the ME machine that has the Internet connection!

Why 2 network cards?  The ADSL modem is USB and works fine.  The single network card is wired (via crossover cable) to the XP machine.
Thanks again
AHHHHH you have USB in the loop... last time I tried to use ICS with a USB network card, Linksys, it woudnt work either...

Can your ADSL modem be hooked up to a network card? If so, hook it to a network card.. Then use a second network card (non-usb) and a crossover cable from PC to Laptop...

I betcha that would work.. I've never had a problem with ICS on XP or ME... only on 98 back in the day......

K1ltedAuthor Commented:

The ADSL modem is USB only and connects directly to the ME PC.  It doesn't have an RG45 connector.

The ME machine only has 1 network card, even if it had another, the modem couldn't connect to it.  I can try to get a router with a built-in modem, but it's more expense I can't afford.

This config SHOULD work, it's just the damn OS's being so crap that causes the problem - bet it would work on a MAC!
Transfer the ADSL modem to XP machine. Since PPoE is now integrated in the OS itself, you should be able to than configure ICS on XP machine.
ICS has DHCP allocator feature and it will even assign IP address to other machines on the network.
Be sure to disable the XP firewall for initial installation and then enable it on the XP box. Open up the required port on the firewall.
The node type on the machine should be set for Mixed mode rather than Hyrid as no WINS servers are involved in your setup. This will have in populating the browse-list.

First of all  check if the network card are installed correclty.

try to ping your loopback network card and check it respond.

if it is fine go on:

Congifure the machines in this way:
Remouve all protocol and leave only tcp/IP. Do this on the two machine.

Configure the tcp/ip in this way:
First machine:

Second Machine:

On the advanced feature of network properties, on the win XP machine,  check if  the firewall is enable. If yes disable it.

Use a crossover cable to connect the 2 machines.

do this try  from the first machine to ping the second and viceversa.

with this configuration i am sure all work fine.

If you have other question,  i am here.

Ok, so your diagram is this:
ADSL connection to internet->ME box->XP laptop, right?
So then connect the DSL connection to the ME box per your providers instructions, verify that is working first, and the worry about splitting the connection. But if you try to get the machines talking to each other before you get the ME box on the internet, you will end up having ethernet configuration issues later.
First things first, after you get your ADSL working. On each machine, ping That is your local host address, which is tech speak for your nic itself. If you don't get a return on it, you have a problem with your NIC's. With XP you might need to shut off your firewall to get a return, but I doubt it. If you do get returns, post a reply up here, and we will look at the next step.
Also, in case you don't know what a crossover cable is, it is a peice of CAT 5 that has the first and third wires crossed, and the second and sixth. This is because CAT 5 only talks on four of the eight wires. The other four are for cross-cancelation. If I remember correctly, and I might be wrong on this point,  the ethernet standard says that pins 1 and 3 are send, and 2 and 6 are recieve. So if both machine are trying to talk on the same pin, and not listen on it, you get packet collisions. Bad stuff.
I thought about your problem.

if you want to share the mode USB for ADSL between the two machines, first of all do what i wrote yesterday and check the network work fine.

After this, you have to move the USB modem from the Win ME to winXp. This because using win XP you can share the usb modem and see it from other pc. Install it on Win Xp.  When you finish the installation, go on: start  -> settings -> Network and dailup connections. Select the modem.
Right click on it and then  click on properties. Click on the sharing tabs. The first check box say: "Enable Internet Connections sharing for this connections". select it. The second check box say: "Enable on-demand dialing". Select it too.

Go on WinMe machine. Go on network properties, where you configure the TCP/IP protocol.
Under the IP and Subnet mask configuration you find another field called gateway. Insert in this the IP address fo the WinXP machine. So when you try to go on internet from here, the winMe is going to searc the WinXP machine.

Having you configured the USB Modem with sharing configuration, when from WinME you try top go to internet, the call go from WinME to WinXP. The winXp connect itself to internet and it does from gateway for the other machine on the network.

So you can navigate on internet from each machine.
K1ltedAuthor Commented:
OK here's where I've got to so far

I've restarted the whole setup and manually applied the suggested settings to the two pcs.

Desktop (ME) : IP, subnet
Laptop (XP): IP subnet

In setting up the IP manually, I have also had to set the DNS servers.  I set one to the host PC IP and the other to the DNS server it is currently using

The ME machine (with the ADSL modem), can access the internet fine

I can ping both ways with no errors.  The  XP machine reports network connected at 100Mb/sec

When I try to "view workgroup computers" on the XP machine, I get a message that "MSHOME is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions. The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available"

I have configured the firewall to trust the other IP for both machines (zone alarm pro) and can still ping fine.

Once I install ICS, all sorts of things happen.  The firewall is blocking attempts to connect every time I try to do something e.g. (I think  it's blockign the DNS server)

Protocol: TCP Flag s

Source IP:
Destination IP:
Action: blocked

Now, when I run Ipconfig on the laptop (XP), I get the following

Windows IP configuration
Host Name: Laptop
Primary DNS Server:            (blank)
Node type: hybrid
IP routing enabled: No
WINS proxy enabled: no
DNS suffix search list: mshone.net

Ethernet adapter wired network
Connection-specific DNS suffix: mshome.net
Desription: VIA Rhine II fast ethernet adapter
Physical address: 00-C0-9F-37-DA-29
Dhcp enabled: Yes
Autoconfiguration enabled: Yes
IP address:
Subnet mask :
Default gateway:
DHCP server:
DNS servers:
Lease obtained 7 expired dates

This machine (the XP laptop) can't see the internet and gives DNS errors

I know from on e of the previous posts that the node should be set to "mixed" rather than "hybrid", but have no idea how to change it.  Also, should IP routing not be enabled?  How do I change it?

Sorry if these are really simple settings, but I am new to networking!

I have halted my attempts to report these findings and await your response(s) with interest
K1ltedAuthor Commented:

Have followed the suggestions above with the following results.

Have (finally) managed to get the internet connection working direct through the laptop (XP)

Having done this, I have proceeded with the network setup, with IXS on the Laptop (XP) controlling the internet connection.

The network is working fine with the host (laptop, XP) as IP and the client (desktop, ME) as  Both machines can ping each other and with results OK, and can see each other (I have even managed to transfer files)

Now for the frustrating bit.

On the desktop (ME), under TCP>network adapter settings, I have set the gateway to be the laptop (XP).  When trying to connect to the internet (through the network) I still get DNS errors.

Have tried resetting the IE tools/options/connections to detect network settings automatically, but no improvement neither firewall is identifying the attempt or blocking it (I have tried with both disabled, and no joy).  Both machines see and trust each other.
So near and yet so far

Can you help with this last issue?

Many thanks
when you run nslookup, where is it going for it's dns?
K1ltedAuthor Commented:
Not sure what you mean Nalanbar - I tried running nslookup from the run command and c prompt, but neither worked - please advise
I know that in XP, nslookup is installed by default, so it should work from cmd. I believe it also works in ME, but let me check. Also, can you give me the output from winipcfg?
nslookup sends an RARP request to your dns server, and resolves www.yahoo.com to an ip address

I checked, and nslookup was missing in ME, so that is my bad. That being said, it can be downloaded here http://www.pcpitstop.com/internet/nslook.asp
Let me rephrase that. It will turn something like www.yahoo.com to
K1ltedAuthor Commented:
OK NSlook returned an "unknown host" error

IPconfig results:

Windows IP Configuration

      Host Name . . . . . . . . . : ATSX
      DNS Servers . . . . . . . . :
      Node Type . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
      NetBIOS Scope ID. . . . . . :
      IP Routing Enabled. . . . . : Yes
      WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . : No
      NetBIOS Resolution Uses DNS : No

0 Ethernet adapter :

      Description . . . . . . . . : ICSHARE Adapter.
      Physical Address. . . . . . : 44-45-53-54-00-00
      DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . : Yes
      IP Address. . . . . . . . . :
      Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . :
      Default Gateway . . . . . . :
      DHCP Server . . . . . . . . :
      Primary WINS Server . . . . :
      Secondary WINS Server . . . :
      Lease Obtained. . . . . . . :
      Lease Expires . . . . . . . :

1 Ethernet adapter :

      Description . . . . . . . . : NDIS 5.0 driver                                                                  
      Physical Address. . . . . . : 00-E0-29-66-B2-66
      DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
      IP Address. . . . . . . . . :
      Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . :
      Default Gateway . . . . . . :
      Primary WINS Server . . . . :
      Secondary WINS Server . . . :
      Lease Obtained. . . . . . . :
      Lease Expires . . . . . . . :

Hmmmm... "0 ethernet adapter", "1 ethernet adapter" - I think I'm beginning to see the possible cause of the problem.  I previously (as you may have read above) tried to set up the network the other way round, with the ME machine as the host using ICS.  Presumably, this is what is causing the "appearance" of 2 adapters in a machine with only 1 (which is also set up to use the ADSL USB modem directly when necessary)

Tanks for the fast responses
K1ltedAuthor Commented:
Deleted the non-required services from the client machine, reset the IP/subnet and bingo - working network, even allowed both file and printer sharing.

Unfortunately, internet sharing won't work as my firewall is blocking it (OK without it) but that's another issue!

Thanks Nalanbar - you get the pie!
Firmin FrederickSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
just a quick one here -  for internet connection sharing etc. it usually helps to have your ISP's DNS server in the secondary DNS server slot on all PCs involved - reason being it helps with (WWW) DNS resolution and is ultimately more resilient than relying on your workstation to resolve it on it's own.

-------curious, whilst readin thru the post I wanted to ask a few questions but u seem to have resolved your
issuses anyway-

1) u should have check your cable from scratch - is it faulty etc...
2) are u using XP home? because it is notoriously more awkward with network issues of any type
3) it isn't necessary to use DHCP between 2 machines
4) Win Me/XP will pick up the Microsoft Automatic configuration thing 169.1XX.xxx if they boot up in
    in an environment that is not DHCP controlled or if they have no set address...no amount of configuration will
    get those machines to communicate (ping etc)

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