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Beginners Guides: Home Networking and File Sharing
Beginners Guides: Home Networking and File Sharing - PCSTATS
Networking, or connecting computers together to share information, has long been one of the more difficult areas of basic computing, but no more.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 22 2004   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Troubleshooting Section

If you are having trouble connecting using the default settings, the first, and best step you can take is to double-check all the settings, restart the computers in your network, and try again. Failing this, it's time to get under the hood a bit. Perform these steps on all computers in the network.

Open the start menu, select run and type 'cmd' to open the command prompt window. (On Windows 98/ME select 'ms-dos prompt' from the 'programs' menu.) Now type 'ipconfig /all' This will give you your current IP address for each Local area network connection, as well as the name of the adaptor that uses the connection.

As we have set things up, each adaptor should have an IP address in the range of 169.254.xxx.xxx with a subnet mask of, which puts them in the 169.254 network. This is a private address range (meaning that IP addresses from this range cannot be used over the internet) which is used to automatically assign IP addresses to computers. Possible exceptions to this are:

If you are using a DSL/cable router to connect your network. In this case the router will have assigned its own set of IP addresses to each computer, which will generally be in the 192.168.x.xxx range (this is also a private address range).

If one of the network adaptors in your computer is directly connected to a cable modem, it will have received an IP address from your Internet service provider.

Assuming all of your computers have an IP address of 169.254.xxx.xxx subnet mask, they are in the same network, and should be able to communicate with each other provided the wiring is set up correctly. To test this, note down the IP address of one of your computers (for example Now go to the other computer and from the command prompt type 'ping' and hit enter. The ping command sends a stream of data to the address you specify at periodic intervals. If the other computer receives the information it will reply.

If all goes well, you should see:
Pinging with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes= 32time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes= 32time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes= 32time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes= 32time<1ms TTL=128 

This indicates you are communicating successfully with the remote computer, so you should be able to connect using the run: \\{computername} command. If you are using 98/ME check to make sure you enabled file sharing.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Home Networking and File Sharing
 Pg 2.  Basic Windows networking principals
 Pg 3.  IP Addresses and what they represent
 Pg 4.  Setting up your own home network
 Pg 5.  Installing Network cards and drivers
 Pg 6.  Setting up a Network - Win98/ME
 Pg 7.  Setting up a Network - WinXP
 Pg 8.  Setting up a Network - Win2000
 Pg 9.  Sharing files across the network
 Pg 10.  Sharing files with Win2000
 Pg 11.  Sharing files with WinXP
 Pg 12.  — Troubleshooting Section
 Pg 13.  Fixing Destination host unreachable Error

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