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Chapter 4. Installing the Home Networkin... > Adding a Windows XP Computer to an E...

Adding a Windows XP Computer to an Existing Windows Network

You can add a new Windows XP computer to an existing home network by simply connecting the computer to the network and then running the Network Setup Wizard. The wizard will walk you through the process of configuring your Windows XP computer for the existing network.

Tip

If your network is using a protocol called IPX/SPX instead of TCP/IP, you may need to reconfigure your network. The Network Setup Wizard makes this process easy, so you can take advantage of the latest networking technologies to make your home network run seamlessly. Run the Network Setup Wizard on all the computers on your IPX/SPX network to ensure that they communicate in the same language.


However, before you add a Windows XP computer to an existing home network, consider the following questions:

  • Does your network have existing network security measures, such as a firewall or gateway, that you would like to continue using?

  • Do you already use Internet Connection Sharing on your home network?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you won’t be taking advantage of some of the advanced new features included with Windows XP. Keep in mind that in addition to including a firewall, Windows XP uses a more advanced method for Internet Connection Sharing than previous versions of Windows. As a result, you should make sure that a Windows XP computer serves as the Internet Connection Sharing host for your network. For more information, see the sidebar “Keeping Your Network’s Existing Security Features,” later in this chapter.

Tip

Windows XP offers a feature called a network bridge, which allows you to seamlessly combine different types of networks. For example, you may want to add computers using a wireless or HomePNA network to an existing Ethernet network. If you attach both types of adapters to your Windows XP computer as described in Chapter 2, “Connecting Your Computers Together,” the computer can act as a network bridge, allowing both types of networks to communicate with each other.


In this exercise, you have set up a home network composed of several Windows 98 Second Edition computers. One of the Windows 98 Second Edition computers serves as the Internet Connection Sharing host. You will add a new Windows XP computer to the network, and reconfigure the home network so that the Windows XP computer will be the Internet Connection Sharing host. To turn off Internet Connection Sharing on the Windows 98 Second Edition computer currently serving as the Internet Connection Sharing host, configure its new Internet settings, and then set up your Windows XP computer as the new Internet Connection Sharing host, complete the following steps:

1.
On the Windows 98 Second Edition computer that serves as the Internet Connection Sharing host, on the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

2.
Double-click Add/Remove Programs.

The Add/Remove Programs Properties dialog box appears.

3.
Click the Windows Setup tab:

4.
In the Components list, select Internet Tools.

5.
In the Description area, click Details.

The Internet Tools dialog box appears:

6.
In the Components list, clear the Internet Connection Sharing check box.

7.
Click OK to close the Internet Tools dialog box.

8.
Click OK to close the Add/Remove Programs Properties dialog box.

9.
On the Windows 98 Second Edition computer, on the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Internet Tools, and then click Internet Connection Wizard.

The Internet Connection Wizard starts:

10.
Select the I Want To Set Up My Internet Connection Manually Or I Want To Connect Through A Local Area Network (LAN) option, and then click Next.

The Setting Up Your Internet Connection page appears.

11.
Select the I Connect Through A Local Area Network (LAN) option, and then click Next.

The Local Area Network Internet Configuration page is displayed.

12.
Select the Automatic Discovery Of Proxy Server (Recommended) check box, and then click Next.

The Set Up Your Internet Mail Account page appears, as shown on the facing page:

13.
Select the No option, and then click Next.

The Completing The Internet Connection Wizard page appears:

14.
Clear the To Connect To The Internet Immediately, Select This Box And Then Click Finish check box, and then click Finish.

15.
If prompted, restart your computer.

16.
Set up an Internet connection on your Windows XP computer. (See Chapter 2, “Connecting Your Computers Together,” for more information.)

17.
Verify that your Windows XP computer is physically connected to the network, that all computers on your network are turned on, and that all connected peripherals, such as printers, are turned on.

18.
On the Windows XP computer, on the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications, and then click Network Setup Wizard.

The Network Setup Wizard starts:

19.
Click Next.

The Before You Continue page appears, listing steps that you need to take before you proceed.

20.
Make sure that you’ve completed the steps listed on the page, and then click Next.

The Select A Connection Method page appears, as shown on the facing page:

21.
Click the This Computer Connects Directly To The Internet option, and then click Next.

The Select Your Internet Connection page appears.

Tip

If you have multiple connections on your computer, there will be several connections to choose from. If your computer is connected to the Internet, Windows XP will highlight the correct connection for you. If your Internet connection isn’t active, make sure that you choose the connection that connects your computer to the Internet. This could be a modem or a local area connection (for broadband). If you use broadband, make sure you choose the local area connection that connects to your broadband modem.

22.
In the Connections list, select your Internet connection, and then click Next.

The Give This Computer A Description And Name page appears.

23.
In the Computer Description box, type a short description of your computer (such as Office Computer) and in the Computer Name box, type a name (such as Heather or Basement Office), and then click Next.

The Name Your Network Page appears.

24.
In the Workgroup Name box, type the name of the workgroup that the computers on your local area network are using, and then click Next.

The Ready To Apply Network Settings page appears.

25.
Review the settings listed, and then click Next.

The wizard configures this computer for home networking, including sharing your Internet connection, turning on the Internet firewall, sharing printers, and sharing the Shared Documents folder.

When the wizard is finished, the You’re Almost Done page appears.

26.
Click Next to finish the Network Setup Wizard.

The Completing The Network Setup Wizard page appears.

27.
Click Finish to close the wizard.

Important

Keep in mind that for other computers to be able to access the Internet, the computer that’s the Internet Connection Sharing host must be turned on.


Keeping Your Network’s Existing Security Features

Even though Windows XP comes with a variety of security features (described in Chapter 5, “Securing Your Home Network”) and Internet Connection Sharing, you might already have set up a home network with these features. For example, you might have set up a firewall or gateway that you would like to continue using. In addition, although it’s not recommended, you might decide to continue using a non–Windows XP computer as the Internet Connection Sharing host on your home network.

To add a Windows XP computer to a network that uses a gateway, run the Network Setup Wizard, and click Next until you see the Select A Connection Method page:

Select the This Computer Connects To The Internet Through Another Computer On My Network option, and click Next. Then follow the wizard’s instructions.


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