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Setting up a TCP/IP Peer-to-Peer Network in Windows 98

Two Working complete PC's with NIC's
Blank Diskette
UTP Ethernet cross-over cable
Student Diskette, "New Boot A Ver 2.0+"
Student CD-ROM, "Room 6359"
The student will become familiar with the concept of Peer-to-Peer Networking, and
Learn how to install and configure the NIC and its drivers, and
Learn how to remove and install network protocols for the NIC, and
Learn how to connect the systems to each other using a UTP cross-over cable, and
Learn how to setup the networking components in the Network Control Panel applet to establish a Peer-to-Peer network.
The student will understand the nature and function of the Windows 98 Network Control Panel applet and the related concepts including network components, protocols, serveices and clients and how to install and remove these Windows networking components, as well as be able to configure them in order to establish a Peer-to-Peer network. The student will gain experience in the installation of a Network Interface Card and connecting the cross-over cabling between the two systems to establish physical connectivity of networked PC's.


  1. First install the network interface cards into each machine. In this lab we will use the 3COM 3C905-B TX NICs which are PCI and fully PnP. The drivers are built in to Windows 98 so upon reboot the system will announce that it has found the card and start the Add New Hardware Wizard. Follow it with Next > Next > Next > ... until it offers the dialog box for the location of the Windows 98 installation files. Insert the Student CD-ROM for Room 6359and type in "D:\WIN98SE" then press [Enter]. When the copy of the driver files is complete click Finish and then Yes to the offer to reboot. Remove the CD-ROM. At this point attach the UTP cross-over cable between two systems and the configuration procedure can then begin.

  2. Procedures

  3. Once a NIC's drivers have successfully been installed the Network Neighborhood icon will appear on the desktop. If it does not then the drivers did not install properly, or completely or the device itself is malfunctioning. In this event check the device in Device Manager. Here it is assumed that the driver install went properly. Right click on Network Neighborhood and select Properties:

  4. Starting with Windows 98 the default networking protocol that gets loaded along with the NIC card's device drivers is TCP/IP. Previous versions of Windows loaded NetBEUI by default. (See Setting up a NetBEUI Peer-to-Peer Network). However, the default setting for the TCP/IP protocol drivers in Windows is that the system will automatically search for configuration information at boot up time to be given to it by a DHCP server. This Peer-to-Peer network has no dedicated servers at all so there is no such computer on the network to provide this critical configuration information to the system. Therefore, this default setting must be changed. Click on "TCP/IP -> 3COM 3C905B-TX" and then click on the "Properties" button:

  5. The properties sheet opens to the IP Address configuration tab and this shows that the system is set to "Automatically obtain an IP address" this means without saying so "...from a DHCP server". Click on the radio button choice "Specify an IP address" In the boxes below enter the value for your PC's IP address and for the subnet mask. Your neighbor's PC will use the address and the same Class "C" License subnet mask:

  6. Now click on the Gateway tab at the top of the properties sheet and type in the address to the intended Master Browser for this Peer-to-Peer network. if this is not known then set it to this PC's IP address. The problem is that it can never be left blank or the TCP/IP protocol stack drivers will have problems. The PC with the address in each little Pee-to-Peer LAN in this exercise will be made the Master Browser also. So on the PC with IP address set the default Gateway to as well:

  7. Click the OK button on the IP properties sheet to return to the Networking properties sheet. Select Microsoft Family Logon and then click the Remove button (keeping only the Client for Microsoft Networks):

  8. Now click on the File and Print Sharing button and in the new window that appears check the "I want to share files" checkbox. Remember: while using TCP/IP and while attached to the Internet in any way there will be two problems to contend with: 1) Your address may already be taken by a host on the Internet so the manual setting could cause address resolution problems which will cause the TCP/IP stack to disable itself when this is discovered and you will lose Internet access as well as local Peer-to-Peer functionality, 2) with File sharing enabled the hackers of the world will love you. So this particular Peer-to-Peer network should not have any members on it that directly access the Internet:

  9. The situation should now look like this:

  10. Since each machine has been cloned from the same original image file (in class) one of them must be renamed. It is usually a good idea to name your machine yourself anyway. Click on the Identification tab and rename one of the machines to "PC001":

    At this point you must set the correct system to be the Master Browser. Here is the tutorial on how to do this.

  11. Upon reboot you are met by the Microsoft Client for Windows. You MUST login for the operating system to start the networking components. If you cancel this Window you will come to the desktop but you will not have access to any networked resources. Type in "student" and press [Enter]:

  12. Open My Computer > C: Drive. Create a new folder and name it "Share". Right click it and select "Sharing...":

  13. In the Share Properties window click the "Share As:" radio button and then click OK. This will name the share the same as the folder which is fine and it will set the access rights to read-only which is also desirable. This way others cannot delete or overwrite files on your system, only read them and copy them off:

  14. When the Share Properties window disappears a moment later the "Sharing overlay icon" appears marking the folder as such:

  15. Now open Network Neighborhood. The local system appears but the other one may not appear yet:

  16. Open Entire Network and the Workgroup icon is visible. Opening it should reveal all members but it may not be updated yet:

  17. Another way to access the browse service is Start > Find > Computer:

  18. Type in the computer's NetBIOS name and click "Find Now". If it finds the computer it can be opened (with a double click):

  19. Another way to force the browse service to attempt to contact the system is: Start > Run, then type in the UNC style name of the distant system: "\\PC001" in this case, and press [Enter]:

  20. The My Computer window will launch displaying the contents of the distant host:

  21. Open the shared resource and the contents will appear and can be opened as if they were on the local system (with a double click):

    Here is the tutorial on diagnosing and troubleshooting the TCP/IP network should any of these methods fail to make contact with the remote system.

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