Installing a network card


The goal is to set up a network in order to exchange data or play games on the network. Thus, it is necessary to install a network card on every computer that may become part of the LAN. The purpose of this tutorial is to help you to install a NE2000-compatible Ethernet network card on Windows 95 and/or 98.

Physical Installation

The first thing to do is to open up your computer and insert the network card, whether ISA or PCI. In order to do so, you will need a Phillips-head screwdriver. First, unplug the power cord, then touch the box with one hand and the floor with the other; then, all you have to do is find a free slot and insert the card.

Be sure to CONSULT THE DOCUMENTATION SUPPLIED WITH THE CARD, although there generally is not much. If there are jumpers on the card, check to make sure they work.

Software installation for the card

On the control panel (system), double-click the computer icon.

to see the available resources, as you will need an IRQ and an I/O range.
Generally, IRQ 10 or 12 and address 0240h are free...

Then, double-click the icon of the control panel and click add/card. Generally, the default drivers for Windows 95 and Windows 98 function perfectly (better on Windows 98); they can be found under Novell/Compatible NE2000 card. If, however, the specific drivers for Windows 95 or 98 are present on the diskette supplied with the network card, try them.

If asked, enter the IRQ and I/O (Input/Output) port that you chose before.
You will generally have to reboot windows, and then once again change the parameters, because it may not have accepted them...then reboot again.

Once you have finally restarted Windows, check the control panel. If the card appears with a yellow exclamation point, this means that there is a conflict, and you will have to change the IRQ.

Numerous cards must be in jumperless mode, which means that plug n' play must be disabled. In order to do this, you must use the DOS utility supplied on the diskette (often called setup.exe), which will allow you to choose jumperless mode in order to be able to choose the parameters (IRQ, I/O) you desire. Of course, you will have to set the same parameters on DOS and Windows...

At this point, the card should be operational; you must only install the software portion, i.e., the protocols that will allow for communication between the computers.

Protocol installation

The protocols are the software elements that will allow for communication between the computers. The three main protocols for an LAN are:

  • IPX-SPX: a simple protocol, used in particular for games on Windows 9x
  • NetBEUI: redundant with IPX, but may be necessary for certain programs
  • TCP/IP: Internet protocol. You will need this one if you decide to connect your LAN to the Internet.

In order to install each of these protocols, double-click on the icon on the control pannel, then click on add/protocol. The protocols above are available on the Microsoft builder.

Once you finish installing the various protocols, if the computers connected to the LAN operate on Windows 9x (not Windows NT), choose (still in the network window) Open Windows session in the pull-down menu Open main network session
In this way, you will avoid having to confirm with a password every time you open a Windows session.

Finally, if you want people to be able to access certain of your resources (files, disks, directories, or printers), click on the button File and printer sharing

then check the selections that interest you.

In the Identification tab of the network window, fill in the fields relating to your network ID. Take care to insert the name of the workgroup on all computers on the LAN.

The only thing left to do is reboot Windows (yet again...)

You should generally see the following network components appear (as well as other things, in particular if you have a modem...):

  • Microsoft network client
  • NE2000 compatible network card
  • NetBEUI protocol
  • IPX/SPX compatible protocol
  • TCP/IP
  • Shared files and printers on Microsoft networks

Resource sharing

It is very simple to share and use shared resources on Windows 9x; all you have to do is right-click on the element to be shared (file, folder, printer) and select the option share. If it does not appear, either it is not "shareable", or your card is improperly installed, in which case you will have to redo the steps above...

Normally, you should see a window appear that will allow you to give a sharing name and to set a password if you want to restrict access...
A blue hand will then be added to the shared resource...

In order to access shared resources, you only have to go to the network neighborhood (an icon that has appeared on your desktop) and then move from one computer to another... In order to use a shared resource, you only have to double-click on it.

In the case of printers, the drivers of the printer must be present on the network computers that wish to use it. The best way to do this is to right-click on the resource (printer) in the network neighborhood and to select install.

Configure the TCP/IP protocol

The NetBEUI and IPX/SPX are simple protocols that do not have to be configured. The protocols are sufficient for an LAN; however, if you connect it to the internet, or if it is large, you will have to use the TCP/IP protocol, which is the protocol used on the Internet. This protocol uses a system of unique addresses for each computer, called IP addresses, to locate a computer on the network. These addresses are noted in the format, in which each xxx represents a number from 0 to 255 (thus, the address is a valid address, while is invalid).

On the Internet, each computer must have its own addresss; thus, there is an organization, INTERNIC, in charge of allocating IP addresses to computer connected to the Internet.
If your computer is not connected to the Internet, you can assign the IP addresses you want to the computers on the network, but make sure to give all of them the same first three digits (for example,, and
If your network is connected to the Internet (this is generally the reason that the TCP/IP protocol is installed on an LAN), there are addresses reserved by INTERNIC, i.e., addresses that you may use as you wish for your LAN, because they are not taken into account by routers on the Internet and therefore do not generate anyone.
Those addresses are as follows:

  • à
  • to
  • to

To install the TCP/IP protocol, go to Control Panel/Network/Add/Protocol, then select TCP/IP under the Microsoft builder. You will probably be asked for the Windows CD.

You will now have to specify a unique IP address for each computer of the LAN. To do this, go to Control panel/Network and double-click on TCP/IP.
Under the tab IP address, select specify an IP address, then enter an IP address from amongst the reserved IP addresses above for each computer (e.g.,,, ...)
Then enter as a subnet mask for all PCs on the LAN.

On each computer on the network, create a text file called lmhosts (without extension) in the folder c:\windows\ including the IP address and the name of the computer associated with it on each line, e.g.:

This allows you to associate the IP addresses to names for ease of reference...
The network is now ready for operation; you need only carry out a few tests to make sure it works!

Test the TCP/IP protocol

To verify correct operation of a network, there is a very useful toul supplied as a standard accessory with windows. This tool is called ping; it operates in DOS, and allows you to send a data packet to a computer on the network and to see how long it takes to receive a response.

To do this, open a "DOS Prompt" window, then follow the steps below:

  • ping your computer using the loop address ( that represents your computer (ping
  • ping each network computer (ping for example)
  • ping a few computer names (ping Mickey for example)

If all of that works, your network is ready for use!

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