LAN tech: 2 PC's, Hub or No Hub?

      • I am trying to set up a LAN between two PC’s. I got everything set up right, but the sheet don’t work. Each sees network Neighborhood, its own workgroup (the same for both) and itself, but not the other. I been through the setup procedures fifteen times and I haven’t changed anything. I get the same error on both PC’s; running the DOS diagnostics, both pass the “config” test, and then hang on the “I/O” test, and go no further.
  • I bought 2 cards and a cat 5 patch cable. The cable’s package says that it is specifically for connecting two computers directly with LAN cards ( Cards are Linksys LNE100TX 10/100 ver4 cards. The manufacturer says its cards won’t work with patch cable at all. At the I/O test, both cards’ diagnostic programs show the exact same blinking bar instead of a pass/fail notice. The cable is the only thing they share— , does the I/O refer to each PC’s I/O of the card, or the LAN I/O that presumably isn’t reading anything on the “notwork”? Is there some reason a LAN card wouldn’t work with a patch cable? - MC

Sometimes, if everything should be working, but the PCs can’t see eachother this will work. Go to start>run and type in \pcname and hit enter. pcname being the name you assigned to the other PC.

You can’t use the Cat 5 patch cable without a hub. You don’t need a hub with only 2 PCs, but if you aren’t going to use one, you need a crossover cable instead of a Cat 5.

Also make sure all of this is installed (in the network control panel).

The card
Client for Microsoft Networks
IPX/SPX compatible protocal (for games)
File and print sharing.

I also reccomend installing TCP/IP and giving each machine it’s own IP. Such as and The mask should be You will need this for some games and for internet connection sharing.

He said the cable is meant for directly hooking up 2 PCs. That means it is a cat. 5 crossover cable. The cable could have been mislabled though. Look at the clear plastic part at the end if the cable. Hold them side by side, each facing the same way. If the colored wires are in the exact same order on each end, you have the wrong cable.

      • Well nuts. I went and returned the crossover cable (it was the right type for PC-to-PC use, but it still didn’t work) and got a 5-port switch and regular cables instead and now it all works. Everything, just like it’s supposed to. Everything gets found the first time, and the 586/Win95 computer even starts without going into safe mode! Woo hoo!!! --I haven’t figured out the internet access sharing bit yet, I had no reason to before.
        -Previously I also noticed that the LEDs on the card(s) didn’t light up at all, ever. The troubleshooting instructions didn’t mention that.
        An uncle called who knows all this stuff, and when asked he noted that LAN cards were originally not supposed to work without a switch or hub at all, and it’s just dumb luck that some of them turned out to be able to.
        Then I asked why everyone else gets all the dumb luck, but he said there was a lawsuit somewhere, and Mac users get most of it now. (#$@^# long-hairs!)
  • MC
      • Couple more questions,
        -#1: What’s a good book on the technical aspects/capabilities/application programming requirements of small PC LANs? I have some knowledge of OO programming and several languages.
        -#2 (Somewhat Complicated):
        —New computer has Win98 on C: and Linux on D:, but it also has a Winmodem that has no Linux drivers available.
        —Old computer has Win95 on a small HD and is slow, but it has a hardware modem.
        —Both PC’s have the same Linux-compatible LAN cards.
        ???(Assuming I install the Linux driver in Linux) can I use the Linux on the new PC to access the hardware modem on the old PC across the LAN connection, so that I can get online with Linux? - MC

Sounds like you had a bad cable. Link lights are the first sign of whether or not you even have a good physical level connection or not.

Not necessarily true- old bus-style ethernet(various types of coax) didn’t use hubs or switches- they all hooked up to one wire, and used the voltage & other electrical stuff to determine whether another station was sending, collisions, etc…

All hubs do is forward packets down each hub port. Switches save some overhead by building a table of MAC addresses and then forwarding the packets to the right address at line speed. Since you’re not broadcasting, you’re not clogging up the other guys on the ethernet segment, and you can more effectively use the available bandwidth.

Question 2: Why fool with something like that? Swap the modems between the computers! Solves your problem in one fell swoop.
If you insist on leaving them where you are, you’ll have to come up with some sort of software above and beyond the network connections that will allow you to share modems between computers, AND between operating systems, AND that supports Linux. That might be a tall order, to say the least. I know you can do this with Win 95/98 pcs, but I don’t think they generally work too well across OSes…

Nothing easier in the world. All you need is a proxy server. There are shareware versions out there, and some good, inexpensive commercial software. WinProxy by Ositis does a good job and used to come in a home user version which allowed four users simultaneous access to the intenet over on dial up connection. I never had the least bit of trouble accessing it through my Linux box. There are also proxies available for Linux. Squid would be my recommendation. There is also a plugin for it (squidguard) that will let you block internet sites based on a set of blacklists available from the Norwegian Telecom. This is useful if you have young children who don’t really need access to XXX rated sex sites. Check . It also has utilities that let you search for and add questionable sites to your black lists. It only makes sense to do your own search if you have a really fast internet connection, though.

Either way, you get a better deal than humping your modem back and forth between two PCs and maybe having to have a second telephone line installed besides. Also, you can surf together with your best friend, or your kids, or your SO.

      • The reason I don’t want to swap the modems is because the new PC’s is a 56K and the old PC’s is a 33K. To use the 56K with Windows, I’d still need to connect the new PC to the old PC.
  • Tanks, MF. I have JBuilder 4 Enterprise and CBuilder 5 pro, that have all this server-making stuff in it that I haven’t tried to use before. It would probably take all of about two minutes to do if I knew what I was doing. I tried to run a couple simple programs I wrote in CBuilder and JBuilder across the LAN and they report dll’s not found but it says something about an option to include all files in the exe if you desire.
    -and I could put both modems into the new PC but I wanted 2 LAN-connected PC’s to learn how to do whis kind of stuff anyway-
    -Here goes nuttin’, - MC


And it worked! :slight_smile:

My first computer(computer 1) was on a high speed LAN service, then I got another computer(computer 2) that I wanted to have on the high speed service, too.

I tried using the networking sofware already installed in Windows along with a patch cable.** DON’T, IT’S GARBAGE!!!** and totally unnecessary.

First you need to get a hub. They cost about $25.00 for a hub you can run 3 computers off of. Netgear makes a great one. It’s cheap and it works.

Then get two matching modems or whatever your computer has or requires. I am on a LAN, I don’t run the LAN, I just buy the service. They require that I have a PCI 10/100BASE-TX LAN card. I got two of them and put one in each computer.

Here you go:

1)Make sure you can get internet access on computer 1.

2)Take the modem “OUT” line and put it into the hub “in” port.

3)Run a regular cable(not a patch cable) from each computer to the hub.

  1. That’s it, that’s all you have to do, and it will take about 15 minutes. But you have to have the right cords, hub, and modems, or you’ll be up a creek.

(sigh) …the long road continues…

  • Today I find that the Linux-Mandrake I have been attempting to provide an internet connection for no onger boots into KDE or any other GUI, but to a command line. The last time I messed with it, it didn’t shut down right, so I suppose I did whatever-it-is myself. Turns out that the only book I bought is useless- it’s not any beginner-level at all, and says nothing about Mandrake in particular.
  • I found a Linux board where someone posted the same problem, except with Slackware. The reply involved logging in and going to /etc/inittab and resetting the initdefault to 4 not 3, and then hitting ctrl-alt-f3 or ctrl-alt-f7. If this was specific to Slackware nobody said. When I try to enter /etc/inittab, it says “access denied”. I recorded the only username and password I entered previously, and the root level password, but no root level name. If there was one, I don’t recall it and didn’t write it down anywhere.
    The books that came with Mandrake assume that one of the GUI’s will start up; what little help the booklet gives addresses using one of the GUI’s. They say nothing about doing anything from the command line. In the command line mode, using the book I have I found a help directory, but a few dozen pages into it there was nothing about how to start any of the GUI’s so I gave up on that.
    How can I get the KDE started automatically again? Or is it just easier to reinstall the whole thing? - MC
      • Actually, I should clarify: the Linux boots into KDE, but only long enough to watch all the processes load, and then it switches to the console command line (not a KDE console window). When I ctrl-alt-del, the KDE comes back, and I get to watch everything unload in KDE. - MC