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Networking 4 computers with router


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
I have a friend who has 4 computers (identical specs) and has all the necessary hardware and wants to network them together using their router...

operating system is windows XP professional...

is there a way to explain the process to my friend in leyman's terms in order to help them get started with their network in as simple a manner as possible?

eventually what they will be doing is utilising one computer as a gateway into the network (they only have dial-up in their area) and then sharing the network from the gateway computer with the other 3 computers but initially she just wants to get started off with networking the existing computers together without worrying about any internet capability...


any help will be greatly appreciated :)


Glaanies script monkey
Political User
Plug them in, disable simple file sharing on all of the PC's. Have identical user accounts WITH PASSWORDS on all PC's. Thats it.


the 4um stalker
i'd go with something like this:

1) Install the network adaptors and install your modem on the ICS host computer (you can also let the computers connect to the Internet independently by installing modems on each).

2) Physically cable the computers (and hubs or routers) together. Of course, you won’t need to do this if you’ve chosen to go the wireless route.

3) Switch on all computers, printers and other peripherals

4) Go to the ICS host computer and make sure it is connected to the Internet.

5) Run the Network Setup Wizard on the ICS host. To run the Network Setup Wizard on the ICS host, click Start -> Control Panel -> Network And Internet Connections -> Setup Or Change Your Home Or Small Office Network. Follow the instructions in each screen and press Next to continue.

Network Setup Wizard will guide you through:
Configuring your network adaptors (NICs).
Configuring your computers to share a single Internet connection.
Naming each computer. (Each computer requires a name to identify it on the network.)
Sharing the Shared Files folder. Any files in this folder will be accessible to all computers on the network.
Sharing printers.
Installing the Internet Connection Firewall to guard you from online attacks​

6) Run the Network Setup Wizard on all computers

To do so:

1. Insert the Windows XP CD in the first computer’s drive.
2. When the XP Welcome Menu appears, click Perform Additional Tasks.
3. Click Setup Home Or Small Office Networking and follow the prompts.
4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 for each computer on your network.

Make sure you maintain an active Internet connection on your host computer as you proceed through this process.

7) Once you have your network up and running, you can easily access other computers on the network via My Network Places (click Start -> My Network Places).

8) sharing files and folders
1. Open a folder (such as My Documents), click Make A New Folder in the Task Pane and name your new folder.
2. With the new folder highlighted, click Share This Folder.
3. In the Sharing tab of the Properties dialog box, select Share This Folder On The Network.
4. Provide a descriptive name for the folder. This name should make it easy for others on the network to recognise the folder; it doesn’t have to be the same as the folder name you selected in step 1.
5. You can let other people on the network view and edit your files or view them only. If you want to protect your files from tampering, remove the tick from Allow Other Users To Change My Files.

There are a variety of ways to access a shared folder. Here’s one way:

1. Click Start -> My Network Places -> View Workgroup Computers.
2. Click the computer whose files you wish to access and then click the shared folder.

You can create shortcuts to shared folders to make them easier to access.

hope that helps


Glaanies script monkey
Political User
If you need to use ICS, you would be better off not using a router, and using a switch along with two network cards in the ICS server. Run the wizard on the ICS machine, then just let DHCP handle the clients, no need to run the wizard on those.


Blame me for the RAZR's
i have a comp that im using as a server with a wilress pci card ( dont have a spare nic for it to hard wire it) Im using some port forwarding and remoting in all the time is there a way i can make the router give it a somewhat staic dns ip? im tired of having to switch the port forwardings hit by like 102 103 101... hehe any ideas?

my bad connecteed with cable modem to wirless router.. and all OS (gaming rig , lap, and server are Xp pro.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
any other ideas or alternate suggestions still appreciated...

I'm gonna knock up a coupla ideas and toss em together and see what i can get done...
Hardware Install - this is pretty easy, the hardware should be plug and play.
1) Install a Network Interface Card (NIC) into any computers that don't have an ethernet connector following the instructions that come with the hardware.
2) Run a "straight through" Ethernet cable from the router to each computer.
3) Turn everything on and make sure you get 4 green lights (LEDs) on the router. Note if you have an older router or NIC one or more lights may be yellow indicating a low speed connection. If you get 4 lights your cabling and hardware is good. If not check the cables that go from the computer to any LED that is not on.

Software Install - The easiest way for beginners is to use the Wizard. The following steps need to be done for each computer:
Turn on all the computers and printers.
1) Go to Start, select Help and Support, in the search box type NETWORK WIZARD and hit enter.
2) Click "Add a Windows XP Computer to your Network"
3) Read the instructions in the box that opens on the right. Ignore the part about Internet Connection Sharing ICS (we'll do that later after the local network is working).
4) When ready click the highlighted blue line that says Network Setup Wizard. Now just follow the instruction. If you get lost just start over.
-When asked how your computer connects to the internet select the "Other" button then select "This computer connects to a network that does not have an internet connection."
-Give each computer a name, any names work Bob, Ted, Carol & Alice. Den LivRoom, Kitchen, Bedroom, etc. You can leave the description blank.
-Workgroup name must be the same on all 4 computers. It defaults to MSHOME. It's more secure to give it a new name SAZARFOLLY or anything you like. just make sure it's the same on all 4 computers.
-Ignore the part about making a network disk.
-You will still need to install the printer drivers on any computers that are not connected directly to the printer. You can use the disk that came with the printer or let windows "find a driver".

You are done with the basics now and should be able to see each computer's shared directory and printers on the other computers. :)

Additional Sharing Setup - this can get a little annoying because Windows tries to hide your data for your protection.
-Initially only stuff in the directory called "Shared Documents" is visible to other computers on the network. These shared directories will show up as "ShareDocs on (name of the computer)" under My Network Places.
-You can make additional directories visible to other computers also by right clicking on the folder and selecting "Sharing" on the menu.
-You can even share CD and DVD players over the network this way.

Firewalls - if you have software firewalls installed they will block access to the other computers on the network and must be configured to allow access over the LAN.

SAZAR - good luck. As I worked on writing this I decided you are very brave or very foolish for volunteering to help without physical access to the machines.

EDIT- Consider having her setup the machine that will have the modem and be the gateway to the net first so you can take remote control and then walk her through it on that machine. Maybe she can get the rest after that.


Glaanies script monkey
Political User
Please don't use the Networking Wizard, it usually just complicates matters, and does stupid things like add network bridges that aren't necessary. The client computer needs nothing done, just let them use DHCP, nothing else is needed.

The same workgroup is not necessary.

Personally, I don't see the need for ICS with dialup, the bandwith really isn't there to share.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
unfortunately its the only way to get internet connectivity on the systems in her area and this was the only way to do it... she understands her bw will be grossly limited...

Evil Marge

I Rule
Political User
I hope it goes okay for them,I've been trying to run 3 pcs from my router since last year and it still won't work.The stupid thing will only run 2 :rolleyes: :yowch:

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