Connecting to the Wired Network

Connecting to the Wired Network (Printable PDF)


Step 1: Setting up your computer

Set up your computer as normal and follow all safety guidelines provided by your computer's manufacturer.


Step 2: Verifying Network Interface Card [NIC] Recognition (Windows 95/98/2000/XP)

  1.  Click Start, choose Settings, and click on Control Panel.
  2.  Double-click on System in the Control Panel menu.
  3.  Click on the Hardware tab.
  4.  Choose the Device Manager.

Locate the Network Adapters section. If your NIC is listed, it is recognized by Windows.  If it is not recognized, follow the instructions that came with your network interface card or visit the manufacturer's website.  Another reason that it doesn't show up may be because a network interface card is not installed. (You can purchase a network interface card at any store that sells computer hardware).


Step 3: Configure Protocols

Installing the TCP/IP Protocol (Windows 2000/XP only)

  1.  Click Start and the Control Panel.
  2.  Select Settings and then click the Network Connections setting (this may also be shown as Network and Dial-up).
  3.  Within the Network Connections setting, double-click the Local Area Connection icon. 
  4.  Click the Properties button.
  5.  If Internet Protocol is NOT listed, click Install. If it is displayed, it is set up correctly.
  6.  Under Network Component Type, select Protocol and click Add.
  7.  Under Network Protocol, select Internet Protocol and click OK.

The installation will now begin. If prompted, do NOT restart.


Configuring the TCP/IP Protocol (Windows 2000/XP only)

  1.  Click Start.
  2.  Select Settings and then click Network Connections settings (this may also be shown as Network and Dial-up).
  3.  Within the Network Connections settings, double-click the Local Area Connection icon.
  4.  Click the Properties button.
  5.  Under Components, select Internet Protocol.
  6.  Click Properties.
  7.  Select the option: Obtain an IP address automatically.
  8.  Select the option: Obtain DNS server address automatically.

You are down configuring TCP/IP. Click OK. Click Yes when prompted to restart your computer. You should now be ready to connect to the network.  Proceed to Step 4.

Installing the TCP/IP Protocol (Windows 95/98 only)

  1.  Open My Computer.
  2.  Open the Control Panel.
  3.  Open Network.
  4.  Under the Configuration tab, the following protocols should appear:
  •  Client for Microsoft Networks
  •  Your Ethernet Card Adapter
  •  TCP/IP
  1. If the above settings are NOT shown, you must install them by clicking Add.
  2. Click on Protocols and then click Add.
  3. In the box on the left-hand side, scroll down until you get to Microsoft. Click Microsoft.
  4. Click on the protocol you wish to install in the right-hand box.
  5. Click OK.

Configuring the TCP/IP Protocol (Windows 95/98 only)

  1.  Select TCP/IP and click Properties. You will get a window labeled TCP/IP Properties.
  2.  Under Primary Network Logon, Client for Microsoft Networks should appear. If it doesn't, you should select it by using the arrow tab on the right and clicking it when it appears in the box.
  3.  Click File and Printer Sharing. Uncheck the boxes.
  4.  If you wish to enable these features in the future, you can do so. These should only be used if you wish to share your printer and/or files with other people on your subnet. Be careful when using this option as it leaves your computer vulnerable to attacks from other computers that are on the network.
  5.  Under the Identification tab, your computer must be named with your first intial and last name (i.e. John Smith -- jsmith). Make sure your computer name is no longer than eight characters (sometimes the connection will not work if it is longer). You can also enter a workgroup (i.e. Room 101 if you are in Room 101) or set up a workgroup amongst your friends.
  6.  Click on the TCP/IP and then click Properties.
  7.  In the Address tab, make sure Obtain an IP Address is selected.
  8.  In the DNS Configuration tab, make sure Enable DNS is selected.

    • The host name is the same as the name you gave your computer (i.e. jsmith) in the Identification tab.
    • Make certain there are no additional entries in either of these boxes. If there are, select the entry and click Remove.
  9.  In the WINS Configuration tab, make sure that Disable WINS Resolution is selected.
  10.    Click OK.
  11.    You should now be asked if you want to reboot your system so that the changes you made will be effective. Reboot. Your network settings should be in place once your computer has restarted.
  12.    Under My Computer, Control Panel, Internet, uncheck all options for Windows 95 users. Your computer may have been previously set up to connect using a dial-up adapter with your modem. Following this step will ensure that your network settings will be used instead. You can check the use LAN Connection in Windows 98.

You should now be ready to connect to the network. Proceed to Step 4.


Step 4: Connecting the Network Cable

Plug the network cable into your NIC (located in the back of your computer). Plug the other end into the data port on the wall. Check to make sure that the link light is on (where you plugged the cable into your comptuer).


Step 5: Verifying Your Connection

  1.  Restart your computer.
  2.  Open an Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.). A successful connection to a Web site confirms that your computer is configured properly. You can test this by going to any Web site.
  3.  Alternately, click Start, Run, and type cmd in the Open dialog box that appears. Type ipconfig /all at the prompt and click Enter.
  4.  If you receive a valid IP address (i.e., 10.20.###.###) your computer has been configured properly.
  5.  If your IP address shows up '', the configuration was not set up properly and you'll need to repeat Step 3.


Step 6: Troubleshooting

After completing steps 1-5, the most common reasons for an unsuccessful connection may be one or more of the following:

  • Make sure that the same network cable that is connected to your computer is the same network cable plugged into the Ethernet jack in the wall.
  • Check to make sure the link light (where you plugged the network cable into your computer) is on. If it is off then it is likely a hardware problem (with your NIC). If the link light is on then it is probably a software problem (try re-installing the installation software that came with your NIC).

Link Light ON:

  • The network service may be down. If your neighbors aren't able to connect either, this is the most likely cause.  
  • Go over the TCP/IP settings again. Make sure that you closely followed them as well as the directions for your operating system.
  • If you receive an invalid IP address, type ipconfig /release and then ipconfig /renew.  (See Step 5.3 for instructions)

Link Light OFF:

Possible causes could be:

  • Bad faceplate
  • Bad NIC
  • Bad network cable
  • The network cable is not plugged into an active data port. Try first plugging into a data port known to be active (your roommate's). You may have inadvertently plugged into either a telephone jack (The data port is BLUE) or an inactive data port.
  • If you suspect the faceplate is bad: Connect to a friend's connection that you know is working, with your NIC and network cable. If you can connect then in all probability it is your faceplate.
  • If you suspect that your NIC is bad: Can your roommate connect using your network cable? If so then the problem may be with your faceplate or NIC. If your friend can connect to your faceplate with their computer and your network cable, then it is likely a problem with your NIC.
  • If you suspect that your network cable is bad: Ask a friend whose connection you know is working to use your cable. If it fails, it's your cable. You may be using a telephone cord and not the RJ-45 Ethernet cable (network cable) that is required. You will need to purchase one, available at the Business office or at any store that carries computer hardware supplies. Compare to a friend's cable first to confirm. Alternatively, try using your friend's network cable on your system (be sure you plug into a working data port).


If you still cannot get your computer connected to the network, use another computer (there are publicly available machines in the labs as well as the library) to go to to submit a ST@T Helpdesk ticket, or call the ST@T helpline at 423-6426, ext.1261.

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