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Put it all together

Home networking with Windows Me

By now, you should have all the pieces of your home network gathered—computer equipment, a diagram of your home that shows the locations of your computers, printers, electrical outlets, and phone jacks; and the right hardware for the type of home network you want.

Now it's time to get to work.

Install the network devices
Install the network card (for an Ethernet network) or plug in the network adapter (for other types of networks) for each computer on your network.

In most instances, hardware manufacturers comply with standards that allow Windows Me to automatically detect any network hardware device already installed on your computer. If this does not work, refer to the hardware manufacturer's documentation.

For computers on your network not running Windows 95 or later, run the Add Hardware Wizard:

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Add New Hardware.

This wizard installs the necessary drivers, which are software that controls the new hardware.

Connect the computers together
For Ethernet, it's as simple as that—just route network cable from the computers you want to connect to the network hub.

For a network using phone wiring, connect your computers to the phone jacks with the adapters.

For networks using wireless devices, follow the wireless device manufacturers' instructions.

Introduce your computers to one another
Run the Home Networking Wizard on all computers that will be on the network, even if they're running different operating systems. Start with the server computer that is running Windows Me:

  • Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications, and then click Home Networking Wizard.

During this process you will create a client setup disk. You can then take this floppy disk to the other computers and run the wizard from the setup disk.

The Home Networking Wizard is designed to smooth the path to getting your network and its hardware fully functional. If you run into problems, look for troubleshooting help in the Windows Me Help and Support Center:

  1. Click Start, and then click Help.
  2. Under "What would you like help with?" click Home Networking.
  3. Click Troubleshooting for networks, or explore some of the other choices.

Finished the wizard? That's it! Now you're ready to get the most from your home network.

Information for this article was provided by the Windows Me Help and Support team. Similar articles are available as updates to Windows Me Help and Support.


Special terms

drivers: A small piece of software that allows your hardware devices to work with your computer.
servers and clients: In a network, a server is the computer that provides or hosts the network services and runs the network "show"; other computers are called clients.

Got drivers?
If a new piece of hardware isn't functioning properly, or if your computer doesn't recognize your hardware, making sure you have the right driver is a good place to start solving your problem. Here's some help for finding information on drivers.


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