NIC Should Stand for No Initial Connection

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Trials and travails of setting up a home network. – Dale DeHoff

Got my LAN working on Dial-up!

OK, everything is set up using an external modem, K7S5A onboard NIC and PCI NIC on client.

This may be a boring read for those not interested in networking, but here goes:

First, let me throw some quick pointers out that flounder43 can use in the FAQ section of the ECS AMD mainboard forum.

  1. If you have any previous proxy server software installed, uninstall it before proceeding;
  2. Any firewall software, such as ZoneAlarm, should also be uninstalled – it can be installed later;
  3. Make sure your LAN is working on server and clients BEFORE installing a proxy server;
  4. If you begin to have problems and conflicts that don’t make sense, uninstall everything and start over.

This includes removing all of the clients, Adapters and TCP/IP protocols in Network Properties.

Now, I am NOT an expert on this stuff, but because of the many hours and problems I have had getting this to work again, I feel as though I have something to offer. I am quite sure that some of the steps I took were probably not necessary. This is just a description of how I did get things to work. You can Email me and I will do my best to answer or research the problem for you.

But I do not make guarantees. Networking has proven to be the most difficult challenge in software setup that I have ever tackled.

My setup includes an ECS K7S5A w/1 gig Athlon running at 1330 and an Asus A7V running a Duron 700 at stock. The A7V uses an Addtron PCI network card and the ECS uses the onboard SIS900 network. The ECS is the server and the systems are linked via a crossover cable, not a hub system.

The server uses BrowseGate (LITE), which is a TOTALLY free version of a proxy server for all small home or small office network users. It is available HERE. The LITE version is limited in it’s functionality in that only 2 concurrent PC’s may use BrowseGate(LITE) at any one time. I’m not completely sure what that last statement means, but I will try to find out.

Anyway, first let me tell you that my initial problems with setting up the network were solved by doing lots of trial and error. With the ESC system and the onboard network hardware, the network would not connect. I then tried a PCI network card in this system and it would still not work.

I needed to be sure it was not a problem with wiring so, I set up another system, an A7V133, using the PCI card. That would not work either. Then I remembered that the ZoneAlarm firewall was installed. So I uninstalled the Zonealarm firewall software and that allowed me to get the network working with the PCI card on the A7V133.

So it is not the wiring. I figured that was the problem on the ECS system, so I set it up again but soon realized that I had uninstalled the firewall sometime previously, but the network on this setup would not work either. I then proceeded to uninstall all of the network drivers and the items in the network setup section, i.e. all of the clients, Adapters and TCP/IP protocols.

Now I started again by installing only the SiS900 network drivers and setting the TCP/IP setting for the server. After restart, it worked great. Now I’m cookin!!

Next I set up the dialup proxy, BrowseGate(LITE), and add the settings for the client PC. Initially, the server would not dial out. It was giving me an “error #720” and said something about not being able to negotiate the protocols in the “Server Type” settings. Well, everything looked to be set up correctly so I did a search on Dogpile and one suggestion was to reinstall the dialup adapter. Well, why not? Tried that and the error went away. I don’t know why!

From here, it was a matter of setting up the client PC for receiving mail and now I can surf the net from both PCs at the same time and both take advantage of the faster external modem on the server. With ‘dial-on-demand’, the server will dial up when the client tries to go online.

There are still 2 things I need to work out. One, the server will not initiate the dialup ‘on demand’ when trying to get on the Internet from the server. I have to start the dialup connection manually. I think that is a setup problem to be resolved soon as I have sent an inquiry to the tech support people.

The other thing I would like to do, but I don’t think it will be possible, is to set up the client PC so that it will use its own modem if the server is not running. What a challenge that would be, eh!! It does dial up and make the connection, but of course, it cannot find the proxy server address.

My next project may be to set this up using the A7V133 as a server and leave it on 24/7, then use a hub setup and 2 clients with ‘dial-on-demand’. That way the user of either PC can get on the net without having to turn on the server system.

Happy ‘trials’!!

Dale DeHoff

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