Windows XP and networking questions

Old 02-25-04, 11:06 AM
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Windows XP and networking questions

I have 3 computers in the house, windows 98, ME, & XP. Can I somehow copy XP to the other computers(all the OS were installed already so I have no disks)?
I also want to connect all of them together and be able to go online with all of them. I have dial-up now, am thinking about cable(comcast) but what about high speed dial up or dsl? Will I be able to be online with all 3 computers at the same time? What would I need to connect and be online also.
Thanks for any help guys
Old 02-25-04, 11:51 AM
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First of all, no you cannot copy XP to the other computers. Besides the fact that it's illegal (I'm sure you've heard of Software Pirating), it's also simply not possible. You have to have the disks to install XP - you also must have a license for each installation of XP. The good news is that you only need the Upgrade version for 98 and ME - and you only need one copy of the software, just be sure to purchase an extra license for the other computer.

As for networking, it's really quite simple. If I remember correctly, 98 does not have ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) built-in, but ME does. However, you would be better off enabling ICS on the XP computer and using it to actually access the internet - then the other computers will go through the XP computer to access the internet.

I wouldn't recommend dial-up for ICS - it's just too slow (it's too slow for one computer, add 2 more and you've just cut your connection by 1/3 - of course, this is only when all computers are online and downloading/uploading info, but for the most part 1/3.) BTW, there is no such thing as "high-speed dial-up" - it's called Caching and literally does nothing for download speeds, it just speeds up some HTML pages online.

If you go with broadband (Cable/DSL), then you will want to use a Router. This is basically a network switch that connects all the computers to the internet also. Then you won't need ICS anymore. Most broadband users use this method for accessing the internet - there are several other advantages built-in to most routers also (like firewalls and IP filtering.)

The biggest advantage to using a router is that you don't have to pay for extra IP's from your ISP - and there's absolutely nothing illegal about it. Some ISP's charge $10+/month for an extra IP (basically this is an extra modem and connection to the ISP's servers.)

I highly recommend broadband in a networked environment such as your's.

Good luck!
Old 02-25-04, 11:59 AM
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Before purchasing WIndows XP for your older computers, make sure that they meet the minimum requirements for XP. These requirements are listed on the XP box and on Microsoft's website.

Even if you had install disks for Windows XP for your one computer that already has it installed, you would not be able to install it on the other computers until you purchased a license. With Windows XP. Micorosft requires that the computer connect to Microsoft and become activated. It will run for a month without activating, but after that it needs the activation. Microsoft added this to XP to prevent illegal copying of software.

As for your network connection, I too recommend DSL or cable, using a router. The router will allow you to use all the PCs at the same time on the Internet.

Just be careful what you tell your provider. In certain areas of the country, you violate your agreement if you use more than one computer on the Internet at one time, unless you are paying to do so. Even though this seems wrong, and some providers are dropping that clause, not all have done so yet.
Old 02-25-04, 08:54 PM
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yeah, dsl or cable with a router. Pretty much plug and go for internet. Not much more to configure them to see each other.

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