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I have a hub at home, I use it to connect to broadband and then share this broadband among my PCs.

  • Previously I made a home network for 2 PC and 1 laptop, all with windows xp professional, all join the same group, set one PC's internet connection to allow sharing, and all others can connect to internet through this shared connection or can do with their own connection.
  • I didn't notice when it happened, others can only connect to internet through their own connection while the shared connection icon still showing at other's task bar.
  • Now I bought a new laptop, I think it's time to fix the issue. the same winxp pro for all. I run the same setup wizard, set one PC's connection allow sharing. This time, even the shared connection icon not showing on other PC's task bar.

I remember long time ago, once I had network problem, I format the PCs and got things working on the new builds. But this time, all PCs are nearly new builds. Any idea where I did wrong?

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You really should just get a cheap router, it works so much better than trying to make a PC act as a router while it's doing other things. – David Schwartz Mar 5 '12 at 2:57
what other things a router can do? Basically I need fast connection with internet and with all PCs. Nothing else is needed. – Jenny Mar 5 '12 at 3:19
A router can route and NAT traffic between the PCs and the Internet. A PC can do this too, but unless it's dedicated to the task, it does a pretty lousy job. – David Schwartz Mar 5 '12 at 3:20
@DavidSchwartz has it right. On the cheap end, some routers can be had for 20 USD or less. Better quality routers are still available for well under 100 USD. Only the high-end feature-laden ones will run any higher than 100 USD. Many routers in the 20-100 USD range also come with other features such as WiFi, NAS, and VoIP. Some of them will take custom firmwares which enable even more features like bandwidth monitoring and tighter access controls. – Iszi Mar 5 '12 at 4:06
ok, since you guys say so, I will buy a router. but still don't understand why my network suddenly stop working. – Jenny Mar 5 '12 at 4:30
up vote 0 down vote accepted

For windows ICS, you need to have 2 NIC/Lan devices of some sort, on the computer that will be doing the sharing.
If the intention is to have one computer connected to the web, and the other computers connected through it, that is the computer that should have the 2 network connecting devices.

The first network device connects to the modem (or router indeed) That computer should then have accesses to the web, You should write down which device it is that is connected to the web. From that device you should be able to ping "the Net" to confirm connectivity.

The second network device, that will be used to "share" between computers (although sharing is Not At All required) connects to the other computers (intranet), and from the other computers you should be able to ping the ICS computer.

When troubleshooting confirm each of the 2 above connections Seperate, taking things slow, and making sure you have each correct before combining them.

Then without "Bridging", you run the ICS wizard, or manually configure the ICS, I find that manuel setup and static addressing of the locked down computers is less problems. (I also apply weird addressing as an extra unnessisary step).

It all was well covered at J. Helmig site but the information is not useful there anymore, it is possible that through the MS and thier videos , all the information is covered very well, so check that out.

For any further information you need to supply a simplified connection diagram of your intended connection, and what errors your getting ?? or just more general information.

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Thanks for your explanation. I guess that's why they no longer working-- I changed the host PC to the eldest PC a while ago. I don't know if it short of an extra connecting device. Now I changed the Host to another PC, all sharing connection comes back normal. Thanks very much! – Jenny Mar 5 '12 at 15:05
It's just luck which PCs get DHCP assignments from which DHCP server. It will sometimes work out right and sometimes work out wrong. You can't control it. – David Schwartz Mar 6 '12 at 2:51
@David Schwartz, thanks for your comments! That makes a lot of sense. It works or doesn't work, just as you said, without me doing any damage. Now I understand. I will try to stay with current situation and assign static IP. When it break again, I will go for a router. – Jenny Mar 6 '12 at 5:49

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