I am looking to replicated the internet (extremely small scale) using a series of switches, routers, Linux, and Windows computers that are not connected to the internet we all use. In this experiment, I plan to use public IP addresses since this experiment will never be connected to the public internet nor any system that I won't restart after testing. I'm assuming (but haven't tested yet) that even though it will see public routable ip addresses being used, Windows 7 (and maybe Vista/XP) still will show that I'm not connected to the internet. Can someone confirm this and tell me how Windows checks to see whether or not it has internet access so I can replicate this as well?
If you want to simulate an "internet" you'll need a few things.
If you would like more specific advice come up with that last one (the concrete plan) and tell us what you're trying to do, and we can probably point you in the right direction...
-- Edit From OP --
The Windows status icons are checked using the methods outlined at http://blog.superuser.com/2011/05/16/windows-7-network-awareness/