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So here's my problem. I have a desktop PC (running Windows XP) connected to the internet via cable connection. This PC also has a wireless network card.

What I'm trying to do, is connect my laptop (running Windows 7) to the PC via wireless and share the internet cable connection. I tried setting up a AdHoc connection between PC and Laptop, I've shared the internet connection (ICS) but it's not working. Even if the computers are connected they cannot ping each other. It might have something to do with win7 because i tried this once before but between two XP's and worked from the first try. What am I trying to do here is plain stupid or am I missing something?

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Please buy yourself an inexpensive wireless router. It will be easier to configure, won't require your desktop to use cycles in network routing and, most importantly, acts as an additional security measure between your computer(s) and the internet. – Doug Harris Dec 20 '09 at 21:09
Some can be had for under $50, in case you didn't really know. – Nathaniel Dec 21 '09 at 1:21
I know i can buy a router. but i have all i need to manage without one. and it worked. thanks anyway for all your trouble – TheBrain Dec 22 '09 at 12:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try setting the IP address of each computer manually. Set one to with a subnet mask of, and one to with the same subnet mask. You can do this in the properties of each network adapter - choose TCP/IPv4 (just TCP/IP in Windows XP) from the list and hit Properties, then click the requisite option buttons and fill the information in. You can leave all the other fields blank.

From the OP's comment below:

You also need to set the gateway on the laptop to and the DNS servers to whichever DNS servers the PC uses.

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excellent. now the ping each other. but windows 7 keeps "identifying..." the pc computer and drops it. then starts again. what next ? – TheBrain Dec 20 '09 at 19:46
That's odd. Try creating the ad-hoc network in Windows 7 (use a different name—sometimes using the old one causes Windows to use the same settings), and then connect to it using your desktop instead? – Samir Talwar Dec 21 '09 at 18:17
Your answer let me on the right track. For others: you also need to set the gateway on the laptop to and dns servers to whatever dns servers the PC uses. And works just fine. Thanks all. – TheBrain Dec 22 '09 at 12:02
Glad to hear you got it sorted. I've added the information to the answer so that other people will be better served. – Samir Talwar Dec 23 '09 at 1:44

Some free products that can turn a computer into a hotspot:


Bzeek upgrades your laptop to be a software access point for free.
When Bzeek is on, a wireless network appears with the name 'Bzeek Free WiFi'.


Software Based WiFi Router
Take any Internet connection and share it wirelessly with no additional hardware, wires, plugs, or chargers
Connect with Mobile Devices
Easily connect any number of WiFi enabled devices to your network including laptops, phones, gaming systems, and more Absolutely Free and Unrestricted

Advertised for XP but might still work for Win7.
There are reports that it's currently down.

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2hotspot doesn't work. it relies on some web service that seems to be down – TheBrain Dec 20 '09 at 20:57
That's bad news for many people. Hopefully it will come back sometime. – harrymc Dec 20 '09 at 21:31
I've added some more products to my answer. – harrymc Dec 20 '09 at 22:07

Connectify does that:

alt text

It works obviously with any computer that has a Wifi card, not only laptops. It is still in beta, works only on Windows 7 and requires a free registration to download.

Edit: actually Connectify is just a fancy UI on top of existing features of Windows 7. See here for instructions on how to set this up manually, or check out Virtual Router which is free and open-source. Connectify is planned to be free only during the beta period.

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I was about to suggest that; you beat me to it! I've tried connectify and it works fine. It would require that you have Win7 on the desktop computer. But honestly... a router is $20 (something like this:, so it would be cheaper to buy a router than to upgrade your desktop to windows 7. – nhinkle Dec 20 '09 at 21:53

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