Computer Idiot needs to network pc & laptop from beginning

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yourstruly76

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Please help!
I am so not technically gifted! Recently upgraded to a Dell 9150 Pentium D 820 (2.8GHz) w/ dual core technology. Whatever all that means. Both computers are running windows xp; laptop is the standard xp for students and teachers and the PC is windows xp home. (By the way, is xp home better than xp students/teachers or are they the same?)

I just need to network this pc with my toshiba laptop to share files and have internet access on both. I have tried to do my own research of what will do the trick the easiest simplest way and am now thoroughly confused with serial file transfer cables, routers, usb cable sharing, etc.

Can you just tell me the simplest way to start, what I need to purchase and what will have the little wizard thingy to walk me through this? I don't care if my network is wired or wireless, we both work in the home office only so it doesn't matter either way.

thanks for any and all help!

Computer Illiterate
 
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if i were you i would buy a wirless router, wireless pci interface card for your computer and a dongle for your laptop. setting up your firewall is easy and even though it does not seem that easy it is very simple
 

JohnWill

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I think the request was for the "simplest way", which is clearly not wireless.

To share the Internet, I'd also buy a wireless router, but you don't need to use the wireless part until you feel the need, since they also have wired connections. Since both systems probably already have Ethernet ports, the router is all you really need. Of course, a couple of CAT5 patch cables to connect from the router to the computers. All of this stuff should be pretty cheap, if you shop the bargains, you can probably get into the game for $50-60. The modem from whatever ISP you have will need to be Ethernet capable, not just USB connected. I'm assuming broadband here, dial-up is a whole different ballgame. :)
 
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Dell 9150 Pentium D 820 (2.8GHz) w/ dual core technology. Whatever all that means
Just an FYI your DUAL CORE means you actually are running the equivent of 2 processors in the one processor you bought. If you get into video editing you can set all the video editing to use 1 core and still be able to use your computer for other things on the other core - Not all that good for gaming currently but great for multi taskers.

laptop is the standard xp for students and teachers and the PC is windows xp home. (By the way, is xp home better than xp students/teachers or are they the same?)
It depends is the students and teachers one a students and teachers Home or Pro? I have seen XP home sold retail,oem, and students and teachers discount, I have seen Pro sold for the same pricing model. The easy way to check (if it has students/teachers labels everywhere) is to determine if it has remote desktop functionality. Right click on My Computer, select properties,select remote, if it has 2 sections in there that say allow remote assitance and allow remote desktop then your running Pro and IMHO pro is better than home. There is no difference in functionality between OEM, Retail, and Students and teachers editions just differences between home and pro.

Can you just tell me the simplest way to start, what I need to purchase and what will have the little wizard thingy to walk me through this
The main thing to do is make sure both computers have an Ethernet NIC and make sure your broadband provider has given you a modem with an Ethernet port (not USB). If both are true than all you need is the router and 2 patch cables (any length) if either of your PC's are missing an Ethernet port you will have to buy an ethernet NIC as well.

(you can tell ethernet adapters by going into device manager and looking at the section called network adapter and seeing if there are any 10/100 or gigabit adapters in there. 1394 and wireless are not useful in this scenario so discount those if you see them in there)

just trying to expound upon what Johnwill already indicated and giving a little more clarification :)
 

yourstruly76

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Great! So I will be looking for a router and the patch cables. My modem is hooked to my PC with an ethernet connection and I used the ethernet on my laptop before I got my PC. I'm sure I'll have more questions for you all.
Thanks so much, what an awesome and informative forum/site!
Greatly Appreciative,
Computer Illiterate
 
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Your laptop may very well already have a wireless adapter built in. Is it a Dell? You can find out pretty easy if so.
 

yourstruly76

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Mulder-
Thanks for the info. I notice my laptop has that little icon as a shortcut key in one of the function keys that looks like an antenna sending out a signal. Is that wi-fi? If so, then what? I don't know how to use it.
thanks in advance!
 

JohnWill

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If you post the make/model of the laptop, we could probably determine if it has wireless capability. :)
 

yourstruly76

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John thanks!
It's a Toshiba Satellite 1905 Intel (R) is what it says under the properties tab.:)
 

JohnWill

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It looks like it didn't come with wireless standard, though there was an option for an 802.11b internal adapter. In Device Manager, under Network Controllers, do you see any wireless adapters?
 

yourstruly76

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JohnWill said:
It looks like it didn't come with wireless standard, though there was an option for an 802.11b internal adapter. In Device Manager, under Network Controllers, do you see any wireless adapters?
where do i find device manager? there isn't an option for network controllers that i can see in the control panel
 

JohnWill

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Right click on My Computer, Properties, Hardware, Device Manager. Under Network Adapters, tell us what you see. Better yet, post a screen shot of what's there. :) Here's what I see, and I have no wireless on this system.
 

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yourstruly76

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Dec 28, 2005
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I'm not sure how to do a screen shot post so here is what it says under network adapters:

it shows 2 subheadings

1) 1394 Net Adapter #3
2.) intel (R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection

hope that helps
 

JohnWill

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OK, you don't have any wireless capability, so you'll need a PCMCIA or USB 802.11g adapter for wireless access.
 
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