These notes assume that you already have network interface cards (NICs) installed into your computers, that the software drivers for the NICs have been loaded and that the computers are already connected together by network cables.

These notes are for Windows-95 and/or Windows-98 as the set up procedures for WIN-NT, WIN-2000 and WIN-XP are somewhat different (although similar).

Installing the Network Software Drivers


You need to install the software that enables the computers to "talk" to each other through the network cables. This software consists of a "network client" (the software that enables this computer to talk to other computers) and a "network server" (the software that enables this computer to allow other computers to talk to it. You also need the "network protocols" which define the language (or languages) that the computers use to talk to each other.

On each computer in the network click on

Make sure that each computer has a unique name on this screen as this is how the network determines which machine is which. We suggest that you use the name of the person who normally uses the computer or the location of the computer. You should stick to 8 characters or less for the name and NOT have spaces or other special characters in the name. (eg John, JohnB, JohnBrwn, JBrown, Office, Office1 etc would be valid names).

The Work group entry should be the SAME on ALL computers in a small network. We suggest using part of your company name.

Screen Dump of network ID form

Click on the CONFIGURATION tab at the top of the form.

Make sure that you can see the NIC adaptor listed in the network settings - if you can't then you need to correct this before continuing.

You should see at least

Screen Dump of network Config form

We normally also add in NETBEUI as well. If anything is missing then you should click on the ADD button and choose the item that you want to add from the displayed lists.

Once you have made all of the changes (if you do make changes you may need your Windows Installation CD) then you need to turn off your computer and turn it back on again.

Sharing your Computer's hard Drive(s)


At this stage the computers have the means to talk to each other but you need to tell each computer what resources that it should allow the other computers to be able to be able to see or "share". We normally share the whole hard disk, the floppy disk, the cdrom and all of the printers. By sharing the floppy drive and the CDROM drive you can get access to these from another computer if you need to (say because the floppy drive is faulty on one computer or in case a computer doesn't have a floppy drive or a cdrom drive).

On each computer in the network click on

Then locate your hard Drive (C:) in the left hand panel.

Screen Dump of Windows Explorer

Click on the (C:) Drive with your RIGHT hand mouse button and choose PROPERTIES from the POP-UP menu.

Screen Dump of Windows Explorer

Click on the GENERAL tab at the top of the form and enter a label for the hard disk. We normally label a computer's hard disk with the same name as the machine and also with the total size of the hard disk. This is so it is easy to spot when browsing the network. Then click on the SHARING tab at the top.

Screen Dump of Windows Explorer

Make sure that SHARED AS is selected and enter the letter C for the share name of the hard disk. Don't enter the machine or person's name in here as well as the hard drive is accessed by the name C on machine Geoff and so Geoff-C on machine Geoff seems a bit of an overkill. Also make sure that the access type is FULL.

Save these changes. You can repeat this process for the A drive and the CDROM drive if you want to as well as any other hard disk drives that may have been installed into that computer. (We normally share the CDROM drive using the name CDROM (rather than D) simply to indicate that it is a CDROM and not a hard drive).

Accessing the other computer's hard Drives (Mapping Drives)


At this stage we have told each computer which resources it should allow other computers to share. Now we need to tell each computer which resources from other computers they should have easy access to.

To do this you allocate drive letters (other than A, C and D) to be connected to the remote hard drives. We recommend that you start from the letter G: to avoid conflicts if you add an extra hard disk, CDROM, ZIP drive or LS120 drive into any of the computers at a later stage.

To "map the drives" you need to be in Windows Explorer again so On each computer in the network click on

Select the MAP NETWORK DRIVE option from the TOOLS menu.

Screen Dump of Windows Explorer

Select an available drive letter in the top box and enter two back slashes (\\) then the computer name (Geoff) that you want to connect to, then another back slash (\) and then the drive name on that computer (c). Make sure that you tick the box RECONNECT AT LOGON as well and then click on OK. It's a good idea to make the same drive letters on every machine map to the same locations on the other computers so make a list as below ...

and then map all of the computers using this list. Note that because the office machine had the only CDROM then we mapped to this on the other computers so that they can share the CDROM drive and Mary has a Zip-Drive installed as well on her drive D: and we had shared this using the name ZIP.

Once you have done this then if you look in the left hand "pane" in Windows Explorer you will see the hard disks belonging to the other computers listed as if they were actually installed in this computer. This means that you can now treat anyone Else's hard disk as if it was actually your hard disk and (almost) anything that can be done on a locally installed hard disk can be done in virtually the same way for a remotely connected hard disk.

Sharing Printers


Another handy feature of a network is that you can share access to printers connected to other computers. If you have a printer already connected to your computer and you share another printer then you have a choice which printer you use to print your documents. This means that if one printer if faulty (or even just out of paper or out of ink/toner) then you just choose another printer. Also it means that every computer doesn't need to have their own printer.

On each machine that has one (or more) printers physically attached you need to allow others to share the printer(s) and so click on

Right click on each local printer and choose PROPERTIES from the popup menu.

Screen Dump of Windows Explorer

Click on the SHARING tab at the top, make sure that SHARED AS is selected, enter a name for the printer. We normally enter an abbreviation for the brand and the model of the printer (eg HP-LJ1200, EPS-LX300 etc). You can enter further information into the comment section if you like. Then save these changes. Now you can get access to these printers from the other computers. Don't use names longer than 8 characters and don't use any spaces just enter a name using A-Z, 0-9 and possibly a hyphen (-).

Accessing Shared Printers (Mapping Printers)

Now that you've told each computer to allow other computers to use their printer(s) you also need to tell the other computers where all the printers they can use are located and how to print to those printers.

On each machine you need to add a printer driver for each network printer that you want to be able to print to. So click on

Locate the printer that you want to add from the list for each machine and double click on it.

Screen Dump of Add Printer

It should then appear in the Network path or Queue name box. Make sure that PRINT FROM MS-DOS PROGRAMS is ticked.

Screen Dump of Add Printer

Click NEXT and for most modern printers Windows will locate the printer driver for that printer automatically from the computer to which it's connected. If it doesn't then you may have to select the brand and model number of the printer from the displayed screen. If you can't find the printer brand or model in the list then you will need to click on HAVE DISK and insert the driver CD or floppy disk that came with the printer.

Screen Dump of Add Printer

Once you have located the printer driver then click NEXT and enter a descriptive name for the printer such as HP LJ on Mark or Epson LX300 on Julie. If you want to use this printer as the main printer for this computer then make sure that USE AS DEFAULT PRINTER is ticked.

Screen Dump of Add Printer

Click on NEXT and then FINISH and the printer should appear in the list on your screen.

Setting up Cheque/Receipt/Payslip Printing using Dot Matrix Printers

Changing User Name or Machine Name on an existing computer

To change the USER NAME .... To change the COMPUTER NAME or WORK GROUP NAME.... To change the SIGNING NAME at the bottom of letters generated in our software....

Computer Turn On Procedure

Make sure that you turn ALL computers on at the start of each day. Wait until they are ALL displaying the user name and asking for the password BEFORE you do anything on ANY computer. Then enter the password (or just click on OK if you have no password).


At the end of the day turn off all of the computers - don't turn them off during the day (other than for a short time if you need to restart windows due to a problem).

If the network stops working you may need to repeat and check each of these steps to get it working again. If a network cable is unplugged or broken then the network will not work so check the cables as well if you are having problems. If your network cables plug into a hub or switch unit then makesure that it has the power connected and that there is at least one light glowing on the front panel for each network cable plugged into the hub unit.

C:\Config.Sys Settings

These lines should be included into your C:\CONFIG.SYS file (and will be put there automatically on Win-95 and Win-98 computers).

C:\AutoExec Settings

These lines should be included into your C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file (and will be put there automatically on Win-95 and Win-98 computers). Make sure that you replace SET ID=GLYN with a separate computer name for each computer in your network as the software uses this entry to keep track of who is doing what.

Install Our Software

If you have multiple computers in a network that you wish to use to access our software then you must install our software on each of the machines that are to access the program (plus any file server that you may be using). Make sure that you install the software to the default location (as suggested in the install program) on all machines otherwise the automatic program updating over your network won't work.

(You can choose CUSTOM installation and not install the sample database onto the computers which are not going to be the SERVER computer.)

Normally we set up our networks so that drive G: is the Server's C Drive on ALL computers (including the server if the server is going to be used as a workstation as well). So decide on which machine the main database is going to be located. This will be the SERVER computer. On this machine you need to add a line to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file which says something like ...

SUBST   G:   C:\

This will map the G: drive on the server to it's own C drive. If your server is a Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP computer then instead of inserting this line into the C:\AutoExec.Bat file you can just map the drive in Windows Explorer in the same way that you map the drives on the other computers. (Windows 95 and Windows 98 don't allow a machine to have a drive mapped to their own hard drive).
See Getting access to the other computer's hard Drive(s) above.

Once you have re-booted this computer you will then have a drive G: that actually points to the C: drive on that same computer. (You can access exactly the same files on G: drive as you can on C: drive because they both point to the same location). You also need to make sure that the drive C: on the SERVER machine is shared with FULL access.
See Sharing your Computer's hard Drive(s) above.

Assuming that you are going to map your network as below...

then on machine server you would add
  subst g: c:\
  Set ID=server
to the C:\AutoExec.Bat file and on machine Mary you would add
  subst h: c:\
  Set ID=Mary
to the C:\AutoExec.Bat file and on machine office you would add
  subst i: c:\
  Set ID=office
to the C:\AutoExec.Bat file

If you do all of this then EVERY machine will have a G: drive which is actually the server's C drive, EVERY machine will have a H: drive which is actually Mary's C drive and EVERY machine will have a I: drive which is actually the office computer's C drive. So whenever you look in drive G: on ANY machine you will see the same information. (Note - don't map the drives to C:\RentMstr or C:\Broker or C:\Payroll - use the root folder on each machine.

Now you can go into each machine, open our program and choose SELECT NEW DATABASE from the FILE menu, change to drive G: (C Drive on the Server) and then look in the install folder (G:\RentMstr, G:\Broker, G:\Acctng, C:\Payroll etc) and open the database with the same name that you should find there.

You can find out what your Program and/or Database Folder and names are by using this method.

UTP Network Cable wiring scheme


A straight through cable (normal usage) requires the plugs at both ends of the cable to be wired in the same fashion while a cross-over cable (used to link one hub/switch to another) requires the reverse wiring of all pins on one end. Some switches/hubs can auto-sense which type of cable is used and automatically switch themselves into the required mode to support the cable used. The wiring scheme below is only ONE way to wire the plug but there are many other different ways that will also work.

RJ45 Straight Thru Cable
RJ45 Crossover Cable
RJ45 KRONE Connector Socket Wiring

For Power Over Ethernet (POE) connect
V+ to pins 4 & 7
V- to pins 5 & 8

David Prest uses the 2nd one above except that orange and orange/white are swapped for some reason.
Another variation seems to be
rj45_connector rj45_crossover

Telephone Socket Wiring
Old PinOld ColourNew ColourRJ11
Telephone Socket Wiring
RJ11New ColourOld ColourOld Pin

USB Cable wiring scheme


A normal USB cable has a Type A connector on one end and a Type B connector on the other end.

USB Cable
1Red+5 Volts
2WhiteData -
3GreenData +

No Login Screen for Win-98


Sometimes when Windows 98 starts up it DOESN'T ask you to enter your user name and password. If you want your networking to work properly (or at all) you need to enter these at system startup. This may be due to a problem with Win-98's settings. We have an edited copy of one of Microsoft's Knowledge base articles on solving this problem available here.

What to do if computers won't connect


If you can't get your computers to talk to each other do the following....