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Windows

Windows 7 : Creating a Windows Network - Joining a Windows Domain Network, Checking Out the Neighborhood, Bridging Two Network Types

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1. Joining a Windows Domain Network

This section describes how to add your computer to a domain network run by a version of Windows Server. If you’re lucky, your network administrator will take care of this for you. Alternatively, she or he might give you custom-tailored instructions for your network. By all means, use those instructions instead of the generic plan in this section.

Note

Most Windows 7 installations will work “out of the box” without the need to install any additional network components. If your network uses Novell servers, though, your network manager may give you instructions for adding additional client software.


At the very least, your network administrator will give you four pieces of information:

  • The name to be given to your computer.

  • The domain name for your network.

  • Your network logon name and password.

  • Any specific configuration information for the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). In most cases, it is not necessary to make any changes in the default settings.

If your computer was connected to the network when you installed Windows 7 and you entered this information then.

Use the following procedure to make your computer a member of your network domain:

1.
Log on to Windows with a Computer Administrator account.

2.
Click Start, right-click Computer, and select Properties. Click Change Settings in the Computer Name, Domain, and Workgroup settings section.

3.
Click the Network ID button.

4.
Select This Computer Is Part of a Business Network; I Use It to Connect to Other Computers at Work, and then click Next.

5.
Select My Company Uses a Network with a Domain, and then click Next twice.

6.
Enter your network login name, password, and the network domain name, as supplied by your network administrator. Then click Next.

7.
You might be asked to enter your computer’s name and its domain name. This information will also have been supplied by your network administrator. If you’re asked, enter the computer and domain names provided, and then click Next.

You also might be prompted for a domain Administrator account name and password. If this occurs, the network administrator will have to assist you.

8.
You should finally get the message “Welcome to the xxx domain.” Close the Properties dialog box and allow Windows to restart.

If an error message appears instead, click Details to view the detailed explanation of the problem. Report this information to your network administrator for resolution. The problem could be in your computer or in the network itself.

Note

If your computer is disconnected from the network or you want to install new hardware, you can log on using a local account. Select the computer’s name instead of your network domain name, and log on using a local Computer Administrator account.


When your computer has been joined to the domain and restarted, the Windows 7 Welcome screen no longer appears and you need to use the old-style logon system to sign on. To log on, press Ctrl+Alt+Del and then enter your account name, password, and domain name. You can specify an alternative domain name by entering your username and account together this way: myaccount@domain.

2. Checking Out the Neighborhood

Your network is finally ready to go. After you have configured, connected, and perhaps restarted each of your computers, open Windows Explorer: Click Start, Computer or, alternatively, Start, Documents. (Any Windows Explorer view will work.) Look for the Network item at the left edge of the Window, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Windows Explorer has links at the left edge that let you explore your network, and your homegroup, if you have one.

If your network is up and running, and Network Discovery is enabled, you should see one icon for every computer you’ve connected. Double-click any icon to see what that computer is sharing with the network.

If you set up a homegroup, the Homegroup list will have an entry for each user who has elected to share files. There may be entries for the other users on your own computer, as well as users on other computers. Shared printers should already be listed in your Devices and Printers Control Panel applet, automatically, although if you have one or more printers that are not connected via USB cables, you may have to take additional steps to share them.

3. Bridging Two Network Types

Windows 7 provides the capability to connect or bridge two different network types through software. This can eliminate the need to buy a hardware device to connect two disparate networks. Figure 2 shows an example of what bridging can do. In the figure, one Windows 7 computer serves as a bridge between an Ethernet LAN and a phoneline LAN.

Figure 2. Bridging a phoneline and Ethernet network with Windows 7. Computers on either network can communicate as if they were directly connected.


Bridging is similar to routing, but it’s more appropriate for small LANs because it’s easier to configure and doesn’t require different sets of IP addresses on each network segment. Technically, bridging occurs at the physical level of the network protocol stack. Windows forwards network traffic, including broadcasts and packets of all protocol types received on either adapter to the other. In effect, it creates one larger network.

To enable bridging in your Windows 7 computer, install and configure two or more network adapters. However, don’t worry about setting up the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) parameters for either of the adapters yet. Then do the following:

1.
View the connection icons by clicking Start, Control Panel, View Network Status and Tasks (under Network and Internet), Change Adapter Settings.

2.
Select the icons you want to bridge by clicking on the first, holding down the Ctrl key, and clicking on the second.

3.
Right-click one of the icons and select Bridge Connections.

4.
A new icon named Network Bridge appears. Select this new icon and, if you want, rename it appropriately—for example, “Ethernet to Phoneline.”

5.
Double-click the new Network Bridge icon. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and configure your computer’s TCP/IP settings. You must do this because any TCP/IP settings for the original two adapters are lost.

When you’ve created a bridge, your two network adapters function as one and share one IP address, so Microsoft disables the “network properties” of the individual network adapters. You must configure your computer’s network properties with the Network Bridge icon.

Remember that the connection between the two networks depends on the computer with the bridge being powered on.

You can remove the bridge later by right-clicking the Network Bridge icon and clicking Delete.

Other -----------------
- Windows 8 : Troubleshooting and Testing Network Settings
- Windows 8 : Managing Network Connections
- Windows 7 : Configuring a Peer-to-Peer Network (part 3) - Setting Up a Homegroup
- Windows 7 : Configuring a Peer-to-Peer Network (part 2)
- Windows 7 : Configuring a Peer-to-Peer Network (part 1) - Configuring the TCP/IP Protocol
- Windows 7 : Creating a Windows Network - Installing a Wireless Network (part 2) - Setting Up a New Wireless Network
- Windows 7 : Creating a Windows Network - Installing a Wireless Network (part 1) - Wireless Network Setup Choices
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