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9. How do I install a network card into my computer?

After purchasing your network card the first thing you need to do is to remove the side from your case to find a suitable slot (normally PCI) to insert it into

Insert the card evenly and screw it home

Turn on your PC and then comes the driver installation part. The installation below is on Windows 98 Second Edition but it is similar for windows 95 and ME. Now you in effect have 2 options. The first is to install the driver as windows starts though occasionally this creates problems and I have found that network cards can be troublesome if you don't get everything right first time, so I cancel the found new hardware box at startup and go into windows first. Then you can right click on the My Computer Icon and choose Properties from the popup menu.

This will give the system properties and you should select the device manager Tab

system properties

If you click the Refresh button then windows will find the missing device and start the installation process with the found hardware box similar to below

pci ethernet controller

Select Next to give you

add new hardware wizard

Ensure "Search for best driver" is selected and press Next to give you

network setup

Ensure "specify location " is checked and Hit the Browse button to give you

browse for folder

Now at this point you need to know the location of your driver and there are only guidelines that can be given as there are no hard and fast rules about where you should go. Generally speaking your driver will tend to be on a cd (or if you dowloaded it then in the directory you unzipped it to) and by convention the relevant file tends to be either in a folder called "Driver" or in one named after the relevant operating system such as "Win98" above or others such as "Win9x" or "Win95-98-ME" etc. The only clue the dialog gives you is that unless the folder contains some sort of driver (not necessarily the right one though) the OK button is greyed out. So if you can press the OK button then you have at least a chance of it having the right driver. Now if you select OK then it will take you back to the Dialog above this one (with the exception that the path you have selected will show in the box rather than the "D:\win98" that it started with. If you select next then you may (or indeed may not) get the dialog below.

add new hardware

If you selected the correct location then you are ready to install the driver. If you get a similar dialog with the message "windows was unable to locate a driver" then you need to select "Back" and have another go at a location until you get to this point. Now this tends to be a point of no return. That is to say once you go onwards from here you really need to complete the installation correctly and fully or things tend to get much more complicated as partial network installations can be time consuming to fix. Before you press Next ensure you also have a windows 98 (or whichever operating system you are using) CD. You won't always need it as it depends how your original OS was installed but best to have it. Make sure also that it is the same one that you installed windows 98 with (or indeed came with your system if you didn't install it) as using different versions can mean that although everything appears to be setup correctly and you followed all the instructions, the network just doesn't work. Assuming all this is correct then you can press NEXT. Generally speaking you can then expect the next dialog below (though this doesn't always appear and if it doesn't then that is fine too).

insert disk

If the dialog appears then generally OK will enable the system to carry on. If it doesn't you can browse for the file as sometimes it is in a different location however TRY NOT TO CHOOSE "SKIP FILE" OR "CANCEL" AS THESE ARE THE ONES THAT TEND TO LEAD TO PROBLEMS. Try to find the file it is looking for (you can still leave the install where it is and use the standard windows search/find files utilities and then go back and use the browse option to point to the correct location. I can't stress highly enough the importance of finding the file rather than quitting). Assuming the OK worked (or indeed after hours of searching you found the right file) then OK may (or once again may not) take you to the dialog below (if it skips this dialog then that's good news).

please insert disk labelled win 98

If you get this dialog then remove your driver cd and insert your windows CD and then you can press OK. Just occasionally you may find that you then go back to the previous file not found dialog and if you do then just replace the drivers CD and find the file and so on as many times as it takes (occasionally round in circles a few times) and eventually you will get the dialog below

pci fast ethernet

Press FINISH and the drivers side is done. However you don't yet have a network as you still need "correctly configured Protocols". which you can do HERE


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