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Installing Microsoft Network Client 3.0

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Final Words

So there you have it, a quick, simple way to access a Microsoft Network share with Network Client 3.0. Although this guide may seem lengthy, it actually only takes about 10 minutes to install the client, and you only need to do it once. If you are in a corporate environment with a DHCP server and are installing many servers with identical NICs, you can copy the original setup onto a couple of floppies or a CD, and then copy it onto each new server. Then, you can add the individual answer files for each server, and you will have a nice unattended setup going simultaneously. Note that this also works with Windows 2000 Professional as well as Windows XP Home/Professional. If you do not have a DHCP server on your network, read on to find out how to set your TCP/IP settings manually.

Manually Configuring TCP/IP

The [TCPIP] section
Look for the [TCPIP] section in PROTOCOL.INI

To manually configure TCP/IP, install Network Client as described in this guide, and then edit the PROTOCOL.INI file located inside the NET directory. If you followed this guide precisely, here is what to type:

Look for a section titled [TCP/IP] and change the settings accordingly. Here is what it looks like by default:

So, if you wanted to disable DHCP and configure your machine with an IP address of with a subnet mask, you would change it to this:

Changing Drivers and Adding Additional Protocols

To change drivers after installation, navigate to the NET directory by typing CD\NET and then restart the setup program by typing SETUP. You will once again see the confirmation screen which you saw earlier during setup. Highlight "Change Network Configuration," and choose "Remove" to remove your current driver and try a new one. You can also change other settings such as protocols and workgroup names. If nothing else works, you may want to play with the settings to see if you can find a solution.

Manually Adding a NIC Driver

There may be an occasion when your NIC vendor either does not provide NDIS 2.0 compliant drivers, or provides a package that is incomplete (i.e. missing OEMSETUP.INF, PROTOCOL.INI, etc.). In these situations, you will not be able to use the Setup program to add your NIC driver. If, however, you can find the correct xxxxxxxx.DOS file for your NIC, then you can manually configure Network Client to use that driver. To do so, specify the first listed NIC, 3Com Etherlink, when you are asked to specify a NIC during installation. Then, proceed as normal, and modify the SYSTEM.INI and PROTOCOL.INI files (located in the C:\NET directory) once installation is complete. In SYSTEM.INI, the line you want to change is:


This line is listed under the [network drivers] section. Change it to netcard=xxxxxxxx.DOS, where xxxxxxxx is the name of your vendor-provided driver file.

In PROTOCOL.INI, look for the [MS$ELNK] section and change the following line:


Change this to DriverName=xxxxxxxx$, where xxxxxxxx is the name of your vendor-provided driver file.

If you have a PNP NIC, you may also need to delete the lines under [MS$ELNK] that relate to I/O Address, IRQ, and DMA settings.

Look for "netcard=elnk.dos" in SYSTEM.INI, and "DriverName=ELNK$" in PROTOCOL.INI

Once you have modified these files, save them and restart your computer. If the drivers are correct, your computer should now be able to connect to your network.


You may have noticed that aside from copying it to the root directory, SMARTDRV.EXE has not been mentioned or used. The reason for this is that Windows 2000 Setup runs faster with SMARTDRV installed. If you are using this guide for something other than setting up Windows 2000/XP, then you can disregard SMARTDRV.EXE.

Well, that's it for this guide, thank you for reading. See you next time!

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Disclaimer: All articles written on this site are based on my own experiences only. They are not meant to be comprehensive or as a "final word." Please do not consider them as such. If you are using them in a mission-critical environment, I take no responsibility if you hose your network or system. ALWAYS TEST before you implement new systems in a mission-critical environment. All articles copyright 2002 and 2004 by Jonathan Young. Not responsible for death or injury resulting from reading, following, or implementing any of the articles and/or essays on this site.