Help for network hookup

Question: In our local area network, one of the machines is no longer connected to the network which means that printouts can no longer be done from that machine. The reason for this disconnection is that Windows 95 was reinstalled in that machine without making a connection to the network. The question is, how do we reconnect the machine to the network again? The machines are Pentiums with Windows 95 environment. – L.C.P.

Answer: I’ll never forget calling Microsoft after buying Windows 95 on launch day and being told that network questions weren’t covered by the initial technical support coverage. I guess the demand for networking support was so great among users and time-consuming that it wasn’t cost-effective for Microsoft to offer it for free.

I checked on your problem with Kirk Reid, an Edmonton network guru. “Reinstalling Win95 will often overwrite the network configuration,” he explained. The first order of business to solve this problem is to determine if the network card has been detected by the reinstall of Windows 95. To do this:

  1. Click on the My Computer icon on your desktop, then select Properties.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab, then double-click on Network Adapters.
  3. If a card is listed and there’s no red or yellow mark next to it, then all you need to do is reconfigure it with the network settings from the other machines, by checking the information installed under the Network icon in the Control Panel.
  4. If there is a warning message on the network adapter, click on it and see what it says.

“Depending on the network card, however, Windows 95 may not automatically detect it,” said Reid. “You may either need to initiate the Add new hardware wizard found in the Control Panel, or manually add the hardware.”

Reid adds: “Advanced troubleshooting that we see here is not work for amateurs. If this sounds like Greek to you, call your friendly neighbourhood network expert or Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer system administrator.”

There’s a very good guide to network and network printing problems in the free Windows 95 Support Assistant. It’s a piece of software that is filled with troubleshooting tips and frequently asked questions about Windows 95. You can find it on this page on Microsoft’s site.

You might also be interested in Networking Windows 95 by Simon Collin.