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Discussion Starter #1
This is a two computer network with one connected to a dsl modem via an ethernet cable, both XP. Thinking to connect the second computer to the internet, I bought an ethernet crossover cable and a usb/ethernet converter rather than a second NIC for connected computer. Seemed like a good idea at the time but I've 'Network Wizarded' to the point, I almost have the text memorized. Tried connecting second computer to adapter or second computer to first computer and dsl modem to adapter. 'Lack of connectivity' is all I'm getting. The connected computer is working fine and it notices when I disconnect the ethernet from the other.
 

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Honestly, take that stuff back. Buy a router and a NIC and plug both computers into the router. That way you have access to the net for both computers and its a lot simpler.
 

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or Try option #2
http://www.pcnineoneone.com/howto/hmnetwk1.html
As mentioned- it is not plug and play... you'll need to install Internet connection software and the 2nd PC will only work when the 1st PC with 2 Network cards is turned on.

I do agree with Hugh that if you aren't an IP networking guru, you'd be better off buying a router... and to be future proof, I would get one with built-in Wireless N technology like the D-link DIR-655 http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=530 .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Apparent I've been misinformed. Both computers have installed NIC cards and we had them connected through a DLink router but performance was marginal. Thinking to give this method a try, rather than installing a second NIC card in the host computer, I'd create the connection using the ethernet/usb adapter. The connection exists and the host advises when a cable plug is removed. The problem seems to be in the connected computer - needs an IP address and all attempts have failed. If this continues as a NOGO, we'll go back to the router and live with it.
 

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I don't know who is giving you guidance but I suspect their knowledge is very limited.

Connecting a modem to a router and the computers to the router via Ethernet is going to give you the best performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Never one to ignore a consensus, have reinstalled the DLink router and both machines are back on line. The downside is the number of times each has to 'refresh' when the 'page is not found' on the first try. Don't suppose there's a simple fix for that?
 

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I highly doubt your problem is a hardware issue or connectivity issue. Sounds more like a configuration issue. My suspicion is your router is not properly setup. Best to default it to factory settings and then follow the manual and set it up again.
 

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Also FYI:
If the computers are 5 yearsish old or newer, 95% chance they have auto-sensing NICs meaning you don't need to waste money on buying crossover cables for directly connecting the two.
A standard straight cat5e cable should work just fine.
 
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