Part WiFi part Ethernet

  dms05 08:23 16 Jan 06

I have 2 laptops connected through a Network Switch to a D-Link 900+AP which bridges to a commercial WiFi network for Internet connection with about 100 contract users. I have disabled Microsoft Network and File Sharing on my part of the LAN for obvious reasons!

Sometimes I would like to Network my 2 laptops. So I disconnect the D-Link AP and have just my laptops connected via the Network Switch. I enable the LAN Microsoft Network and File Sharing parameters. I run the Network Wizard and select 'no internet connection' for both laptops. I enable file sharing etc. I carefully use the same Workgroup name.

The problem is I can't see ANYTHING on my LAN! Neither computer will even see themselves. I have XP Pro on one and XP Home on the other. I have ensured that the Home machine has an account recognised by the XP machine (ie I've installed identical accounts on both as administrator).

Where do I start to sort it out?

  mgmcc 09:07 16 Jan 06

When you are connected to the wireless network, there will be a router somewhere in the system with a DHCP server to allocate IP addresses to the various computers connected to it. When you disconnect from wireless network, your laptops no longer have any way to get their IP addresses.

If you open a Command Prompt window and run the command:


details of all adapters in the PC will be displayed. Now run:


which will release the current addresses and should set them to Now run:


This would normally renew the addresses with the DHCP server. However, in the absence of a DHCP server, Windows should allocate APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing) addresses in the range. This may let you run file sharing provided any firewall software is configured to allow access to the networked PCs.

The better option is to allocate fixed IP addresses, such as and with the same Subnet Mask of, to the two laptops.

  dms05 10:54 16 Jan 06

Thanks mgmcc. You are 100% correct. My AP is bridged to the WLAN and uses DHCP to allocate my IP address.

I tried allocating fixed IP addresses when off the WLAN and on my LAN. It works.

However my preferred solution is to revert to my 1Gb SD card and swop files that way. It works and I can leave my IP settings alone. Not as elegant maybe but it does work.

But it's really helpful to understand what the problem was. I might even understand Networking one of these days!

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