Workbench has a new category, XP Networking, to document my struggles with a Windows network that is not working.
Up to this point, I've managed my home network with one problem-solving skill: Unplug the hub, count to 10, and plug it back in. I have now learned this technique has its limits.
Since Monday, our laptop can connect to the home Ethernet network, ping other machines, and ping Internet servers, but it can't browse the Web or check e-mail over a shared broadband connection on the primary PC. (Ping is an are-you-out-there tool that comes with XP: Open a command prompt and typefollowed by the domain you seek -- such as .)
After many failed experiments with the System Restore Wizard, Network Setup Wizard, and other false friends, I bought Microsoft Windows XP Networking Inside Out, a Microsoft Press book by Curt Simmons and James Causey.
As I read the 675-page book and learn more skills to supplement "unplug the hub," I'll be posting tips and observations in the category. I encourage other ill-prepared Windows XP network administrators to join me.