Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is the configuration of your Internet Protocol (IP) address, subnet mask, DNS servers, domain name suffix and about 200 other possible options to let your computer communicate with a network automatically via a server or router. It sounds complicated, but once set up, it can make connecting to a network much easier.
1. Log into Windows XP with administrator rights. This makes setting up the network for you, and other users, easier as you can make all the necessary changes to settings.
2. Look for the Network Neighborhood or My Network Places icon in your desktop. If it is not there, try your Start Menu.
3. Right-click the Network Neighborhood/My Network Places icon. A drop-down menu will appear.
4. Choose the "Properties" option, generally found at the bottom of the menu.
5. Look for an icon named "Local Area Connection". The icon looks like a pair of computer connected by a link. Double-click this icon.
6. Click the "General" tab, if it is not already selected. You will see a list of protocols to choose form.
7. Scroll down and choose Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click the button that is labeled "Properties".
8. Again, click the "General" tab, it it is not alreay selected. You will see two choices:
1. "Obtain an IP address Automatically"
2. "Use the following IP address..."
9. Choose option 1.
10. You have effectively configured DHCP for your PC. When your computer obtains the IP address, it will also obtain DNS server information automatically. This is provided by your dhcp server.
* Make sure your NIC (Network Card)is working properly.
* Make sure you are connected directly to a router, switch or hub.
* Make sure the Link light is on. (small green light where the cable plugs into the computer)
* If you are connected to a LAN, make sure that you have a router that will give addresses away, since the address will be obtained by the PC from the router.
* If you have a Server on the LAN such as Windows 2000 or 2003, make sure the server is configured DHCP enabled as well.
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