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Configuring VirtualPC for IPNetRouter

AKA "Configuring Windows95/98 for Internet Access over a Local Area Network (LAN)"

Here's the scoop on configuring Windows9x under VirtualPC (hereafter VPC) to access the Internet via an IPNetRouter gateway. More generically, this page will discuss connecting a Windows9x machine to the Internet thru any LAN with any router (firewalls may be problematic). A few disclaimers:
  1. I am not a Windows or network guru by a long shot. If anything I have is wrong, incomplete, or misleading, please let me know.
  2. I make no guarantees that this will work for you.
  3. VPC may not be able to run on the same Mac as IPNR (details here).
  4. I make no guarantee this will not trash Windows. Of course, since you're smart enough to be running Windows on a Mac, you can simply make a backup copy of your PC hard drive image before beginning.
Step by step, here we go!
(I suggest you read straight thru this page first, then use the links below as a reference index.)
  1. Start VPC
  2. Open the "Network" Control Panel
  3. Look for the PCI DECchip 21041 Based Adapter
  4. Add the Adapter (if necessary)
  5. Add the Protocol
  6. Bind the Adapter to the Protocol
  7. Set the TCP/IP Properties
  8. ........Enable DNS
  9. ........Router (Gateway) IP address
  10. ........Disable WINS Resolution
  11. ........VPC IP address
  12. Open the "Internet" Control Panel
  13. Set the connection to local area network.

Menu - Settings - Control Panel
1. Start VPC. Open the Control Panel via the Start menu.

Side note: I moved the Start Menu to the top to make it more Mac-like.

Control Panel - Network icon hilted
2. Open the "Network" Control Panel.
Network Control Panel showing adapters
3. This is the Network Control Panel window. You may have many more items showing. Look for this one:

TCP/IP->PCI Ethernet DECchip 21041 Based Adapter

If you find it, skip to here.

If not, look for this one:

Ethernet DECchip 21041 Based Adapter

If you find it, skip to here.

If you don't see either of them, click the [Add...] button and read on.
Select Network Component Type - Adapter 4a. If you don't have the PCI DECchip 21041 Based Adapter, select "Adapter" and click [Add...] in this window ( if you do have it, skip to here).

NOTE: This step assumes VPC. If you have a hardware PC, your ethernet card may be different. You're On Your Own for this step.

Select Network Adapter
4b. Select "Digital Equipment" in the left column, then "PCI Ethernet DECchip 21041 Based Adapter" in the right hand column. Click [ OK ].
Select Network Component Type - Protocol
5a. You're back to this window. Now that you have the DECchip 21041 adapter installed, select "Protocol" and click [Add...]
Select Network Protocol
5b. Hold your nose, select "Microsoft" in the left column, then "TCP/IP" in the right. Then click [ OK ]. Now you can breathe again.
Network Control Panel showing a TCP/IP protocol for every adapter
5c. You will notice that there is now a TCP/IP protocol for every adapter. You want this one

TCP/IP -> 
PCI Ethernet DECchip 21041 Based Adapter

but there's one other setting to check before you work with it. Read on...

You may be able to delete the others, but you do so at your own risk.
Network Control Panel showing TCP/IP protocol for DECchip 21041 PCI based 
6. Click on

Ethernet DECchip 21041 Based Adapter

then click [Properties]

Be careful what you click! You must select the adapter itself, not its protocol, for this step!
PCI DECchip 21041 adapter properties - bindings
6b. Select the |Bindings| tab, make sure the box shown is checked, then click [ OK ].
Network Control Panel showing TCP/IP protocol for DECchip 21041 PCI based 
7. Select

TCP/IP->PCI Ethernet DECchip 21041 Based Adapter

then click [Properties]

Yeah, Windows is just like a Mac. Sure.
DNS Domain Name Server host name configuration
8. Click the |DNS Configuration| tab. Check "Enable DNS." Enter any name for "Host," which is the name of your VPC machine. Enter the domain name server IP addresses you got from your ISP.

Here are some domain name server addresses for you if you need them: ( (

9. Click the |Gateway| tab. Enter your gateway machine's router IP address by entering it in the "New gateway:" box and clicking [Add].

Mine is shown by way of example.
WINS resolution configuration
10. Click the |WINS Configuration| tab. Check "Disable WINS Resolution".
address subnet mask
11. Click the |IP Address| tab. Enter the IP address for the VPC "virtual" machine. This will NOT be the same as the IP address of the Mac on which VPC is running. From the point of view of IPNetRouter, VPC is a completely different machine. It will, however, need to share the first three sets of numbers, in this case "192.168.101", as the other clients on your network. Remember too that VPC and IPNetRouter must be running on different machines (how come?). Be sure to enter the subnet mask and check "Specify an IP address:".

I don't believe any of the other tabs are necessary for our purposes. You may want to click thru them to be sure, since everyone's setup is different.

When you're done, click [ OK ], then close the Network Control Panel.
internet icon hilited in control panel
12. Open the "Internet" control Panel.

Your icon may look like this: internet 

internet control panel connection local area network
13. Click the |Connection| panel of the "Internet Properties" control panel. Check "Connect to the internet using a local area network."

Click [ OK ] when you're done with this panel. You may need to restart Windows. Then start your browser (which I hope is Netscape Navigator) and surf (assuming your gateway machine is properly configured).

That should do it. I have used these steps to configure several actual Wintel machines, the only difference being in the adapter - the actual ethernet card installed in the machine, and this has not been too hard to figure out. I would like to hear from anyone who puts this information to good use. My e-mail address is jwbaumann(shift-2)linkedresources(dot)com (Jeffrey W Baumann). If you have questions/problems, posting to the
NetTalk Mailing List is probably the better way to go.

Visit my Configuring IPNetRouter pages!

Why won't VPC and IPNR run on the same Mac?

This is the most common question I get, so here's the answer as best I understand it. I have received many reports that this no longer applies with newer versions of Virtual PC and MacOS 9, and no feedback regarding MacOS X. I have not personally verified any of this because, quite frankly, I'm not that interested anymore (why even bother with Windows when we have MacOS X?). Your mileage may vary.
MacOS uses Open Transport (OT) to handle TCP/IP communications. IPNR uses OT. VPC bypasses OT and uses its own protocol. If OT/IPNR and VPC try to share the same ethernet port, they conflict - they don't play nice together.

If you have a separate ethernet card in your Mac for IPNR, and VPC uses the built in port exclusively, and IPNR is configured for
single ethernet with the ethernet card, you can run them together, but wouldn't you want the speed and safety of a dual ethernet arrangement? In that case, you would need a third ethernet card. But since the cable modem/ADSL folks have probably already configured your Mac to the built-in ethernet by the time you think to do this, and VPC is kind of "hard-wired" to the built-in port too, you're opening the door to all sorts of nuisance problems trying to set this up.

Additionally, the vast majority of IPNR users have 2 or more Macs. You usually want IPNR on the slower/slowest Mac (IPNR doesn't ask much of the processer), and VPC on the fastest (VPC loves MHz), so running them together (for most people) is a little inefficient.
Last Updated July 16, 2003 (cosmetic update mostly)
©1999 Jeffrey W Baumann & LinkedResources. All Rights Reserved.

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