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Configuring a Computer for Internet Access

Students are responsible for supplying the computer/laptop and installing a Ethernet (Direct-Wired) network card or Wireless Adapter card (802.11 IEEE standard) for direct-wired or wireless access, respectively. The Computer Services Department does not support (work on) student computers beyond assisting with the network connection procedures. For any needs beyond establishing the network connection, students must seek other assistance.

Internal Network Card Installation Instructions (Direct-Wired or Wireless)

The first thing that must be done is to install the network card into your computer. NOTE: MOST COMPUTERS PURCHASED TODAY HAVE ETHERNET NETWORK CARDS ALREADY PRE-INSTALLED. WIRELESS CARDS ARE USUALLY NOT AN INCLUDED FEATURE ON DESKTOP PCs HOWEVER ARE BECOMING MORE OF A COMMON FEATURE ON NOTEBOOKS. Check your computer's documentation to see what networking hardware your machine has. Most computer vendors offer wireless network card options when purchasing a PC. If your computer does not have a network card (Ethernet / Wireless) the steps involved to install one will vary depending on PC brand/model and network card type (ISA or PCI). Consult the documentation for both your computer and network card.

What you will need:

  1. Network card.
  2. Network patch cable for direct-wired connections (Residence Halls) These can be purchased in the Gordon State College bookstore). Standard lengths are 10' & 25'.
  3. Screwdriver or nut driver to remove PC cover.
  4. network card manual/documentation.
  5. PC manual/documentation.

For general installation procedures, use the following steps as a guide:

  1. Power off and unplug the electrical cord to your computer. Unplug any other cords needed to remove the PC's cover.
  2. Remove the cover.
  3. Locate an open expansion slot for the network card.
  4. Remove the expansion slot end cover.
  5. Insert the network card being sure that it is fully seated in the expansion slot and install the lock screw.
  6. Replace the computer cover.
  7. Reconnect power cord and any other cords you removed.
  8. For direct-wired connections in the Residence Halls plug the network patch cable (Cat 5) into the available data jack in the wall and then connect the other end to the network card you just installed. NOTE: the patch cable and connectors look similar to a telephone cable but are different. Do not plug the network patch cable into the wrong jack.

After installing the network card, you need to setup the drivers and other software for it within Windows. The exact procedure may vary depending on the brand of network card and its capabilities. The directions here are general in nature.

The PC may automatically identify that the new network card has been found upon booting up. If it does, follow the on screen instructions to configure Windows and then skip to the Gordon State College Settings section below.

What you will need:

  1. Manual/documentation for your network card
  2. Driver disk for your network card*
  3. Windows CD-ROM or diskettes
  4. * Most network cards do come with a driver's disk. In addition, the driver's disk may also include DOS utilities to test the network card.

If Windows doesn't automatically find the card, the steps involved in configuring Windows are below:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel by clicking on START | SETTINGS | CONTROL PANEL.
  2. Select the ADD NEW HARDWARE icon.
  3. Select NO to manually tell Windows about the new hardware.
  4. Select the Manufacturer and Model of your network card or select Have Disk and insert your network card driver disk in your DVD/ CD-ROM or floppy drive.
  5. Follow the on screen prompts to complete the setup.

Gordon State College Settings for Windows 7

You will need to ensure that the network settings for your PC are setup correctly in order to connect to the Gordon State College network in the residence halls. The instructions below demonstrate a typical setup on the Windows 7 Operating System.

  1. Press Start button >> Control Panel (Fig 1) >>>> click Network and Internet (Fig 2) >> click Network and Sharing Center (Fig 3) >> click Change adapter settings from left menu.

    network1_win7
    Fig 1

    network2_win7
    Fig 2

    network3_win7
    Fig 3

  2. From the Network Connections box, right-click 'Local Area Connection' >> click 'Properties' on pop-up menu (Fig 4). (Once the network card is installed correctly the 'Local Area Connection' icon should be enabled)

    network4_win7
    Fig 4

  3. From the Local Area Connection Properties (Fig 5), single click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) under This connection uses the following items: and then click the Properties button.

    network5_win7
    Fig 5

  4. On the General Tab (in the Internet Protocol Version 4 TCP/IPv4 Properties Box) make sure the Obtain an IP Address Automatically and the Obtain DNS server address automatically radio buttons are selected as shown above.

    network6_win7
    Fig 6

  5. Once the appropriate options have been selected press OK and then OK again on the Local Area Connections Properties Box (Fig 5).