41. Add a Network Client or Service
As discussed in Open Connection Properties and Enable Clients, Protocols, and Services, you must have your WiFi network adapter configured so that your computer can participate in a Microsoft workgroup. This means that the Local Area Connection (this term is synonymous with your WiFi adapter) must be configured with the Client for Microsoft Networks (the client provides access to the workgroup) and the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks service (which allows file and print sharing on your computer). Finally, the computer must be configured with a network protocol; we'll use the TCP/IP protocol to provide the computer with the ability to communicate in the workgroup and over the Internet (which requires TCP/IP). The bottom line is that you must have these three items listed in the WiFi adapter's Local Area Connection Properties dialog box. No substitutions are allowed if you want the computer to actually participate on the network.
In some cases, depending on who configured your computer's network settings (and whether or not those settings have been changed since you bought your computer), these three items might already be configured in your Wireless Network Connection Properties dialog box. Because TCP/IP is the default protocol for Windows XP, it is already installed on your system; in fact Windows XP does not allow you to remove TCP/IP from the Wireless Network Connection Properties dialog box. However, you can disable the protocol by clearing the check box next to the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) item in the properties list.
Because TCP/IP will appear in the properties list by default (because we are talking about Windows XP), you only have to ensure that it is enabledthat is, that there is a check in the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) check box. You can then concentrate on adding the Client for Microsoft Networks (the client) and the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks service.
You need to run through this task only if one of these required items is missing from the WiFi adapter's configuration. Look back at the configuration inventory you did in the previous task to see whether you are missing any of these required components for workgroup networking or whether TCP/IP has been disabled for the connection. If so, use this task to add that particular component or enable the TCP/IP protocol.
Every computer participating in the workgroup must be configured for Microsoft workgroup networking. This means that all the configuration items detailed in this task must be configured on each computer that will be a member of the workgroup.
Add a Network Client or Service
In some cases, the Client for Microsoft Networks client or the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks service will be installed in the WiFi adapter's properties list but have been disabled (who knows how, things happen). If either of these items is listed but disabled, click the check box to the left of the item to enable the client or service.
You might not be sure whether some items listed in the Wireless Network Connection Properties dialog box are necessary. You can select an item from the list and click the Uninstall button to remove unwanted clients, services, or protocols. However, if you aren't sure what an item does or whether it is necessary, don't uninstall it. Removing needed services or protocols can affect the computer's ability to communicate on the network.