XP PVR Network

I finally got Windows XP Professional. Tested it out on a 1.5 gig Athlon and a 6gig hard drive. The objective was to get a windows based media computer with PVR capabilities but mainly be a DVD processor. Use of a more capable operating system was also an objective. I was getting tired of having to search for programs that did not depend on the capabilities of XP. Although there is lots of stuff that will run under win98, most of the really neat stuff requires XP.
XP installs as quickly as previous versions of windows but a fresh install with default security settings is not usable by people who connect to the internet. Took an additional couple of hours to secure things and get the right look and feel. I like the classic windows 98 look and feel. The default XP stuff looks childish to me.

I saw the warning about allowing sufficient disk drive space and I promptly ignored it. To make matters worse, I ended up moving a bunch of stuff to the XP drive and forgot about it. Over 2gig of space ended up being occupied by video files. So when I opted to save previous configuration before installing SP1a, I quickly ran out of disk space.

Time to find a large disk drive. I suppose I could have made the 6gig work but I did want this thing to be a media machine. By this time I had decided that XP was going to be run on everything that would run it. That included three computers in a network of seven. The Dell in the front room came with XP home and was now running win98 and using two hard drives, a 10gig and a 20 gig. I decided to clear out the data from the 20 gig and use it as the XP media machine drive.

By 2am I had everything installed and working. Things ran at a good speed indicating there were no hangups to speak of. No programs waiting on a hung serial or ethernet connection. Right after I finished installing the latest updates to Nero 6.0, the network quit working.

My network is as crufty as my software. It all limps along at 10meg and sometimes it stumbles. The next morning I did the various resetting of routers and switches and pulled on cables and such. All to no avail. Then I unplugged the network cable (still using rg58 thin net) from one of the unused desktop machines. Network came right up. That has happened before but the cable got plugged in again and forgotten. Things were fine until last night.

I have no idea what is causing this. Could be invisible gremlins. Most likely it is a bad or flakey network card.

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