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Bypassing the server to get to the internet

August 3, 2009

Recently, my server went into meltdown (the hard drive fan failed causing the hard drives to overheat and shut down without warning). I had to send it to my PC Guru guys to diagnose and fix (new fan, one new hard drive — the other was OK). But I still needed to work, which meant I still needed internet access.

Here’s what I had to do to get internet access on all my computers without using the DHCP settings on the now-out-of-action server:

  1. On each computer, open Network Connections (Start > Control Panel > Network Connections).
  2. Right-click on Local Area Connection then select Properties.
  3. On the General tab, scroll down to Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) (TCP/IP v4 on Vista) and click on it.
  4. Click Properties to open the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) dialog box. My settings were all set to obtain an IP address and DNS server address automatically — these are what I had to change.

    Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) dialog box

    Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) dialog box

  5. Select the Use the following IP address option.
  6. In the IP address field, enter an unused IP address for this computer (for example, I used 192.168.0.250 for one machine, 192.168.0.249 for another, 192.168.0.248 for yet another etc.).
  7. The Subnet mask field should populate automatically with 255.255.255.0 after you finish entering the IP address. Leave these settings as they are.
  8. In the Default gateway field, enter the IP address allocated to your modem/router — e.g. 192.168.0.1 (Note: your modem/router IP address will probably be different to this).
  9. Select the Use the following DNS server addresses option.
  10. In the Preferred DNS server field, enter the IP address allocated to your modem/router — e.g. 192.168.0.1 (Note: your modem/router IP address will probably be different to this).
  11. Click OK.
  12. Click Close to close the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) dialog box.

You should now be able to connect to the internet directly.

When I got my server back and all connected and powered up, I just had to set these settings on each computer back to Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically and that was it — I was back connected to the internet and to the files on my server.

Thanks to the PC Guru guys for walking me through what to do.

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