Configure IT Quick: Use one NIC for two networks on a notebook

NIC keeps notebook users from having to reconfigure their network adapter settings each time they switch between networks.

If you use a notebook computer and switch between different networks, you might find yourself having to reconfigure your network adapter settings each time you switch.

For example, perhaps you have one group of settings at the office and a different set for your home office. When you take the notebook home, you have to reconfigure it for your local network settings (i.e., switching from a public IP address at the office to a private IP address at home). To reduce the hassle, you can take advantage of a little-known behavior in Windows 2000 that will help you circumvent the trouble.

One NIC, two PCMCIA slots
Windows 2000 maintains network configuration settings for network adapters on a notebook based on the adapter’s slot. This also means you can maintain two different sets of network configuration settings by moving a single adapter between the slots.

Figure A
This Orinoco wireless NIC is shown in slot 0.

So, you might assign one IP address to the adapter when it’s in slot 0 (see Figure A) and a different IP address when it’s in slot 1. Then, when you need a certain configuration, simply reboot the computer with the adapter in the appropriate slot.

To set up your computer in this way, boot the system with the card in slot 0 and configure the network settings as needed for the first network. Verify that the network is working, then shut down the computer. Move the adapter to slot 1 and boot the computer. Configure the new settings and test on the second network.

More laptop support help
Laptops can be particularly more difficult to support than desktops. For more tips and tricks specifically for laptops, check out the following articles, columns, and downloads from TechRepublic:

Editor's Picks