I recently purchased two older computers.

They both have XP Home on them

They both have VIA Rhine II Fast Ethernet Adapters

I am trying to connect them via an ethernet cable for networking

I have updated the drivers to a recent update (june 2009 or so)

and I still get "Network cable unplugged." I have not been able to get past it.

However, I can use the same ethernet cable to plug either of them into my family computer (XP pro) (obviously not at the same time as there is only one ethernet slot on each computer).

Everything works perfectly until I try to connect them to each other and then I can only seem to get the same error...


Normally you cannot connect two computers directly with a standard ethernet cable. You have to have a hub or switch involved to swap the send and receive wires to the right outputs. There are crossed cables available that will do the pin swapping for you but you are better off with a small hub. A standard cable pin one goes straight through to pin one and two to two etc. A crossed cable swaps pin one to pin two, two to one, three to four four to three, etc. so transmit on one computer goes to receive on the other and visa versa. Hubs and switches handle that for you. Some of the newer network adapters are designed to auto detect the cable configuration and allow you to connect without a cross connect cable but the older VIA adapters are not on the list. I bet you are not getting a link light on the network port when they don't connect. And when you get one on the new computer it takes a second to come on instead of the moment you plug it in.

Thank you very much. I was planning on purchasing a small switch anyway but didn't want to if I wasn't sure the network adapters were working properly. I now have a perfect reason to by my switch