"Windows 7 Network - How to Set Up the Network Card and Verify the Network Status?"

Discover the Windows 7 network feature! A network is a system of two or more computers connected together to share resources.

To set up a network with multiple computers, you need to install a network card/adapter for each computer on your network and connect each computer to a network switch using network cable or wireless technology, known as Wi-Fi.

When you installed Windows 7, a basic set of networking services was installed and configured, using system defaults. This setup may, but doesn't always, provide an operable networking system.

However, there are three basic steps of Windows 7 networking that make your computer can communicate with other computers in the network:

  • Ensure the Network Interface Card (NIC) and network cable is properly set up.
  • Install the networking functions that you want to perform.
  • Review your network security settings.

Most motherboard nowadays comes with build-in network adapter that you just need to install the driver and plug the network cable then it will work. Sometime, this build-in network port may get spoilt or malfunctioning.

This tutorial describes how the NIC was installed and what you need to do to make it operational. Check the status of your NIC and whether you have a driver installed. If you don't, you can install one.

To set up Network Interface Card (NIC)

  • Locate your computer motherboard PCI slot.
  • Remove the metal plate that attach to the computer casing just in front of the PCI slot.
  • Gently plug in the NIC to the motherboard PCI slot.
  • Tighten it with a screw at the NIC handle to the casing.
  • Power ON the computer.
  • If the computer has a NIC that is both certified for Windows 7 and fully Plug and Play-compatible, then your NIC driver will be install by Windows automatically.
  • Else, if you need to install the NIC driver, please read another article on how to install NIC driver.

To check the Windows 7 network card and the network status

  • Click Start and click Control Panel.
  • In Category view, click Network and Internet, and then click Network and Sharing Center.
  • network and Internet sharing center window

  • From the Network and Sharing Center window displayed, you can see if you are connected to a network by the line between your computer and the network icon in the center and then if you are connected to the Internet by the line between the network icon and the Internet icon on the right.
  • In the middle-right area of the Network and Sharing Center, if you see a Local Area Connection and/or a Wireless Network Connection, you have network connections (you don't need both a local area connection and a wireless connection) and you can be assured your NIC is working.
  • If you do not see the connections, you need to check out why and getting it fixed.
  • Click Change adapter settings in the left pane.
  • From the Network Connections window displayed, if you see the "Local Area Connection" and/or "Wireless Network Connection," you have the NIC driver properly installed and you can read on another article to continue - Windows 7 Networking Functions.
  • If you do not have a Local Area Connection icon, you must first install a NIC driver in your computer and verify to ensure it's working fine.

One of the problems that cause the Windows 7 network error is the NIC faulty. If a NIC is properly plugged into the computer slot, any of these things could be causing it to not operate:

  • The NIC driver is not recognized by Windows 7; it is either missing or not properly installed.
  • The NIC is not functioning properly (spoilt).

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