A+ Certification / Beginners

Configuring a network card

After you install the network card, Plug and Play should kick in and either load the driver for you or prompt you for the driver. When the driver is loaded, you are able to specify settings for the network card in Windows. For example, if you want to force your network card to run at a particular speed, you can do that through the properties of the network card.

To configure your network card, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and right-click My Computer.
  2. Choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  3. In the System Properties window, click the Hardware page tab and then click the Device Manager button.
  4. In Device Manager, expand the Network Adapters category on the left, right-click your network card, and choose Properties.
  5. In the Properties dialog box for the network card, click the Advanced page tab and you will see settings that can be configured for the network card.
    The advanced settings will be different for each make and model of network card because the settings are particular to the driver that is loaded. A very popular setting is the link speed, which specifies what speed you wish to run the card at. Most network cards are set to Auto, which means the card will detect the best speed - but when troubleshooting, you can force a particular speed.
    Typically, you may also choose which type of connector on the network card will be used, if it has multiple connector styles. For example, a number of network cards ship with both an RJ-45 port and a BNC port - this is called a combo card. If you want to ensure that the system is using the RJ-45 port, then you set that in the device properties.
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