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On your xp box try ipconfig. should give you the ip address of the box etc. If not your NIC,driver may be faulty/set up wrong. Sorry im not an xp expert.
On Linux type ifconfig eth0 this should give lots of info including ip address.
If both OK then look to your cable. Must be crossover if you are using no hub.
If all above ok xp or linux firewall may be problem. must allow ping for a start.
How do i know if both are ok? what do you mean?
I have a dual OS on one machine.. Linux and XP.. XP connection works fine, but when i try to ping with linux.. doesn't seem to work.. please help.. i'm so lost...
there are restrictions to ip, the ones that will never be used on the net(ie for internal machines are)
and another one, starts 172 but forgotten the rest
so set one of the machines to 192.168.0.1 and the other to 192.168.0.2, subnet mask 255.255.255.0
if you still cant ping then its a firewall issue if the two xp machines can ping each other then its on the linux side, try dropping the firewall and pinging, iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT. to put the firewall back iptables -P INPUT DROP
that 169 address is the one set by 2k/xp when it cant negotiate a dhcp address, to get the xp computer working with linux it will be easier for now to choose a static address. if your not on the internet then you can choose any address you want apart from a few reserved ones but if you were on the internet, then say you chose the address 22.214.171.124(dur.ac.uk backup nameserver) some traffic destined for this nameserver could find its way to you instead, which isnt really a good thing. so when ipv4 was released they came up with some addresses that could never be used on the internet, they are as i stated above so if you use any of them you are in no danger of interrupting anyone elses network.
ive never used xp but hopefully its similar to 2k, you want to go to control panel->network connections->local area network, this should bring up a dialog for you to choose ip and dns, choose ip manually and enter 192.168.0.1, for the subnet mask you want 255.255.255.0. as for default gateway and dns just leave it blank.
now from the xp machine you can test youve done this right if you try to ping 192.168.0.1 you should get replies.
now go to the linux machine, there might be some silly gui tool to do this but i dont know anything about those, get a root shell and type
ifconfig eth0 down
ifconfig eth0 192.168.0.2 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.0.255
you should now from the linux machine be able to ping 192.168.0.2, see if you can get them to ping each other, if not then its a firewall issue, you can take down the linux firewall as i showed above iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT, and to bring it back iptables -P INPUT DROP