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Assigning Alternative IP Addresses

Over the years Microsoft has experimented by changing when the network
devices are initiated to make sure that the boot is not held up by a slow DHCP
server. Windows XP made big advances in this area and Windows 7 has an

entirely new TCP/IP stack that is optimized for performance. However, assign-
ing an alternative IP address to your network cards is something that can only
help because it saves your computer from an outgoing network request to the
DHCP server to get an IP address. No matter where Microsoft moves the net-
work initiation in the boot, it cannot eliminate the need to get an IP address

To review, every time you turn on your computer, it has to set up the IP con-
figuration for your network card. Often, this setup can result in your computer
pausing for moments during the loading process. The delay occurs because
the PC is waiting for the DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) server
to assign the computer an IP address and provide other network information.
On most healthy networks this is not an issue, but in some cases DHCP servers
can respond slowly causing the startup delay.
One easy solution to this problem is to assign alternative information to your
network card. This information is only temporary to allow your computer to
continue the loading process. Hopefully after you log into your computer the
slow DHCP server will have finally responded and provided the real network
information. Follow these steps to specify an alternative IP configuration for
your computer:
  1.  Click the Start button and select Computer.
  2.  When Explorer loads, type network connections in the address bar, as
shown in Figure 13-8.
Figure 13-8: Accessing network connections using any Explorer window
  3.  Now that you are in the Network Connections window, you will see a list
of network adapters on your computer. Right-click your wired network
card adapter and select Properties.
  4.  Click the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) to select it. Then click
the Properties button.
  5.  After the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) Properties window is dis-
played, click the Alternative Configuration tab. This is where you will
enter your alternate network information.
  6.  Click the User Configured radio button to allow the text boxes to
be edited.  Chapter 13 n Making Your Computer Log On Faster   241
  7.  Type an IP address for your computer that will be used as a default in
the event that your computer cannot get a DHCP address. I recommend
using 192.168.1.X. Replace X with any unique number for each computer
between 2 and 254.
  8.  Type as your Subnet Mask.
  9.  Your Default Gateway should be set to because that is a valid
gateway address. As I mentioned earlier, the exact numbers do not matter.
You just want to have the computer assign some value instead of spending
time searching when it will not find a DHCP server.
  10.  Enter what your DNS servers should be. You can get this from your ISP,
but this information really isn’t that essential because this configuration
will almost never be used to connect to the Internet. It is just a default
fallback in the rare case that you are having networking trouble. Feel free
to leave these fields and the WINS fields blank.
  11.  Click OK and then click OK for the network properties screen.
Your network adapter is now optimized for the fastest possible logon time in
all scenarios.

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