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Networking Questions and Answers - IP Address Conflict
Kristin writes in with a networking question:
Question: My husband bought me a new laptop recently and every time I try to use it when his computer is on (we also had a third computer in the house on the internet) both his computer and mine have a Windows System Error which says that there is an IP address conflict with another system on the network.
Answer: That error means that both of your computers are using the same IP address. An IP address designates your location on the network. Since you are sharing an internet connection you are technically on a network. 2 computers cannot have the same IP address on the same network.
If you are using a DSL/Cable router it should be assigning the IP addresses to your computer when you boot it up. It may be the same address as the last time you booted or it could be different. The router is supposed to know which IP addresses are in use so it doesn't duplicate them and give the same one to another computer. In your case either your router is having a problem or one of your computers has a static IP address and the router is trying to give that same address to your other computer. A static is an IP address that is manually assigned to the computer and never changes unless you change it manually.
On both computers make sure you don't have static IP addresses. Right click on My Network Places and pick Properties. For the desktop right click Local Area Connection and on the laptop right click Wireless Connection and click Properties. If they both use wireless then you would pick the wireless connection for both. Double click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and make sure Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically are checked. If they are checked already then its most likely your router is having problems with its DHCP which is the service that assigns IP addresses to your computers.
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