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Creating a Dial Up Network PPP Connection

This was written in 1996 before the OSR2 version of Windows 95 was available. OSR2 has the scripting built in so you do not need to install it if you have OSR2. Most ISPs these days also support a protocol which allows an automatic logon without the need for any interaction and hence the scripts are not required and the manual login stage can be left out and the connection will immediately go to the verifying password step. A typical proceedure for a new style ISP is shown in Freeserve Guide and Tips

Before you can start to create your connection to an Internet Provider under Windows 95 you need to have a number of system programs installed. These may already be loaded in your configuration otherwise they have to be loaded from your CD/installation disks. It is best to get that over with at the start. At the minimum you need Dial Up Networking, Client for Microsoft Networks and TCP/IP installed and the Scripting Tool available. We will start with Dial Up Networking (DUN).

From now on actions will be described as clicking on a button name or tab name, double clicking on an icon, right clicking on an icon to get a pull down menu, checking a a box name(toggled by clicking), clicking to select a choice in a display box prior to clicking a further action. As we proceed and you see how it goes I will be less verbose about the number of clicks. You may well find that Windows 95 needs to be restarted at points during the various installation processes.

It is first worth noting that there are many ways to access the same Icons, tabs etc. under Windows 95. This can cause confusion and if you are an experienced Windows 95 user you may know quicker routes. I will use a route which starts at My Computer which always sits on the Desktop. When you double click on My Computer you should get to icons for Control Panel and Dial Up Networking from which we can reach everything we need. Chances are Dial-up Networking will not be there so to install double click on Control Panel then double click on the Add/Remove Programs icon. Select the Windows Setup tab then Communications then tick Dial-up Networking. Windows will now install from you disks or CD.

We now need to install the Dial-up Adapter so we can use the Modem instead of a local network and also install the TCP/IP protocol used by the Internet and the network client. This time double click on the Network icon in Control panel and click on the Configuration tab. You may be lucky and find that TCP/IP, Client for Microsoft Networks and Dial-up Adapter are all already listed otherwise click the Add button to first select an Adapter. Go down the list and select Microsoft choose Dial-up Adapter and then click OK. Repeat for a Client selecting Microsoft and choosing Client for Microsoft Networks. then back by clicking OK. To add TCP/IP double click Protocol then select Microsoft and then TCP/IP and finally click OK. The Network box should now contain the Dial-up Adapter, Client for Microsoft Networks and TCP/IP.

We are almost there, just a little configuration so go to the Configuration tab, select Dial-up Adapter, click on properties select the Bindings tab and make sure that the TCP/IP box is checked. You may well find that there are also other network clients present - if you are not on a network uncheck or remove these then OK. The defaults on the other 5 tabs are usually OK furthermore almost everything you enter here is redundant as it will reappear and be overwritten as the individual connections are made. Only try those tabs if your provider has given you information you have no home for and the connection does not work without it. We have now completed the Network setup and you should never need to go back to here however many connections you set up. From here on we are into configuration and the insight above in how Internet works will make it much easier.

You have probably already installed the Modem under Windows 95 when you used it as a Fax but if not or you are not sure go to Control Panel, open Modems by double clicking and if your current Modem is not installed click on Install New Modem. Most times Windows will autodetect the modem but you will eventually want to install the latest driver. There are more details in the page on Installing a Modem under Windows 95.

Before we connect up it is best to have more program available namely the Scripting Program as the next stage can go very quickly and you will not want to be held back if success is in sight. The Scripting program is hidden on the Windows CD in the ADMIN\APPTOOLS\DSCRIPT folder but is not on the disk version. It can be however be downloaded once you are up and running manually from the Microsoft site http://www.microsoft.com - you may have to search for Dscript.exe when you get to the site. Install using the Add/Remove Programs Icon in the Control Panel select the Windows Setup tab and click on Have Disk and Browse to the ADMIN\APPTOOLS\DSCRIPT folder to install.

We are now ready to connect to a provider and if you then change or add providers you only have to start from here. There are several routes to set up the connections. I use several providers so have found it easiest to enter the information under the individual connections and as I have previously noted most providers can now provide the IP addresses and DNS automatically.

There are two steps, one is to configure the connection so you can dial and connect with the correct protocols and then login with your password manually. The second step, is only required if you need a script file when you have to automate all the login, password and other typing with the scripting program we just loaded. Most providers will supply the script file and the CD contains one for CompuServe (CIS.SCP) which is the worst provider to connect to. (If you have CompuServe it is worth missing out the manual connection step if you can get at the Scripting tool from the CD Rom or a CompuServe Forum as a CompuServe connection starts with a 7 bit serial and it is quite difficult to see what is going on. It is really the subject of a different article and there is much help in the various Compuserve Forums such as INETRES.)

From the desktop open My Computer by double clicking then Double click on the Dial-up Networking Icon. Double click on Make New Connection which starts a Wizard. Give your connection a name such as CompuServe or Demon to match the provider. In this document I will call it My-provider. Then select the Modem and click Next to take you to another page to set up the phone number and then click Next to be congratulated at which you Finish.

This is only required if you need a script file. This is not the end of the setup of the connection. Right click on the icon for the connection My-provider you have created in the Dial-up Networking folder and click Properties. You will find there are two buttons labeled Configure and Server Type. You first click on Configure to check the Modem settings which should have already been set up and then click OK. You do have to click on the Options tab as we initially want to do a manual login by checking the Bring up Terminal Window After Dialing box. Also check the Display Modem Status option and then click OK.

Now comes the last part of the setting up for your provider. You should be in the My Connection window so click Server Type and at the top make sure that the Type of Dial-up Server is the PPP, Windows 95, Windows NT 3.5, Internet also make sure that only TCP/IP is selected at the bottom. I used to check the log onto Network box but this is ignored by most providers and just slows down the negotiation. Do not check Enable Software compression or require encrypted password boxes. Now an important step - click on TCP/IP Settings button which takes one to a screen for the IP address and DNS addresses. I tick the boxes for server assigned in both cases although you can enter them if the provider has given them. The bottom two boxes are for IP header compression and use default gateway on remote network. The first is usually left clear but use default gateway on remote network must be checked. We are now ready for our first connection.

Get back to your My-provider Icon and double click on it then click on Connect. You can enter your username and password and check save password before connecting if you want as it will save it if the connection is successful. You should hear the modem dial and link up at which point, if scripting is not required you will you will shortly see a message Verifying User Name and Password followed by Connected at and the speed. You now have an open Windows Socket (winsock) and any Internet application can be run. You can skip the next 4 paragraphs as you have finished!

If you need scripting and have set up the modem the terminal window should appear. You may have to hit return to wake up the server and the prompts you get will vary between providers but will typically ask for username:, password: and then protocol: where you type PPP. You may see garbage or messages but press Continue and if the setup has been OK you will shortly see a message Verifying User Name and Password followed by Connected at and the speed. You now have an open Windows Socket (winsock) and any Internet application such as Netscape can be run. You will have to manually disconect at the end.

Once you are happy with this and have tried it a couple of times with your browser you will start to find the manual logging-in is a pain and then is the time to face up to automating it with a script. There are several samples provided in the folder on the CD but you may need to adapt if the messages you get are different. The script typically waits for certain text from the provider end then sends the username the waits again for key text from the prompt (such as assword: and sends the password saved from the connection dialog (they are stored as variables $username and $password). It then waits for the connection prompt and sends PPP and finishes. The examples can be edited using Notepad to match the prompts you saw when you did the manual login. Save the trial script in the c:\Program Files\Accessories\ folder with a .SCP extension as My-provider.scp.

Now run the Dial-up Scripting Tool which is in the same folder. Your connection(s) will be listed and select the one you want to use My-provider by clicking on it. Then Browse for the script file c:\Program Files\Accessories\My-provider.scp and select. It is wise to step through and see what happens the first time by checking the Step Through Script box. You can come back later and uncheck it and check the Start Screen Minimized when it all works so for now click Apply and click Close. Now go back and Connect by double clicking on My-provider and see what happens as you step through each line by pressing F7.

When you have corrected all the errors you have made go back and uncheck the Step through Script box and also go back to the Connection Control in your connection properties and Uncheck the Bring up Terminal after dialing box. You can now do all the login automatically just by double clicking on your connection My-provider. I keep a Shortcut to My-provider on the Desktop to make it easy. You can also find an option in Control Panel's Network icon to allow programs to automatically open a selected connection when they need it. Not all programmes remind you to close the connection so watch your phone does not remain off hook.

I have done the above procedures for a number of different providers and now I understand the jargon I do not find it difficult - the worst part is trying to find a particular screen to change something. There are also several ways to get to many of the screens and sometimes the settings effect all connection or uses of the modem and sometimes only the specific one so make changes with care if you have a complex setup. Using a routine way to get into the configuration helps. The most consistent way is to go in via My Computer on the Desktop. This also helps remind one to close down programs before doing any fancy configuration! This leads one to Dial-up Networking with your connections such as the fictional My-provider and a right click gets a menu where you click on Properties to get into make changes. My Computer also contains Control Panel which has the Modems Icon, Network Icon, Mail and Fax Icon and Internet Icon which are the routes to the rest of the set-up and Add/Remove Programs that we have used.

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Copyright © Peter and Pauline Curtis
Content revised: 10th October, 1996
Notes for OSR2 and automatic login added: 6th July, 1999
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