Hi Larry. I really appreciate all of your help so far. I am beginning to believe we have either network "ghosts" or or an extremely unstable system here. Probably both.
I have done nothing different since I last wrote--other than read your 2 links and decide I had met all the criteria and done everything by the book.
PC1/Martys850 could see the 2 PCs and could suddenly print to the printer on Jeff.
PC2/Jeff could not see any network and could not print to Martys printer.
But today is a new day and Jeff has been up all day; once I got home and booted up Marys850:
PC2/Jeff: could see entire network, could access Martys850 and print to that printer, BUT cannot ping Martys850 IP;
PC2/Martys850: There's nothing in the entire network on this PC --- no "Workgroup", but Martys850 can ping Jeff, can find it in a search and can print to that printer.
I have no idea what will or won't work tomorrow. Should I keep the WINS tab in TCP/IP properties set to use DHCP? should I add a gateway IP to that tab? DO you know why we are experiencing such bizarre behavior? Any suggestions to keep the network working even though Martys850 can't see "workgroup" and Jeff can't ping Martys Ip but both can access the other????
There's another BIG problem:
1-the sound has been messed up on both Jeff and the laptop/PC3 (only hooked up to network once), both of which run Win98se. The laptop has NO sound at all and 1 device, Microsoft Kernel GS wavetable synthesizer, isn't operating properly but nothing works when trying to upgrade driver. Apparently there are no drivers on the CD that came with the laptop and NEC provides no help any more.
2-Jeff has the Windows sound at bootup and has internet sound, but cannot play CDs in either the ce-rw or the cd-rom; in addition, several games we paid for that run on Real Network will no longer work.......error message says we need directx8 which we downloaded and installed but the games say we have directx 0.0.......again, everything worked fine on cable modem and these problems showed up after hooking up to DSL. All devices in Device manager show they are fine.
That's a lot for this time--thanks!!!