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PCs connected via crossed Ethernet cable can't access each other

A reader with two Pentium PCs connected via a crossed Ethernet cable reports that they often cannot access each other.

I have a Pentium 1 PC (166 MHz, 32 MB RAM) connected to a Pentium P4 PC (3.06GHz, 512 MB RAM) via a crossed Ethernet cable. However, the two computers are rarely able to access each other. Most of the time the first computer cannot be seen from the second.

Is there a conflict arising somewhere? Please note that I have two operating systems installed on my new PC (in two separate partitions).

Be sure that both machines are configured with IP addresses on the same network, and verify that both have the same subnet mask. For example, configure machine 1 with an IP of with a subnet mask of, and machine 2 with an IP of with a subnet mask of

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